Travel for schools


Free off-peak travel for school group visits to educational, cultural and sporting venues in London.

The scheme gives free travel on:

  • Bus
  • Tube
  • Tram
  • DLR
  • London Overground
  • Elizabeth line
  • Most National Rail services within London Zones 1-6
  • National Rail services outside London between Amersham and Moor Park

Can my school register?

You can register if you're:

  1. In a London borough
  2. Teaching the National Curriculum or Further Education subjects

The scheme is open to state, independent and academy schools.

Summer schools run in association with local education authorities can register. You may need to provide evidence in your application, such as an Ofsted report.

Nursery schools can also register.

How does it work?

Register your school

To register your school for the scheme, email us a letter on your school letter-headed paper, confirming:

  • Your school wants to join the School Party Travel Scheme
  • Your school follows the National Curriculum or a substantially similar programme
  • The London borough your school is in
  • Your schools Ofsted Unique Reference Number (URN)
  • Name and address of the school, including postcode and telephone number and a school email address
  • Your school will abide by the scheme's terms and conditions

Email your letter in pdf format to

Terms and conditions

Please read these before applying for travel.

Number of trips per school

A maximum of two trips per child, per term.

One trip consists of an outward journey direct to the destination and a return journey directly back to your starting point.

Group size

A minimum of one adult (aged 19 or over) and maximum of two adults for every 10 children (aged under 18).

You can include up to 60 children and 12 adults on each application.

We recommend that you limit your group size wherever possible. This will help to ensure safer travel on our services

If you need to travel with more adults, they'll need to pay adult fares.

If you're a special educational needs school and/or making a trip with children with special needs and need to travel with more than 10 adults, contact us.

Using your tickets

When you apply for tickets, we'll check which services are available for your time of travel. We may need to stagger the travel time to make sure there's space for your group and other travellers.

You must only use School Party Travel tickets:

  • At the specific stations and/or bus routes shown on your ticket
  • On the date and times shown on your ticket - if you turn up early, you may be asked to wait until the time on your ticket
  • For the number of children and adults shown on your ticket

If you don't, your ticket isn't valid for travel. You may be asked to pay for your journey(s) and your school may be suspended from the scheme.

Places to visit

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

  • Animal parks and zoos
  • Areas of cultural interest (for example Chinatown)
  • Artists' studios, arts centres and design studios
  • Buildings of architectural or environmental interest
  • Cinemas, concert halls and theatres
  • City Farms, commons, heaths and parks
  • Film studios, galleries, museums and print works
  • Sites of archeological, environmental or religious interest
  • Sporting venues, swimming pools, playing fields and indoor leisure centres. You can also be spectating or participating in sport
  • Occasional venues which support an area of study but take place for a limited time

Recreational trips, such as trips to theme or amusement parks, are excluded. 

If you have special requirements for your trip, include these on your application.

Help from staff

When travelling with a school group on the London Underground, London Overground or the Elizabeth line, please speak to a member of staff at the gateline before you start your journey.

They can confirm your planned route and contact your destination, and interchange stations to check there are staff available to help you as part of our Turn-up-and-go assistance service.

This helps ensure your journey goes smoothly and gives you the reassurance of having a member of staff available to support your group if required.

It is also helpful for our station teams to know that a school group is on the way, especially at popular stations/locations eg Kew Gardens, South Kensington.

Journey timesĀ 

Try to start your journey after 10:00 to avoid the busiest times. The scheme runs from Monday to Friday at the following times:

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

Apply for tickets 

You must apply at least 14 days before you want to travel. You can apply up to three months in advance. We'll always try to accommodate late requests, but it may not be possible.

It's best to apply early as we may have to reject applications, particularly where multiple school groups want to travel to the same venue or event.

Travelling to a new venue

If your venue or event doesn't appear in the drop-down list when you apply, you can suggest it. It may take up to seven working days for us to decide if it can be added.

Travelling on National Rail

If your trip includes National Rail services you can book your tickets through us. On your application you must tell us the time of the train(s) you want to travel on.

Apply online

Apply on your School Party Travel Scheme account.

Apply by email

If you're a nursery school, you can apply by email :

  1. Complete the application form

2. Scan and email your form to

We'll email your tickets to you when your application is approved.