Who will be eligible for school transport?
Everyone that was entitled before Covid-19 as per the normal school transport policy. However we still urge parents to follow the WG advice and try wherever possible to take their own children to and from school, this will ensure that transport will be available for those most in need.
How will social distancing be kept on school transport?
There will be no social distancing on dedicated school transport in September 2020. The only social distancing that will take place will be on large vehicle (16seats +) between the driver and the pupils/students. This will be maintained by the front row of seats being unavailable for use. There will be no distancing and staff will therefore wear appropriate PPE to mitigate any risks.
Will children be expected to wear a face covering on dedicated education transport?
It will be mandatory for secondary aged pupils and college students to wear face coverings on dedicated education transport unless they have an exemption, for all other pupils it will recommended and actively encouraged.
Please see link to WG guidance on how to make a 3 ply face mask
How many children will be able to travel on each bus/coach?
All seats will be available for use apart from the front row on larger buses (16+ seats), for example, on a 53-seater coach, 49 pupils will be able to travel and on a 70 seater coach, 65 pupils will be able to travel.
How will you make sure that all children that need to use school transport can do so?
As there will be no social distancing between pupils vehicle capacities will be significantly increased to what we saw in July 2020, having spent the summer planning transport for September we are confident that everyone that needs to use education transport will be able to do so. We also expect at least a slight drop off in terms of numbers of pupils using transport as some parents have already expressed a preference to transport their children to school themselves at this time.
Parents have been asked to inform the LA if they are definitely not going to use school transport in September 2020, this will assist us in managing numbers of pupils on transport and allowing concessionary seats to be made available to those pupils not entitled to free transport but have no alternative transport.
Will there be concessionary transport available?
Yes, but as is the case every year we may not be able to offer these until later in September, this is due us not having confirmed numbers of 6th formers returning to school until they physically go back. However, where we can definitely identify spare capacity now we will endeavour to get as many concessionary passes out as we can. For those routes where on paper pupil numbers are very high we will have to wait until the schools start back to enable us to confirm what space is available. We appreciate that this may put pressure on some families but we ask that parents be patient and we will respond to every application for concessionary space as soon as practicably possible.
Will there be more public transport?
In most cases where pupils eligible for school transport travel on public service buses, due to low capacity on these vehicles we will put in place replacement vehicles on a temporary basis to ensure that there is always space for them to travel. This pupils who are not entitled to school transport but utilise public transport to get to school will have to continue using it or find alternative means to get to school.
How will transport look for special schools and those with additional learning needs?
As there is no social distancing the vehicles will be back to full capacity, however, the guidance for ALN transport remain the same as above in that parents are still advised to transport their children wherever possible using active travel wherever possible etc. Drivers and Passenger Attendants will be required to wear PPE due to the need to be in close proximity to the children to carry out their role.