Home to school travel and transport assistance - SEN

Home to school transport guidance

We recognise that the start of a new academic year can be an anxious time for pupils and families and especially more so this year due to the Covid 19 global pandemic that has affected us all. We are all required to work with a partnership approach between families, schools, the council and the providers to manage Covid risks.  

The following guidance is general, and it is appreciated that it may not be possible for this to be followed in all cases, due to the individual additional needs of some passengers. 

The council is following the government guidance relating to Covid risk mitigation.

Read latest government guidance

Dedicated school and college transport vehicles

Government guidance states that social distancing on dedicated school and college transport vehicles will not be mandatory (unlike travel on the public transport network)

Our providers have been asked to operate a full service. However due to possible staff shortages, some flexibility will be required.

All parents are advised to have a contingency plan agreed with their child (applies to young people) in case transport is late or does not arrive. This is particularly important and please ensure you have provided the council with your current home and mobile telephone numbers, email address and an emergency contact name and number for use in case of need. Please email the details to sentransport@bromley.gov.uk

General advice

To help keep your child and the community safe, your child should not travel on dedicated school transport if:

Passengers

  • Please support your child or young person to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene at all times and wash their hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise their hands before the journey and as soon as possible after the journey
     
  • Children should be brought to and collected from the vehicle maintaining a safe distance where possible 
     
  • Passengers travelling in council provided vehicles should follow the instructions of the transport crew.  For example, they may be asked to sit in a specific part of the vehicle or refrain from touching door handles during the journey. Please support your child / young person to follow these instructions
     
  • Passenger records are maintained and will be made available for the purpose of the NHS test and trace service if necessary.

Face coverings

  • The council has asked that drivers and passenger assistants do wear a face covering as this offers a layer of protection for them and their passengers
     
  • Please see the latest government guidance for face coverings and exemptions. Face covering should be worn where possible and these are now mandatory for all passengers about the age of 11 years unless they are exempt as detailed in the government guidance.
     
  • If your child wears a face covering, they should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting on the face covering and as soon as possible after taking it off
     
  • A cloth face covering should cover your child's mouth and nose while allowing your child to breathe comfortably. The covering can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head
     
  • If your child does wear a face covering, they must be able to use a face covering and will require two face coverings per day one for the journey there and one for the journey back
     
  • Your child should avoid touching their eyes, nose, or mouth always and should only remove the face covering when in school or at home and store used face coverings in a plastic bag until you have an opportunity to wash them
     
  • They should not touch the front of the face covering, or the part of the face covering that has been in contact with their mouth and nose

Reimbursement of parental mileage

Reimbursement of parental mileage is an allowance paid to parents / carers of students eligible to receive free home to school travel assistance.

This is one of the travel assistance offers detailed in the council’s travel assistance policy and will help to reduce the demand for dedicated home to school transport. 

An agreed sum will be paid to parents / carers for the return journeys between home and school, to enable your child to access their education.

You can use the budget in any way which ensures that your child attends school every day and is able to arrive on time and ready to learn.

We would invite parents to consider accepting a mileage payment where they are able to transport their child, in order to reduce the demands on operators and help reduce the number of contact points with public vehicles. For more information, please contact: sentransport@bromley.gov.uk 

Transport providers

We have asked our transport providers to ensure staff are instructed not to work if they are: 

  • Experiencing any coronavirus symptoms , are clinically extremely vulnerable and cannot shield
  • Self-isolating as a result of travel, or coronavirus symptoms, sharing a household or support bubble with somebody with symptoms
  • They have been advised by the NHS test and trace service to self-isolate
  • Minimize changes in driver and PA teams to reduce risks
  • Ask staff to keep vehicles well ventilated and do not use re-circulation air conditioning
  • Ask staff to practice good respiratory and hand hygiene   
  • Communicate consistent procedures to staff for standard and deep cleaning
  • Identify higher risk areas and clean regularly touched objects and surfaces (like door handles and handrails) more often than usual using standard cleaning products, with adequate disposal arrangements for used cleaning products
  • Report any concerns to the council