School Buses in September 2020
Taking into account the current Government guidance, we continue with our intention to offer a full bus service for the start of term on Friday 4 September. However, in order to conform to these guidelines and ensure the safety of all, we will be adopting some changes to the way these will operate.
Currently, the guidance on face masks is advisory rather than compulsory. However all chaperones will be required to wear face coverings when they are on the vehicle. In addition all Barnett’s drivers will have their temperature checked daily by the coach company and will be required to confirm and record that they are free of any symptoms.
Pupils will be expected to use the hand sanitiser available on each bus when boarding the vehicle. Pupils may use their own personal hand sanitisers instead if they wish, however, the chaperone/transport coordinator will insist that this is completed before they are permitted to board. All pupils should wear a mask while using the service and are required to put them on before boarding the bus. They should continue to wear them for the duration of the journey and these should not be removed until they have completely disembarked and moved away from the vehicle.
The drivers will clean the buses before and after each journey by wiping down all high contact areas such as grab rails, seats, back of seats and head rests. In addition, the buses will be sanitised daily by the bus company/Abbot’s Hill cleaning team.
Social distancing rules applicable to public bus services do not apply to school buses according to current government guidance. The girls will board in an order which mirrors the stops on that particular route meaning that when leaving school, those who are due to use the last stop will board first. The final stop will be seated at the back of the bus with all subsequent stops in front. Once on the bus they will be seated in groups by stop as much as possible.
When arriving at school each morning, the girls will need to remove their masks after disembarking and dispose of all single use face masks into a covered bin (the school has plenty of these bins). All reusable masks should be stored in a sealable plastic bag between uses. Pupils should then wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds before entering any of the classrooms – the chaperones will remind them of this as they leave the bus.
Girls should move swiftly away from the buses on arrival, follow the directional arrows and head directly to their year group base or the Dining Room if taking breakfast (stopping off beforehand to wash their hands).
Current guidelines do not state that face coverings are mandatory on school buses. However, as per above, all girls using the service must be provided with a mask to wear for the duration of all journeys as this will help to mitigate the possibility of cross contamination. Any girls using reusable masks must also be provided with a sealable plastic bag where they can safely store the mask between uses.
Could we please also ask that the girls are encouraged to remove their masks by using the sections that go around the ear/head rather than the section which is against their mouth and face and ensure all single use masks are disposed of into a covered bin.
We would appreciate parental assistance in continuing to promote good hand hygiene as a way to help stop the spread of the virus. We would therefore ask parents to reinforce the message that all girls must use hand sanitiser as per above and wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water once they have left the bus and before they enter their classroom. They should also continue to wash their hands thoroughly throughout the day.
The late bus will leave slightly earlier from 1 September 2020. The updated times for the late bus can be found on the Parent Portal. If you have already booked the late bus and the updated times give you cause for concern, please contact the Transport Co-ordinator as soon as possible.
Thank you in advance for your assistance with this. The more we can do to reduce the risk, the higher the chance of keeping the bus service in operation and the school open.
In light of ever-changing government guidance, we will keep the above under review and amend as necessary. Please keep an eye on this page but if we make any changes, you will be notified.