School Buses

21st July 2022

Dear parent/carer

We have been made aware this week that First Bus Company who run the majority of our school bus services have made a decision to stop running all school bus services in South Yorkshire at the end of the current school year. This affects a large number of schools, including ourselves. There is a strong possibility that not all of the school bus services that we currently have access to will be running in September.

We should explain that school bus services are not actually dedicated school buses. They are generally commercially-run bus routes that are designed to coincide with school start and finish times, and routed to maximise the number of children for whom they provide a sensible means of travel. Although this is a hugely disappointing decision that First Bus Company have made, particularly given the time of year, it is nonetheless their entitlement to make this decision.

We have met with a representative from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) today, and have received a letter in writing from Mayor Oliver Coppard, who have both assured us that South Yorkshire Local Authorities are committed to continue subsidising commercial organisations to run school bus services for the next two years and that processes are underway to secure as many replacement services for September as possible. They are working constructively with us to minimise the impact of this decision on children and families and have indicated that for September they will prioritise school bus services where there are not already other suitable commercial transport routes running.

We are making strong representations for the retention of all of our current bus services and have further meetings scheduled with SYPTE during the holiday period.

In September we will consider carefully with other schools within the St Clare’s CMAT how we can launch an effective campaign to secure school bus services beyond September 2024. This is a situation where we will be able to benefit from the scale and coordination that being part of a Multi Academy Trust will bring.

The timing of this announcement and the tender process that SYPTE are running means that it will be less easy than usual to communicate updates with you. We have raised this with SYMCA who have indicated that they are providing a dedicated schools webpage where they will publish information as soon as it becomes available about the routes for September. This page is Travel South Yorkshire and we would encourage you to monitor this during the holiday period as this will contain all available and up-to-date information about school bus services for September.

We expect to be able to share more detailed information with you via email communication later in the holidays (on or around 24th/25th August).

Although there is no statutory requirement for Local Authorities to subsidise bus transport for all children, there is a statutory requirement to ensure there is appropriate transport for particular groups of students, including those who are eligible for zero fare travel. To that end, to support our case for the retention of all of our bus services, it would be really helpful if as many students as possible who are eligible for zero fare travel claim this benefit, even if you don’t think you need or would use this.

Please take the time to visit Free school transport | Sheffield City Council to check your eligibility and apply for a zero fare pass if you are eligible.

We do recognise that this news will be unsettling to some of you. That is entirely understandable. Please be assured that we will work as constructively as possible with SYPTE to make your child(ren)’s journey to and from school as straightforward and safe as possible.

J Coats

Director of School Improvement

 

Information

Notre Dame High School has a very wide catchment area drawing on all parts of the city and beyond. Please note that this is a public bus service, not a Notre Dame service. We do work very closely with the companies that run the services to deal with transport issues. Please open the attachments at the bottom of the page to see details of bus services for September 2021.

Zoom Under 16 Travel Pass
To apply for a pass please collect an application form from the Travel Information Centre in Sheffield Interchange or download it from: www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/megatravelpass/

16-18 Student Pass
To apply for a pass pick up an application form from the Travel Information Centre in Sheffield Interchange or download it at:https://travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/ticketsandpasses/16-18-passes

Zero Fare Pass
Further information can be obtained from the Childrens, Young Peoples and Families Service of Sheffield City Council on telephone 0114 273 5831 or from the Sheffield City Council Home to School Transport Policy which can be found at the following website: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/travel-transport/zero-fare-travel

Travel South Yorkshire’s New Website Onboard click here.
For your Bus Enquiry to Notre Dame please click here

First2

FAQs

1. What happens if the bus does not arrive?
In the event of any problems, please contact Mrs Vivian on 07585512741 who would have the most up to date information.

2. What happens if it snows?
If there is extreme weather before school. Start to check the school website for information about school opening times. This information will also be shared with local radio stations where appropriate announcements will be made. If there is extreme weather during the day, please ensure you have completed the page in your child’s journal/planner instructing the school on what arrangements you would like for your child. If any decisions are made regarding early closure etc, we will contact you via our text messaging service.

3. What if my child loses something on the bus?
Please contact the bus company – lost property section.

4. What happens if my child misbehaves on the bus?
We monitor journeys through the use of CCTV. The bus providers take any behaviour seriouslyand school supports them on this. Any pupil that causes damage to the buses, bus stops or shelters and / or does not meet the required standard of behaviour on the bus could :
– Have their pass withdrawn.
– Be banned from the bus.
– Be prosecuted by the Police.
– Be required to pay for any damage they have caused.