Home Children and Young People Home to school transport and Covid-19

Home to school transport and Covid-19

by Alison Cornmell

With only a week left before Knowsley children return to school the council is sharing information on transport and how to travel safely.

Cllr Margaret Harvey, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said “Preparations are well underway for schools to welcome back pupils to the classroom in a few weeks’ time. Returning to school will have many benefits for pupils and parents alike – it will provide routine and some sort of normality, it will boost mental health and wellbeing as well as providing opportunities to socialise and enhance learning. Advice is now being shared to ensure pupils get to school safely, with walking and cycling encouraged wherever possible.”

Public Transport

Above all else parents, staff and pupils are encouraged to walk or cycle to school where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

However if travelling by public transport please follow the Government guidelines:

  • Socially distance yourself
  • Have right change or pay contactless on public transport
  • Children and young people over the age of 11 are required to wear face coverings on public transport
  • Do not board if you, your child, or a member of your household, have symptoms of coronavirus – this includes a high temperature, new or persistent cough or a loss of taste or smell.
  • If a child or young person develops symptoms during the day, they must not return home on school or public transport. A parent or carer should be contacted and expected to make arrangements for the journey home.
  • Children, young people, drivers and passenger assistants who have been in contact with someone who has developed symptoms whilst at school or on home to school transport do not need to go home to self-isolate unless (i) they develop symptoms, (ii) the symptomatic person subsequently tests positive and they were in contact within 48 hours of them first displaying symptoms (iii) they have been requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace;
  • Remember everyone should regularly wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap and running water or use hand sanitiser.
  • Children, young people, drivers and passenger assistants should clean hands thoroughly more often than usual, especially before boarding and again on disembarking.
  • Children should be encouraged to carry tissues on home to school transport to catch coughs and sneezes and if used disposed of in a covered disposal bin.

Also remember to…

  • Plan ahead and check timetables
  • Leave more time for your journey in case services are busy
  • Allow passengers to get off before boarding
  • Some seats on the bus are not in use, please respect this. They will be clearly marked out.
  • Try to travel with the same group of friends each day and where possible sit in the same seats.

Dedicated Transport for pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

In line with the produced government guidance for SEND Home to School Transport there is no need to enforce social distancing on SEND Home to School Transport operators.  Therefore the fleet can operate with minimal disruption to children, young people and their families and conduct a business as usual model for September.

Knowsley Council have however asked providers to adhere as closely as possible to the control measures outline in the guidance which are;

  • Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell
  • Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
  • Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach
  • Minimising contact and mixing
  • Engage with the test and trace process
  • Manage confirmed cases of covid-19

In line with the guidance drivers and passenger assistants will not normally be expected to wear PPE however this may vary dependent upon the risk assessments our providers make for their routes.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding SEND Home to School Transport please contact your provider to discuss arrangements.  You can also use your MyRoute Account to contact the Travel Support Team if you are unable to contact your transport provider.