Home to school transport - Code of conduct
The Council aims to provide the learner transport where it has a statutory responsibility to do so for pupils/students to travel to and from a relevant place as determined by the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 in accordance with the Learner Travel Statutory Provision and Operational Guidance 2014.
The nature of the transport provided by the council will be via a mode which the council considers will be without undue stress, strain or difﬁculty such as would prevent pupils/students from beneﬁting from the education on offer. Pupils/students should be able to travel in safety and reasonable comfort. We will take such steps as we consider necessary to satisfy ourselves of the suitability of both vehicles and drivers/passenger assistants.
- Parents, schools/colleges and contractors will have access to advice and assistance during normal office hours.
- Wherever possible, passes required for travel will normally be issued within 15 working days of receipt of an approved request, other than at the start of the academic school year where each authority will distribute the passes in accordance with their own procedure.
- The Council will ensure that any special equipment, such as harnesses or seats, is provided either by the Council, Operator or Parent as deemed necessary.
- Routes will be planned to minimise journey times, subject to the provision of an efficient and cost effective service.
- The Council will facilitate Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks at enhanced level to ensure that drivers and passenger assistants are suitable for a post which involves transporting children.
- Identification badges will be prepared and issued to approved drivers and passenger assistants, who will be expected to display them at all times.
- The safety and quality of school transport services and routes will be monitored on a regular basis.
- Vehicles used for school transport may be fitted with CCTV. The footage is confidential but may be used as evidence in cases of misconduct or misbehaviour.
In accordance with the All-Wales Travel Behaviour Code Statutory Guidance, we will:
- Work with the contractors, parents, pupils/students and the schools/colleges to resolve any behavioural problems which may arise on school/college transport services.
- Ensure operators and drivers/passenger assistants are familiar with the content of the Travel Behaviour Code through specific training.
- Work with schools/colleges to raise awareness of the importance of good behaviour and the consequences of failing to comply with the Travel Behaviour Code through staff and pupil Bus Safety training.
- Expect incidents occurring on Home to School/College Transport to be reported to the relevant Transport Unit.
- Maintain a log of all reported incidents, investigate each incident in conjunction with the school and other relevant parties and take further sanctions where appropriate.
Parent's Code of Conduct
- Parents, Guardians and/or Carers are responsible for encouraging good behaviour and ensuring the Welsh Government’s Travel Behaviour Code is complied with by your child. You are therefore expected to support the Council, the schools/colleges, the operators and their staff in maintaining good behaviour.
- With regards to the prevention and dealing with Bullying, we will follow specific guidance as set out in the ‘Respecting Others Anti-bullying Agenda’ and ‘The Hate Crime Framework’.
- If your child is involved in bad behaviour on school transport you will be involved in the disciplinary process at the earliest opportunity.
- It should be clearly understood in cases of bad behaviour that the ultimate sanction is the removal of the right to receive transport. In that case the responsibility and full cost of providing transport will fall on you. Please read the Parent Guide for further information.
- It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your children in getting to the school transport in the mornings and in getting from it in the afternoon/evenings. Appropriate supervision arrangements should therefore be made, particularly for primary pupils.
- In the mornings your child should leave home in plenty on time to get to the bus so that there is no need to rush, particularly if there are roads to be crossed.
- You should also ensure that your child is dressed appropriately.
- In the afternoon/evenings, a child who has to cross the road after getting off the bus should wait until the bus has driven off before attempting to cross so that they can see and be seen by other traffic. If meeting your child, wherever possible, you should wait at the drop off point itself, and not on the other side of the road.
- A primary pupil will normally only be set down at his/her designated stop in the afternoon. Should there be any change to the normal arrangements, for whatever reason, you should inform the driver or the passenger assistant (if one is provided).
- Where pupils who are taken to their drop off point in the afternoon and are usually collected by a parent/guardian, if there is no one there to collect them, the following procedure will be put in place –
- The driver will wait a maximum of 5 minutes for the parent/guardian to arrive. If there is still no one to collect the child, they will advise the Council’s Transport Unit and their Transport Operator of the situation but in the meantime will keep the pupil(s) on the vehicle and operate the service on its scheduled route so as not to delay other pupils on board.
- On completion of the route, the driver will phone the Council’s Transport Unit and their Transport Operator for further instructions. In the event of being unable to contact the parent/guardian for further instructions, the driver will contact the police on 101.
- Please advise the Council’s Transport Unit of any medical conditions that your child has that may affect his/her transport.
- In cases of inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances, there may be temporary alterations to the transport provided. In some circumstances it may not be possible to operate a route at all, or to serve only part of the route.
- If a school/college transport route does not operate in the morning due to inclement weather conditions but you choose to take your child(ren) to school yourself, then you will be required to make arrangements to collect your child(ren) at the end of the school/college day.
- Please notify the Council’s Transport Unit immediately of any changes to your circumstances such as a change of address. If the bus pass is no longer required, it must be returned immediately to the Council. The continual use of a bus pass when it is no longer valid could be considered fraudulent.
- Travel passes are valuable and replacements will be charged for. Lost passes should be reported immediately to the Council’s Transport Unit, who will advise you how to obtain a replacement.
- If you have any suggestions on how the Code of Conduct may be improved, please direct your feedback to the Council who provides the transport.