Overview of school transport policy

We provide home to school transport for children of compulsory school age who meet the qualifying criteria.

The Education Transport Policy (PDF, 477.34 KB) sets out the criteria for a child to qualify for school transport. Some information is provided below.

What transport is provided for eligible children

Free school transport could be:

  • a contract bus
  • a ticket for a public bus or train
  • fuel allowance

Fuel allowance

Parents and carers are offered fuel allowance to take their child to school if this payment is less than the cost of us 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.

Where 45p is in excess of the cost of us providing transport, we would consider an alternative rate of 17p per mile.

You can let us know if you want to be considered for a fuel allowance on your application.

Low-income families

Low income families are those who:

  • are entitled to free school meals (whether the family is claiming this or not)
  • are receiving Child Tax Credits
  • have annual household income of less than £16,190

Route and distance measurement

We will measure using the shortest road route to calculate distances to establish which is the nearest school to a child’s home address.

The shortest available walking route is then measured to calculate the distance to the nearest school, to determine whether the qualifying distance is met for an entitlement to transport.

To find out your nearest primary or secondary school for the purposes of transport, please e-mail the Education Awards Team and give your child’s full name and address.


Education Awards Team

Email: educationawards@essex.gov.uk