Many Bucks schools are preparing to welcome back more pupils from tomorrow - and parents are being urged to take them to school themselves instead of putting them on school buses.

Buckinghamshire Council is hoping parents will be able to take them by car, walking or by cycling instead of using the school buses, as they admit maintaining social distances during the journeys will be a "challenge".

They added that the fewer children that travel on school buses, the better social distancing will be - reducing the risk of spreading coronavirus.

For those parents whose children are entitled to free transport because they have special educational needs (SEN), the council is running a mileage payment scheme for parents if they are able to take their children to school themselves.

The scheme pays the normal mileage rate of 45p per mile for a four way journey each day, covering a round trip twice a day, during this period of disruption.

David Martin, Buckinghamshire Council cabinet member for logistics, said: "Coronavirus means that many of our routine daily activities cannot continue as before, and school buses are a case in point.

"Usually they are full which means students are in close contact with each other throughout their journeys.

"When school buses resume taking some of our children to school next week, we will try to ensure appropriate social distancing on them wherever possible; but all parents and carers will of course understand there is no way to ensure with certainty that there will be no contact at some time during their children’s journeys.

"I therefore ask the parents and carers of children returning to school next week to, if at all possible, find alternative ways of getting your children to school during this difficult time.

"Making your own arrangements will not only reduce any risk of infection to your children; but make social distancing easier for others who have no option but to use the bus.”

Cabinet member for education and skills Anita Cranmer added: "As schools make their preparations on the many aspects of keeping everyone safe as children start to return after the lockdown, school transport poses a particular challenge.

"We're working closely with both schools and transport operators to ensure that the risk of spreading the virus is as low as possible.

"Parents also have a part they can play by finding other ways to get to school where this is possible."

Find out more about the SEN mileage payment scheme at

Read the council's back-to-school guidance at: