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School transport and coronavirus

There are going to be some changes to the way children travel to school in September and we're doing everything we can to ensure they have a safe journey.

Information for parents

We're following government guidance to minimise the spread of coronavirus.

It's important that your child follows this guidance where possible when travelling to and from school.

If it's possible for your child to be able to travel to school safely by walking with someone, cycling or by car, we'd encourage them to do so.

Where this is not possible, school transport will continue to be provided for pupils that are entitled to it and for those that pay to use it where available.

Your child must not travel if:

  • they're experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms
  • they're self-isolating as a result of COVID-19 symptoms or sharing a household or bubble with somebody with symptoms
  • they're clinically extremely vulnerable and live in an area where additional public health measures mean they've been advised to resume shielding
  • they've been advised by the NHS test and trace service that they should self-isolate

If your child has symptoms, no matter how mild they are, they can get a test.

If your child is over the age of 11, they must wear a face covering while they wait for the school transport, when boarding, during the journey and when they get off the vehicle.

There are a number of children who may have legitimate reasons not to wear a face covering. These might include children or young people who have a physical or mental condition or impairment, or a disability that means they cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering if doing so would cause severe distress. Or if travelling with, or providing help to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate.

Find out more about safer travel guidance for passengers.

If possible, your child should wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise their hands both before the journey and as soon as possible after the journey when they get into school or home.

Where possible, your child should be encouraged to have their own sanitiser as well as some tissues in case they need to cough or sneeze. If they don't have tissues but need to sneeze or cough, they should do this into the crook of their elbow, to protect the other passengers in the vehicles.

Where possible, your child should sit with children or young people from within their year group 'bubble' to reduce year groups from mixing.

Pupils should board the vehicle in ascending year groups. The eldest should board first and sit from the back and the youngest should board last and sit towards the front.

To keep year group bubbles from mixing, as pupils load at each stop, they should sit with those from their year group in repeating patterns.

Home to school transport for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)

The vast majority of SEND journeys occur on dedicated vehicles where there are no members of the public travelling. Many are single occupancy journeys where there's just one student and a passenger assistant in the vehicle. In these situations, the risk of virus transmission is low if control measures are followed.

There are however, a significant number of services where larger groups of pupils travel together, typically in a minibus with one or more of the pupils being a wheelchair user. In this scenario, it's likely that these children will have been travelling together for some time. With increased controls where possible, we'll look to provide for these mixed year groups to travel together.

If numbers are too large to ensure safe distancing, we'll look to provide additional vehicles. However, this may not always be possible given the availability of vehicles, drivers and trained passenger assistants.

Operators are working hard to ensure that preventative measures are in place to ensure maximum safety, such as the removal of face to face seating and reduced numbers on some services in line with national guidance. Control measures will be in place on all school transport services.

Contact information

If you have any enquiries about school transport, contact the school transport section:

  • email: schooltransport@derbyshire.gov.uk
  • tel: 01629 536740 or 01629 536749
  • write to:
    School Transport Section
    Economy, Transport and Environment
    Derbyshire County Council
    County Hall
    Matlock
    Derbyshire
    DE4 3AG