Priory School – Passenger Transport Case Study

Vertas provide a bespoke transport service, on behalf of Suffolk County Council, to Priory School which is part of the SENDAT Academy Trust in Bury St Edmunds.

During the Covid-19 crisis the Vertas passenger service team, through our close relationship with the Trust were able to support them in different ways including assisting with packing and delivering welfare boxes to those families in need, delivering home learning packs, and on occasion taking members of staff from the school out to carry out home visits.

Since May 2017, Vertas have managed passenger transport for Priory School, an outstanding school for children with special educational needs/disabilities (SEND) in Bury St Edmunds. 

This bespoke service is operated on behalf of Suffolk County Council, to Priory School which is part of the SENDAT Academy Trust. During normal operation we take over 150 children with special education/disabilities from home to school and back.

As the school reopened in stages Vertas were able to support with agile travel arrangements to help the school in transitioning the students back into the school. Vertas colleagues attended a training session with the school staff to understand how the crisis could have affected the students and understanding how best to work with them to make their return to school as easy as possible. Vertas adapted existing risk assessments and working practices to encompass the Government and SEND guidance and issued our staff with the PPE they require to continue to transport the students. 


  • To provide consistent passenger transport for the pupils at the school, with the same colour buses, uniformed drivers and passenger assistants  
  • Provide a consistent services and ensure parents had confidence and kept informed about any changes in transport
  • A single point of contact for the staff at the school for all transport requirements to support during Covid-19


  • We acquired 21 new and branded vehicles to support planned transport routes to the school 
  • We work closely with the school to ensure consistency for the pupils and parents 
  • We trained drivers and passenger assistants to support the needs of the children. 


  • The children at Priory School have special educational needs/disabilities, so having each vehicle branded in the same Vertas design, with drivers and assistants in uniform provides familiarity and the routine they need
  • There have been clear benefits, including a visible improvement in pupil behaviour and learning
  • All communications with regards to transport are conducted between the fleet office and the school staff to ensure consistency and all parties are aware of any changes that are required and parents are signposted to the correct process 
  • Vertas’ partnership working with the Trust during Covid-19 has supported vulnerable families and ensure a smooth return to school for the pupils. 

“Many thanks for you and the team for your support today delivering the packs and helping staff make the doorstep visits. Already we have had some parents ring and say thank you and how much they appreciated seeing staff. This has enabled us to safely have eyes-on more of our students than we were able to organise with staff transport!”

Mick Truman, Head of Priory School

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