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Independent Travel Training (ITT)

What is Independent Travel Training?

Independent Travel Training (ITT) helps young people with special educational needs learn how to travel to school or college by public transport. Here, at Dorin Park, we work with students across Cheshire West and Chester who require ITT to access various schools and colleges across the borough.

How does the training work?

Once a referral has been received, the student will be allocated a personal Independent Travel Trainer. Each trainer is accredited by the Open College Network (OCN) and has an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

An initial meeting will be arranged with the student and their parents/carers to discuss the proposed training and to assess the individual’s current experience and competence of travelling outside the home. The trainer will then outline a training programme which will be specific to each individual’s needs. A personalised journey plan is created which is fully risk assessed to ensure it is the most appropriate and safest route. Parental permission must be received prior to commencement of ITT.

Training will usually take place at the time the student needs to travel to and from their educational establishment. Extra training may be offered on days that they are not attending their learning provider.

When the student has demonstrated that they are able to confidently and competently undertake the journey, they will be assessed by another Travel Trainer who will shadow the student on the route. If the student successfully and safely completes the route, a meeting will then be arranged to discuss the training and complete the final paperwork. The student will then be able to travel independently to and from their school or college using the planned route.

What are the aims of Independent Travel Training?

  • Increase independence
  • Develop decision making and problem solving skills
  • Increase self confidence
  • Develop social skills
  • Provide opportunities to access hobbies and activities
  • Provide opportunities to access future learning and training
  • Provide opportunities to access future jobs

What does the training involve?

  • Route planning
  • Road safety awareness
  • Personal safety awareness
  • How to use a bus
  • How to use a train
  • Problem solving (for example, what to do if a bus is late or cancelled)
  • What to do in an emergency situation

What benefits does Independent Travel Training provide? 

  • The ability for the student to travel on their own
  • The use of sustainable forms of travel (such as walking, cycling and public transport)
  • Increased independence, confidence and self-esteem
  • Increased opportunities to participate in social and leisure activities
  • Access to future learning, training and employment opportunities
  • Improvement in personal health, well-being and quality of life
  • Less reliance on family and friends
  • Receipt of a concessionary travel pass for public transport, enabling free travel after 9:30 am

Students who have successfully completed Independent Travel Training report feeling generally more happy, confident and prepared to access further education, training and job opportunities.

Who can apply?

Independent Travel Training is available to young people with special educational needs and/or a disability who are eligible for travel assistance in accordance with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Home to Educational Establishment Transport Policy, which can be found here.

How to apply

Referrals for ITT can be made by: students, parents/carers, SEND officers, social workers or school/college staff.

You can apply via the online student referral questionnaire which can be found here.

Further information

Should you want to know more about the ITT programme, please contact either:

Laura Sutton – Senior Independent Travel Training Co-ordinator

Dorin Park School
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 07500 604833

Barbara Crane – School Travel Assistance Manager

Cheshire West and Chester Council
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 0300 123 7039