Specialised School Transport Assistance (SESTA)

SESTA is for students who have special educational needs and may have difficulty getting to the school that can meet these needs.

Travel assistance

Your child may get:

  • a place on a school bus.
  • a place on a contracted SESTA service (this may be a taxi, 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 a School Transport Equipment Grant.

The grant is only to pay for equipment used for trips to and from school.

Your school will help you apply for this grant.

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 is able to provide appropriate learning support.

Who isn't eligible for SESTA?

SESTA isn't for students who are:

  • on ACC (contact ACC for advice in this situation)
  • boarding at residential schools who need transport to and from home for the weekend or holidays.

SESTA is not provided if the caregiver has mobility or safety needs.

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 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 home and other care addresses is your responsibility.

Apply

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.

Equipment assistance

If your child is eligible for SESTA, you can apply for a School Transport Equipment Grant.

The grant is only to pay for equipment used for trips to and from school.

Your school will help you apply for this grant.

Ask to review a decision

If you want to review a decision, contact the school’s SENCO (Special Education Needs Co-ordinator) or your 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.

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

Contact

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

Download brochure

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