School parties

Benefits

Free off-peak school group travel from Monday to Friday.

Your school can benefit if it's:

  • A London school (including summer, special needs and nursery schools)
  • Registered on the scheme
  • Visiting educational, sporting and cultural venues in London

Sign in to your School Party Travel scheme account.

Eligibility

Your school can join the scheme if it's:

  • In the Greater London Authority area
  • Teaching the National Curriculum or Further Education subjects (for example A Levels)

The scheme is open to all types of school (state, independent, grant-maintained).

Summer schools

We accept summer schools run in association with London local education authorities. You may need to provide further evidence in your application so that we can check you're eligible.

Special needs

We have separate arrangements for special needs schools.

For more information:

Email: schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk
Phone: 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges)

Once you have registered you can apply online for tickets.

Nursery schools

We have separate arrangements for nursery schools in the Greater London area.

For more information:

Email: schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk
Phone: 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges)

How does it work?

Number of trips per school

If your school is registered for the School Party Travel scheme, you're eligible for a maximum of two trips per child per term.

Group size

We allow a maximum of two adults for every 10 children in a school party. If you need to take more adults than this, you'll have to pay fares at the standard rate.

The group size is flexible, so that large parties can travel in smaller groups if there isn't a service that can take your entire party.

When you apply, you need to tell us the number of children and adults making the trip; that way, we can check which services are available for when you want to travel. Depending on the size of your party and the transport services being used, we may have to stagger the travel time on the tickets. This is to make sure the services have enough space for your party and customers in general. If we do stagger travelling times we ask that schools stick to the times shown on their tickets.

There is a limit to how many people are on each ticket, not to how many are in the group.

Tube, DLR, London Overground and National Rail

  • Maximum group size per ticket: 20 children and 2-4 adults
  • You only need one adult if you're travelling with less than 10 children
  • You can't order tickets for more than one adult for every five children of the total school party group, unless you have special requirements

Bus and tram journeys

  • Maximum group size per ticket: 10 children and up to two adults
  • You can't order tickets for more than one adult for every five children of the total school party group, unless you have special requirements

Age limits

  • Children are classified as those under 18
  • Teachers/parents: age 18+

Places to visit

You can apply for free travel for visits to educational, cultural or sporting venues that support an area of the National Curriculum. These include:

  • Animal parks/zoos
  • Areas of cultural interest (for example Chinatown)
  • Artists' studios/arts centres/design studios
  • Buildings of architectural/environmental interest
  • Cinemas/concert halls/theatres
  • City Farms/commons/heaths/parks
  • Film studios/galleries/museums/print works
  • Sites of archaeological/environmental/religious interest
  • Sporting venues such as swimming pools, playing fields and indoor leisure centres. Trips can also be used for spectating at and participating in sporting activities. There are some exceptions so read the terms and conditions [PDF 0.6MB] to find out more
  • Occasional venues, which are events that support a particular area of study but only take place for a limited time

Any trips that could be classified as recreational, such as visits to theme parks and amusement parks are excluded under the scheme. If the place you want to visit falls into more than one category, choose the one it fits with best. When applying, tell us which area(s) of the National Curriculum the trip will support, and give brief details of the relevance of the visit.

Area of studyExamples of related studies
ArtsCraft, dance, drama, films, media studies, music, visual arts
EnvironmentalEcology, nature study, natural history, recycling
HumanitiesArchitecture, geography, heritage, history, religious studies, social studies
SportsSwimming, athletics, football, cricket
Science Biology, chemistry, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics

Types of transport

The scheme offers free travel on scheduled services on:

  • Buses
  • Tube
  • Trams
  • Docklands Light Railway (DLR)
  • London Overground
  • National Rail within Greater London 
  • National Rail outside Greater London between Amersham and Moor Park only

We don't offer free tickets on London River Services or Emirates Air Line.

Travelling by National Rail

If your trip includes National Rail services you can book your tickets through us, but you must tell us on your application:

  • The name of the train operator (which can be found on their timetable)
  • The time of the train(s) you wish to use

If you don't provide this information we won't be able to process your application.

    We will check whether the train operating company can take your school party. They may ask you to change your journey date or time if their stations or trains are likely to be very busy. If you are a large party, we may issue tickets with staggered start/return times, to prevent overcrowding.

    National Rail services can still be very busy just after peak time. To avoid disappointment try to arrange your journey to depart after 10:00 where possible.

    Journey times

    The scheme operates on Mondays to Fridays as follows:

    ServiceJourneys must start no earlier thanYou must begin the final leg of your journey by
       
    Buses and trams09:3016:30
    Tube, DLR, London
    Overground and National Rail
    09:50 where journey starts in Zone 1 or 2
    16:30

    09:30 where journey starts in Zones 3-916:30

    How do I get tickets?

    To get tickets, your school must be registered on the scheme. To register your school and to get information about the scheme or follow up an application, you can contact us by:

    Email: schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk
    Phone: 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges)
    Post:
    School Party Travel team
    Transport for London
    14 Pier Walk
    Red zone, 3rd floor
    London SE10 0ES

    Applying for tickets

    You can apply for School Party Travel tickets up to three months before your date of travel. We encourage schools to apply early - if you're attending a popular venue, your application may be rejected if there are already too many school groups travelling. Also, if the venue you are visiting isn't currently registered on the scheme, you may need to wait up to seven working days while we determine whether it can be added.

    You must apply at least 14 days before the date of your trip.

     
    Apply online

    If you have an account you must apply online.

    If you don't have an online account, contact the School Party team.

     
    Apply by post

    Download this application form or ask us to send you one by calling 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges).

    Send your form by:

    Email: schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk

    Post:
    School Party Travel team,
    Transport for London
    14 Pier Walk
    Red zone, 3rd floor
    London SE10 0ES

    You should only use this form if you don't have an online account. You must allow 21 days for postal or email applications, and we can't guarantee receipt of these applications. We may need to contact you to discuss the possibility of changing your travel arrangements.

    If you apply using a paper application form and you have special requirements, let us know and we will contact you to discuss your needs.

     
    When will I get my tickets?

    If you have an online account we'll email your tickets to you as soon as your application is approved.

    School Party Travel Scheme

    schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk

    Phone detailsPhone: 0343 222 1000

    TfL call charges

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