Transport Entitlement Information for children and young people with SEND

Parents have a legal responsibility to make sure their child attends the school they are on roll at.

Children that attend a Special School or Learning Resource Base, will not always qualify for help with travel.

You can find full details on Southend-on-Sea City Council's Home to School Transport Policy.

If you want to apply for a bus or rail pass, an online application can also be made there.

If you live in Southend, you can:

  • make an application for help with travel


  • request the type of help you would like.

Southend-on-Sea City Council are required to promote sustainable travel to school, so all help with travel will be provided in the most efficient way.

How to apply

Applications for travel to a Special School or Learning Resource Base must be made in writing.

Find out more about applying for help with travel.

Your application will help us decide if your child qualifies for help with travel and the best choice of travel for them.

If you live in another Borough or Local Authority, you should apply to them.

Any family that live in the city of Southend and who have a child or young person between the ages of 4 and 19 in full-time education can make an application to Southend-on-Sea City Council for travel assistance.

For the new school year in September 2023, any application that has been received by Southend Council by 31 May 2023 and which is approved will be guaranteed that the travel assistance provided will be in place for the start of the autumn term.

Applications received after 31 May 2023 will naturally continue to be processed, and travel assistance awarded when eligible, but will not have the same guarantee.

Criteria for accessing Home to School Transport

Children that are attending their closest suitable school or college, can get help with travel if:

  • they receives high rate Disability Living Allowance for mobility, or
  • enhanced rate Personal Independence Payment for mobility, or
  • The school named in the child's Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) is:
  • Over 2 miles from their home for Primary aged pupils


  • Between 2 - 6 miles from their home for Secondary aged pupils from a low income family


  • Over 3 miles from their home for all other pupils of Secondary school age and if the wording in their EHCP does not exclude transport.

In certain circumstances, post 16 students may also be eligible for help with travel.

Full details about who may qualify are available at

Southend Council uses specialist software to measure the distance from where a child usually lives and their school.

This is always measured as the shortest available walking route between the two.

If the child spends equal time at two addresses, the address taken is the one that the Child Benefit is paid to.

Appealing about a decision

If your application is not approved you have the option to make an appeal.

Southend-on-Sea City Council have a two stage appeal process, in line with the legal requirements.

Stage One Appeals are considered by a senior officer of the Council.

The Officer will re-assess the original application, and either

  • re-confirm the original decision to decline the application


  • overturn it and support the appeal.

If the Stage One Appeal is turned down, you can choose to go to the second stage of the appeal process.

The second stage gives you the opportunity to:

  • make a personal statement of appeal


  • provide any evidence of individual circumstances that you feel show that help with travel should be provided.

If you want, you can include supporting statements from other professionals who are familiar with your child.

For example, this might include information from school or medical professionals.

Stage Two Appeals are considered by the Special Educational Needs Panel.

This has professionals from different services in and outside the Council on it.

You will have the choice to attend when this takes place.

The Panel will decide whether to provide help with travel assistance, and if so for how long.

The Stage Two appeal completes the appeal process.

Contact details for more information

If you have any questions about any of the above, or how and when to apply for help with travel you can contact the Transport Entitlement officer by phone on 01702 534883 or by email at

A copy of the service specification for the procurement of home to school transport for children and young people with SEND is available from the SEND Local Offer team. Please phone 01702 212328 or email for a copy.