04/09/2020 - Permalink

Coronavirus: Travelling to school safety

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

As schools welcome back all pupils, Shropshire Council is urging parents across the county to plan ahead and help try and create a safer and less congested environment as children return to school.

There are many ways pupils can travel to school:

  • We would encourage anyone who lives within two miles of their school to consider walking, cycling or scooting, if they can.
  • Those who do need to drive might consider parking a short distance away from the building and walking the rest of the way if possible, to reduce congestion and improve safety outside schools.
  • Plan your journey in advance, allow extra time, and follow the guidelines around reducing the spread of coronavirus.

The council is working closely with schools in the county to ensure that measures to enable social distancing are in place.

Rachel Robinson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, said:

“Getting young people back to school is a top priority and with current social distancing guidelines, how they travel to and from school will be different.

“Parents who can opt to leave the car at home or park away from the school entrance area will help families maintain social distancing, as well as reduce congestion and air pollution.

“The COVID-19-secure measures put in place mean spaces on public transport will be limited. If this leads to an increase in people driving, delays around schools will increase for everybody and affect the wider transport network, so we need help to encourage everyone to think carefully about their travel options.

“Now is a good time to make that change to travel to and from school by walking, cycling or finding alternative ways to travel.”

Shropshire Council has updated its ‘back to school’ webpage with a range of information about returning to school, including a list of Frequently Asked Questions which cover everything from classroom arrangements, school transport and plans for exams.

If your child has a continuous cough or a high temperature, book a test and keep them off school to self-isolate for 10 days. Everyone in the household must then self-isolate (stay at home) for 14 days. For a free test call 119 or visit www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test

Further information

School transport advice

On contracted school buses, pupils are being asked to use the same seat every day. Seating arrangements will reflect school year group ‘bubbles’, with the eldest pupils at the rear and the youngest at the front.

To ensure that children stay safe and well while travelling by bus, the guidance also says:

  • Pupils should not travel if feeling unwell or if they or anyone in their household have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Pupils should wash their hands, using soap or sanitiser, before and after travel, and as often as possible throughout the day.
  • For pupils aged over 11, face coverings are mandatory on public transport and should be worn on school contracted buses (unless the child is exempt).
  • Pupils should cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of the elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • During the journey, pupils should face forwards, not touch others, not move out of their seat and avoid loud talking, shouting or singing.