Published: 11:37, 09 November 2020
| Updated: 15:35, 09 November 2020
Pupils from five Thanet schools are being told to self-isolate if they travelled to school on a bus after a student tested positive for Covid-19.
Travel company Stagecoach were informed by Dane Court Grammar School, in Broadstairs, that a pupil who travels to school on the 943 bus has coronavirus.
The bus is a designated school-only service used by pupils from King Ethelbert's School in Birchington, Hartsdown Academy in Margate, St George's Church of England Foundation School in Broadstairs, and The Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs, as well as pupils from Dane Court.
Emails were sent out to parents last night, telling them if their child travels to school on the 943 bus then they would need to self isolate for 14 days.
An email sent to the parent of a pupil enrolled at St George's read: "It has come to our attention that a pupil at another school has tested positive for Covid-19 and travelled to and from school on the 943 Stagecoach bus.
"If your child travelled on the 943 bus on Thursday or Friday of last week then we have been advised that they must self isolate for 14 days."
A spokesperson from Stagecoach said: "We have a very controlled process for dealing with bus sanitation.
"Dane Court Grammar School informed us on Sunday night that a pupil using the 943 service on Thursday and Friday last week tested positive for the virus over the weekend.
"We identified the buses used on that service and they have been subject to a rigorous interior clean.
"We have an enhanced routine cleaning plan which includes daily sanitizing of all touch points, surfaces wiped and floors mopped.
"A wider-scope interior clean is carried out on a 14-day cycle with a comprehensive deep clean completed every 28 days.
"Each one of our buses has its own vehicle history file - so we keep accurate records of all vehicle cleaning to check and verify that nothing is missed."
All five schools with pupils travelling on the 943 bus been contacted by KentOnline for comment.
Meanwhile Peter Read, an independent education adviser and former headteacher, said he is surprised this had not happened earlier in the school term.
He said: "I am astonished this hasn't happened before.
"I warned of this before - I cannot see how multi-school bubbles can operate on a single bus."
Speaking to KentOnline at the start of the school term, Mr Read warned that transport provision could 'burst' any bubbles created by schools.
In September he said: "We already know bubbles on transport do not work, particularly when we've got children in bubbles from four different schools travelling on a bus."