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Taking part if your child has education transport from Essex County Council

We’d love to see your child give walking, scooting, or cycling a go if that works for them. This will not affect your eligibility for education transport as long as you continue to meet criteria.

Due to the pandemic and in order to keep everyone safe there are some changes to how Essex County Council education transport is run. Essex County Council are following up-to-date government guidance but this may change come school term time. Be sure to check the most up to date government guidance.

If you have any queries or concerns about transport which ECC do not pay for then you will need to contact one of the local bus operators in Essex.

Using a dedicated taxi, minibus or bus for education transport

A ‘dedicated service’ is one that’s not open to the public and just takes children to school. In order to keep everyone safe, there will be some changes you need to be aware of.

We are asking all children who can to wear a face covering. Some children are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Wearing a face covering helps keep everyone safe. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s a simple measure most children can take. A face covering doesn’t have to be a single use mask. It can be something you already have at home, like a scarf. Why not try making your own?

Please make sure your child has a face covering and knows how to use it. This video shows you how to wear a face covering.

Other changes you need to be aware of include:

  • changes to how children get on the bus and where they can sit – social distancing is not required on dedicated school services so children might be asked to sit with their year group for example

  • changes to pick up and drop off times

  • enhanced cleaning

These measures will vary by school and journey. So make sure your child listens to the transport operator taking them to and from school, and the school teachers.

You’ll get a letter by the second week of August that will have more information and the contact details of the operator running your service. Alternatively, you can contact your transport operator.

Please be assured, the transport operators running these services will be following the latest government guidelines.

Using a ticket for a public bus or train for education transport

If your child gets a public bus, train, tube ticket, or oyster card from Essex County Council then government guidance on public transport will apply, including social distancing and wearing a face covering. We know that public buses and trains will get far busier come September as they need to socially distance people. Whilst there are plans to create more capacity for children to get to school, this could mean waiting longer for a bus. You could make your child leave for school much earlier, or get them to switch to walking, cycling, or scooting to avoid the problem for now. You should also check the operator’s website for up to date details on the requirements of travelling on public transport and details on timetables and journeys.

Extra capacity being created on school time bus services

Buses and trains are used by roughly 17,000 students to get to school or college every day in Essex. Social distancing measures means it’ll be difficult to get everyone to school or college on time using the bus services currently available. We want everyone to get to school and college on time and safely. To do this, changes have been made to some public bus services so they are only available for school and college students during peak times. Also, on other public services, the number and frequency of buses has been increased to meet demand.