01/06/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Return to school transport advice issued, to help reassure schools and parents

Related topics: Children's services / Coronavirus / Health / Highways, transport and environmental maintenance / Partner organisations

Shropshire Council has published some guidance around school transport to help manage the return of pupils to school from today, Monday 1 June 2020.

The guidance – which can be found on the Shropshire Council website – outlines how school transport in Shropshire resumes from this week, and will be updated as the return to school programme progresses in the weeks ahead.

Its aim is to provide advice and reassurance to passenger transport providers, schools, and parents and carers.

Karen Bradshaw, executive director of children’s services with Shropshire Council, said:

“We know that many parents are apprehensive about their children going back to school and we want to make our school transport as safe as we can.

“We hope that this guidance provides both reassurance and confidence to parents, schools, operators and the public, and that it helps demonstrate that the reactivation of our school transport network has been properly planned and managed, and that it is as safe as it can be.

“From this week our school buses and taxis will be operating at no more than 25% capacity, which provides for on-board social distancing in line with Government advice.

“From September 2020 it is possible that most primary and secondary pupils will return, though the Government have emphasised that these plans are conditional on progress in containing the coronavirus, and may be changed.

“September 2020 is therefore likely to present us greater challenges, as the June 2020 trickle return of pupils gathers pace and our 25% loading capacity can no longer meet demand.

“Our current thinking is that we look to introduce extra capacity and added control measures for September. This is all still evolving and we are closely monitoring both national and local developments to better inform our future planning.

“The coronavirus situation is clearly dynamic, and as the lockdown eases and we head towards September 2020, this guidance will be adapted and updated as things progress.”

In the last three weeks Shropshire Council’s passenger transport team has carried out consultations with transport operators, the schools, other West Midlands councils, along with council colleagues in the learning and skills, public health, and health and safety teams. Relevant Government guidance has been identified, and incorporated into the document.

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