Pupil behaviour on school transport

Guidelines for managing pupil behaviour on school transport

Aims

The aims of the Council are to ensure that:

  1. home to school transport for young people in Calderdale is as safe and secure as is possible;
  2. it operates to the advantage of all of the pupils;
  3. it works to the advantage of road users, bystanders, the general public and Calderdale Council.

Principles of the guidelines

These guidelines are underpinned by the following principles:

  1. that school staff, pupils, parents, operators, drivers, escorts, governors, the Council and West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (WYPTE) will work in partnership to achieve the aims set out above;
  2. that all children and young people who are provided with transport will be able to travel in a safe, secure, non-threatening and civilised environment;
  3. that all the partners in home to school/college transport will be aware of their role and their responsibilities, as well as their entitlements;
  4. that the guidelines will be monitored, evaluated and reviewed on a regular basis.

Entitlements and responsibilities of the partners

  1. In order to meet the aims of the Council, partners need to work together.  Entitlements can only be met where all partners also fulfil their responsibilities.  It is important, therefore, to ensure that there is a range of consequences and/or sanctions which can be applied where one or more partners fail to fulfil their responsibilities.  This should ensure that entitlements are maintained and that transport meets the needs of all users.
  2. Where there is need to complain about the application of any sanction then procedures outlined in the Incident Reporting procedure should be followed.  Copies are available from the Access and School Planning team

Sumary of key entitlements for each partner:

Partner Key entitlements
Calderdale MBC Support from other partners.
Information for monitoring purposes.
Information from schools on withdrawal of travelling privileges (short term).
Consultation/agreement on withdrawal of travelling privileges (long term).
West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro) Support from other partners.
Consulted by the Council in evaluating and reviewing guidelines.
Operators, Drivers and Escorts Support from other partners.
Consulted by the Council in evaluating and reviewing guidelines.
Schools Support from other partners.
Transport provided for its pupils.  Consulted by the Council in evaluating and reviewing guidelines.
Parents/Carers Informed of transport and behaviour guidelines.
Involved and consulted on transport issues.
Listened to regarding concerns.
Assured of safe, secure and non-threatening transport provision.
Co-operation and support from school.
Informed of consequences of child's behaviour.
Pupils

Informed of transport and behaviour guidelines.
Informed of conduct expectations.
A safe, secure and non threatening transport provision.
A good service on the school transport by the Council.
Listened to views and concerns.
Treated consistently and fairly.
Informed of consequences of poor behaviour.

Summary of key responsibilities of each partner

Partner Key responsibilities
Calderdale MBC Supporting partners.
Maintaining data on behaviour.
Ensuring contact compliance.
Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing guidelines.
Ensuring a safe, secure and non threatening environment on school transport provision.
Communicating guidelines to all partners.
West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro) Supporting partners.
Investigating and reporting incidents.
Providing safe and secure transport at all times.
Ensuring staff are adequately trained.
Ensuring vehicles are maintained and licensed.
Organisation and management of school transport.
Delivering service in accordance with contract.
Monitoring pupil conduct.
Monitoring standards of transport provision.
Work and support relevant partners on various transport initiatives.
Operators, Driver and Escorts Supporting partners.
Providing safe and secure transport at all times.
Ensuring that staff are adequately trained.
Ensuring vehicles are maintained and licensed.
Liaising on the organisation and management of school transport.
Nominate a named person for behaviour on transport issues.
Delivering service in accordance with contract.
Monitoring conduct of pupils whilst travelling.
Reporting incidents.
Schools Supporting partners.
Nominate key person in school as contact.
Logging incidents and informing the Council.
Liaising on the organisation and management of school transport.
Making arrangements for safe boarding and alighting of pupils.
Raise awareness of behaviour guidelines with pupils and parents.
Incorporating behaviour on school transport within the school’s behaviour policy.
Investigating complaints about behaviour on transport.
Provide Information to Council on withdrawal of travel (short term).
Consult with Council on withdrawal of travelling privileges (long term).
Parent/Carers Supporting partners.
Ensuring pupil conducts themselves in accordance with behaviour expectations.
Support positive resolutions where problems arise.
Paying for any damage caused by pupil.
Acting as a good role model to encourage positive behaviour.
Ensuring that pupil has their bus pass/fare available for travel.
Pupils Conduct.
Respecting the rights and feelings of others.
Complying with the guidelines.
Assisting schools and the Council in any investigations.
Having correct fare/bus pass at all times.

