Temporary Vacant Seat Scheme
Please note it may be cheaper for you to make your own travel arrangements - please check before applying.
You are advised to not base your choice of school, for instance by choosing a non catchment school, on the basis of obtaining a seat under the temporary vacant seat scheme.
All enquiries regarding the temporary vacant seat scheme should be directed to -
Transport and the Connected County
Tel: 01785 278679 (north of the county: Newcastle & Moorlands area)
Tel: 01785 276738 (east of the county: East Staffs & Tamworth)
Tel: 01785 278718/19 (west of the county: Stafford, Lichfield, Cannock & South Staffs)
Please note that the number of seats available under this scheme is limited, and a place cannot be guaranteed. If your child is not eligible for free home to school transport there is no guarantee that a seat will be available under the temporary vacant seat scheme and your child's transport will be your responsibility. We strongly suggest that parents consider alternative transport solutions.
For more information on public transport please call Traveline on 0871 200 2233. For assistance with journey planning including both bus and rail information the website www.transportdirect.info may be of assistance. A few schools make special transport arrangements for some pupils who are not entitled to free transport. These arrangements are explained in the school prospectus.
Where a vehicle hired by the Authority has more seats than are needed for pupils entitled to free or subsidised transport, places may be made available to other pupils. A standard charge irrespective of the distance travelled or number of journeys required will be made. The charge for 2013/14 is £500 per pupil per year, which can be paid by instalments.
Issue of Temporary Vacant Seat Passes
Pupils purchasing temporary vacant seats will be issued with appropriate passes and pupils must carry the pass every day that the seat is required.
All passes issued under this scheme remain the property of the County Council and a charge of £5.00 will be made to replace any passes that are lost or defaced.
Should the seat be required at a later date for a pupil entitled to receive free transport or should the service be discontinued or the route altered, the temporary vacant seat will be withdrawn and the pass must be returned to the Authority. Please note that the pass may have to be withdrawn at short notice.
Provision of a temporary vacant seat does not imply that the Authority will assume responsibility for transporting the pupil to school in future years. Your child may become settled in a school to which transport later becomes a difficulty for you. If you are able to find a solution it may be expensive. It is important to have considered alternative arrangements should a vacant seat not be available.
Where transport is shared by two or more schools, inset days may vary, and transport will not operate solely for temporary vacant seat pass holders.
Where a temporary vacant seat is withdrawn after payment has been made, a refund will be made based on unused months remaining on the pass. Where a pupil does not use a vehicle for part of a term (illness, holiday etc.), or the vehicle does not operate (e.g. inclement weather), refunds cannot be made.
Please note that if the number of applications received is greater than the seating capacity available, then applications will be dealt with on a first-come first-served basis. It is, therefore, important that you return the Application Form as soon as possible after your child has been offered a place at the school.
A bus/taxi route will not be amended/diverted for vacant seat pass holders. Children will have to board the vehicle at an existing pick up point. Due to the nature of taxi and bus routes, the nearest pick up point to your home address may vary during the course of the contract.
The number of seats available under the scheme may vary from year to year, as the number of pupils entitled to free transport fluctuates and vehicle sizes may also change when contracts are renewed.
Passes will not be issued until invoices have been paid in full or a direct debit mandate form has been completed, returned and accepted
If payments are defaulted the County Council reserves the right to terminate transport with immediate effect. The defaulted payment method will not be allowed to be used the following year.
Parents who have already applied for a vacant seat will remain on the waiting list and need not re-apply. New applications looking for seats from September 2013 onwards should be made by completing an application form as soon as possible after your child has been offered a place at the school, and returned by 14 June 2013 to have the best chance of transport being available at the beginning of term. However applications will continue to be accepted after this date.
Temporary vacant seat application form 2013-14 (250 KB)
Guide to provision of temporary vacant seat 2013-14 (236 KB)
Temporary vacant seat application form 2013-14 (168 KB)
Guide to provision of temporary vacant seat 2013-14 (178 KB)