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Financial support for pupils and students

If you are eligible to claim free school meals and your child is not attending school due to the lockdown, your child’s school will provide a food hamper or vouchers.

Please contact your child’s school if you have any queries.

If you are pregnant or have a child under four years old you could also get Healthy Start vouchers to help buy some basic foods.

Free school meals (Pupil Premium)

Free school meals are a statutory means-tested benefit which provides a child or young person with meals at school for free.

We want to make sure that everyone who is eligible is using this benefit. Some parents in the borough who are eligible to claim free school meals for their children are not claiming their entitlement.

Taking up free school meals has positive outcomes for everyone:

  • children can benefit from a healthy free nutritious meal
  • families entitled to free school meals could save more than £400 per child per year by claiming free school meals
  • it’s anonymous for parents (because so much of the application process can be done online, a person's entitlement is mostly processed electronically)
  • it’s anonymous for young people (thanks to our cashless catering system, claiming free school meals is anonymous – cards are swiped in the same way as a paid-for meal so nobody knows that it’s a free school meal)
  • schools can benefit directly by receiving money from the government

Registering for free meals could also raise an extra £1,320 for your child’s primary school or £935 for your child’s secondary school, paid by the government, to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after school activities. Your school could benefit from hundreds of thousands of pounds.

If you have a live claim for free school meals this will automatically be carried over and awarded for your child from 1st September 2018. Any child moving from infants to junior or junior to secondary schools with a live award will also automatically be moved over to the new allocated school. New claims are not required for any child with a current live award for free school meals.

Letters will not be sent to either parents or schools; all schools will be notified and sent a full report detailing all live free school meals awards valid from September 2018 so they can update their systems.

Who can claim free school meals

If you are on a low income or receive Child Benefit and any of these benefits, you could claim free school meals for your child:

  • Child Tax credit (provided you’re not also entitled to Working Tax Credit and have an annual gross income of no more than £16,190)
  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Working Tax Credit run-on - paid for 4 weeks after you stop qualifying for Working Tax Credit
  • Universal Credit - if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (earnings after tax and not including any benefits you get)

You may qualify for free school meals for your child if:

  • you are an asylum seeker
  • you live outside Barking and Dagenham but meet the previous criteria and your child is attending a school in the borough
  • your only or main income is one of the benefits listed

Universal free school meals (Key Stage 1)

Your child will still be able to get free school meals under the current universal free school meals policy if they’re in:

  • reception class
  • year 1
  • year 2

To ensure your child’s school receives the additional funding for Pupil Premium, complete the new application form available at your child's school reception.

Apply for Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)

Make sure you have your National Insurance and Child Benefit number to hand when applying for free school meals.

All schools have been asked to treat the application and award of free school meals sensitively.

Pupil Premium registration (free school meals)

All children who are in Key Stage 1 (Reception, Year 1 and 2) at a state-funded school are offered a free healthy school lunch.

Children in other school years will be offered a free school meal if their parent or guardian is receiving any welfare benefits or has a low household income.

Registering your child enables your child’s school to fund valuable support like extra tuition, additional teaching staff or after-school activities.

Registering for Pupil Premium

The best way to contact us and apply for Pupil Premium is to use our registration form below.

Pupil Premium registration form

If you've made a report previously you can check the progress of your report

Free travel for children under 16s

All children under the age of 16 can travel for free on London buses and trams. Pupils must apply for a travel photo card before their 16th birthday.

Children who are 14 or 15 can travel free with a Child Oyster photo card. Children who look under the age of 14 can travel free on London’s buses and trams without a photo card.

Application forms for a child Oyster photo card are available at all Post Offices in Greater London and areas just beyond the boundary that are served by the London bus network, or you can apply online.

Apply for a child Oyster card

Special educational needs travel assistance

Travel assistance

The majority of pupils and students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) do not need and do not receive travel assistance. However, there are some pupils and students with severe learning difficulties, physical and medical needs who may need travel assistance; this can assist parents in getting pupils to school.

