Using school transport during the pandemic

Along with our transport providers, we are supporting children’s journeys to school in the usual way.

All of our services continue to be provided in line with Government guidance and we are also keeping some additional measures in place.

Read the current government guidance here.

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, local bus services to schools operated in a different way, based on government guidance and to protect students. However, now, as we start to see an end to the pandemic and based on revised government guidance, local bus services to schools will be returning to normal. When schools return in September the following changes will apply:

  • A number of services that were designated schools only, which did not allow members of the public to travel on them, will go back to being local buses, open to all. So the S prefix may come off the front of your service number.
  • Social distancing on the bus, where people were spaced around the vehicle, could not face each other and standing was not allowed is no longer in force. All seats will be available on the bus for anyone to use and standing will be allowed again, where demand dictates.
  • Where we were running additional buses and coaches to provide additional capacity due to social distancing, these are no longer required from September. So if you were on a coach, you need to be looking out for your bus.
  • On some services, we were running two buses together, from September we will be back to one.

The following COVID-19 measures will remain in place:

  • Bus operators will still be maintaining enhanced hygiene arrangements, so extra cleaning of buses and using a range of anti-viral products.
  • The driver may still be sat behind a cab screen or where not fitted, be wearing a face mask.
  • Windows will be open to make sure there is still plenty of fresh air circulating through the bus.
  • We will be asking students to continue to wear a face covering on bus, to help reduce virus transmission.

Using the bus in September will be as safe as it has been through the whole of the pandemic, just might look a bit more like it did before the pandemic.

Train services will be running as usual. The use of face coverings on all forms of transport is still recommended and we are asking all students to wear a face covering whilst travelling.

Visit the Southeastern Trains website for further information.

All, of our services will continue to operate as usual and will be provided in line with updated government guidance.

Read the current government guidance here

Updated guidance no longer demands some of the measures that were in place during the last school year but a number of measures will be kept in place based on local Public Health advice.

Students should:

  • not eat or drink on the bus
  • keep all windows open for ventilation
  • wear face coverings (where possible)
  • abide by our code of conduct (PDF, 121.3 KB) when using our transport to school.

Transport providers should :

  • follow all government guidance
  • maintain heightened cleaning standards paying attention to high contact areas
  • increase ventilation by keeping all windows open where possible
  • wear face coverings for drivers and passenger assistants unless separated by a perspex screen.

The use of face coverings remains recommended in all transport settings. We continue to make this a requirement of all transport staff employed on our contracts and are asking that all children continue to wear a face covering where possible.

Read more information on the use of face coverings, where they should be used and any exemptions.