Code of conduct for pupils with special educational needs
1. Always be ready on time, as transport can only wait a maximum of 3 minutes after the agreed pick-up time. If your child is not ready to be collected then the vehicle will continue its journey, and you will be responsible for getting your child to school that day. If you do take your child into school in the morning but would like us to bring them home at the end of the school day, then you must contact us to request this before mid-day so that the transport operator can be updated accordingly.
2. If your child is unwell, has an appointment, is refusing to go to school/college or you need to cancel transport for any other reason, you must inform the SEN transport team at the earliest opportunity. Please note that if you do cancel your child’s transport in the morning, then the afternoon journey will also be automatically cancelled unless you request otherwise.
3. Continual failure to notify the SEN transport planning team of your child/young person’s absence could result in transport being withdrawn. In some cases, a recharge for the service may be passed onto the parent/carer where there has been persistent failure to notify non-attendance.
4. Please ensure that there is always a responsible adult ready to meet your child at the set down point at the end of the school day. If you are going to be late to receive your child/young person due to unforeseen exceptional circumstances, then you must contact the SEN transport team as soon as possible to discuss the situation and to avoid unnecessary distress if your child/young person arrives before you do.
5. For safety reasons, the driver will always stop at the nearest accessible and safe point to the pupils’ house or school and the driver/passenger assistant will always remain on/near the vehicle. Parents and school staff are responsible for escorting a pupil to and from the vehicle.
6. For safety reasons if a seat belt/harness is available it must be always worn. If there is a passenger assistant on the vehicle, they will help the pupil to a seat and assist with any seat belts or harnesses. Pupils must remain seated throughout the journey, kneeling or standing on seats is not permitted.
7. Drivers/passenger assistants are not medically trained and cannot administer prescribed medication. In a medical emergency they will park the vehicle safely and dial 999 to request an ambulance.
8. If your child has a significant medical condition that might require medical intervention or the use of rescue medication on transport, then you are responsible for notifying us at the earliest opportunity to ensure your child is kept safe. This may include your child suffering from fits or seizures, or if they have any serious allergies where an EpiPen may be required.
9. Pupils should only engage and speak to the vehicle driver in an emergency or when they are not driving. Excessive noise or distraction may disturb the driver and could cause an accident.
10. Please make sure the pupil knows that they will not be able to exit the vehicle until it has stopped and the driver and/or passenger assistant have ensured that it is safe to do so. If school staff are not ready to receive the pupil, then they are expected to remain securely on the vehicle.
11. If the vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident, the pupil must always follow any instructions given by the driver and/or passenger assistant.
12. Pupils’ personal belongings will be stored safely, and they must be prepared to leave them behind in case of an emergency.
13. Unacceptable behaviour due to verbal and/or physical abuse towards anyone in or outside the vehicle or damage to the vehicle will not be tolerated and may result in a short-term or permanent exclusion from transport. In such situations, the SEN Transport Team will work with all involved to seek a solution. A pupil will only be returned to transport when all parties have agreed that the unacceptable behaviour has improved or will not be repeated.
14. Smoking on a vehicle is illegal.
15. Eating and drinking on the vehicle is not allowed – unless it is for an urgent medical reason.
16. Broken or unsuitable items (including laser light pens) will not be allowed on the vehicle.
17. Should any pupil cause damage to the vehicle; we will claim the full cost of the repairs from parents/carers.
18. Routes are planned to keep journey times to a minimum. Unfortunately, we cannot consider requests to alter journey routes or times if will impact on the cost of the contract, or on other pupils travelling on the vehicle. No alterations should be made to any route unless authorised by the SEN Transport Planning Team, as this may affect future scheduling and invalidate insurance provision.
19. Please inform the SEN Transport Planning Team if you have any concerns regarding transport provision or there are any changes in your child’s needs. Should there be any significant change in circumstance (e.g., change of contact details, change of address, change of school or if your child will not be travelling for an extended), please inform the SEN Transport Planning Team at the earliest opportunity. A change of address or a change of school will require you to submit a new application for travel assistance to be assessed for ongoing eligibility.
20. Our aim to provide continuity on SEN transport whenever possible and keep any disruptions to a minimum. However, all our transport contracts are subject to review, and we cannot guarantee to provide the same type of transport e.g., operator/vehicle//driver/passenger assistant for your child throughout the whole academic year. When a change of contract provision is required, we will always endeavour to advise you well in advance of any change which will allow you time to prepare your child.
21. Due to any unforeseen circumstances beyond our control e.g., Vehicle breakdowns, accidents, or driver/passenger assistant sickness, your child’s transport to school may need to be cancelled at short notice. We are not always able to give prior notification but, every effort will be made by us to restore the service as soon as possible. During such times, it will be a parent/carers responsibility to convey their child to and from school.
22. We will provide any standard equipment that is required including harnesses, booster seats, standard cars seats and standard wheelchair restraints. Where a child is required to wear a harness, it will be provided on the understanding that the parents / school will be responsible for securing the child in the harness prior to each journey.
23. Children are expected to travel on shared transport whenever possible and solo transport will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.
24. All SEN transport provision is subject to annual review, and you may also be asked to provide appropriate evidence to demonstrate ongoing eligibility.
25. The Council will not be held responsible for any lost or damaged property or costs associated with its replacement.
Last updated 01 November 2022