Home to school transport Code of Conduct

The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead provides assistance with school transport for many pupils travelling on a large number of different buses, minibuses and taxis each day. We take care to ensure the following so that pupils have a safe and timely journey to school each day.

  • We make full DBS checks on all members of staff employed on school transport services.
  • We provide full training for school transport operators and passenger assistants on how to ensure a safe and pleasant journey to and from school.
  • With the help of parents and schools, we carry out needs and risk assessments on pupils to allow us to make the appropriate arrangements for conveying them safely between home and school.
  • We monitor services to ensure that they are operating on time and in a safe manner.
  • In the event that a significant or permanent change has to be made to the transport arrangements we will notify parents in advance.
  • Treat all pupils in an equal and fair manner.

Your rights as a parent

  • To expect a vehicle which is properly maintained and driven by a qualified person who will treat your child appropriately.
  • To expect transport to arrive on time each day unless there are exceptional reasons as to why this did not happen.
  • To expect a regular driver (wherever possible) to ensure familiarity.
  • To expect a regular passenger assistant (when provided) to ensure continuity of care.
  • To expect to be told of any problems that may have occurred during your child’s journey to and from school.
  • Whenever possible to be told in advance of a temporary change in arrangements.

The rights of the transport company

  • To expect your child to behave responsibly and that you will reinforce the need to do so where necessary.
  • To expect the vehicle to be respected at all times in order to ensure that your child’s safety is not compromised.
  • To let the school or us know if there is a difficulty with behaviour on transport and to ask that appropriate action is taken.

In general, pupils behave in an excellent manner on all of our transport services. However, on occasion, there are some difficulties which are brought to our attention from a variety of sources, such as from the driver of company providing the vehicle, the school, or from other users of the transport.

These can have serious safety implications. Please take the time to read the following points with your child about the behaviour we expect on school transport and what will happen if these rules are not followed.

Please ensure that your child:

  • Behaves properly at all times. Does not fight or cause annoyance to other people.
  • Does not behave in a discriminatory manner towards other people.
  • Keeps noise at a reasonable level.
  • Takes care when boarding and alighting, does not push.
  • Wears a seat belt at all times where one is provided.
  • Remains seated until it is time to get off.
  • After leaving the vehicle, waits until it has moved away before crossing the road.
  • Does not smoke in the vehicle.
  • Does not leave litter.
  • Obeys the instructions of the driver and passenger assistant.

If there are complaints that involve your child we will normally take the following steps:

  • Obtain full details from the complainant.
  • Obtain details from witnesses or others involved.
  • Whether or not the complainant is the pupil’s school, discuss the concerns with the pupil’s school.
  • Contact the parent or guardian of the pupil to ascertain the pupil’s side of the events and discuss the concerns. Where appropriate, such discussion will outline the next steps to be taken, including alerting the parent to the existence of the Behaviour Agreement and possible sanctions.
  • Discuss the findings with a senior officer and decide upon the appropriate consequence. This may be one of the following:
    • Vary the seating in the vehicle permanently or for a set period of time.
    • The police may be asked to investigate and take action as appropriate.
    • You may be expected to meet the cost of repairing any damage caused by your child.

Withdrawal and exclusion from transport

Multiple or serious incidents may lead to an exclusion or permanent withdrawal from home to school transport. Examples of the types of behaviour which will invoke further action are listed below:

Summary of Unacceptable Behaviours

(a) Bullying / intimidation.
(b) Damage to vehicle.
(c) Distracting driver.
(d) Drug abuse.
(e) Failure to follow instructions from driver.
(f) Health and safety breaches.
(g) Inappropriate gestures.
(h) Physical abuse of passengers/driver.
(i) Sitting in stairwell.
(j) Smoking.
(k) Spitting.
(l) Standing forward of driver.
(m) Tampering with emergency equipment, such as emergency exits, CCTV cameras, smoke alarms.
(n) Throwing missiles.
(o) Verbal abuse of passengers/driver.
(p) Using racist or other discriminatory language.

This list is not exhaustive and each incident will be investigated in line with the above guidelines.

Withdrawals or exclusion from home to school transport will be:

(a) temporary; or
(b) permanent at the discretion of the Council having regard to t h e circumstances of the pupil’s behaviour where this has been serious or in persistent cases of misbehaviour.

Each case will be considered on its own merits. Where the provision of home to school transport is withdrawn it will be the responsibility of the parent(s) to pay for travel costs between home and school.

‘Temporary’ shall be for a specified number of weeks (usually this will be for one week but may be longer in more serious cases) and ‘permanent’ shall be for the remainder of the school year or longer, if justified by the circumstances. The
withdrawal of home to school transport (either temporary or permanent) for a particular pupil shall not imply that travel arrangements were not necessary and should not be provided. The withdrawal would be because the pupil’s behaviour
was such that the pupil could no longer take advantage of it.

In the case of applying a permanent or temporary exclusion, you will be advised by letter and be given a minimum of five days notice from the date of the letter. In the most serious of cases, transport will be withdrawn immediately. An example of a serious case would be considered as one where the safety of other passengers and / or driver had been put at significant risk.

For all exclusions, you will be given the opportunity for the decision to be reviewed by a more senior officer. If it is decided to withdraw the exclusion, then a letter will be sent to this effect. Copies of any letter will be sent to your child’s school and the transport company.

Please also note the following general guidance notes that will help ensure that school transport continues to be a safe way to travel to and from school.

  • Arrange to be at the bus stop five minutes before the transport is due.
  • It is your responsibility to take and collect children from the agreed pick-up point.
  • Do not leave pupils unsupervised.
  • In the morning pupils should not wait longer than 15 minutes after the vehicle is due before seeking help. Contact the transport team on 01628 796666 if this is the case.
  • To travel free on a school bus you must have a valid permit. If your child does not show the driver a valid permit he or she may be charged for the journey.
  • Make sure your child knows what to do if the transport is late or does not arrive.
  • Teach your child how to cross the road safely.
  • Make sure your child knows the safest route to/from home if unaccompanied.
  • Ensure your child knows that seat belts, where fitted, must be worn.
  • Beware of coats and bags catching in doors.
  • If you are not sure of the pick up point or time contact the operator in the first instance.