Covid-19 - School FAQs

Page updated on: 24/09/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Our schools are taking immediate action as soon as it's known a pupil or member of staff has tested positive for Covid-19.

The process of testing and contact tracing is part of the ‘new normal’ and where schools follow these guidelines carefully, there is no cause for alarm.

Pupils over 11 years old will be required to wear face coverings on school transport and in school indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be maintained, unless they have a medical exemption.

Please continue to visit our Newsroom for the latest information. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Our key priority has always been the safety of children, their families and school staff and this will continue to be our main consideration as we begin to enter the recovery period.

Please be assured that we have been working hard to put plans in place for our schools. Thank you for your continued support and co-operation.

Please visit this page for all information, it is being continually updated. The following FAQs should answer any queries that you may have about schools re-opening. Get in touch via the "Ask a question" tab if there is anything you need additional information about.

School transport

Drop off and collection arrangements will be a different process to that of a few months ago. Social distancing measures will be in place with separate entrances and exits, and one-way systems. Floor markings with arrows to help direct children and parents and footprints two metres apart will also be in place. Parents will not be permitted to enter the school building.

it is vital that parents keep their distance to avoid close contact and potential transmission of the virus.

Please remember:

Arrive promptly in your designated time slot.
Stand 2m from other families.
Leave promptly and move away from the school as soon as you have dropped off your child.
Please do not congregate outside the school gates as this is making it difficult for other families arriving at staggered times.

All learners aged 11 and over will be required to wear face coverings on school and college transport.

All secondary school pupils (and staff) will be required to wear face coverings in communal areas, where schools risk assessments demonstrate social distancing is not possible. Communal areas includes, for example, corridors and school canteens. It does not include classrooms.

This use of face coverings does not apply to those pupils who are exempt for medical reasons.

We ask parents to provide face coverings for their children for the first day of school where possible. The council will provide a reusable face covering for those pupils who do not have suitable provision.

We are encouraging the use of reusable face coverings where possible, rather than single use face coverings, as not only is this better for the environment but it costs less too.

It is important to remember that face coverings are not to be used as a substitute for social distancing and handwashing.

The use of face coverings in schools will be continually reviewed.

Please see Welsh Government guidance on how to make a 3 layer face mask.

Yes , however, it is important to follow social distancing at all times. The majority of school crossing sites have social distancing markings in place to help remind you of the rules.

Please follow the instructions from the school crossing patrol and wait on the kerbside until instructed to cross. Ensure that you cross the road in a straight line maintaining a safe distance from the patrol.
Please hold the hands of smaller children.

 

If your children cannot safely walk, cycle or scoot to school and you must bring the car, please park away from the school and walk the last five / 10 minutes of the journey.

It is more important than ever to keep the yellow zig zags (Keep Clear markings) free of vehicles to help keep the area safer for parents and children to cross.

Motorists are also being asked to allow more distance between them and the crossing point when a school crossing patrol displays their stop sign, so that they can ensure a 2-metre distance from pedestrians crossing the road.

 

Pupils are being encouraged to make their own way to school, and to safely walk, cycle or scoot to school where possible.

Transport will be provided to pupils who have been through the application process and deemed eligible.

Unfortunately, we are unable to continue to provide spare seats during this period.

Pupils will be asked to show their travel pass at the start of each journey (or at the start of the morning journey only for primary pupils). If you do not have your travel pass you will have to give your details to the driver, in order to comply with Test Trace Protect.

We are asking parents to please remind their children to wash their hands before and after travelling.

We are also asking you to please remind your children that they will need to keep 2 metres apart when waiting for their bus to arrive.

Buses will be boarded one at a time keeping a safe distance between passengers, and the vacant seat at the rear of the bus must be used first. When disembarking, again pupils must do this one at a time keeping 2 metres apart, starting with the most forward seats first, working back in turn to the rear seats (so that pupils walking down the aisle do not pass any other seated pupils). These rules apply for both inbound and outbound journeys.

Remember pupils should NOT travel if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have symptoms of COVID-19, or they live in a household with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 14 days. If any pupils become ill while at school, their parents will be contacted to take them home.

Pupils who normally use local bus services and pay to travel to and from school should be aware that bus companies are operating limited services and have limited capacity on their buses, so pupils and parents need to plan ahead.

Some journeys usually used by school children may be running at different times, may not be calling at the schools they usually do, or not running at all.

Schools fare paying services L23, L24, L27 will operate, however 227, 243, C11, C12 will NOT operate for fare paying services. C11/C12 will run for eligible pupils with travel passes only.

Please check times and plan your journey before you travel. Information on bus services throughout Wales is available from Traveline Cymru or Freephone 0800 464 0000.

