Home to School – FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding tickets and passes which you may find useful to answer your query.

I think I may be entitled to transport from my local authority

We’d suggest that you contact your local authority if you believe you may be entitled to funded transport.

Essex County Council

Essex CC Website

Telephone 0845 603 2200

Suffolk County Council

Suffolk CC Website

I am not entitled to funded transport

We sell term and annual passes on services which provide Home to School connections

Passes are available from our WEB-CART, sales commence on 1st August each year.

Term passes offer a discount against the equivalent of paying each day as your board the bus. An academic year pass offers a further discount.

(Renewals for the Spring and Summer terms can be purchased at any point after the half-term holiday prior to the new term.)

If you book your Annual pass online between 1st August and 15th August you have the option to set up a Direct Debit, we collect eight equal payments from September to April.  Please see T&Cs

My child will be attending a selective school in Essex

Stephensons has a long-standing agreement with the Consortium of Selective Schools in Essex, (CSSE).

If a student is attending any of the following schools you will need to contact the CSSE who will administer your termly tickets. (see exceptions, below)

  • King Edward VI – Grammar School
  • Colchester County High School — for Girls
  • Colchester Royal – Grammar School
  • Southend High School – for Girls
  • Southend High School – for Boys
  • Westcliff High School – for Girls
  • Westcliff High School – for Boys
  • Bernards High School – for Girls
  • Thomas More – High School

The exceptions are services 509, 560, 814, 815, 816 – You will be able to purchase a ticket from our web-cart for these services.


Email transport@csse.org.uk

Telephone 01245 281194

My child will be attending Great Baddow High School

Stephensons operate three services into Great Baddow High School.

602 Witham – Nounsley – Hatfield Peverel – Little Baddow -Danbury

605 Boreham – Chelmer Village

605A Boreham – Chelmer Village

These are closed-door services only available for GBHS students who have purchased an annual pass. Cash fares are not available.

Travel on Local Bus Services

We have a limited amount of services that have term or annual passes

These are

  • 14/15 Haverhill – BSE
  • 16 Newmarket to BSE
  • 38/38A Witham – Braintree – Halstead

Please bear in mind that passes cover the entire length of the route, it may be more economical to purchase daily cash fares for shorter journeys. Call us so we can work out the best option for you.

Aged 16 -19 for most journeys within Suffolk

Suffolk County Council has a cashless ENDEAVOUR card that gives you 25% off an adult fare on participating services in Suffolk.

Details can be found here.

Essex County Council have approved my transport, when do I get my bus card?

When you receive your transport award letter from ECC

 –  if it’s the first time your child has travelled with us we will issue a SmartCard

 – If your child has travelled with us before we will top up their existing card.  This will happen when the card is subsequently scanned on the bus machine.

Orders received close to the start of a term or mid-term may mean you might not have your ScholarSmart card in time for the first few journeys,

Don’t worry, as long you have the letter that states Stephensons will issue a pass you can use that to travel until we get your ScholarSmart card to you.

Once the card has been issued, sorry, we will not accept these letters.

PLEASE NOTE:  We do not reissue  ScholarSmart cards each term or academic year. They are topped up via our systems once a subsequent order has been received. 

Lost or damaged ScholarSmart cards are subject to a Standard replacement fee. 

Route Allocation for ECC funded students

Essex County Council does not specify the route on your award letter, just their agreement code with us.

You will be allocated to a specific route, the card will only be valid on that service, no others. 

An allocation will be based on your proximity to a services’ pick up points. Where possible we will allocate siblings to the same service.

Students will remain on a service with each renewal [top up] of the pass.