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COVID-19 - Travel to school government guidance and West Yorkshire response

21 Aug 2020,

Government Guidance as at 21st August 2020

​​​​​​New Government guidance has been published on Transport to school and other places of education: autumn term 2020, which gives advice on safe travel to educational settings and managing risk. It is mostly directed at local authorities, transport operators and education settings but will also be useful for parents/carers preparing for the return to school.

Headteacher's letter regarding bus services

The following letter was sent to all Headteachers in Bradford today:

Dear Headteacher,

We wrote to you at the beginning of July to explain how bus services would operate when children returned to school in September. Ahead of the start of term, we need your help to convey the following messages to students and parents through your usual channels:

  • Plan your journey - new school transport timetables and safety guidance will be available at www.wymetro.com/schools from Monday 24 August
  • Face coverings are mandatory on public transport and dedicated school buses for 11s and over
  • Students are encouraged to pay in advance
  • Consider cycling and walking to school where possible

As explained in July, Government guidelines mean that on dedicated school bus services it will be possible to use the full capacity of the vehicle whereas social distancing will be required on the public transport network.

Throughout the summer, the Combined Authority, councils, and bus operators have been working together to understand the implications, identify where there might be capacity problems on the public transport network and to agree practical solutions. The vast majority of children and young people will be able to use the public transport network as they did previously, but potential pinch points are being addressed through:

  • Additional dedicated school bus services
  • Conversion of public transport journeys to dedicated school bus services
  • The operation of larger capacity vehicles
  • Duplicate public transport journeys i.e. two buses will run at the same time. On afternoon journeys, the extra bus might start at the school.

This has been a complex process and, whilst we believe that we are addressing all the potential capacity problems, we need your help to identify any issues. If you have any concerns about transport arrangements for your school, please email us Restart2020@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Further information from the Passenger Transport Service

The following information is specifically for those who receive transport from Bradford's Passenger Transport Service (PTS):

In light of the current COVID19 pandemic, we would like to bring to your attention to the following: 

  • On arrival at your home our staff will ask if your child or anyone in the household has any COVID related symptoms - providing there are none, your child will be transported to school
  • Where possible please ensure that your child’s hands have been thoroughly washed or sanitised before they board a vehicle
  • Face coverings for students aged 11 and over are recommended but not mandatory. The decision to wear a face covering is a parental decision based on the child’s needs.
  • PTS will maintain fixed routes with the same children on their vehicles every day. We will only go to one school site and for taxi type transport door to door pickup/drop off will be maintained.
  • Good fresh air ventilation will be maintained on all vehicles keeping windows/roof lights opened where possible
  • PTS will follow Government guidance on vehicle cleaning by cleaning regularly touched objects and surfaces (like door handles, handrails after each journey)
  • Your Driver and Escort will be wearing appropriate PPE, this will include a face mask and in some instances the Escort may wear a clear face shield.
  • Should your child become ill whilst at school it would be the responsibility of the parent or carer to collect the child from school.

Should you have a query or any concerns about your child’s transport arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact the PTS team on 01274 436692.

Finally, the PTS team looks forward to providing a safe, caring and reliable service for you and your child during the 2020/21 Academic Year.

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The Bradford SEND Local Offer is a free and impartial service provided by Bradford Council. The information contained within the website is available for the purposes of identifying services and provision that are available to children and young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities. This information does not represent a recommendation or an endorsement of a Service or Provider and neither does the Bradford Council or its partners make any representations or warranties as to the accuracy of the information.

Anyone seeking to use or access a service or provision is responsible for undertaking their own checks to determine the suitability and fitness for purpose of that service and provision. Some providers will be registered and inspected by external agencies, such as Ofsted or the Care Quality Commission. Anyone working with children and young people will be required to have appropriate Disclosure and Barring Service Check (the replacement for the Criminal Record Check), safeguarding policies and insurance in place, which they should make available to you on request.