Keeping Safe on School Transport AS LEARNERS RETURN TO CLASSROOMS
Pembrokeshire County Council is sharing important details on the safe operation of school transport as further learners return to schools.
Planning has been ongoing throughout the spring with all primary pupils and some year groups in secondary schools returning from today (Monday 15th March).
In the first instance, parents and carers are still encouraged to take their own child/children to school wherever possible using active travel by walking or cycling.
If private car use is necessary, parents and carers are encouraged to park away from the school site and use active travel to travel the remaining distance.
For those planning on using school/college transport, all education transport routes will operate as normal and timetables will remain the same as before the Covid-19 situation.
Pupils/students should not travel if they are:
- experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms – new and continuous cough, high temperature or loss of taste and smell
- self-isolating as a result of Covid-19 symptoms or sharing a household with somebody with symptoms
- clinically extremely vulnerable
As part of the measures to keep pupils/students as safe as possible, school transport operators will be continuing their increased cleaning regimes on all vehicles.
This includes the cleaning of all touch points after each passenger journey and a full deep clean of each vehicle at the end of the day.
Before boarding and when leaving the vehicle, pupils/students should use the hand sanitisers provided and should avoid touching surfaces wherever possible.
With much larger number of pupils set to return to school, please note that it will not be possible to ensure social distancing between pupils on school transport.
However, front seats of larger buses will be out of bounds to maintain social distancing between the driver and the pupils.
Drivers will also be included in the Lateral Flow Testing programme which will see them tested twice a week.
These tests assist in identifying those people who are carrying the virus but are asymptomatic and enables us to take them out of circulation in the community, thus reducing chance of transmission.
It will be mandatory for all secondary school pupils and college students to wear face coverings whilst travelling on all education transport- including taxis utilised for school transport - unless they are exempt.
For primary school pupils the wearing of face coverings is recommended and actively encouraged.
Extra dedicated education transport is being put in place for eligible pupils who normally travel on public transport but will not be able to do so due to reduced capacity on service buses.
Where pupils are not eligible for free school transport and they normally travel on public transport or a private bus, you will need to contact the bus operator to confirm the arrangements.
If parents DO NOT require School Transport for their child, please contact the Council’s Integrated Transport Unit (ITU) on 01437 775222 / 01437 776363 or: email@example.com
Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Cllr Guy Woodham, emphasised that the safety of pupils, students and transport staff has been at the heart of the process.
Cllr Woodham added: “Learners returning to schools is an important step forward and so very welcome.
‘At the very forefront of our planning has been ensuring we can get learners to and from the classroom as safely as possible.
‘Building on our experience from last year, Council officers have been working closely alongside school transport providers.
“I would urge all learners to follow the safety measures – maintain good hand hygiene, use the hand sanitiser, use face coverings – and I would urge all parents to reinforce the message for everyone’s benefit.”
Further information on school transport from the Spring term onwards can be found here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/children-and-schools-transition-to-the-new-normal/covid-19-school-transport-information