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School transport (September 2020) FAQs

The local authority is working to resume its dedicated school transport services for September 2020.

Welsh Government’s current (2 metre) social distancing requirements present challenges for home-to-school transport, with capacity being limited to only 20%.

Therefore, for September 2020 parents and carers are strongly encouraged to take their children to school by walking or cycling, or alternatively by private car. However, we understand that this won’t be possible for all learners.

If you usually receive school transport, this will run as normal on all routes for September 2020 but with significantly reduced capacity.

Information on school transport pick up times and locations.

All new starters will receive a letter providing details of the transport arrangements for September 2020.

With limited staff resources in the School Transport Team please do not telephone the local authority unless it is urgent.

If you have any queries, please email schooltransport@bridgend.gov.uk and the team will respond to you as soon as possible. Alternatively, please contact the transport operator directly (contact details are included alongside each timetable and route)

Please note that the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice.

If you have received a letter informing you of your child’s eligibility for home-to-school transport, but have not received a bus pass prior to September, this will not affect your child’s ability to use transport.

Nevertheless, only those learners who were eligible for free home-to-school-transport in the 2019-2020 school year or those who have been informed in writing of their eligibility from September 2020, should attempt to travel.

Changes to government guidance may impact upon these frequently asked questions. You are therefore advised to check them from time-to-time.

School transport (September 2020) FAQs

It is the local authority’s intention to operate school transport as normally as possible from the start of the autumn term 2020. However, we recommend that parents/carers should seek where possible to make their own arrangements to transport their child to school for the time-being.

No. There will be no change in eligibility as a result of the current situation.

All eligible learners will receive a letter from the local authority’s School Transport Team prior to the start of the new school year in September 2020.

At this time it is not clear if the current two metre social distancing requirements will apply to school transport. The local authority is awaiting further advice from Welsh Government on this matter.

For the time-being some children may be provided with an alternative vehicle eg minibus to ensure social distancing requirements are adhered to. However, taxis may be used on some contracts.

Yes, as long as they are from the same household (they live together in the same property).  However, this will also depend on the impact that this has on maintaining the nationally required social distancing requirements for other children on the same bus.

Please talk to your child about maintaining social distancing, hygiene and good behaviour when using school transport.  It is very important that children board and alight any school transport calmly and safely and remain seated at all times.  

Any instruction from the bus driver or an escort (where provided) should be followed. Any poor behaviour will not be tolerated and any child who puts another occupant at risk may lose their entitlement to free transport.

The use of a face masks for school learners is optional. There is currently no requirement for learners to wear face masks on school transport, although it is recommended that if a child feels comfortable wearing one, they are able to do so.

Learners in primary schools who are eligible for home-to-school transport need to be accompanied to their nearest bus stop by a responsible adult (from the same household) unless they have a prior arrangement with the local authority for exemption. 

Secondary school learners do not need to be accompanied to the bus stop/pick-up point.

Nationally agreed social distancing should be adhered to at all times.

All learners in primary school must be received at their bus stop/pick-up point by a responsible adult at the end of the school day, unless they have a prior arrangement with the local authority for exemption.

For some children, where an escort has been provided previously, this may not be possible moving forward. There is no statutory requirement to provide escorts, although the local authority will assess the needs of learners and determine the appropriateness and availability of escorts in all cases.

We recommend that parents should seek where possible to make their own arrangements to transport their child to school for the time-being.  Nevertheless, school transport will continue to be prioritised for vulnerable learners.  

If the number and capacity of suitable vehicles is limited due to social distancing requirements, the local authority may not be able to transport all eligible learners at the start of the autumn term. However, the local authority will make every effort to do so and as soon as possible. 

No, this requirement has been suspended for the autumn term 2020/2021. The local authority will review the ‘no-pass, no-travel’ requirements for the start of the spring term in January.

The consideration of applications for discretionary transport is currently suspended until the impact of the current situation is able to be assessed.

The ‘paying place’ scheme is currently suspended until the impact of the current situation is able to be assessed.

General School Transport FAQs

Parents/carers of eligible pupils will receive a letter when transport has been arranged by the local authority. This letter will explain which transport provider will be taking your child, as well as their contact details and the contract number.

There is no application process, as we will notify you by letter if your child is eligible for free transport.

