School and college transport assistance

Post 16 further education transport policy statement

Academic Year 2023 to 2024

1. Summary

To produce this statement, Southend-on-Sea City Council (Southend Council) has thought about:

  • walking and cycling routes
  • public transport services
  • schools and colleges in and around Southend-on-Sea that offer education to students over 16 years old

Since September 2014, young people have been required to continue in education or training until their 18th birthday. This is often referred to as Raising the Participation Age. However, the law about home to school transport for over-16s has not changed since then.

2. Local Authority

Southend Council provides travel assistance where it is necessary. We explain what we consider to be necessary in our Home to School Transport Policy. Some pupils with special educational needs and disabilities may need extra help and the policy also explains how we will provide these pupils with travel assistance. You can find details of how you qualify online.

You should think carefully about how you will travel to the school or college when you are choosing your course. You need to apply for each new academic year. You should make your application in plenty of time for it to be assessed and for you to receive a decision.

You should be under 19 years old when starting your course. If you are starting the second year of a course, you should have been under 19 when you started the first year of the course. If you are a student aged 19 - 25 who may have a learning difficulty or disability you should speak to your social worker about help with transport.

If you live in a low income household, travel assistance is provided free of charge if your application is approved. If you do not live in a low income household and attend a school or college outside of the Southend/Rochford/Castle Point areas you may be asked to pay towards the cost of travel assistance. This year, the contribution is £610, but your application must still be approved. You may be able to spread the payment of the contribution across several months, but the full amount must be received by Southend Council by 31st March 2024.

If you do not live in a low income household and your school or college is within the Southend/Rochford/Castle Point areas, you are unlikely to receive travel assistance. This is regardless of the distance you travel to school or college. Please check the full details if you are unsure.

If your application is turned down, you can make an appeal and ask for it to be looked at again. If this is also turned down, you can make a second appeal, and explain why you think you should receive travel assistance. Details of the full appeal process can be found online. If you think the appeal process has not been fair, you can contact the Local Government Ombudsman. The Ombudsman can be contacted directly by telephone on 0300 0610614, or by visiting Local Government Ombudsman website.

3. Concessionary Fares

Southend Council do not provide concessionary fares to students who do not qualify under the Home to School Transport Policy. If you want to find out about concessionary fares you should contact the bus or rail company directly for information about what options are available to students. Your school or college may also be able to provide information or support. Open Days and Evenings are a good opportunity to obtain this. These events are also a good time to think about the best way to travel to a school or college before finally choosing a course.

4. Public Transport

Advice and information on travelling around the Southend area can be found on the Forward Motion website.

Southend has a number of bus companies operating services across the area. Details of which companies cover which areas and how to plan your route can be found online. These companies may offer concessionary fares for students. You should contact the company directly for details of these.

If you need to use more than one bus company to make your journey, an Octopus card that is valid on the majority of buses in the Southend/Rochford/Castle Point areas can be purchased from the Travel Centre in Southend or from individual bus companies. These are available as daily, weekly or  monthly tickets. The bus companies set the prices for these tickets. Each bus operator provides tickets that cover travel just on their buses at a cheaper cost. You should check which company operates the routes that suit you best.

Southend has nine railway stations across the town. Some schools and colleges arrange deals with the train companies for their students. Details of these are available at Greater Anglia and C2C websites.

Cycling is a healthy way to travel, and there is a network of cycle paths across Southend, details of which can be found on the Forward Motion website.

5. Schools and Colleges

The Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex (CSSE) operate a scheme which allows a ticket for a term or a year to be purchased. This ticket can be used on Stephenson and First bus services to CSSE schools. Full details can be found on the CSSE website.

If you do not qualify for travel assistance from Southend Council, you can ask your school or college if they provide help with transport for students.

Contact School and College Transport

Telephone: 01702 534883

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