Parent and Pupil Guidance - School Transport Services for Pupils with Additional Learning Needs ( Special Needs)
1. Measures to avoid the Spread of Covid 19
• Parents/Carers will not send their child to school if they develop Covid19 symptoms. Parents/Carers will follow school absence protocol
• If their child or a member of the same household displays COVID symptoms they should self-isolate as per Public Health Wales ( PHW) or NHS guidelines.
• If their child develops symptoms at school, parents/carers will collect their child and take them home as soon as possible and self-isolate as per PHW or NHS guidelines
• Pupils will continue to adhere to Swansea Council’s ‘Home to School Transport Code of Conduct
• Parents/Carers can, if they wish to do so, temporarily opt-out of the school transport contract and take their child to and from school themselves.
• The wearing of a face covering is optional. Face coverings are not suitable for everyone e.g. young children; those with special educational needs or disabilities e.g. hearing impairment. It is important that parents; pupils and school staff understand that other measures such as social distancing and regular washing of hands remains of critical importance and should not be relaxed when wearing a face covering
• Where possible to aid understanding, parents and the school will encourage children:
o to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their elbow when coughing or sneezing when away from the household e.g. in school, taxi/mini bus
o use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
o not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
o to wash their hands on arrival at school, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
• At school, staff will assist those pupils who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
2. Measures to Ensure Social Distancing
a. On the Vehicle
To aid social distancing the Council will:
• Not use 5 seater saloon type vehicles for transporting ALN
Pupils unless the 2m social distancing can be achieved.
• Limit passengers to 1 pupil per car-type vehicle.
• Use larger vehicles such as multipurpose vehicles (MPV); people carriers; London type taxis, to transport pupils with ALN.
• Use vehicles with tail lifts e.g. mini buses, to transport passengers who use battery operated wheelchairs, which tend to be larger and heavier than standard wheelchairs.
• Increase the number of journeys where required to fit with staggered school opening/closing times.
• The first pupil will be seated and secured into the back passenger seat of the vehicle. Seating on the left or right passenger seat will depend on the design of the vehicle; number of seating rows within the vehicle and consideration of the seating of the passenger assistant to ensure as far as is practicable the 2m social distance within the vehicle. For example;
▪ In London style taxis the passenger assistant can sit on the small seat
behind the driver (who is protected by a plastic partition) and the pupil can sit on the left in the back seat
▪ For MPV or people carrier type taxis,passengers can sit in a zig zag in the 2 rows of seats behind the driver.
• Passenger assistants must be seated in the back of the vehicle with the pupil to fulfil their caring/ supervisory role.
• Where 2m social distancing cannot be achieved or the passenger assistant needs to intervene with a specific in-journey incident, appropriate PPE will be worn e.g. Face Mask, disposable gloves
b. Pick up and drop off at School
• At the home pick up the driver/passenger assistant can establish with the parent the COVID health status of the pupil and family. If the pupil is showing symptoms of COVID the driver will inform the parent and school they cannot transport them.
• For pick up and drop off at the home, where possible, parents will be responsible for the safe boarding and alighting of their child in and out of the vehicle.
• The driver/passenger assistant is responsible for securing wheelchairs within the vehicle on boarding and alighting the vehicle.
• Pick up and drop off to school will require the passenger assistant to hand over or collect the pupil directly to a member of staff at the school site. Dependant on the support required by the pupil e.g. holding their hand; pushing their wheelchair, good hand hygiene will be undertaken before and after the drop off task. Washing hands for a minimum of 20 seconds; or the use of hand sanitiser is effective. The same hand hygiene will apply even if the transport provider supplies their staff with disposable gloves.
• Where possible, drivers; passenger assistants and school staff will keep to the 2m social distance during pick up and drop off at school to minimise adult to adult contact. Where this is not possible appropriate PPE will be worn e.g. face mask
• Where possible pupils should be encouraged to buckle and unbuckle their own seatbelt. Where this is not possible for example when transporting ALN pupils with complex needs who need support to access the vehicle or fasten seatbelts the passenger assistant will support the pupil and appropriate PPE will be worn
c. On the Journey to and from School
• Social distancing should remain with any interaction between the driver, passenger assistant and pupil during the journey. In incidents where this is not possible and dependant on the circumstances, contactwill be kept as short as possible and appropriate PPEwill be worn.
• Pupils must continue to adhere to Swansea Council’s ‘Home to School Transport Code of Conduct’
• Pupils to be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or their elbow when coughing or sneezing.
• Driver will ensure there is good ventilation within the vehicle during the journey
• If a pupil becomes ill on the journey to school the driver will advise the school so that arrangements for parental collection can be made. If a pupil becomes ill on the journey home the driver will advise the parent. Dependant on the circumstances social distancing should continue wherever possible to prevent the spread of the infection or if this is not possible staff should wear suitable PPE e.g. disposable gloves; apron; FRSM.
• The school transport contractor will ensure cleaning is undertaken as per Welsh Government guidance:
o Drivers should clean surfaces that are likely to be touched by the passenger e.g. door handles, window winders, seat belts, the rear of the front seats and other surface the passenger(s) may have touched or coughed/sneezed on, after each passenger journey. The driver should then wash/sanitise their own hands after cleaning.
o A thorough clean of the vehicle with normal cleaning products should be completed at the end of each shift/working day.
o Spillage kit to be kept on the vehicle to aid in cleaning up bodily fluids e.g. vomit
o Use sanitiser wipes to clean fuel pumps before and after use.
o Clean vehicle keys before and after handling.