Mayor of London

School parties


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 and cultural venues in London

Sign in to your School Party Travel scheme account.


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.

Call 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges) to register with us as a special needs school.

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:

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

There should be a maximum of two adults for every 10 children in a school party. If you need to take more 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.

You may find it that it's better for you to travel in smaller groups. If you do, tick the special requirements box on the application form. When we get your application, we will contact your school administrator to discuss your requirements.

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

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 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 for the School Party Travel scheme for further information
  • 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
  • TfL Rail
  • 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

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, TfL Rail and National Rail
09:50 where journey starts in Zone 1 or 2

09:30 where journey starts in Zones 3-916:30
Scheme rules
  • All members of the school party must be booked on a ticket(s) and travel according to the journey details on the ticket(s)
  • Where valid tickets have not been obtained, standard fares must be paid for all members of the party except those children who are eligible for free travel
  • You cannot use a confirmation email or copy of a fax as an authority to travel - you can only travel for free using the tickets you have been issued with. If you don't have the correct tickets you may be refused entry into the station or asked to buy tickets for your journey
  • TfL and train operating companies reserve the right to reject applications
  • We consider all requests for tickets. However, we cannot guarantee services will operate to schedule or that sufficient capacity will be available
  • You must apply online at least 14 days in advance of your planned trip, 21 days in advance if you are applying by post
  • Where applications are submitted less than 14 days in advance for online applications, or less than 21 days in advance for email or postal applications, we cannot guarantee that schools will be contacted. We have the right to not process, or reject, any such applications
  • It is the responsibility of the school to make sure that all address and contact details provided to TfL are correct. We are not responsible for the loss of any tickets where incorrect details have been provided
  • TfL and Train Operating Companies reserve the right to check applications to participate in the scheme
  • If a school is found to be travelling in breach of these scheme rules, TfL may remove that school from the School Party Travel scheme

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:

Phone: 0343 222 1000 (TfL call charges)
School Party Travel team
Transport for London
14 Pier Walk
Blue zone, 4th 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

Apply online via your school's account. It's quicker and there's less chance of error.

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

Please allow 14 days for us to process online applications.

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:


School Party Travel team,
Transport for London
14 Pier Walk
Blue zone, 4th floor
London SE10 0ES

Please allow 21 days for postal or email 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?

We aim to send tickets out at least seven days before your date of travel, to allow time for delivery by Royal Mail.

Late applications

The School Party Travel scheme aims to provide tickets to all schools who have applied giving the specified notice. If you apply without the appropriate notice your application won't be processed.

What if my tickets don't arrive?

If you haven't received your tickets four working days before your trip, you must contact us.

Nursery school scheme

Phone detailsPhone: 0343 222 1000

TfL call charges