What are the proposed changes to the Home to School Transport policy?

    We understand how important travel assistance is for our young people with special needs. Due to rising demands, we're suggesting a fee for the service for students aged 16 - 18. This will help us to continue offering the transport your children rely on, while making sure everyone has the chance to attend school. We're always here to support our Thurrock families.

    Why is there a need for a contribution towards post-16 SEND transport?

    In Thurrock, every child's education is important to us. While to the Council doesn’t have a statutory duty to provide free travel assistance for students aged 16 - 18, we've always tried our best to do so. We want every student, no matter their needs, to have access to learning. After careful consideration of the increasing demand and our current budget, the best way forward is to introduce a charge to keep this valuable service going. We genuinely hope for your understanding, and we're here to support you through this transition.

    How will this impact our families?

    Parents and carers of students aged 16 - 18, who haven't been charged for home to school travel assistance before, will notice some changes. We will be reaching out to parent and carer forums and other related groups to ensure everyone is informed and supported during this transition. Your understanding and feedback are invaluable to us. For families needing financial assistance, support is available. Please visit this link to explore available options and see if you qualify.

    Have other Councils implemented a charging policy?

    Many local Councils across the country have already introduced fees for home to school travel assistance. We want to make sure we're using the very best ideas to serve our residents. We always want to do what's best for our community, and we appreciate your understanding and support.

    When will the charges start?

    The contribution will start ahead of the academic year 2024

    How will I be charged?

    The council is currently looking at payment options such as instalments taken monthly, termly, or annually and will provide further information to affected families as soon as possible.

    Who can I contact for more information or to voice my concerns?

    Contact our Children’s Transport team (childrenstransport@thurrock.gov.uk) For questions or support regarding school travel assistance, contact our Education Awards and Benefits at Civic Offices Grays (email: htstapplications@thurrock.gov.uk).

    Further information:

    We offer guidelines for safe school journeys and uphold a code of good practice. Our local pages provide details on public transport, timetables, cycling, and walking in Thurrock.