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Mainstream secondary 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 secondary school?

A mainstream secondary school is one which is a foundation, community, voluntary controlled  or a 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 free home to school transport for secondary-aged children (schools years 7-11) to the nearest available school for their home address if they meet the qualifying distance criteria of living three miles or more from that school. For more detailed explanation of the criteria please see the Education Transport Policy.

Low-income families

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 between two and six miles from their home address.
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 Education Transport 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:
An application form must be submitted for each child. Please ensure that your application form is fully completed.
If you are applying for a secondary faith academy (or voluntary-aided) school, please apply via the Faith secondary school page.

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, a fuel allowance where the cost of providing it is cheaper than the cost of Essex County Council providing transport. Parents can indicate that they wish to be considered for this on their application form.

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 secondary school for the purposes of transport, please e-mail and state your child’s full name and address