Eligibility for travel assistance depends on your child’s individual needs, age and ability. Where possible, children and young people with SEND will be encouraged and supported to travel independently.

Travel assistance application form

Independent travel training

Our independent travel training service supports young people with special educational needs and disabilities to travel independently to and from their place of education. Our travel trainers help young people gain the confidence and skills they need to make their journeys safely and independently.

Suitability for independent travel training will be considered as part of the travel assistance application process. In addition to referrals through the council, if individuals have personal budgets or are self-funding, they can purchase travel training or travel support.

More information

If you have questions about your child’s journey to school and whether they qualify for assistance to travel to school, contact your local children’s centre, or our Transport Commissioning Team.

Transport Commissioning Team

Town Hall, Barking IG11 7LU

transport.request@lbbd.gov.uk

Local taxi and transport services

All the services can accommodate passenger assistants.

Company nameContact detailsVehicles availableOpening
hours
Barking and Dagenham 
Passenger Transport
020 8227 2445Accessible vehicles, minibuses6am to 6pm
LB Redbridge Passenger Transport020 8708 5303Accessible vehicles minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars6am to 6pm
Clayhall Executive Cars020 8550 6767MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Diamond Car Service020 8599 0555MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Dilshan Transport Group020 8599 7090Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars6am to 6pm
Fox Transport020 8986 6161Accessible vehicles, minibuses6am to 6pm
Goldline Cars020 8555 5555Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Highway Express    01708 744000Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars24 hours
Olympic South (HATS)020 3693 6962Accessible vehicles, minibuses, MPV (7 seat vehicles), saloon cars7am to 5pm
Star Mini Cabs01708 736736Accessible vehicles, minibuses24 hours

Independent Living Agency

Independent Living Agency website

Dial-A-Ride

DAR@tfl.gov.uk

Dial a ride website

DABD

transport@dabd.org.uk

DABD website

Travel assistance policies

Home to school travel assistance policy (PDF, 134KB)

Post-16 travel arrangements policy 2020-21 (PDF, 177KB)

Qualifying for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund

If you're between 16 and 19, you may qualify for weekly payments to attend school or college. To receive a bursary, you must regularly attend school or college and meet one of these criteria:

  • be in receipt of free school meals
  • be in care
  • be a care leaver
  • be receiving income support
  • be disabled and receiving both Employment Support Allowance and Disability Allowance

Payments will only be authorised if you follow these conditions:

  • attend all lessons on time
  • all work must be completed as requested by the teaching staff
  • good behaviour, attitude and effort at all times

For a school bursary, contact your school directly and ask about the 16 to 19 Bursary.

Bursary Fund application

To apply for the 16 to 19 Bursary Fund, fill in the following application form and return it to the school you are attending.

Bursary application form (DOC, 48 KB)

Barking and Dagenham College has more information about the bursary.

If your course is directly career-related (for example, it's not GCSEs or A levels), you may be eligible to apply for a bursary from the Colin Pond Trust Fund.  

Colin Pond Trust Fund

Extra financial help for students

Anyone over the age of 16, who is considering taking a further or higher education course but needs extra financial help, can apply for a bursary from the Colin Pond Trust Fund.

Colin Pond was a councillor in Barking and Dagenham who had a lifelong interest in education. He was a firm believer in the European Union and developed strong links with Witten in Germany. He left a sum of money to help young people benefit from an extended education.

Eligibility

To be eligible, applicants must be a resident of Barking and Dagenham (or attend school/college in the borough) or Witten, and be aged 16 or over. The bursary must be used to part-finance a qualification for a career, but not GCSEs. AS/A levels, GNVQs or similar qualifications.

Grants will not be given to fund work experience or business venture projects, or to fund courses where qualifications are unconnected to a career.

Contact us for an application form or further information by emailing colinpondtrust@lbbd.gov.uk

Appeals and complaints Toggle accordion

Appeals can be made by email to transport.appeals@lbbd.gov.uk.

