A HEADTEACHER has criticised cuts to free bus travel, claiming it “makes a mockery” of the giving children choice over their high school education.

Families on the outskirts of Manningtree will now face having to pay to send their children to school under the Essex County Council plans, which will see children of low-income families only given free buses to their nearest school.

It is likely to force many children in the Bromleys and surrounding area to go to Colchester Academy instead of Manningtree High School as it is classed as their closest school.

Headteacher Deborah Hollister said: “Essex County Council are making a mockery of parental preference, long established, very successful partnerships between primary and secondary schools and school places."