Shropshire Council

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed our day to day lives in so many ways.  We are living, socialising, working and schooling in very different circumstances which has raised a lot of questions for families.  

In response to local needs, these frequently asked questions (FAQs) have been added to the local offer to help address questions families may have regarding education, health and care services, SEND education health and care plans and the implications of coronavirus.  

This is not an exclusive or exhaustive list of questions and/or responses, but a selection of what we think families would like to know about. We will continue to update and add to this section so it is always subject to change as more information, advice and guidance becomes available. 

Transport FAQs

What happens if someone is unwell?

Drivers, passenger assistants and pupils should not travel on transport if they are feeling unwell, particularly if they have symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) which include a new, continuous cough, high temperature, or loss of taste or smell, or if they live in a household with someone showing any of these symptoms – they should self-isolate and stay at home.

Will buses and taxis be cleaned?

Operators will ensure that all touch points on school transport vehicles are cleaned to protect against coronavirus (Covid-19) prior to and after every new journey – this includes door handles, keys, handrails, armrests, seat backs, seatbelts, driver controls, etc.

What about transport seating arrangements?

Social distancing inside vehicles means that they will carry no more than 25% of their capacity, at least to start with. On buses, for the time being, only one (window) seat must be used per row, with alternate nearside/offside window seats occupied; bus operators will mark seats accordingly; on taxis only the rear seat diagonally opposite the driver should be used, unless two siblings from the same household are transported, when both rear seats can be occupied, subject to the taxi operator agreeing.

Will there be cleaning equipment/PPE on-board?

Operators will provide on-board cleaning fluids/cloths/disposable gloves and a suitable secure on-board bin for disposal of any cleaning items, tissues or PPE, for in-journey use.

What about personal hygiene?

All staff and pupils should maintain good hand hygiene (e.g. washing hands with soap and water or alcohol hand sanitiser, particularly straight before and straight after journeys), avoiding direct hand contact with eyes, nose and mouth, and using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes (or at least coughing/sneezing into the crook of their elbow), disposing of tissues in a bin as soon as possible.

What about passenger assistants?

Passenger assistants will still travel on buses, using a socially distanced seat. If there is a specific physical, behavioural or medical need the Passenger Assistant will sit close to, but not next to the relevant pupil and appropriate PPE will be worn. Where taxi transport is provided for one pupil with a Passenger Assistant, it will be difficult to maintain social distancing protocols, so unfortunately this transport may not operate; in these circumstances, alternative arrangements will be made where possible. 

What happens at pick up points?

At pick up points, where staff receive passengers from their parents/carers, social distancing and hygiene guidance will be adhered to; persons involved should keep a maximum distance from and spend a minimum time with each other; staff shouldn’t make any physical contact with parents’/carers’ house doors, gates, property or belongings, etc, where possible.

What happens if rescue medication is needed?

For pupils who may require rescue medication, unfortunately it is unlikely that transport can be provided because of the potential infection risks that this may cause; this will be kept under review.

How will wheelchairs be manoeuvred?

If drivers or passenger assistants have to manoeuvre wheelchairs, they will clean the wheelchair handles and brake levers prior to pushing the wheelchair. Likewise, if installing car seats or booster seats, they will clean the hard surface areas (e.g. outer shell, buckles) before installing in the vehicle and clean them after use.

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Do you still need help?
If you can't find the answer to your question or query in the FAQs above please email Gemma Breckell, SEN & Local Offer Development Officer (gemma.breckell@shropshire.gov.uk) and we will get back to you with an answer as soon as we can.

Shropshire Information, Advice & Support Service (IASS)
IASS is a free, confidential and impartial service for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years, with SEND, and their parents, living in Shropshire. You can contact them as follows:

Phone: 01743 280019
Email:  IASS@cabshropshire.org.uk
Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm

The Department of Education Helpline
The Department of Education has set up a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email:  DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Monday to Friday, 8am - 6pm, Saturday & Sunday, 10am - 4pm