Appeals procedure

Stage One: Review by a senior officer

A parent/carer has 10 working days from receipt of the local authority’s home to school transport decision to make a written request asking for a review of the decision.

The written request should detail why the parent believes the decision should be reviewed and give details of any personal and/or family circumstances the parent believes should be considered when the decision is reviewed.

Within 20 working days of receipt of the parent’s written request a senior officer will review the original decision and send a detailed written notification of the outcome of their review, setting out:

  • the nature of the decision reached; how the review was conducted
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached
  • and information about how the parent can escalate their case to stage two (if appropriate)

Stage Two: Review by an independent appeal panel

A parent has 20 working days from receipt of the local authority’s stage one written decision notification to make a written request to escalate the matter to stage two.

Within 40 working days of receipt of the parents request an independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from both the parent and officers involved in the case and give a detailed written notification of the outcome (within 5 working days), setting out:

  • the nature of the decision reached
  • how the review was conducted (including the standard followed e.g. Road Safety GB)
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached and information about the parent’s right to put the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman (see below)

The independent appeal panel members are independent of the original decision making process and suitably experienced, to ensure a balance are achieved between meeting the needs of the parents and the local authority.

Local Government Ombudsman

There is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, If the complainant considers the decision of the independent panel to be flawed on public law grounds, the complainant may also apply for judicial review.

Complaints Procedure 

Should you wish to make a complaint about a service you have received please talk to the person who is providing the service or their manager in the first instance as most complaints can be sorted out 'on the spot' you can do this by emailing transport.request@lbbd.gov.uk or by calling 020 8227 2713. However, should you feel this is not possible or you do not receive a satisfactory response from the service area please contact our Complaints Team at complaints@lbbd.gov.uk and they will initiate a formal complaint investigation for you.

You may also write to the Complaints Team at:

Corporate Complaints Team, London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, Room 105, Town Hall, Barking, IG11 7LU  

If an applicant remains dissatisfied, they may consider contacting the Local Government Ombudsmen (LGO) or complaining to the Secretary of State for Education. The LGO is an independent organisation that looks into complaints against councils. It is a free service and information can be found online on the LGO website.

To complain to the Secretary of State, young people or their families should use the contact form on GOV.UK.

Any complaint should outline the case, set out the decision taken by the local authority and include any other relevant

documentation, for example any advice or decisions from the LGO where appropriate.

 

Post 16 Travel Arrangements Policy 2020-21 Toggle accordion

Post 16 Travel Arrangements Policy 2020-21

This is the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham’s policy statement for transport arrangements and financial assistance for young people who live in the Borough and are in education or training beyond the age of 16. All young people are now required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday. Under the September Guarantee every young person aged 16 or 17 should be offered a suitable place in education or training.    

An important part of the council’s vision is that it ensures children and young people are well educated and realise their potential. Post-16 learners can use this statement to help them choose a sixth form, college or training provision.   

This policy statement describes travel assistance provision for students of sixth form age. These are pupils who are 16,17,18 or 19 if they begin a course before they are 19 and continue it after they are become 19.  It also describes provision for adult learners who are over 19 but under 25 and who have special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).   

Free or reduced-price travel  

Most students of sixth form age and adult learners will be able to get to school/college or training on foot or by using public transport.   

There are many travel options for learners within our borough, and within London, and this is either free or offered at a reduced rate, by Transport for London for many students who are 16 or over.     

Transport for London travel for students of sixth form age  

16+ Oyster Photo Card 

Students who are 16 to 18, live in London and are in full time education, can apply for free travel on buses and public transport using a 16+ Oyster photo card if they are: 

  • Under 19 on the 31st August prior to the start of the current academic year. 
  • Living in a London Borough; and 
  • In full-time education (as defined under the scheme) 

This enables students to travel for free on Buses and Trams. Students can also get reduced travel fares on the Tube, DLR and London Overground Services. 

Students may apply for an Oyster Card through the Transport for London website: 

Zip Oyster photocards - Transport for London 

Freedom Pass 

The freedom pass is for people who have permanent disability that imposes a mobility problem or who are registered blind.  

