School transport & Covid-19

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Further School transport guidance

Current guidance by Suffolk County Council


Updated request from Cambridgeshire Council


Isolation information

Published 17/11/2020

We aim to ensure understanding of what is required to be safe whilst in transport.


Should schools need to contact the Social Education Transport Team (SETT) out of office hours;

  • to advise children need to self-isolate
  • transport arrangements need to be changed
  • transport arrangements need to be cancelled temporarily

Please email details of the children concerned to SETT, once you have contacted the children’s parents.

SETT will contact the operators (schools do not need to do this) to advise them of the changes. 

Children brought to school whom should not be as they need to self-isolate, SETT will arrange transport home.

As SETT may not be able to pass this information on to Transport Providers in time for the morning runs.

Please inform your staff that parents may tell them that the school have called and asked for their child not to travel to school. 

Staff will need to go for a Covid 19 test if told to do so via Track & Trace or they have Covid 19 symptoms. 

Children sent to school and they’re unable accept them, inform SETT and they will arrange additional costs with you.

Face Coverings

We are operators stating school staff are not wearing face coverings, please see response below from our Senior Management:

Government guidance says that school staff are not required to wear masks when working with children.

When bringing pupils to the bus there will be no more than 15 minutes contact with the driver or Passenger Assistant.

The drivers and escorts are spending more than 15 minutes with pupils in an enclosed space and that is why they have to wear masks.

Thank you for your continued support!

Please stay alert for new updates in accordance with changes by Government.

Suffolk County Council

Dedicated School Transport (not public service)

Most of the children and young people travel to school on a dedicated closed contract route.

They will travel to school or college on a bus, minibus or taxi service that carries pupils only. 

For public services which only carry school children on certain journeys we consider these services to be dedicated school transport routes.

The same principals apply to these routes as well as dedicated closed contract routes.

On dedicated routes social distancing doesn’t apply.

Face coverings are strongly recommended but are not mandatory. Exemptions apply.

Pupils of one school are to sit in their year groups where they can. 

If this isn’t practical, we will ask pupils to load from the back first, and to unload from the front first, row by row.

We will ask pupils on the lower deck to get off first, then those on the upper deck.

Vehicles are to be zoned in areas for each school, and where possible for pupils to sit with their school year groups. 

For transport serving special educational schools, the pupils should fill the rear seats of the vehicle first, if possible. Those at the front of the vehicle should get off first. 

Shared Transport Routes (Public Service)

Shared transport routes are where most passengers are pupils going to school or college and there are also a few members of the public travelling.

We’re working closely to identify these routes that are shared and working with operators to make enough space on these public transport routes.

Pupils to be grouped apart from  members of the public who are required to meet social distancing measures.

Where general members of the public are on the same route, there must be a section zoned for the public to use and a distance of 2m.

This zoned section will need to be clearly marked to identify the area. 

Pupils must maintain social distancing of 2 metres, where possible, from individual members of the public or from any zoned areas of the bus.

The pupils can sit with members of their family or with others from their year group or bubble.

If the vehicle is shared with pupils from another school, pupils should sit with others from their own family or school.

Again, different school or college areas should be clearly marked where this is possible.

Face coverings are mandatory. However, exemptions apply.

Public Transport Routes

Public transport routes are used mainly by the general public, but a few eligible pupils or college students travel on them.

Pupils must maintain social distancing of 2 metres, where possible, from individual members of the public.

Where capacity allows, pupils will use these routes and will be expected to observe the UK government guidance for travelling on public transport.

Where pupils are attending the same school they can of course sit together which helps with the overall capacity available.


Summary of Travel Arrangements

  • Where a bus pass is issued the pupil will only show the driver the pass, not pass it to them at all. 
  • If someone has forgotten their bus pass, please allow them to travel but the driver will need to take the pupils name.
  • Those who forget there pass will be reported to the school and SCC for test and trace reasons.
  • You should clean the vehicle at the end of every day as a minimum– normal disinfectants and cleaning products are adequate.
  • Vehicle in between any double runs, i.e. one school then another are required to wipe down the particularly high touch point areas.

Public School Routes

  • On public routes, even if dedicated, you are able to accept fare paying pupils if going to the same school or college.
  • Pupils have been asked to get off the vehicle starting from the front, going row by row and deck by deck.
  • For pupils travelling to special educational schools, we ask that you fill the rear seats of the vehicle first, if possible.
  • Drivers are not expected to enforce arrangements such as seating plans, queues or the wearing of face coverings.
  • If there are any issues, report it to transport so that it can be dealt with appropriately.

When Face Coverings are required

Pupils are recommended to wear face coverings on dedicated routes; on shared or public routes they are mandatory.

The use of face coverings does not apply if:

  • Pupils are unable to wear a face covering for health, age, equality or other reasons
  • Pupils have Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) and are unable to wear a face covering safely due to their special need. 

Please see the guidance on who is exempt from wearing a face covering on public transport.

We do not expect drivers to manage pupil behaviour please report this to the passenger transport department.

Drivers are not exempt on routes serving special educational schools, drivers and passengers assistants are required to wear face coverings.

Extra Precautions

  • Zoned areas on public routes between public and pupils must be clearly marked
  • Zoned areas for each school on board vehicle, both dedicated and public, must be clearly marked
  • Face to face seating should be avoided, where possible
  • You should keep windows open, where possible
  • We will ask parents to provide children with hand sanitiser for use before and after their journey.
  • Schools are to encourage pupils to have washed their hands before they get on the vehicle at the end of the day. 
  • Parents are to provide their children with tissues to ensure the very important ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach is supported. 
  • If tissues are used on board the vehicle, they will be asked to be disposed of in a close lidded bin either on the bus or at school. 
  • Please provide a close lidded bin if you can.  Any waste will need to be disposed of in line with government guidance.



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