 

Parents will not be permitted to board the vehicle under any circumstances and must observe the social distancing guidelines when waiting for their child to board the bus or collect their child from it.

Yes, however we would encourage you not to share lifts with any other pupils that are not from the same household.

Yes, all vehicles will be cleaned after every journey.

Some operators may provide hand sanitiser. However, we would like to remind parents of the importance of making sure the children wash their hands before / after travelling.

All school travel passes have been sent out. If you haven’t received your travel pass please contact us by emailing LearnerTravel@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or by calling 01267 228326 as soon as possible.

 

Timetable are available to view on our website. Once you have received your travel pass, please make sure that the stopping details shown are correct, as bus / taxi drivers will only be able to pick up and drop off pupils at the locations shown on the travel passes, and at the points shown on the timetables.

Pupils who are starting at a new school need to re-apply as a matter of urgency.

College students need to apply for transport via their college - not through the council.

Yes, it is important that families who have changed address during the last year re-apply as soon as possible to make sure their travel pass is not sent to an old address.

Please email publictransport@carmarthenshire.gov.uk with pupil name, date of birth, address and full details on the error.

Please email publictransport@carmarthenshire.gov.uk with pupil name, date of birth, address and confirming your return to sixth form.

Pupils who are starting at a new school also need to re-apply as a matter of urgency.

The transport arrangements for pupils with Additional Learning Needs will be looked at individually. We have reassessed every child’s needs in respect of Covid-19 to minimise the risk of transmission to either the child or transport staff. Subject to those additional individual risk assessments , it is likely that alternative vehicle provision will be made and/or that passenger assistants (escorts) will be required to wear PPE due to the need to be in close proximity to the children to carry out their role. We have categorised children to identify those with higher needs in respect of Covid-19 and these have led to further measures that transport staff will put in place.

If parents do not intend to make use of a free school transport place for their child they should contact learnertravel@carmarthenshire.gov.uk providing the name, date of birth and child’s school.

It is not be possible to practise social distancing on school transport; however, in order to maintain social distancing between the driver and the pupils, the front row of seats nearest the driver will not be occupied.

As most vehicles will be full and learners cannot sit together in their year groups, we wish to emphasise the importance of good hygiene. Not only will this help to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 but also common colds and flu, which will also be of benefit.

Pupils will be required to fill the rear most seats first on the vehicle for each journey and use the same seat on the return journey home.

All learners aged 11 and over will be required to wear face coverings on school and college transport, unless they have a medical exemption. Coverings are required for the whole of their journey to and from school.

We ask parents to provide face coverings for their children for the first day of school where possible. The council will provide a reusable face covering for those pupils who do not have suitable provision.

Failure to wear a face covering will result in transport being withdrawn.

Please remember the most effective way to protect your child and others from infection is to follow social distancing rules, avoid touching surfaces and face, and wash your hands regularly. The wearing of face coverings must not be used as an alternative to any of these other precautions.

Pupils must not touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing them. They must wash their hands immediately on arrival at school or home, dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag for washing.

We are encouraging the use of reusable face coverings where possible, rather than single use face coverings, as not only is this better for the environment but it will cost less too.

Please see Welsh Government guidance on how to make a 3 layer face mask.

We are asking parents to provide face coverings for their children for the first day of school where possible and to ensure they have it on when they get on school transport, and that they have washed or sanitised their hands. The council will provide a reusable face covering for those pupils who do not have suitable provision.

Please see Welsh Government guidance on how to make a 3 layer face mask.

We ask parents to make sure their child has their face covering on when they board the vehicle, and that they have washed or sanitised their hands. If a pupil turns up without a face covering, they will be permitted to travel to school but will be asked for their full details by the driver who will inform the school. The school will provide the pupil with a face covering for the return journey. However, should the pupil forget their face covering a second time, they will be refused travel.

Refusal to comply with this requirement will result in your child’s place on school transport being suspended. Your support in reinforcing this message with your child would be greatly appreciated.

Primary pupils who are 11 years-old and over are required to wear face coverings on school transport unless they have a medical exemption. This follows guidance from Welsh Government and risk assessments from our transport providers. Younger children may wear face coverings, however it is not a requirement. We ask that where possible parents provide a face covering for their first day travelling to school.

If this is not possible then a reusable mask will be provided by the school on arrival.
Similarly, only secondary school pupils are required to wear face coverings in designated school communal areas.

All college students travelling by bus to Coleg Sir Gâr and Pembrokeshire College will be required to wear face coverings on transport unless they have a medical exemption. Coverings are required for the whole of their journey to and from college. If you need any further information, please contact your college directly.

 

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