Temporary vacant seat scheme

Paid for vacant seat update

Following a review of legislation we are unable to offer temporary vacant seats for sale for travel on vehicles over 22 seats, unless they are fully accessible for wheelchair users. We have raised the issue on behalf of families with Government and are pleased that the Department for Transport has now indicated it will consider to review the matter.

We have recently received some initial guidance re the application of legislation to certain vehicles involved in home-to-school transport.  Like other local authorities around the country, we now have to work through the guidance provided in detail to assess what this means for our vacant seat scheme. 

In the meantime, the offer of a free seat to parents/carers who previously purchased a seat, will now be extended until Easter (Friday 3 April 2020). This is a still a short-term measure and we will aim to give people six weeks’ notice of any changes to travel arrangements.

We will be issuing updated passes to currently approved applicants, these should be received before the start of the new term on Monday January 6 2020.

Any new passes will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Passes are not issued for SEN routes.

What is the scheme?

This scheme is where we have hired a vehicle and it has more seats than we need for pupils entitled to free or subsidised transport. Spare seats may be available to buy for pupils not entitled to free transport.

The number of seats for this scheme are limited and we cannot guarantee a place. There is no guarantee that a seat will be available under the scheme, nor is it a statutory requirement to offer a seat. Should a seat not be available you remain responsbile for arranging and funding travel as you feel is necessary.

How do I apply?

Please ensure that you have read and understood our guide to temporary vacant seats before you apply:

The easiest way is to apply online.

Your data

Any personal data collected through your application for a temporary vacant seat is handled securely and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

We will use the 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.

For more detailed information please see our data information pages.

When does transport start?

Mainstream schools

At the beginning of the autumn term where available.

Special educational needs schools

This is allocated after October half-term.

This is due to the late notification of entitled special educational needs pupils requirements. It will also reduce the possibility of the seat being withdrawn after allocation.


Mainstream applications

Blythe Bridge and Cheadle, Biddulph, Endon, Leek, Newcastle and Codsall. Tel: 01785 278679

Burton, Uttoxeter, Lichfield and Tamworth. Tel: 01785 276738

Cannock, Cheslyn Hay, Kinver, Penkridge, Rugeley, Stafford, Stone. Tel: 01785 278718

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

Email: Student Transport

Special Educational Needs (SEN) application

North Area (Newcastle Borough and Staffordshire Moorlands District areas)
Tel: 01785 854118

East Area (Lichfield District, East Staffs Borough and Tamworth Borough areas)
Tel: 01785 277366

South and West Areas (Stafford Borough, Cannock Chase District and South Staffs District areas) Tel: 01785 278678

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

Email: SEN transport request

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