Shropshire Council has published advice and guidance to help children safely travel to school by bus when the new term starts in September.

It is based on the latest Government guidance issued by the Department for Education and the Department for Transport last week – which Shropshire’s draft guidance helped to inform.

It offers important advice for those who rely on public or contracted (dedicated) transport to travel to and from school.

Ed Potter, Cabinet member for children’s services, said the document is vital reading ahead of the return to school next month.

“The health and safety of our school children is vitally important at all times, but especially at the moment," he said.

"We want our pupils – and their parents and carers – to be confident that they can travel safely to school once terms starts next month, and that’s why this guidance is so important.

“I’m extremely grateful to the council’s transport team who have worked incredibly hard to prepare this document ahead of schools going back next month.

"I’d also like to thank all the schools and transport operators who commented on, and contributed to, the draft version.

“Our draft guidance was shared with the Department for Transport and Department for Education and used to inform and advise the national guidance that was issued last week.

"It was also shared with councils across the country to help them.

"This is something we can be incredibly proud of, and people in Shropshire can be sure that we are offering the very best advice, and advice that is held in high regard nationally.”

Contracted home-to-school transport will run at full capacity from September 2020, and pupils and students are being asked to avoid using public buses where possible.

On some rural public bus services, Shropshire Council will provide additional buses just for school children and students.

On contracted school buses pupils are being asked to use the same seat every day. Seating arrangements will reflect school year group ‘bubbles’, with the eldest pupils at the rear and the youngest at the front.

To ensure that children stay safe and well while travelling by bus, the guidance also says:

Pupils should not travel if feeling unwell or if they or anyone in their household have any Covid-19 symptoms.

For pupils aged over 11, face coverings are mandatory on public transport and should be worn on school contracted buses (unless the child is exempt).

For full guidance and information, call Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9008 or visit the council’s school transport webpage at