Students may apply  for a Freedom Pass through the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham by following the link below:  

Freedom Pass - London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Council 

The 16-19 Bursary Fund 

This is a discretionary award available for education-related costs for students between the ages of 16 and 18. It can also be made to pupils who are 19 or over if they continued on a course they started when they were 16, 17 or 18 or if they have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP).   

Find out more at 16 to 19 Bursary Fund - GOV.UK 

Dial–a–Ride 

Some students may be eligible for travel assistance from Dial-a-Ride (TFL) if they meet any of the following criteria: 

  • A Taxi Card Member 
  • Are in receipt of the Higher Rate Mobility component of Disability Living Allowance 
  • Are registered blind or partially sighted. 
  • Are in receipt of Higher Rate Attendance Allowance 

Other students can apply but will need to complete a paper-based assessment to determine their eligibility.

How to apply to Dial-a Ride

You may apply for this service by downloading the application form from the website Dial-a-Ride - Transport for London or by calling 0343 222 7777. 

Young Parents 

Care to Learn (C2L) is a scheme that can help young learners with childcare and travel costs if they are 19 or under when they start their course.  Details can be found on the care to learn website

Apprentices and trainees

Apprentices and trainees can make use of TfL concessions as above and may obtain some assistance from their employer. Information is available at GOV.UK.

SEND Applicants

Learners with special educational needs and disabilities (16- 25).

In some cases, the council may offer assistance to students of sixth form age with SEND, with or without an EHCP, to ensure that they can access education or training, or to adult learners who is over 19 and under 25 with SEND.  

The council may also offer assistance to a young person of 16 or 17 who is vulnerable to becoming not in education, employment or training (NEET), or who has already become NEET if it considers this necessary to support their participation in education, training or employment.   

These awards are made on a discretionary basis. Each case is decided on its merits, taking into consideration walking distance, the impact a learning difficulty or disability may have on a young person’s ability to walk the required distance, the nature or the route and any alternative that a young person might be expected to take. 

We look at journey times, the suitability of the journey, best practice for reasonable travel times (likely to be no more than 75 minutes in many cases), the financial position of the applicant and their family, if appropriate, the cost to the council, sustainability, safety, whether there is a nearer suitable course, choices made for reasons of religion or belief and other sources of help available, such as the Bursary Fund. We do not make travel awards where another source of funding is available to the applicant, or where a similar course/training is available that is nearer.

We are able to charge in full or in part for assistance we make using discretionary powers, and so it is possible that applicants will be asked to contribute to the cost of travel arrangements we make. The council will decide what form of assistance it will give. 

Details of options for young people with SEND can be found in the SEND travel and transport policy. Where possible, we will provide travel training and once a student can travel successfully independently, other forms of travel assistance may be withdrawn, allowing them to put this important life skill into practice.  

How to apply  

Applications must be made online using our travel assistance application form 

Applicants must provide all evidence listed or requested by the council. Where a form is incomplete and/or evidence is not provided as requested, within any given time limit, no award can be made.   

Notes for applicants for discretionary awards 

Awards  

A decision will be given in writing, including reasons for a refusal. Where an application is successful, assistance will be given for a specified period, or until it is reviewed. No award will be for more than one academic year. It is the responsibility of the student to make a further application. Awards cannot be backdated. Applications should therefore be made as soon as a pupil is offered and has accepted a place, or their circumstances have changed when they are part way through a course.   

Reviews 

Assessments of the need for assistance will be reviewed annually and more frequently where circumstances change within the year.  

Changes in circumstances 

Students must inform the council of any changes in circumstances that may affect entitlement to assistance. These include a change of address or place of learning, changes in health or SEND or associated needs that affect travelling to the place of education/training.  

Eligibility checks 

The council has a duty to ensure that it protects public funds. The council may contact students during the academic year, to ensure they are still eligible for assistance.  

