What to expect if your child receives SEND school transport
We will keep your child safe by requiring all drivers and passenger assistants to undertake mandatory child protection and safeguarding and disability awareness training. All drivers and passenger assistants have an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
We will make sure that all operators who work on council contracts are checked to ensure they have:
- business continuity plans
- correct insurance
- relevant operating licences
We will monitor our contracts with operators to ensure that the service provided is safe, reliable and meets your child’s needs.
If you have any questions about the quality of the service you receive, we’ll investigate and respond to you as quickly as we can.
How to identify Buckinghamshire Council contracted staff
You can identify our contracted staff as:
- drivers who work for bus or coach operators will carry badges with yellow edging
- drivers and passenger assistants who work for taxi operators will carry badges with blue edging
- drivers and passenger assistants who work on wheelchair accessible vehicles must wear badges with red edging
You may ask to see the driver or passenger assistant’s Buckinghamshire Council ID badge at any time. If a driver or passenger assistant cannot produce their badge, do not let your child travel in the vehicle and let us know immediately on 01296 387 439.
Staff are made aware of your child’s needs
We will ensure that your child’s travel needs are shared with the operator.
The transport operator will:
- make sure that their transport crews are fully aware of your child’s travel needs assessment
- arrange for you and your child to meet the transport crew before the transport starts.
The operator will be in touch with you to set this up. Where emergency transport provision has been arranged, this meeting may take place by telephone.
Getting your child to or from school
We will provide transport between your child’s registered home address and the agreed school or setting.
The transport will not go to another address, for example, a childminders house.
Transport operators aim to provide the same driver and passenger assistant for consistency for our passengers, but due to breakdown or illness this may not always be possible.
If a driver, passenger assistant or vehicle has to change at short notice because of breakdown or illness, the operator will let you know as soon as possible.
Changes to pick up or drop off points
Due to route planning, it is not possible to change pick-up and drop-off times to take into account your family commitments.
It may be necessary to change times if other children are added or taken off of a route.
Health and safety
Keeping your child safe
Drivers will follow all driving and traffic regulations including, but not limited to, those prohibiting the use of mobile telephones when driving.
Our operators will transport a reasonable amount of luggage and medical equipment where required for passengers. For example a:
- small suitcase
- regular school bag
- standard-sized airline suitcase (for boarders only)
Personal effects must be stowed away safely by the driver.
Transport crews can carry required prescribed medication on board but will not administer it. Medication must be in a clearly marked container with clear instructions.
In an emergency, medication will be administered by trained paramedics.
How you can help us
Ensuring you’re on time
You should make sure that your child is ready 5 minutes prior to the agreed pick-up time each morning.
Operators are instructed to wait up to 5 minutes after the agreed pick-up time, but will then leave. If this happens, it will be your responsibility to get your child to school.
There may be times when operators are unavoidably delayed. You should allow for up to 10 minutes delay in these cases. If the delay is longer than 10 minutes, the transport crew should contact you if safe to do so.
Getting into the vehicle
You should accompany your child to and from the vehicle and fit their seatbelt or car seat.
Taxi transport crew are not authorised to enter your house.
Drivers and passenger assistants should not leave their vehicle or other passengers unattended.
Seatbelts, lap belts and restraints
If your child travels in a wheelchair, the driver and passenger assistant are responsible for fastening the tie-down restraints securely, but we ask that you secure the lap belt.
The driver may ask for your help to encourage your child to wear their seatbelt. If your child refuses to wear their seatbelt:
- the driver will refuse to transport your child, as it is illegal and unsafe
- you’ll have to arrange alternative transport until a review of their travel assessment can be completed
When your child returns home
You must be at home to meet your child when they return home from school.
If you’re not at home when your child is returning from school the driver or passenger assistant will notify us to seek advice.
If you cannot be contacted, we may redirect the transport to a place of safety where your child can be kept in a safe environment until you can be located.
If you know that you will not be at home at the pick-up and drop-off times, you’ll have to make alternative arrangements to transport your child to and from school.
Changes to your child’s needs
You should let us know as soon as possible if there are any changes to your child’s needs which could affect their transport provision. For example:
- a change of timetable at your child’s school or college
- medical changes
- moving house and change of address
If transport is not required on a particular day, please try to give your operator at least one working day’s notice of the cancellation.
If the school is closed
In the event of extreme weather you should monitor the school closures webpage to ensure the school or setting is open.
If in doubt, you should contact your transport operator for advice.
If you’re moving house
If you're moving house within Buckinghamshire, you should notify the Buckinghamshire integrated SEND team at least six weeks before you move.
If your child’s address changes, the Buckinghamshire integrated SEND team will determine whether your child remains eligible for home to school transport from the new address.
Buckinghamshire integrated SEND team
Telephone: 01296 382 269
Online: Contact SEN
If we receive a new referral from the Buckinghamshire integrated SEND team for your new address, it will take up to 15 working days to put new transport arrangements in place.
Help and support
If you would like to discuss your child's transport arrangements, you can contact school transport.