The whole thing is unfair, what is most unfair is the ability for those people that are system savvy to play the game and save literally thousands over the course of their children's education, compared to those who are not as clued up, who get stung for transport to their catchment school when it is 4 miles away.
Simply by putting the closest school, 3.5 miles away first on the caf, having this rejected (not catchment and always over subscribed) then a free bus will be provided to their second on the list and allocated catchment school at 4miles away!
So basically writing six words on a form in a different order to what you would be expected to do, will save you £570 per year for 5 years...£2850 in total
and that is assuming you don't make the same mistake with subsequent children.
The same people will be taking free school bus places, that hunt out policy glitches and tax avoidance in every element of their life.