As schools across the UK prepare to welcome pupils back to the classroom, a free contact tracing reporting service has been launched to support schools and parents.
Leading home to school transport management provider Kura, which provides school travel for over 7,000 pupils a day, across more than 30 schools and 300 routes, is introducing the complimentary reporting benefit from the Autumn. The reporting is being offered as part of Kura’s wider software service, to provide parents and pupils with the reassurance they need to safely use school transport.
If a confirmed or suspected case is reported, Kura’s contact-tracing report provides schools with the data they need to quickly identify those in contact with the student showing COVID-19 symptoms during the journey to and from school and alert parents swiftly.
The introduction of the service follows a surge in searches around track and trace measures being implemented in schools. For example, Google searches for “school track and trace” have jumped by 79% over the summer months of June and July, compared with the previous period.
Increasing numbers of parents are also concerned about tracking their children during the school run. When asked about their child’s journey to and from school, one in five parents (21%) reported that they would be reassured if they were able to track their child’s journey each day.
The research, which surveyed parents of school-age children attending state schools, independent schools and academies across the UK, was conducted as part of Kura’s Green School Run Guide – a new resource created to support parents and schools looking to create a safer, greener school run.
Independent modelling and research published in August 2020, originally published in medical journal The Lancet Child And Adolescent Health, also found that reopening schools without scaled-up track and trace systems may lead to a damaging second wave of COVID-19. Recent news also highlighted feeling that current track and trace measures are inadequate, incentivising schools to explore providing their own solutions.
Kura’s research revealed a number of other parental fears around daily school travel. Over a third of parents (34%) report feeling stressed about the school run, and 28% said that the school run often makes them late for work or important appointments – a critical consideration as the nation continues to return to work following lockdown.
Godfrey Ryan, CEO of Kura, said: “Despite Government reassurance that pupils and staff will be safe once at school, there is still parental concern over the safety, reliability and availability of public transport for the school run, especially as workers are encouraged to return to the office.
“Many children will simply not be able to walk, cycle or car share to and from school, meaning parents must either risk public transport or drive their kids to school themselves – both potentially disrupting their day and increasing traffic and emissions outside the school gates.
“Our existing, proven Kura technology can enable this contact tracing on school journeys providing parental reassurance and, along with other preventative measures, ensure children can travel to school safely.”
For more information on Kura’s contact tracing offer, please visit https://www.ridekura.com/blog/contact-tracing