23 December 2020
Wiltshire Council has said that it is responding to recent government advice on wearing face coverings on school buses and all secondary school pupils and college students will now need to wear a face covering on dedicated school buses.
Letters are being distributed to parents of those children who travel on dedicated school transport advising them of this change, and schools are being updated. There are posters on school buses to remind everyone.
Previously the Government made the wearing of face coverings mandatory on public transport, but only recommended wearing them on dedicated home to school transport.
However, it has since said that it is now a condition of travel on dedicated home to school transport to secondary schools and colleges for all students over the age of 11 years old to wear a face covering.
In Wiltshire, Cabinet Member for Highways, Councillor Bridget Wayman, said: “We have written to all our students using dedicated school buses and we want to thank them and their parents in advance for taking this new direction on board. We are working with our schools and they will be able to issue medically exempt passes to those families who need it.”
The Council is sending out medical exemption passes to secondary schools and colleges for those pupils who are unable to wear a face covering, so that parents can request a card directly from the school or college.
These passes can then be presented to the driver in conjunction with the student's usual bus pass.
Those travelling on SEND transport will not be included in this new policy, as the majority of children fall into the category of being excluded from wearing face coverings.
Should a student be discovered not wearing a face covering by either the school or transport operator, and assuming there is no record of them being exempt from using one, then after the third incident they will be refused travel for a two-week period.