Re-opening schools

Page updated on: 26/06/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Schools will re-open from June 29 until July 17 for pupils to check in, catch up and prepare for the summer and September. Further information for parents can be found on our Newsroom.

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 and prepare to re-open our schools.

There will be a phased approach at schools with year groups split into cohorts with staggered starts, lessons and breaks. It is expected that this will mean, at most, a third of pupils present at any one time. There will be much smaller classes, providing secure dedicated time with teachers and classmates.

Please be assured that we have been working hard to put plans in place for re-opening 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.

Pupils are being encouraged to safely walk or cycle to school where possible, and if transport is needed, for parents to make every effort to provide it.

School transport will only be available to learners who have already been through the application process and deemed eligible.

School transport will only be provided to eligible pupils if absolutely necessary. Our dedicated school buses will only be able to carry a small number of pupils due to social distancing requirement, so we would really appreciate parents’ support in making their own transport arrangements if they can during this interim period.

Your school will have asked you whether you require school transport for your child. We have had to work quickly with the bus / taxi companies to plan routes and put precautionary measures in place. Unfortunately, we will not be able to guarantee transport for all pupils that request it. There will be a need to prioritise transport for particular pupils, for example, vulnerable learners.

Most of our school crossing patrols will return on June 29, 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.

Where there are reports of the 2-metre social distancing being breached, it may be necessary to remove the provision from the school.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to ensure a social distance of 2 metres for a small number of our patrols to safely return. Some schools may also introduce different opening and closing times, particularly around lunch times, and staggered starts and finishes, that we may not be able to fully cover with crossing patrols. Those affected schools have been asked to inform parents / carers.

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.

 

Unfortunately, we are unable to continue to provide spare seats during this period due to the severely limited capacity available.

Your application has been refused because your details do not match those of any pupils entitled to free transport already on our database. This could be because:

  • Your child does not currently receive transport from us (if they usually travel on a vehicle provided by a different council you will need to contact them).
  • Your details differ from our database, for example, if you have changed your address for which we have not received an application for transport.
  • Your child currently travels on a ‘spare seat’ – the information with the application stated that travel on spare seats would be withdrawn for this period as we can no longer guarantee that capacity will be available.

Travel will only be permitted on the day(s) on which the school has informed us that pupils will be attending. You are advised to check this information with the school if in doubt.

Vehicles will run at the usual time and from the usual stop for morning journeys (unless we advise you otherwise), as always please be at the stop in advance of the scheduled time and please be patient if the vehicle is slightly later than usual.

Please use the same bus number in the afternoon. Please note if a pupil does not travel to school on the morning journey, the afternoon journey may not operate.

Check school bus timetables.

Travel passes will not be needed, the driver will have a list of pupils entitled to travel on the journey. All other passengers will not be allowed to travel.

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.

According to evidence, the most effective way to protect yourself and others from infection is to follow social distancing rules, avoid touching surfaces and your face, and wash your hands regularly. Buses will be operating with limited capacity to ensure that social distancing is followed. Therefore, it is not compulsory, and it is a matter of personal choice as to whether your child wears a face mask or not.

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.

Fare paying school buses C11, C12, 243 (in Carmarthen) and L23, L24, L27 (in Llanelli) will also not be running.

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.

 

We are processing these applications as quickly as possible and you should hear by Friday, June 26.

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.

Please report any issues immediately to your driver or to a teacher at school.

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

Unfortunately, we do require a new application for travel during this current period and your previous bus pass does not permit you to travel.

 

Yes, feeder transport will continue if possible, each application will be assessed on an individual basis on the capacity we have available.

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.

We are sorry for the unavoidable delays to progressing and hearing school transport appeals this year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Appeals panels will resume in July and continue throughout the summer holidays.

The team would like to thank parents for the patience and understanding they have shown whilst the appeal process has been delayed.

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Education & Schools