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Mainstream primary school

27 August 2015

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 apply for a school place.


What is a mainstream primary school?

A mainstream primary school is one which is a foundation, community, voluntary controlled or non-faith academy school (excluding special schools). Information about your child's type of school can found on Directgov.


Before you apply - are you eligible?

Essex County Council  provides home to school transport for children to the nearest available school to their home address, providing they meet the qualifying distance criteria of living:

  • Two miles or more for children below the age of eight (school years R - 3)


  • Three miles or more for children aged eight and above (school years 4 - 6)


For more detailed explanation of the criteria please see the Education Transport Policy.


Low-income families

Essex County Council provides home to school transport to children aged 8-11 (school years 4-6), from low-income families residing in Essex where they live more than two miles from, and are attending, their nearest available school.


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.


The Education Transport Policy applies only to children 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:



An application form must be submitted for each child. Please ensure that your application form is fully completed.


If you are applying for transport to a primary faith academy or (voluntary-aided) school, please visit the Faith Primary School page.


What transport is provided?

Transport may take the form of a seat on a contract bus or in some circumstances a fuel allowance.

Essex County Council provides transport for full-time pupils at the normal start and end times of the school day. Parents are required to make their own arrangements where the child is starting school and is attending part time.


Eligible children may use the morning or afternoon transport service if they wish. Lunchtime transport is not provided.


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 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.

To find out your nearest primary school for the purposes of transport, please e-mail and state your child’s full name and address.