Benefits

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

If your school is registered on our School Party Travel scheme, you can apply to get free travel for visits to educational, sporting and cultural venues in London:

Sign in to your School Party Travel scheme account.

Eligibility

Your school can join the scheme if you're:

  • In a London borough and
  • Teaching the National Curriculum or Further Education subjects (for example A Levels)

The scheme is open to all types of school (state, independent, academies).

Summer schools

We accept summer schools that are run in association with local education authorities. You may need to provide further evidence in your application, such as an Ofsted report, so we can check if you're eligible.

Once you have successfully registered on the scheme, sign in to your account to apply for tickets.

Nursery schools

Nursery schools can register but can't use National Rail services.

How does it work?

Number of trips per school

The School Party Travel scheme allows for a maximum of two trips per child per term. You can have a maximum of 90 children and 18 adults on each application.

Group size

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

Contact us if you are a special needs school and need additional adults for your group.

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 services being used, we may have to stagger the travel time on the tickets. This is to make sure there is enough space for your party and our other customers.

Schools must stick to the travel times shown on their tickets.

Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail

  • Maximum group size per ticket: 20 children and 2-4 adults
  • You only need one adult if you're travelling with fewer 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 defined as those under 18
  • Adults (Teachers/parents/helpers) are defined as aged 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 to find out more
  • Occasional venues, such as events which support a particular area of study but only take place for a limited time

When you apply for tickets you will be asked to select the venue from a drop down list. If the venue you are visiting isn't registered on the scheme, you may need to wait up to seven working days while we determine whether it can be added.

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 study Examples of related studies
Arts Craft, dance, drama, films, media studies, music, visual arts
Environmental Ecology, nature study, natural history, recycling
Humanities Architecture, geography, heritage, history, religious studies, social studies
Sports Swimming, 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
  • TfL Rail
  • National Rail within London fare Zones 1-6 
  • National Rail outside London fare Zone 1-6 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. On your application you must tell us:

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

We can't process your application without this information.

If you are a large party, we may issue tickets with staggered start/return times, to prevent overcrowding at the stations and on the platforms.

Avoid the busiest times - try to arrange your journey to depart after 10:00.

Journey times

The scheme operates on Mondays to Fridays as follows:

Service Journeys must start no earlier than You must begin the final leg of your journey by
Buses and trams 09:30 16:30
Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail 09:50 where journey starts in Zone 1 or 2 16:30
Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail 09:30 where journey starts in Zones 3-9 16:30

How do I get tickets?

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
London SE10 0ES

You can apply for School Party Travel tickets up to three months before your date of travel. Apply early - if you're attending a popular venue or event, your application may be rejected if there are already too many school groups travelling.

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

If you have an account you must apply online.

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

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

Send your form by email to: schoolparty@tfl.gov.uk

If you don't have a scanner, you can post your application to us at:

School Party Travel team
Transport for London
14 Pier Walk
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. Note that we can't guarantee receipt of these applications.

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

We will email your tickets to you as soon as your application is approved (also applies to postal applications).