Please note that the guidance notes outlined below apply to applications to Essex County Council for transport to start during the 2014/15 academic year.
For children applying for transport to begin from September 1st 2015 onwards, you will need to refer to the new ECC Education Transport Policy.
Before you apply - are you eligible?
Essex County Council will provide free home to school transport for secondary-aged children (schools years 7-11) to the designated or nearest school for their home address if they meet the qualifying distance criteria of three miles from home to school.
Essex County Council provides free home to school transport to children aged 11-16 (school years 7 - 11) from low-income families where they are admitted to one of their three nearest qualifying schools and where that school is more than 2 miles but less than six miles from their home address (to be a qualifying school, the school must have a space available).
Low income families are defined as those who are entitled to free school meals (whether the family is claiming these or not), or those who have an annual household income of less than £16,190 before deductions.
This policy only applies to pupils who are resident in the area administered by Essex County Council.
How to apply
If your child has been offered a school place and you think you may qualify you can apply for transport in the following ways:
A separate completed application form must be submitted for each child. Please ensure that your application form is fully completed.
What transport is provided?
Free transport may take the form of a seat on a contract bus, a ticket for a public bus or train or, in some circumstances, the reimbursement of fuel costs for the use of a car.
Children of secondary school age who are entitled to transport will be provided with a travel pass. Failure to produce a valid pass will mean your child is unable to travel.
Essex County Council is able to offer parents/carers a payment in advance in order for them to take their child to school/college only when the cost of reimbursement is less than the cost of Essex County Council providing transport.
They may also offer a fuel allowance to those students who pass their driving test and drive themselves to school/college if they are entitled to join the scheme.
The mileage rate is paid at 45p to cover fuel costs for return journeys at the start and end of the standard school day. Please indicate on the application if you would like to be considered for advanced fuel reimbursement.
The qualifying distance will be measured by the nearest available route. That is a route between the home address and the designated school that can be walked by a pupil, accompanied as necessary by an adult, in reasonable safety.
The route and its availability will be determined by Essex County Council.
Please call ECC on 0845 603 2200 and ask to speak to the Education Transport and Awards Team for further information.