FAQs - Full opening guidance for schools

Updated 7 November 2020

Dedicated School Transport Frequently Asked Questions

What is 'dedicated' school transport?

By this, the government means services which exclusively carry children travel to school/college.  This includes the SEND school transport arranged by this office.

 

Does social distancing apply?

Social distancing guidance to passengers on dedicated home to school transport does not apply.  The government believes this is appropriate because:

  • The overall risk to children and young people from coronavirus is very low
  • They do not mix with the general public on these journeys
  • Home to school transport often carries the same group of children and young people on a regular basis, and those children may also be together in school
  • This predictability, which public transport does not afford, will allow for planning so that protective measures can be put in place

 

Will PAs and drivers be wearing PPE?

Yes passenger assistants and drivers will be wearing face masks. Depending on the route and the students' needs they may also be wearing additional PPE including visors.

 

Will my children be required to wear PPE masks?

We are not currently asking students to wear masks or face coverings on School transport. If you would like your child to wear a mask or a face covering, you will need to provide enough for both journeys and please ensure they have this before boarding the bus. In line with government advice we are recommending children and young people aged 11 and over wear a face covering when travelling on dedicated school transport to secondary school or college from the start of the autumn term.

 

Will you be providing hand sanitiser?

Hand-sanitiser will be available for all children who are able to use it, without assistance; please let us know if your child should not use hand sanitiser for any reason.  Children should if they are able wash their hands for 20 seconds before leaving home/school and can use the hand-sanitiser before boarding the vehicle

 

Will the vehicles be cleaned each day?

Yes, and in line with government guidelines, we additionally require frequently touched surfaces such as hand rails, seatbelts, head rests to be cleaned during the day

 

What do I need to do before my child travels?

If children are able to please get them to wash their hands before boarding, as recommended by the government. We will also be asking before your student is able to board the vehicle if the household if free from symptoms.

 

What happens if my child falls ill at school will they be able to return home on School transport.

No, as our standard policy if your child becomes ill during their day at school it will be your responsibility to collect them from school.

 

If the school staggers its opening/closing times will I receive transport at a different time?

No, there will only be one trip into school in the morning and one return home in the afternoon, so normal school transport times will be in place

 

Will the buses and taxis carry the same children to match the school bubbles?

No, school transport is classed as its own bubble and the same students will travel on the bus/taxi every day.  

 

What will happen if a child, Passenger Assistant or driver has a confirmed case of Coronavirus?

If they test positive, they must share information promptly with this office.  We will then take the appropriate action.

 

What happens if I don't want my child returning to transport and I want to take them in to school myself?

If you would prefer to take your child to/from school from September, rather than them travelling on school transport, we can pay you a petrol allowance to do this instead.  Email or telephone the school transport team for more information: school.transport@plymouth.gov.uk / 01752 308770.

 

What happens if there are additional lock-downs?

We will follow the government guidance issued at the time. If schools remain open, SEND transport will continue as normal.  If school remain open for certain groups of children only, similar to the initial outbreak, and your child is allocated a place at school during this period, the school will contact this office to confirm your child's attendance and they will be allocated a space on school transport, if transport is operational. We will be working with schools, who at this point would be able to update you.

If you have any questions or feedback about these pages please email childrensservicesresponse@plymouth.gov.uk

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