Back to school transport
Dedicated school transport
Dedicated school transport is defined as buses, minibuses and taxis reserved exclusively for students; they are not open to the general public.
Following the announcement of a second lockdown for the November to December period, our advice remains that:
- dedicated school transport is safe, services have been COVID-19 risk assessed. Transport operators, drivers and passenger assistants will be working to revised good practice guidance
- the overall risk to children from COVID-19 is low
- students will not come into contact with the general public on transport
- generally, the same group of students will be travelling regularly
- Passengers and their families are familiar with public health guidance and are aware how to protect themselves and others
We remain under a statutory duty to provide free home to school travel for all eligible children. It will not be possible to supply transport in year group bubbles, as this is geographically prohibitive.
Passengers have a responsibility to social distance as far as vehicle capacity allows.
Segregation of children by age will be difficult to enforce, but in practice occurs organically as children of a similar age gravitate together.
Dedicated transport will not be able to vary timings to accommodate schools that stagger opening and closing times.
Guidance for face coverings
The wearing of face covering is compulsory for all travellers on public transport over the age of 11, unless you hold an exemption on medical grounds.
For students travelling on dedicated home to school transport, the wearing of face coverings is not mandatory, however it is strongly recommended for all passengers over 11 (Year 7 and above ) without a specific medical exemption.
We urge users of dedicated home to school transport to please protect themselves, their families, fellow travellers and the wider community by wearing a face covering even where it is not enforceable by law.
Parent and carers guides for travellers on dedicated transport
Students eligible for free home to school transport
Student eligibility for supported home to school transport will be assessed in the normal way. The application process depends on where you live:
Where travellers are dissatisfied about the mode of free transport awarded, they may appeal, however it is unlikely that an alternative mode of travel will be funded by ourselves.
Extra school buses and trains
In accordance with government guidance, we have been working with our local bus companies to identify which routes are expected to be the busiest following the return to school and college for in the Autumn. To support social distancing on public bus routes and, where possible, to facilitate the separation of pupils from different schools travelling on the same service, over 28 extra buses have been provided.
Our additional school journeys document has the details of these extra services.
Yellow Buses and morebus have agreed to accept each other’s return and day tickets when presented by school pupils and college students. This is to support those unable to board their usual bus because it is full to capacity. This arrangement will be in place until Friday 2 October 2020.
South Western Railways are also introducing additional trains to coincide with the start of term. Details can be found on the South Western Railways website.
Passengers aged 11 or more using public transport should wear face coverings (unless exempt).
Please do not travel on public transport if you are unwell and have any of the symptoms of Covid-19.