For primary age pupils, there is nothing you need to do. However, secondary age pupils usually require a photographic bus pass to travel. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

You will therefore need to complete an online form and a pass will then be sent to you. Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

The School Transport Team will inform primary school age pupils of their eligibility. Parents of secondary school age pupils will receive a letter before the start of the school year, which details how to obtain a bus pass. You must complete an online form with an approved passport sized photograph to receive your pass.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

You must notify the school and request that they inform the School Transport team. If you still qualify under the current eligibility criteria, we will contact you to confirm this.

Only permanent established living arrangements will be considered in relation to dual-resident pupils, and proof of dual-residence must be provided.

If a child stays at more than one address for a period of time, a different school may become their nearest suitable school. If this is the case, your child will no longer be entitled to free transport for the duration of their stay at the alternative address.

If the school your child attends is the nearest suitable school to both addresses, then free school transport will be provided. This is subject to meeting the relevant distance requirement of the learner travel policy.

If you place your child in a school which is not their nearest suitable, catchment school, then free home-to-school transport will not be provided.

You can visit the school transport bus route pages. After school drop-off times aren’t published, but you can request estimated times for your child's route from the bus operator directly.

For pupils not entitled to free school transport, details of public routes are on the Traveline Cymru website.

No. Pupils must walk to their designated bus pick-up location.

Pupils are advised to be at their bus stop 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time. If the bus fails to arrive after 20 minutes, pupils should follow the guidance notes on the reverse of their bus pass. They should ring the number printed and wait for instructions from the School Transport team.

No. School transport will only pick-up and drop-off pupils at their designated bus stop. The bus driver will not sanction or authorise any other address or drop-off point.

No. Each school route has an individual contract number, and only pupils issued with a pass for that route may travel. Any child attempting to board the wrong bus will be turned away.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

Parents and carers of primary school children must ensure that their child gets on and off school transport safely. A responsible adult must be available at least 10 minutes before the agreed pick-up times as noted on the school bus timetable.

Should a responsible adult not be at the designated stop to meet a primary age child, the child will stay on the bus while it completes its route. It will then return to the child’s stop. If the responsible adult is still not there, the child will be taken to the nearest police station.

Apply for a replacement pass on My Account.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

Apply for a new bus pass on My Account.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

No. Only eligible pupils can travel on school transport services.

Special educational needs school transport

Inform the school, and request that they inform the School Transport team.

Contact the School Transport team to check the status of your child’s transport arrangements.

E: schooltransport@bridgend.gov.uk.

Parents and carers must make sure that equipment is suitably maintained to ensure their child can travel safely. Wheelchairs should be fitted with the appropriate headrest, restraints and anchor points, inflated tyres, adjusted brakes and a charged power pack, where applicable.

Yes. Medication is permitted on school transport. Please ensure that medication is in a secure container in your child’s school bag, where other children can’t access it. The driver or escort must be notified that medicine is being transported.

The driver or escort cannot administer medication under any circumstances. In an emergency, they will stop, and call 999 for assistance.

 

Free home-to-school/college transport

Learners are entitled to free transport subject to them:

  • attending their first full-time course at a further education college in the academic year when they are 16, 17 or 18 on 1st September
  • living beyond the three mile criterion
  • attending the nearest college to their home that provides their chosen course

For more information see the Home to School or College Transport Policy.

Eligibility for a free pass is assessed during enrolment at Bridgend or Pencoed Colleges. For out of county colleges, please complete the form on My Account.

Pupil behaviour

The Welsh Government has introduced the Travel Behaviour Code. It encourages safe school travel, and notes pupils’ expected behavioural standards.

If pupils do not follow the code, schools, colleges, and the local authority can take action against them for their own and others’ safety. This might involve taking away their right to school transport for a period of time and even exclusion from school.

If a pupil is excluded from school transport, the pupil’s parents or carers will be notified of the duration and reason in writing. Parents and carers will need to make alternative arrangements for the period so the pupil continues to attend school.

Damage to the operator’s vehicle may result in the operator recovering the cost of repairs from the child’s parents or carers.

No Pass, No Travel Scheme

The 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

The 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

The 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

The 'No Pass, No Travel' scheme has been suspended until further notice to comply with social distancing measures on school transport during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Due to the current circumstances you may not receive a bus pass prior to September. This will not affect your child’s ability to use the transport that they are entitled to.

If your child loses their pass during the day, they should go to the school office to ask for a temporary pass. You can apply for a replacement pass on My Account.

Local authority staff will carry out regular checks throughout the year.

Complain or make an enquiry

To complain about an aspect of school transport, or to ask for more information, please contact us below:

Contact

School Transport team

Bridgend County Borough Council

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