We have been contacted by the Rural Transport Action Group to relay the following information:

Statement from the Rural Transport Action Group:

“We are very concerned about the impact Staffordshire County Council’s proposed cancellation of the Temporary Vacant Seat Scheme on School buses will have on your students and parents now and in the future. Many of your parents may not realise that this is relevant to them. This will impact on anyone who does not qualify for free school transport and intends to use a school bus now or in the future and affects ALL students when they reach 16. 

Please can you share this information with parents through your email system to raise awareness and also gain as much support to complete the survey as we can. We have a short window for completion so would appreciate this being shared with parents as soon as possible. 

Thank you.”

Outline of Issue:

“The vacant seat scheme allows parents to purchase a seat on a school bus for those not eligible for free transport, out of catchment or over 16. ALL students over 16 do not qualify for free travel and will need to use this scheme. 

Even if you do not currently use the Temporary Vacant Seat Scheme you may need it in the future. Please take the opportunity to complete the short survey below for now and future generations, by either clicking or copying and pasting the link into your browser.


The scheme is currently suspended due to PSVAR (Passenger Service Vehicle Regulations). You are invited to share your views about the cancellation of the scheme through a survey.  The survey will close at 12.00 midday on the 12th October 2021. This survey is vital to convince the council to reinstate the scheme.

PSVAR requires that vehicles with more than 22 seats must be wheelchair accessible as meet more general accessibility requirements. It only allows seats to be sold on accessible vehicles. The Council has concluded that Government guidance as to how the scheme should operate cannot be met for several years because transport operators in the region do not have enough compliant vehicles. 

Therefore, the council’s assumption is that the Temporary Vacant Seat Scheme will not be reinstated, unless a legal and fair solution is presented through the survey. 

Please remember that even if you do not currently use the Temporary Vacant Seat Scheme you may need it in the future. 

Thank you 

The Rural Transport Action Group.”

Matt Allman, Headteacher, said: “We are aware that many of our children benefit from this scheme and that it is a lifeline for school for many children in more remote locations, especially if there are issues with family employment or access to a car. We would urge all parents in those locales to do all they can to support the continuation of the offer – whether they use it now, or possibly could in the future. Similar to the changes to Pupil Premium funding, it is likely to affect those most who can least afford to deal with it.”