Summary of unacceptable behaviours

  1. Multiple or serious incidents may lead to an immediate exclusion, irrespective of the child's statutory entitlement.  Examples of the types of behaviour which will invoke a sanction are listed below:
  • bullying/intimidation;
  • damage to vehicle;
  • distracting driver;
  • drug abuse;
  • failure to follow instructions from driver;
  • health and safety breaches;
  • inappropriate gestures;
  • physical abuse of passengers/driver;
  • sitting in stairwell;
  • smoking;
  • spitting;
  • standing forward of driver;
  • tampering with safety equipment, such as emergency exits, CCTV cameras, smoke alarms;
  • throwing missiles;
  • verbal abuse of passengers/driver.

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

Principles guiding the use of sanctions

  1. The Council will publicise to all partners, clearly and accessibly, their relevant entitlements and responsibilities, and outline to them the consequences of any failure to comply with their responsibilities.
  2. A sanction should only be applied after investigation of an incident.
  3. Sanctions should be fair and appropriate to the seriousness of the incident(s)/behaviour(s) which led to their application.
  4. The procedure by which a sanction is applied should ensure that the pupil is informed about the reasons for its imposition.  The parent/carer should also be informed.
  5. There should be the highest possible degree of predictability in the application of sanctions, and those pupils who breach their responsibilities should be clearly aware of the consequences of such breaches.  It is anticipated that each school may wish to incorporate behaviour on transport into its own behaviour policy remit.
  6. The most serious sanctions will not be applied until all other sanctions have been tried and have demonstrably failed, unless the incident is so serious that it would be appropriate to apply a more serious sanction immediately, including withdrawal of a bus pass on a fixed-term or permanent basis.
  7. In the most serious of cases, transport privileges will be withdrawn on a permanent basis without a substitution of alternative arrangements.
  8. All long-term sanctions which include removal of transport should be subject to regular review.
  9. Where a sanction has been applied, parents/carers have access to an appropriate form of complaint, representation or appeal procedure.

Factors which need to be considered in applying sanctions

The following are factors to consider when applying sanctions:

  1. the seriousness of the incident/behaviour and its impact on others;
  2. the frequency of such incidents/behaviours by the pupil;
  3. consideration should also be given to the:
  • age and understanding of the pupil;
  • any Special Educational Needs the pupil may have;
  • degree of peer or other pressure;
  • nature of incident/behaviour and whether it was perpetrated alone, or as a part of a group;
  • the intention of the pupil;
  • the pupil's emotional state;
  • the pupil's behavioural history on school transport;
  • the circumstances preceding the incident;
  • the impact of the behaviour on others and/or property;
  • the interventions/strategies used by the school and/or others to manage/change the pupil's behaviour.

