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Special educational needs transport

5 April 2018

The full Education Transport Policy sets out the criteria for a child to qualify for school transport. If entitlement to transport is important to how your child will get to and from school, it is vital you read and understand the policy before you make decisions about schooling for your child.
Home to school transport will not be provided where a transport disclaimer has been signed at the point of selecting your child’s school. If you are having difficulty getting your child to school, please contact your local Statutory Assessment Service office to consider more local schools.


Essex County Council provides home to school transport for children who attend the nearest appropriate school and meet the qualifying distance criteria.
An appropriate school is:
  • the nearest appropriate school as identified by the Statutory Assessment Service (see Special Educational Needs)
  • a school nearer than the identified school.


Qualifying distance criteria:


  • two miles or more for children aged eight and younger
    (school years R-3)
  • three miles or more for children aged eight and older
    (school years 4-11)


If a child does not meet the distance criteria, transport cannot be provided unless there is clear medical evidence stating that the child’s mobility or special educational needs are such that the child cannot get to and from school, even when accompanied.


Low income policy

Primary school age
Essex County Council provide home to school transport for children aged 8-11 (school years 4-6) from low income families that live two miles or more from, and are attending, their nearest appropriate school.
Secondary school age
Essex County Council provide home to school transport for children aged 11-16 (school years 7-11) from low income families where they are admitted to one of their three nearest schools and where that school is more than two miles but less than six miles from their home address.


Low income families are defined as those who are entitled to free school meals due to their low income (whether the family is claiming these or not), or those who have an annual household income of less than £16,190 before deductions.

What transport is provided?

Transport may take the form of a seat on a public/contract vehicle, train or a fuel allowance.


Fuel allowance

Essex County Council is able to offer parents/carers a payment in advance in order for them to take their entitled child to school/college where the cost of the payment is less than the cost of Essex County Council providing transport.
The allowance is paid at 45p per mile 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 a fuel allowance.
Where 45p is in excess of the cost of the county council providing transport we would consider an alternative rate of 17p per mile.

Route and distance measurement

Please refer to the Education Transport Policy.
The Statutory Assessment Service will identify a child’s nearest appropriate school.

How to apply

In order to apply for transport, you must complete an application form.
If you are unable to print your own form, please call 0345 603 2200.

Change of circumstances

If you have changed address, please complete the change of address or circumstances form for a reassessment of transport entitlement to be carried out from your new address.

If you have not changed address, but there has been a change of SEN or medical need, please email