Where there is no entitlement to free transport under the standard Essex County Council policy, it remains the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child attends school.
Essex County Council will consider individual cases that do not meet the set criteria, to determine whether transport should be provided to ensure the child can attend school. Exceptional transport is a discretionary award and Essex County Council will be looking for wholly exceptional circumstances. Parents will need to give a statement of their circumstances and it is essential they show, by the evidence they supply, why through no fault of their own they cannot fulfil their responsibility to get their child to school. The evidence provided should be recent (dated within the last six weeks).
The decision on whether transport provision is necessary will be based on the evidence submitted in support of the application. If no or insufficient evidence is provided, your request will be refused.
When applying, please ensure you answer the relevant questions as fully as possible. You will need to demonstrate why you are unable to make the necessary arrangements to get your child to school. For example, why you cannot meet the cost of transport yourself or arrange for a family member, friend or other parent to assist. Please note that the circumstance of both parents working will not normally justify the provision of free transport by Essex County Council. Similarly, following a house move, transport will not normally be provided if the move was by choice and there are no other exceptional circumstances.
It is Essex County Council policy to support schools in their efforts to tackle the issue of bullying. All schools have anti-bullying procedures, a copy of which can be obtained from the school. These will detail the approach and steps a school will take to resolve alleged cases of bullying. If a child is removed from a school and placed in an alternative school, Essex County Council can only consider exceptional requests for transport if parents can show that the school was given the opportunity to try to resolve the issue.
Where bullying arises, it is expected that the school, education welfare officers, and parent/carers will work together consistently over a period of time to explore solutions and try strategies to deal with the bullying. If these are not successful, and a move of school is suggested, then evidence from the school to confirm that the strategies were not successful will be very important to support an application for transport.
If a parent or carer chooses to move a child to another school without allowing the school sufficient opportunity to try to resolve the problem, then it is expected that the parent or carer will have considered the transport implications and it will remain their responsibility to get their child to the new school.
How to apply
If you think you may qualify for transport under exceptional circumstances, please contact the Education Transport and Awards team to discuss your circumstances. Alternatively you can download an application form
Please read the notes of guidance on page 3 before completing and submitting the form.