Incident reporting procedure

  1. The following is the procedure that will be followed where an incident has occurred on home to school transport.  The procedure covers pupils who are entitled to free home to school transport assistance provided by Calderdale Council and those who use Council contracted services or commercial bus services on a fare-paying basis.
  2. When an incident occurs, the bus driver should take all reasonable steps to identify the pupils involved and any witnesses.  Full details of the incident should be reported by the bus driver to the WYPTE (Metro) without delay, using the standard report form provided.  If the bus driver decides to report an incident to the police the operator should also report the incident to Metro.
  3. On receiving a report from an operator, Metro should forward a copy to the school(s) concerned and the Council within five working days.
  4. On receiving a report from Metro, the school should investigate the incident as appropriate on the information available.  Bus operators should give all reasonable assistance to the school in the investigation.
  5. If any sanctions sit within the school's disciplinary procedures the school should invoke the appropriate sanction.  If the sanction involves withdrawing school transport the school should discuss the issue with the Council.
  6. Schools and bus operators should not withdraw school transport from a pupil before discussing the matter with the Council.
  7. Approval by the Access Team, Children and Young People's Services, must be sought in all cases where transport is to be removed for more than five days.
  8. Metro should record the incident and the response for monitoring purposes and convey the outcome to the Council.  Where appropriate the Council will send a letter to the parents/guardians.
  9. Where a pupil's behaviour on transport is causing concern, he/she will be advised of the consequences of a failure to improve such behaviour.  The parent/carer should also be kept informed.
  10. Where there are three repeated incidents within a school year, the Council will withdraw transport assistance.  The Council will be asked to consider withdrawal of transport provision for a reasonable period of time according to the circumstances.
  11. Where a decision to withdraw transport has been made, parents of the pupil(s) will be notified in writing by the Council setting out the reasons for the decision and the duration of the exclusion from transport.  Parents will be given the opportunity to appeal against the decision to the Principal Officer responsible for transport.

Entitlements and responsibilities

Partner Entitlements Responsibilities

Calderdale MBC

To:

Support from other partners in school transport in implementing, maintaining and reviewing the pupil behaviour on school transport guidelines.

Information from other partners about serious behaviour problems on school transport, for monitoring purposes.

Information from school's nominated person on withdrawal of travel (short term).

Consultation/agreement on withdrawal of travelling privileges (long term).

For

Supporting other partners in school transport in relation to the policy and guidelines.

Maintaining data on serious behaviour problems on school transport.

Ensuring contract compliance.

Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing the policy and guidelines and practices and procedures.

Ensuring that all behaviour problems on school transport are properly addressed.

Ensuring that pupils are provided with a safe, secure, non-threatening and civilised environment on school transport.

Communication of details about policy and guidelines to parents, schools, operators and other relevant parties.

Consequences:
Complaints from school
Complaints from operators
Complaints from parents and pupils
Appeals from parents

West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro)

To:

Support from other partners in school transport in implementing the guidelines.

Be consulted by the Council in evaluating and reviewing the guidelines.

For:

Supporting other partners in relation to the guidelines.

Investigating and reporting incidents and concerns on behaviour to the Council.

Providing safe and secure transport at all times by ensuring that staff are adequately trained and licensed, and that vehicles are adequately maintained and licensed.

Aiming to achieve consistency in dealings with pupils. Liaising with schools, the Council and WYPTE to ensure the smooth organisation and management of school transport.

Nominating a named person to take a lead on behaviour on transport issues.

Delivering a service in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Carry out monitoring visits with the Council to assess the conduct of pupils whilst on the vehicle.

Monitoring standards of transport provision and pupils behaviour, where necessary.

Work and support relevant partners on various transport initiatives, devising appropriate solutions to issues relating to school transport.

Consequences:
Complaints from school
Complaints from operators
Complaints from the Council Complaints from parents and pupils

Operators, Drivers and Escorts

To:

Support from other partners in school transport in implementing the guidelines.

Be consulted by the Council in evaluating and reviewing the guidelines.

For:

Supporting other partners in relation to the guidelines.

Reporting relevant incidents and concerns to the Council, WYPTE (operators) or other relevant body (eg police), as appropriate.

Providing safe and secure transport at all times by ensuring that staff are adequately trained and licensed, and that vehicles are adequately maintained and licensed.

Aiming to achieve consistency in dealings with pupils. Liaising with schools, the Council and WYPTE to ensure the smooth organisation and management of school transport.

Nominating a named person to take a lead on behaviour on transport issues.

Delivering a service in accordance with the terms of the contract.

