Dear Parents and Carers,
The Government has published some encouraging information about School Transport services for the Autumn term on the Gov.uk website. Please find an extract from the document related to the dedicated school transport, including statutory provision.
Pupils on dedicated school services do not mix with the general public on those journeys and tend to be consistent. This means that the advice for passengers on public transport to adopt a social distance of 2 metres from people outside their household or support bubble, or a ‘one metre plus’ approach where this is not possible, will not apply from the autumn term on dedicated transport.
The approach to dedicated transport should align as far as possible with the principles underpinning the system of controls set out in this document and with the approach being adopted for your setting. It is important to consider:
- how pupils are grouped together on transport, where possible this should reflect the bubbles that are adopted within the setting
- use of hand sanitiser upon boarding and/or disembarking
- additional cleaning of vehicles
- organised queuing and boarding where possible
- distancing within vehicles wherever possible
- the use of face coverings for children over the age of 11, where appropriate – for example if they are likely to come into very close contact with people outside of their group or who they do not normally meet
Dedicated school services can take different forms. Some journeys involve coaches regularly picking up the same pupils each day; others involve use of a minibus; whilst other services are used by different pupils on different days, or by pupils with SEND. The precise approach taken will need to reflect the range of measures that are reasonable in the different circumstances.
It will also require a partnership approach between local authorities, schools, trusts, dioceses and others. In particular, it is imperative that schools work closely with local authorities that have statutory responsibility for ‘home to school transport’ for many children, as well as a vital role in working with local transport providers to ensure sufficient bus service provision. The Department for Education will shortly publish new guidance to local authorities on providing dedicated school transport, based on the framework outlined here.