Awards made in error 

 Where an award of assistance has been made in error, the council has the right to withdraw this after first considering the circumstances of each case to determine whether there are exceptional reasons for provision to continue. Where it is decided to withdraw assistance, up to one term’s notice will be given. If the error was discovered before the commencement of the academic year the assistance will be withdrawn straight away. 

Fraud 

Where an award of assistance has been made as a result of fraud it will be withdrawn immediately. All monies paid will have to be repaid. Legal action to recover monies may be taken. Criminal proceedings may be taken, which may lead to conviction.   

Appeals and complaints 

Appeals can be made to transport.appeals@lbbd.gov.uk 

Stage One: Review by a senior officer 

A parent/carer has 10 working days from receipt of the local authority’s home to school transport decision to make a written request asking for a review of the decision. 

The written request should detail why the parent believes the decision should be reviewed and give details of any personal and/or family circumstances the parent believes should be considered when the decision is reviewed. 

Within 20 working days of receipt of the parent’s written request a senior officer will review the original decision and send a detailed written notification of the outcome of their review, setting out: 

  • the nature of the decision reached
  • how the review was conducted
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered
  • the rationale for the decision reached and 
  • information about how the parent can escalate their case to stage two (if appropriate). 

Stage Two: Review by an independent appeal panel 

A parent has 20 working days from receipt of the local authority’s stage one written decision notification to make a written request to escalate the matter to stage two. 

Within 40 working days of receipt of the parents request an independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from both the parent and officers involved in the case and give a detailed written notification of the outcome (within 5 working days), setting out: 

  • the nature of the decision reached
  • how the review was conducted (including the standard followed e.g. Road Safety GB)
  • information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process
  • what factors were considered; o the rationale for the decision reached and  
  • information about the parent’s right to put the matter to the Local Government Ombudsman (see below)

The independent appeal panel members are independent of the original decision-making process and suitably experienced, to ensure a balance is achieved between meeting the needs of the parents and the local authority. 

Local Government Ombudsman 

There is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman if the complainant considers the decision of the independent panel to be flawed on public law grounds, the complainant may also apply for judicial review. 

Should you wish to make a complaint about a service you have received please talk to the person who is providing the service or their manager in the first instance as most complaints can be sorted out 'on the spot'. However, should you feel this is not possible or you do not receive a satisfactory response from the service area please contact our Complaints Team on 020 8227 2405 / 2111 or socialCareComplaintsandInformation@lbbd.gov.uk and they will initiate a formal complaint investigation for you. You may also write to the Complaints Team at the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. 

If an applicant remains dissatisfied, they may consider contacting the Local Government Ombudsmen (LGO) or complaining to the Secretary of State for Education. The LGO is an independent organisation that investigates complaints against councils. It is a free service and information can be found online on the LGO website

To complain to the Secretary of State, young people or their families should use the contact form on GOV.UK.

Any complaint should outline the case, set out the decision taken by the local authority and include any other relevant documentation, for example any advice or decisions from the LGO where appropriate.  

Complaints about the service you have received may be made using the council’s complaints procedure, which can be found at SocialCareComplaintsandInformation@lbbd.gov.uk 

Contact Details 

Transport Commissioning

Opening times: 7am to 5.30pm 

Telphone: 020 8227 2713 

Email: Transport.request@lbbd.gov.uk 

Address: 3rd floor, Roycraft House, 15 Linton Road, Barking, IG11 8HE.

Mobility Services 

Telephone: 020 8227 2334 - 020 8227 2325 

Email: mobility@lbbd.gov.uk 

Community Learning Development Team 

Telephone: 020 8227 5432 

Email: cldtintake@lbbd.gov.uk 

Local Colleges  

Barking & Dagenham College, Dagenham Road, Romford, RM7 0XU. Telephone: 020 8090 3020.

Redbridge College, Little Heath, Barley Lane, Romford R6 4XT. Telephone: 020 8548 7400. 

Havering College, Ardleigh Green Road, Hornchurch, RM11 2LL. Telephone: 01708 455 011.