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National lockdown: Stay at home

Guide to provision of temporary vacant seat passes

School contract vehicles sometimes have more seats than needed for pupils entitled to free or subsidised transport. These spare seats may be available through our temporary vacant seat scheme for pupils not entitled to free transport. The number of seats available under the scheme is limited and cannot be guaranteed.



Allocation of seats

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 submit your application as soon as possible. Priority will be given to existing seat holders for a limited time period with remaining seats being offered to new or remaining existing applicants. You will be notified by email to confirm whether your application for a temporary vacant seat has been successful.

Please note: temporary vacant seats for special educational needs schools will not be allocated to commence until after October half-term each year. This is due to the late notification of entitled special educational needs pupils’ requirements and will also reduce the possibility of the seat being withdrawn after allocation.

Temporary vacant seats to mainstream schools will be allocated to commence at the beginning of the Autumn term where available.



Terms and conditions

Temporary vacant seats will be issued subject to the following terms and conditions.

Mainstream pupils who have been allocated a temporary vacant seat will be issued with an appropriate pass and pupils must carry the pass every day that the seat is required. Passes will not be issued for special educational needs temporary vacant seats.

All passes issued under this scheme remain the property of the county council and a charge of £10.00 will be made to replace any passes that are lost or defaced.

Should the seat later be required for a pupil entitled to receive free transport or if the service is discontinued or the route altered, the temporary vacant seat will be withdrawn, and the pass must be returned to the authority. Please note passes may be withdrawn at short notice.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. 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.

A bus or taxi route will not be amended or diverted for vacant seat pass holders. Children will have to board the vehicle at an existing pickup point. Due to the nature of taxi and bus routes, the nearest pickup 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.

Existing temporary vacant seat holders must reapply for their seat each year.



School term dates for 2020/21

Autumn term: 2 September 2020 to 18 December 2020

Spring term: 4 January 2021 to 1 April 2021

Summer term: 19 April 2021 to 21 July 2021



Data notice and declarations

Any personal data collected through your application for a temporary vacant seat is handled securely and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations. We will use this information to process your application for a temporary vacant seat. The county council uses personal information about children and families to enable it to provide relevant services to them and to carry out specific functions for which it is responsible.



Your consent

Please be aware that the three areas of consent stated below are mandatory to this application process. Applications cannot be accepted unless consent is given to all three questions. By ticking the box stating that you have read and agree to the terms and conditions of this scheme you are also granting your consent to the usage of your personal data as follows.

I agree that the information provided on this application form will be used to ensure that the council’s records are correct and may also be shared with other agencies and service providers to ensure that my family receives an appropriate service. Read the full Data Protection statement

I agree that the information I have provided is true to the best of my knowledge and understand that any false or deliberately misleading information provided on this form and or supporting papers, may render this application invalid and could lead to the withdrawal of any temporary vacant seat offered to my child.

I agree that the School Transport Team can contact any relevant agencies in order to validate this application to arrange my child’s transport.



Application form

If you would like to apply for a temporary vacant seat, please complete the on-line application form.



Contact details

School Transport Team

  • Telephone: 01785 895024
  • Fax: 01785 276788
  • Address: School Transport Team, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street Stafford ST16 2DH

Special Educational Needs Team 

  • Fax: 01785 276788
  • Address: Special Educational Needs Transport Team, Staffordshire County Council, 2 Staffordshire Place, Tipping Street Stafford ST16 2DH

Office hours

  • Monday to Thursday: 8:30am - 5pm
  • Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm

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