How Edenred and Halfords support home to school travel

uploaded on 2 February 2024

Our partnership helps local authorities deliver funding to children for bikes in line with government travel to school guidance.

Edenred and Halfords have joined together to create a home to school scheme. This programme helps local authorities deliver funding to families to help children travel to school for free by bike – making travel to school both more affordable and sustainable.

Through the scheme, local authorities can easily distribute funds to families in the form of a digital Edenred Select voucher. Families can then exchange the voucher for a ‘letter of redemption’ which they can redeem online or in any Halfords store to select their bike. They can also choose accessories, such as cycle helmets, making the cycle to and from school cheaper and safer.

Supporting attendance, helping parents manage costs

The new scheme helps local authorities to meet their obligations under  Department for Education guidance. The guidance aims to ensure that no child of compulsory school age is prevented from accessing education by a lack of or cost of transport.

Travel to school by car or public transport is a significant contributor to rising schooling costs that are putting pressure on many families. In 2023, research by the Child Poverty Action Group found that the total cost to families of uniform, learning materials, school trips, packed lunch and transport is at least £1,755 a year for secondary school children and £864 per primary child.  

“With the rising cost of living affecting us all, free travel to school by bike is a valuable and sustainable solution for many families and local authorities,” says Colin Hodgson, Commercial Director, Public Sector for Reward Gateway. “We have designed the scheme to make it easy to use and implement and ensure that authorities and families can start taking advantage as soon as possible.”

Sustainability and financial benefits for local authorities

As well as aligning with Department of Education guidance, our Select home to school scheme will help local authorities to cut traffic on the roads, reduce pollution and promote the health and wellbeing of children through regular cycling.

There are other financial benefits too. “With a bike lasting several years, the scheme mitigates the inflationary price increases associated with the school buses, taxis and minibuses that the council and education sector are exposed to,” says Colin Hodgson. “The scheme also helps to ensure fair, fast, and efficient distribution of financial support, which is restricted to the purchase of a bike and associated safety equipment.”

Additionally, local authorities benefit from clear reporting, tracking and control to view the status of orders and eCode distribution and use, with options to cancel or resend. Councils can also claim a full refund of any funds not redeemed by the recipient within a specified timescale, with no hidden costs.

Partnership with Halfords

Halfords is the UK’s leading cycle supplier, providing bikes to thousands of families each year for all their commuting and leisure needs. Our exclusive partnership on the Select home to school scheme means families have access to over 400 Halfords stores nationwide, plus a wide range of bikes and accessories such as child safety seats and trailers, bike locks and cycle helmets. A helmet can be included in the letter of redemption to ensure child safety, and all bikes come with a free six-week safety check. Plus, Halfords brand bikes come with a lifetime warranty.

Chris Oakley, Head of Business & Commercial Development for Halfords For Business commented: “Halfords is proud to support initiatives which benefit communities in which we operate in. We’re delighted to work with Edenred to make our store network and digital capabilities available to make this initiative possible. This significant contribution to local communities will ensure those hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis will receive support quickly and efficiently. Our overall mission here at Halfords is to get more people onto bikes. We look forward to helping more children get pedalling to school and discovering just how much fun they can have on two wheels.”

Set up Select home to school

Find out more on how the scheme works and how your local authority can take advantage by visiting our Select home to school page.

Latest Resources


Webinar report: How can local authorities get more children cycling to school?

Recently we hosted a fascinating webinar and virtual roundtable to support the launch of Select Home to school – the new scheme we’ve created with Halfords to help councils provide families with affordable, healthy and sustainable travel to school by bike.

Read more

How Edenred supports critical public social programmes

Although interest rates are expected to fall over the next year, the cost of living is still eye-wateringly high. Many people will likely require continued support through public social programmes. At Edenred we are proud to play a key role in this space.

Read more
Case Study

Case Study: East Renfrewshire Council uses Select vouchers to support the most vulnerable

East Renfrewshire Council is responsible for supporting a community of just under 100,000 people who live south west of Glasgow. Over the past twelve months the housing and education teams have turned to Edenred to help provide financial support for vulnerable children and refugees by using its Compliments Select Platform.

Read more