Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA)

SESTA is for students who have learning support needs and may have difficulty getting to the closest school that they can enrol at.

Travel assistance

Your child may get:

  • a place on a school bus.
  • a place on a contracted SESTA service (this may be a car, minibus, or total mobility vehicle).
  • a Conveyance Allowance to pay for transport to school.

To apply, fill out:

The Ministry of Education will write to you about the decision.

Equipment assistance

If your child is eligible for SESTA, you can apply for School Transport Specialist Equipment Funding.

Thise funding is only to pay for equipment used for trips to and from school.

Your school will help you apply for this Specialist Equipment Application.

Who is eligible for SESTA?

Your child must meet all 3 criteria to be eligible for SESTA.

First criteria

To be eligible for SESTA, your child must be aged between 5 and 21 years.

Second criteria

To be eligible for SESTA, your child must have mobility or safety needs that prevent them from travelling independently to and from school.

Example of a mobility need: wheelchairs or other specialist equipment.

Example of a safety need: a learning disability or serious behavioural or medical condition that could pose a risk to themselves or others.

Third criteria

To be eligible for SESTA, your child must go to the closest state school (or state-integrated school, or educational setting) that they can enrol at.

Who isn't eligible for SESTA?

SESTA isn't for students who are:

Eligibility for SESTA is assessed based on the needs of the student not the caregiver.

Which journeys do SESTA cover?

SESTA is only for the journey between your child’s home and school.

Temporary assistance to take your child between school and an alternative home address may be arranged if, for example:

  • respite and after school care arrangements have been made at an address other than their usual home
  • your child has more than one home address because of shared custody.

Transport between the student's home and other addresses is your responsibility.


Travel assistance

To apply (or tell us about a change of circumstance) you can fill out:

The Ministry of Education will write to you about the decision.

Ask to appeal a decision

If you want to appeal a decision, contact the school’s Learning Support Leader/SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) or the Learning Support Manager local Ministry of Education office, and they will help you through the process.

Responsibilities of drivers, school staff, and caregivers

Drivers, school staff, and caregivers all have responsibilities when using SESTA.

Driver, Caregiver and School Staff Responsibilities and Expectations [PDF, 102 KB]

These responsibilities include obligations under the Health and Safety at Work Act and the Vulnerable Children Act.


If you have any questions about SESTA, talk to staff at your school.

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