Monitoring the conduct of pupils whilst on the vehicle and maintaining appropriate levels of pupil behaviour.

Consequences:
Complaints from parents and pupils, schools, the Council
Loss of good reputation
Report to Vehicle Inspectorate
Withdrawal of contract

Schools

To:

Support from other partners in school transport in relation to the guidelines.

School transport being provided for its pupils in compliance with the conditions of contract.

Be consulted by the Council in the process of evaluating and reviewing the guidelines.

For:

Supporting other partners in relation to pupil behaviour on school transport issues.

Nominating a key person in school who will act as a contact in relation to school behaviour on transport issues. Logging reported incidents in school and informing the Council of relevant incidents, and to investigate such problems as appropriate.

Liaising with the Council to ensure the smooth organisation and running of school transport.

Assisting in developing the understanding of pupils (and parents where appropriate) in relation to behaviour on school transport issues.

Informing the Council of withdrawal of travelling privileges from a student (short term).

Consult with the Council and gaining agreement prior to any long-term withdrawal of a student's travelling privilege. Incorporating behaviour on school transport within the school's behaviour policy.

Investigating complaints about behaviour on transport.

Making arrangements for the managed and safe boarding and alighting of pupils.

Consequences:
Complaints from residents
Complaints from operators
Complaints from the Council
Complaints from parents and pupils

Parents/carers (also see pupil entries)

To:

Be made aware of the Council's Home to School Transport Policy and Guidelines on School Transport.

Be involved and consulted where there are problems on school transport and to share in the solution.

Be listened to where they have concerns and, where appropriate, register complaints.

Be assured that transport in a safe, secure, non threatening and civilised environment will be provided.

Be made aware of the details of home to school transport arrangements.

To support, assistance and co-operation from other partners in school transport. Be made aware of the consequences of their child's poor behaviour.

For:

Supporting the Council, school and operator in applying the policy and guidelines.

Supporting a positive resolution where there are problems on school transport which include their child/children, eg attending school meetings, etc.

Paying for the making good of damage caused by vandalism/criminal activity which involves their child/children.

Ensuring that their child/children conduct themselves in accordance with the expectations of the school and the Council policy and guidelines. This may include meeting with the school to discuss problems and in some cases, entering into a voluntary agreement between them, the school and the pupil, to manage the situation positively.

Acting as a good role model to their child/children and encourage good positive behaviour.

Ensuring that their child/children always have their bus pass available for use on school transport.

Consequences:
Charge for replacement pass
Charge for making good of damage caused through acts of vandalism
Short and long-term withdrawal of transport
Refusal of travel if no pass carried

Pupils (also see Parents/Carers entries)

To:

Support from other partners in relation to the implementation of the aims of policy.

A safe, secure, non threatening and civilised environment on school transport.

Have their views and concerns listened to and addressed, as appropriate.

Be treated consistently and fairly.

Be made aware of the guidelines and their school and Council's expectations of the behaviour and conduct expected on transport and the sanctions which may be applied where these expectations are not met.

A good 'service' on the school transport provided by the Council.

Be made aware of the seriousness of their behaviour where there are problems, and the possible consequences arising from such.

For:

Conducting themselves at all times in a safe, orderly, courteous and responsible manner.

Respecting the rights and feelings of others, including other passengers, drivers and escorts, bystanders and other road users.

Complying with the guidelines issued to pupils by the WYPTE and any such issued by the school.

Assisting schools and the Council in any investigations related to behaviour on transport problems.

To carry and show bus passes at all times when using school transport.

Consequences:
Letters of complaint to parents / carers from school and / or the Council
The range of normal school-based sanctions, which may include exclusion, detention, withdrawal of privilege etc
Short and long-term withdrawal of transport
Charge for making good of damage caused through acts of vandalism
Possible police action in appropriate cases
Refusal of travel if no pass carried
The loss of transport privileges on a permanent basis in the most serious of cases

PDFGuidelines for managing pupil behaviour on school transport [PDF 111KB]