Below is information on the potential impact Omicron may have on our services throughout the rohe. The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is likely to have a significant impact on our communities over the coming months.
One of the groups that will be affected is our school transport drivers. It is highly likely that some school transport services will need to be cancelled at very short notice due to drivers being unavailable (either by having contracted Covid-19 or by being a close contact of a Covid-19 positive person) and it is unlikely that there will be replacement drivers readily available.
In the event that a driver is identified as a Covid-19 positive case, please work with the Ministry of Health on the appropriate next steps, including whether the students on that bus need to self-isolate.
Preparing for disruption – please alert your caregivers
It is important that your students’ caregivers are prepared for the possibility that their school transport service is cancelled at some point over the next few months.
Please ensure that your caregivers are aware of the potential disruption and that they’ll need to have their own plan in place for transporting their children to and from school in the event of their school transport not operating.
What happens when a school transport service is cancelled?
Your transport service provider has been instructed to let you know as early as they can if a service is going to be cancelled. They have also been instructed to let you know the duration that they expect the service to be cancelled for. You will then need to pass on this information to affected students and caregivers as soon as possible.
Help with costs of alternative travel arrangements
The Ministry is offering a Conveyance Allowance to support those eligible students whose school transport service has been cancelled for five days or more. Your school can elect to either submit a claim on behalf of all your affected students (for example, if your school is able to source an alternative travel arrangement), or you can arrange for each affected student’s caregiver to receive the payment.
Conveyance Allowance payments:
– SESTA students: $20 per school day, per student
– Daily bus students: $4.72 per school day, per student
– Tech bus students*: Weekly trips – $3.44 per student, per trip
Fortnightly trips – $6.88 per student per trip
* Payable to school only
How to apply for Conveyance Allowance
Please fill in the attached spreadsheet for each affected eligible student and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– The Conveyance Allowance will be paid quarterly to the nominated bank account/s
– This Conveyance Allowance arrangement is not contingent on attendance or enrolment reports
If you have any questions, please contact your local Regional Transport Advisor.
We are very aware of the important role school transport plays in our communities, and in support of our rural economies. The cancellation of any school transport service is something that we, and our transport providers, try very hard to avoid, however the health and safety of our students, drivers and communities is of paramount importance.
Thank you for your assistance in getting prepared for the potential disruption in your school transport services. We greatly appreciate all that you do for your students and caregivers.
Group Manager, School Transport