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Home to school transport

Home to school transport FAQs

Travel assistance and transport FAQs

What kind of travel assistance will my child get?

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If your child is eligible for travel assistance we'll contact you in advance, letting you know about the travel assistance we can offer you.

You can see the home to school transport policy and check the eligibility criteria on the home to school transport page.

The travel assistance 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.

If we can provide transport, your child may be offered a taxi, minibus, coach, or help with taking a public bus service.

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

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

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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, why can't it stay the same?

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We make every effort to reduce changes to your child's transport. Unfortunately we're facing many challenges due to 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 be 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?

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We make every effort to minimise delays or problems, but they may happen occasionally. Please wait for 10 minutes after the scheduled pick up time. If the transport has still not arrived, please contact your passenger assistant.

If you need any further help, you can call us on 01642 353447.

You may also want to contact us if the transport is repeatedly late. You can email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Lost property - what if my child leaves something behind on school transport?

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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 personal items onto transport at their own risk.

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

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Contact your passenger assistant or support worker first.

If your issue cannot be resolved, please email us at transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

Get in touch 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 talk about a problem, the sooner we can try and resolve it.     

What happens if there's a road closure?

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We usually find out about scheduled road closures in advance. If school transport will be affected, we may need to organise alternative pick-up and drop off points with the transport operator. We'll 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 happens during extreme weather?

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We'll assess all weather conditions to make sure it's safe for travel throughout the school day.

We'll 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 problems with others on their transport, what should I do?

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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?

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

We cannot permit eligible children to travel other than on their own designated home to school transport.

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

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Email us at EIA@middlesbrough.gov.uk to request a new pass.

We may contact you to discuss transport arrangements until the new pass arrives.

What if my child does not have a valid bus pass for the 2023/2024 academic year?

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From September 2024, students eligible for transport under EIA will not be able to travel if they do not have a valid bus pass for the academic year 2024/2025, for their allocated bus.

The deadline for initially assessing EIA renewal applications is Friday 19 July 2024 (Years 8 to 11).

The deadline for initially assessing new EIA applications including Year 7 is Friday 31 May 2024.

If we do not receive your child's EIA application by the deadline, we cannot guarantee that travel assistance will be in place for eligible students for the start of the September 2024 term.

For all EIA applications, we'll tell you within 20 working days if your application is deemed complete or not complete. All bus pass applications, documentation, and photographs received after these dates will be initially assessed as soon as possible.

However, it may not be possible for us to assess eligibility in time for the start of the September 2024 term. It's a parent or guardian's legal responsibility to ensure their child attends school, and it will be deemed as parental choice if the outcome of the assessment is that your child is not eligible for travel assistance and they continue to attend their chosen school.

Please note, these dates do not apply to children who are eligible for SEND transport.

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

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Email us at EIA@middlesbrough.gov.uk to let us know. In some cases, you'll need to return the pass.

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

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If your child has special educational needs or disabilities (SEND), we'll need to do a review to see if your child is eligible for home to school transport. Their current transport arrangements may change due to their new address. Please contact us by emailing transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk. Please note, we may not be able to change your child's transport immediately, so until we can carry out the review it will be your responsibility to make sure your child attends school.

If your child is getting EIA transport, you'll need to make a new application if your address or circumstances change. We'll need to re-check your child's eligibility based on the new information you provide. Please contact us by emailing EIA@middlesbrough.gov.uk and give us your new details and the date of any changes.

COVID-19 FAQs

Will staff be wearing PPE when my child returns to school in September 2024?

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Some drivers or 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.

Will my child be required to wear a face mask or covering?

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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 masks or covering, you must provide your own.

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

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Yes, but you should check the government website for latest advice and guidance on COVID-19 symptoms.

You should also check with your child's school that they will be permitted to access school, and let us know when you can.

Their symptoms may not be COVID-19 related.

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

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Government guidance issued in February 2021 outlined plans for returning to schools from 8 March 2021. There is no requirement for social distancing for pupils travelling on designated school transport.

Open windows for good ventilation and additional hygiene for both people and vehicles are just some of the measures that are in place to help reduce the opportunity of the virus spreading.

Can I take my child to school and keep my child's place on school transport?

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

Contact

For students who attend a special school, college, base unit, setting, or have an EHCP or SEND, please email transport@middlesbrough.gov.uk.

For students who attend a mainstream school and have a query about Education and Inspections Act travel assistance, please email eia@middlesbrough.gov.uk.