Coronavirus - changes to school travel arrangements
We are making some changes to school transport while schools are closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
As you will know, one of the government's actions to help reduce the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak has been to close schools. Only vulnerable children and the children of key workers are continuing to attend.
Ensuring social distancing
We are working closely with our school transport operators to ensure that wherever possible on all school transport vehicles, suppliers maintain social distancing for students. This will help to ensure the safety of students and transport operators. This could mean for example, on bus transport students sit 2 metres apart with gaps between seats and rows.
Free transport offer for children of key workers during disruption period
In addition to these transport users, we are also offering to extend free home to school transport to those children of key workers who:
- do not currently use our transport service or currently use a commercial transport service
- are not able to arrange for their children to stay at home, and
- have no alternative way of getting their children to school due to reductions in public transport and car sharing during the virus outbreak.
Government guidance is clear that every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is because it is the safest way to help stop the spread of Coronavirus. Where home care is not possible, we will provide transport free of charge for children of key workers and vulnerable children, where it is safe to do so.
If you are a parent or carer in this situation and would like to apply for free school transport during the current school closure period, please contact us using our Contact Us form or by phone on 01296 387439.
Encouraging parent transport for SEND students: mileage payment offer
We encourage as many parents and carers as possible to take their children to and from school, to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.
To support parents wherever possible we will reimburse parents who take their eligible SEND students to and from school. We will pay the normal mileage rate of 45p per mile, and in addition during this disruption period will, if needed, reimburse parents for home to school travel mileage payments for 4 ways each day (i.e. including payment of mileage for parents to return home after dropping their child off at school). Where this is not possible, we will continue to provide transport for children of key workers and vulnerable children.
If you would like to claim a mileage payment from the council or are unable to take your child to and from school, please contact us using our Contact Us form or by phone on 01296 387439. Otherwise your current home to school transport will continue as usual over the current school closure period.
Paid-for school transport from September 2020
The government has issued further guidance for transport operators on social distancing and keeping passengers safe on public transport. We will review what effect this guidance will have on offering spare seats as paid-for school transport, and will provide further updates as soon as we can. In the meantime we have extended the application deadline to 6 July and reduced to one transport offer round. Our paid-for school transport webpages have more information and you can also read our FAQs on school transport