School transport from September 2020
Our approach to school transport from September 2020 has been guided by the principles underpinning the system of controls and DfE guidance with significant input and practice guidance from public health colleagues.
This guidance confirmed that the social distancing rule currently in force for passengers on public transport will not apply on dedicated school transport from the autumn term 2020, and hence social distancing will not need to apply to these dedicated buses and taxis.
It should be noted that WCC will not be in a position to create the additional capacity in the existing dedicated home to school transport network to implement a level of social distancing or to separate schools that share a vehicle. Irrespective of the significant cost of providing the additional capacity that would be required to do this, transport operators locally do not have enough vehicles or trained drivers to provide additional dedicated daily services. In order to minimise risk and ensure a safe environment as possible, pupils will need to follow the protective measures and advice and rules for travelling on school transport.
We welcome the support from schools in communicating the key messages regarding transport arrangements from September:
- Advise parents and pupils of safety rules for travelling on home to school transport services, school groupings, hand sanitisation onboard, and the need for their children to adhere to the on-bus safety rules
- Please communicate your school’s arrangements for pupils arriving off school transport regarding hand washing/sanitising, safe disposal or retention of face coverings and socially distanced queuing for the return journey.
- Continued promotion of active travel where possible to avoid the use of public transport and the potential increase in traffic congestion around school sites.
The recording of vehicle seat numbers from pupils travelling on dedicated home to school transport where available.