Free transport to mainstream schools

1. About free school transport

If you are not sure your child qualifies, see Who qualifies for free transport?

The school transport policy

For full information on the policy please download our full transport policy.

If your child is eligible, they will get transport between home and school at the beginning and end of the school day. This will be either:

  • a ticket for public transport; or
  • a seat on a hired vehicle

If there is no suitable public transport or hired vehicle and you can arrange travel, we can help with mileage.

We will help with the cost of two return journeys per day. We pay 25p per mile, per family for the distance between home and school.

Travel for siblings

When we’re allocating routes, we’ll do our best to make sure siblings travel together.

Your transport responsibilities

You must get your child to and from pick up and drop off points.

You will also need to arrange and pay for transport outside the normal school day, such as:

  • breakfast or after school clubs
  • parents evening or taster days
  • fixed term exclusions
  • school trips/educational visits
  • medical appointments
  • work experience
  • off-site educational placements
  • specific exam timetables.

2. Starting transport in September

If your child qualifies for free transport we email you to confirm you want to receive transport.

We send details and tickets during the summer holidays to your home address we have on our records.

Contact the Admissions team to apply for free transport if:

  • you aren’t sure you qualify, or
  • you did not receive an email by mid-August.

If you know someone who didn’t get a school transport email, don’t share your email. They’ll need to apply to the Admissions team.

3. Continuing transport in September

Where and when we send new passes

We will send the following to your home address during August:

  • Freedom Passes for travel on buses in East Sussex
  • Travel permits for our hired coaches
  • Rail season ticket warrants

Metrobus and Brighton & Hove Buses Key cards are still valid and are topped up as long as you qualify. If you have lost or damaged your bus pass you will need to apply for a replacement Brighton & Hove key card or Metrobus key card.

Change of circumstances

If you move address or your child changes school you need to tell Admissions and Transport. We will check you still qualify.

Low income assessments

We review low income every year by the end of the school year. Contact Admissions and Transport if you didn’t get a letter.

4. Timetable and ticket information

Freedom Passes and public transport timetables

East Sussex Travel permits and timetables

If you lose your Travel Permit there is a fee to replace it. Apply for a replacement travel permit.

Metrobus and Brighton & Hove Key Cards

Rail warrants and season tickets

We send paper warrants (which looks like a cheque). To receive your child’s season ticket you must:

  1. Take the warrant to a station (we recommend using a major station)
  2. Take their rail photocard or bring a passport size photo if they do not have a rail photocard already.
  3. The ticket clerk will then issue a season ticket for the specified journey.

Using the rail service

  • Your child must carry their rail season ticket and photocard at all times.
  • If your child loses their photocard or season ticket you will need a replacement. There may be a charge. Get a replacement from the station ticket offices.
  • To plan your journey, see Timetables, maps and real time information

5. Changes to your situation

You must to tell us if:

  • you move address; or
  • your child changes school

Email admissions@eastsussex.gov.uk with your children’s:

  • names
  • dates of birth
  • addresses
  • schools

Or call 0300 330 9472, Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm.

For more information, see Who qualifies for free transport?

6. Queries about your transport

If you have a query about your transport arrangements, email it to mainstream-transport.cts@eastsussex.gov.uk with your child’s:

  • name
  • school
  • postcode
  • contact details

You can also call us on 01273 335088.

Please note that July to September is a very busy time so please only call if your enquiry is urgent or you have no access to email.