COVID-19 update for school transport
What is happening with school transport?
From September 2021, school transport has returned to pre-pandemic arrangements. Boarding based on distance no longer applies and pupils are free to choose their own seat on transport unless advised otherwise by the driver, the school transport team or school. There is no requirement to sit in year groups or bubbles, but it is essential that pupils only travel in the vehicle they have been allocated. Pupils are not required to socially distance at bus stops.
Vehicles will be ventilated, and operators will be undertaking daily cleaning. It is also recommended that pupils wash hands after arriving at school and before and after their journey home. In cases where a pupil is identified as testing positive for COVID-19, the operator will undertake enhanced cleaning of the vehicle before returning into service.
Will my child be required to wear a face covering if they travel to school using public service transport?
Public service transport includes bus services and rail services that transport pupils to their place of education. These services are also used by members of the public.
Following the recent announcement by the Prime Minister regarding the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the UK, it is now compulsory for pupils to wear face coverings on all public bus services and rail journeys unless your child is in one of the government guidance exemption criteria. This came into effect from Tuesday 30 November 2021. If your child falls into the exemption criteria, it would be helpful to the transport operator if they were able to wear the globally recognised sunflower lanyard if they have one. For more information on this and how to obtain a sunflower lanyard, please go to https://hiddendisabilitiesstore.com/
For further information and guidance regarding travelling on public transport please go to- Department for Education Guidance – Safer travel guidance for passengers using public transport.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Will my child be required to wear a face covering on dedicated school transport?
Dedicated school transport is that which exclusively carries children and young people to and from their place of education including mainstream and special schools, colleges and alternative provision settings, this does not include public bus services.
It is strongly recommended that face coverings are worn on all home to school transport to help protect the wearer and others against the spread of infection and transmission of COVID-19. Pupils will not be refused transport if they are not wearing a face covering on dedicated school transport.
For further information and guidance please go to - Department for Education Guidance – Dedicated transport to schools and colleges COVID-19 operational guidance
Dedicated transport to schools and colleges COVID-19 operational guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Will the school or bus companies be providing face coverings?
It is the parent’s responsibility to provide face covering for their child.
If I chose not to put my child on the school transport and take them myself, will I be able to claim for my travelling expenses?
No, unfortunately parents will not be reimbursed for travelling expenses, this is because we have provided transport in line with our statutory duty and if a parent chooses not to use the school transport this is at their own discretion.
Help keep everyone safe by observing the following precautions.
- Pupils should wash or sanitise their hands regularly before and after travelling
- Avoid touching their face
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of their elbow when coughing or sneezing
- Dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings
- Respect other people and be considerate of them while travelling
- Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19
Public Health advice on testing, self-isolation and confirmed cases of COVID-19.
What to do When an individual develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a positive test.
- Pupils, staff and other adults should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.
When to self-isolate and what to do - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk)
- Pupils should not come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
- For everyone with symptoms, they should avoid using public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household.
- The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID -19) infection below.
Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)