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Coronavirus (COVID-19): updates and advice, including help if you are struggling financially

COVID-19 school transport updates

We want to reassure you that we're following the advice from the Department for Education (DfE) when arranging school transport.

This information may change as we get new advice from the government. We will update this page if the guidance changes.

Do you want to take your child to school instead of using school transport?

Let us know if you decide that you want to take your child to school yourself from September because of concerns about COVID-19. Email us at: dtseptember2020@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk so that we can discuss your arrangements.

Taking your child to school yourself does not mean you lose your school transport place. You can change your mind if your situation changes.

If you decide at any time that you'd like your child to use the school transport again contact us and we will arrange it for you so that we can make arrangements. Try to give us as much notice as possible as it will take time to arrange the transport.

You can encourage your child to walk or cycle to school if they can and it's safe for them to do so.

Social distancing on school transport

We will not enforce social distancing on school transport routes where all passengers have the same destination.

We will:

  • make sure our school vehicles serve only one location per journey, for example we will have 2 separate vehicles that go to Beaminster School and Mountjoy School
  • use a consistent driver on all vehicles where possible
  • make sure we clean our vehicles every day
  • leave the windows on all school vehicles open wherever possible
  • provide bins on our vehicles so that students can throw away any tissues, wipes or masks

We cannot guarantee that school transport can operate around staggered start or finish times.

Students should:

  • wear face coverings where appropriate
  • use the same seats and stay within their year group as much as possible
  • avoid sitting face to face with each other
  • carry their own hand sanitiser or wipes on our vehicles
  • cooperate with the new restrictions
  • make sure they take the first available vehicle when using public transport, rather than wait for the next one as there may not be space on the next one

Students should not:

  • stand up or move around on the vehicle
  • use our school transport if they have any symptoms or live with someone who has symptoms

Some of this guidance may not apply to children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) on school transport.

We need the cooperation of students, schools and parents to help with these arrangements as the driver will not be able to enforce them.

Face coverings on school transport

Face coverings were made mandatory on all public transport routes from Monday 15 June 2020.

We ask that all secondary and upper school students wear face coverings on all our buses unless they are exempt. This is to help protect our drivers, other students and families. This way we can make sure we continue to transport children safely to school.

We strongly recommend face coverings for all other age groups but this is not mandatory.

Exceptions to wearing face coverings on school transport

Drivers do not have to wear a face covering where there's a plastic screen in place between the driver and passengers.

Passenger Assistants do not have to wear a face covering if it could cause the child passenger to get upset.

Passengers who are of primary school age (under the age of 11) or children with medical conditions who may have difficulty wearing a face covering do not have to wear one.

For safeguarding reasons we have asked our school transport operators not to leave anyone behind if they're not wearing a face covering.
 

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