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Special Education Needs

Home to school transport FAQs

Home to school transport questions

What type of travel assistance will be provided?

If you cannot take your child to school yourself, we will contact you in advance, letting you know about the travel assistance we can offer you.

If we can provide transport, your child may be offered a taxi, minibus, coach, or help with taking a public bus service. The transport offered will depend on various factors, including the available capacity on existing transport services.

Depending on your child's need, they may be offered travel assistance like a journey plan, parental travel allowance, refund of costs, or travel training.

It is your responsibility to make sure your child attends school.

What standards are expected of home to school transport contractors and drivers?

Only companies on our approved suppliers list are allowed to bid for home to school transport contracts. To qualify for the list, they must show that they meet standards for health and safety, financial security, vehicle safety, insurance, and driver regulations. We only use operators who are not on our approved suppliers list in exceptional cases, if bespoke support is needed.

My child’s transport has changed from other years, why can’t it stay the same?

We make every effort to reduce changes to your child's transport. Unfortunately we're facing many challenges due to a lack of available resources in the transport industry, a problem which is not unique to Middlesbrough. As a result, many staff and operators have left the industry, and all of our routes have been subject to change.

We cannot guarantee that there will not be changes, either at the start of the new academic year, or throughout the year. These might include: passengers joining or leaving the route, changes to pick up / drop off times, and changes to staff or operators. While we aim to be consistent in providing transport, there may be times when we need your help to minimise any disruption to your child's transport arrangements.

If the transport is late or does not arrive, what should I do?

We make every effort to make sure transport runs smoothly, but occasionally there may be unexpected delays or problems.

If your child travels with a Passenger Assistant, call them on their council-issued mobile phone.

If your child travels unaccompanied, wait until 10 minutes after the scheduled pick up time before contacting us. If the transport has still not arrived, call us on 01642 353447.

You may also want to let us know if there are repeated problems with the transport being late. You can email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

What if my child leaves something behind on school transport?

Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk and we'll attempt to contact the vehicle operator so you can contact them directly and make arrangements to collect the property. We do not accept any responsibility for loss or damage to a child's property, and they bring such items onto transport at their own risk.

Who should I contact if I have any concerns about my child's transport?

Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk if you're worried about any aspect of your child's journey, including the behaviour of other passengers or the safety or reliability of the vehicle. The sooner we're told about a problem, the more quickly we can try and resolve it.

What happens if there is a road closure?

We usually find out about scheduled road closures in advance. If school transport will be affected, we may need to organise alternative pick-up / drop-off points with the transport operator. We will then make sure parents and carers are told about the temporary travel arrangements.

In an emergency, roads may be closed without notice, which might cause delays to school transport. Call us on 01642 353447 if you're worried about the late arrival of your child.

What about extreme weather conditions?

We will assess all weather conditions to make sure it's safe for travel to take place throughout the school day. We will only cancel transport if we believe it is unsafe for passengers, staff, suppliers, or others, due to extreme weather conditions.

It's your responsibility to make sure your child attends school if transport is not available.

My child is having difficulties with others on transport, what should I do?

Schools are responsible for the behaviour of their children on the way to and from school, including while travelling on home to school transport. We expect good behaviour at all times on transport.

Please report any incidents to your child's school or Passenger Assistant in the first instance, then email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Can friends or parents travel on school transport?

Parents and carers, other family members, and friends who are not eligible for home to school transport are not allowed to travel.

Eligible children can only travel on their own designated home to school transport.

How do I get a replacement bus pass if my child has lost or damaged their pass?

Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk to request a new pass. There may be an administration charge of £10 to cover the cost of a new pass.

What if my child does not have a valid bus pass for the current academic year?

From September 2022, your child will not be able to travel if they do not have a valid bus pass for the academic year 2022/2023 for their allocated bus.

The deadline for issuing renewal passes has now passed. All bus pass applications and photos received after 18 August 2022 will be processed as soon as possible. Due to limited resources in the team, this may not be before the start of the September 2022 term. It is your responsibility to make sure that your child attends school.

New applications, or applications where details have changed from previous years, will be processed within 6 weeks of us receiving the application.

My child no longer needs a bus pass, what do I need to do?

Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk to let us know. In some cases, you'll need to return the pass to the Integrated Transport Unit team.

We're moving house, will my child still be entitled to free school transport or assistance?

We'll need to re-assess your child's eligibility from your new address. Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk to let us know your new details and the date of any change.

COVID-19 questions

Will staff be wearing PPE when my child returns to school in September 2022?

Some drivers and Passenger Assistants may choose to wear face masks and gloves. You may want to let your child know that things may be different if any previous staff member chooses not to continue wearing PPE due to COVID-19.

We have asked operators of private vehicles to increase their cleaning regime before any children or staff board their vehicles. Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk if you want to discuss your child's individual needs.

Does my child have to wear a face mask or covering?

No. The current government guidance does not require children to wear masks on home to school transport. If you choose for your child to wear a face mask or covering, you must provide your own.

My child has a high temperature, will they be able to go to school?

Check with your child's school and on the government website for the latest guidance on what to do about COVID-19 symptoms. If your child arrives at the school bus or other home to school transport vehicle with COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature or any other known symptoms), they may not be able to travel (depending on the current government advice). If your child misses their allotted transport because they have been refused travel, or because of checks being made, it's your responsibility to make sure your child attends school.

Why isn't there any social distancing on my child’s home to school transport?

Government guidance issued in February 2021 set out plans for returning to schools from 8 March 2021. This included no social distancing for pupils travelling on designated school transport.

Measures are in place to help stop the virus spreading, including opening windows for ventilation, some staff wearing PPE, and additional hygiene for both people and vehicles.

Can I take my child to school and still keep their place on school transport?

It's your choice whether or not you accept our offer of travel assistance. Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk to discuss any issues with your child's home to school transport.

My child was shielding due to a medical need. Do I need to do anything?

Government guidance on shielding has changed and your child is no longer required to shield. You can find the latest government guidance about COVID-19 on GOV.UK, or speak to your child's medical professional. Email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk to update us with any information as necessary.