Search icon


16th Aug 2020

Children in Dublin who use public transport should walk or cycle, Department of Education says

Trine Jensen-Burke

Walk or cycle instead of public transport

Are your children using a school bus to get to school?

With just a couple of weeks now to go before the school year starts, the Department of Education has issued some clarification as to how school buses will operate once they are back running again.

For starters, to minimize reliance on buses, children who can, are to be asked to prioritise healthy options for getting themselves to school, like walking or cycling there.

In letters that the Department of Education has sent out to parents over the recent days, plans state that school buses will be back operating without a requirement for social distancing, as it is deemed too hard to accomplish on the bus, but with a mandatory requirement for those aged over 13 years to wear facemasks. The bus drivers will also be required to wear masks.

In the new guidelines, it is explained that children from the same family will be asked to sit together on the bus, and if a child has no other family member using the bus service, he or she will be asked to sit with another pupil from the same school class.

The buses will be cleaned frequently, and there will be hand sanitiser provided on the bus.

Spokeswoman Elizabeth Headon from Bus Éireann explains that the school bus service will be a closed community, and “unlike public transport, where anybody can get on.”

Additionally, Headon explains that as everyone on the bus would be known to each other and the driver the issue of contact tracing would be straightforward and any outbreaks could be confined to large extent.

However, Mia Fanning of the National Parents Council of Post Primary Schools explained that many parents are feeling uneasy about the waving of social distancing guidelines on school buses, explaining that parents would be monitoring the roll-out of the service and the thinking behind the measures.

Tell us – are YOUR children using a school bus to get to school? Are you feeling safe sending them? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @herfamilydotie