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Home to School Transport Policy

Provision of transport

6.Provision of transport


6.1. For children attending school on a daily basis, travel assistance will only be provided for the beginning and end of the school day.

6.2. For children attending school on a weekly boarding basis, travel assistance will be provided at the beginning and end of the school week, and before and after other periods of closure only.

6.3. For children boarding on a termly placement where the school is not closed at weekends, travel assistance will be limited to the start and end of the school term, half terms and for periods of whole school closure only.

6.4. Where a child attends planned respite provision, we can arrange for school transport to collect or return the student to the respite provision. This should be arranged as soon as dates are known, to minimise disruption to other students.

6.5. Any other journeys required will be the responsibility of parents or carers.

  • Breakfast and After School clubs; transport will not normally be provided to enable students to attend such clubs, which do not form part of the National Curriculum, unless this transport can be provided at no additional cost to the Local Authority;
  • Attendance at annual reviews or parental meetings; transport will not be provided to allow parents to attend such meetings. This is a parental responsibility;
  • School trips; schools must notify the Local Authority of any changes to curriculum times to allow for adjustment to be made. Where additional costs are incurred by the Local Authority, such costs must be reimbursed by the school;
  • Examinations; home to school transport timings may be adjusted to enable early departure from school when students are undertaking national examinations. However, to avoid unnecessary additional costs it is expected that such journeys will be co-ordinated and schools may be asked to retain students for reasonable periods at school after examinations to enable this;
  • Work experience; transport will not normally be provided to allow students to attend work experience;
  • Induction days / observation days / taster days; transport may be made available to allow students to attend Induction (or similar) days at special schools, resourced provision or independent schools which the Local Authority is considering naming in the child or young person’s EHCP;
  • Curriculum appointments; transport will not be provided to allow parents to attend such meetings. This is a parental responsibility;
  • Doctors, dental or hospital appointments; transport will not be adjusted to allow students to attend such appointments. This is a parental responsibility;
  • Clinical, psychiatric or therapy appointments; transport will not be adjusted to allow students to attend such appointments. This is a parental responsibility;
  • Illness; transport will not normally be provided to collect children who are ill at school. This is a parental responsibility;
  • Detention; transport will not be provided to take children home after detentions. This is a parental responsibility;
  • Any other similar circumstance.

In these circumstances, it is the parents’ responsibility to arrange transport.


Pick up and Drop off arrangements

6.6. Transport providers are authorised to make pick-ups and drop-offs at authorised points only. The authorised points will be those specified on the parental agreement letter (normally the home and school address, or in the case of bus journeys, an allocated bus stop).

6.7. Transport staff will assist a child or young person to board a vehicle by steadying them, but cannot lift a child or young person into the vehicle. If a child or young person cannot board without such assistance, consideration must be given to whether they would be more able to travel in a crash-tested wheelchair or similar. It is unlikely that a parent would be allowed to lift a child or young person into the vehicle as most schools also operate a ‘no lifting’ policy which would cause the passenger to be unable to exit the vehicle, or to board for the return journey.

6.8. All children and young people must be handed over to a responsible adult at the authorised point. Drivers and Passenger Assistants are not permitted to leave children and young people with any person under the age of 16, or any person who is not an ‘authorised’ adult. Parents and carers are expected to bring their child to the vehicle in the morning and collect from the vehicle in the afternoon.

6.9. Where pupils are picked up or dropped-off at home, the parent or carer is responsible for accompanying the pupil to and from their door to the vehicle. The parent or carer should keep a lookout for the vehicle’s arrival since the vehicle will not sound its horn. It is against the law to sound a horn from a stationary vehicle. In exceptional circumstances (for example, where the child travels alone in a taxi with a passenger assistant) the passenger assistant may call at the door or telephone ahead, although this is at the discretion of the transport crew. Any variation to the usual procedure must be agreed with the controller.

6.10. Parents and carers must ensure that there are no delays in making pupils available for the journey (or collecting them in the evenings) as this is one of the main factors affecting total journey times and can have a detrimental effect on how other passengers manage the remainder of their journey.

6.11. Parents are asked on the application form to provide two alternative addresses, to be used in the event they are unable to be present to meet their child. Any changes to these addresses, whether permanent or temporary, must be communicated in writing to the London Borough of Sutton’s SEN Transport Team who will make the necessary arrangements. Until such communication is received, the only other authorised place will be the nearest place of safety; see below for details.


Absence from school

6.12. Where a child cannot attend school on any particular day, for example due to illness, it is the parent or carers’ responsibility to contact the transport company immediately. For long term absences, parents should contact the Transport Team.

6.13. Parents should contact their respective transport company the night before travel if they know that their child will be off ill the following day, or as early as possible on the morning of travel, if their child only shows signs of being ill on the day they are due to travel.

6.14. All transport which is not cancelled in advance of the vehicle arriving at the home address must be paid for by the London Borough of Sutton whether or not the pupil boards the vehicle. Where parents repeatedly fail to cancel the transport provision for their child as a result of the child’s illness before it arrives at the home address, or where a child decides not to travel in transport which has arrived on any given day, without any prior notice having been given to the transport company, the child’s transport provision will be reviewed.

6.15. If it can be established that public funds are being used inappropriately, as a result of vehicles not being cancelled with enough prior warning, children may be excluded from transport for a period of time. Parents will be responsible for transporting their own children during any period of exclusion from transport.


Place of Safety

6.16. In the event that a parent or carer is unable to meet the child at the specified drop- off point at the agreed time, transport providers are instructed to take children to the nearest place of safety. Currently, this place of safety is: Sutton Family Centre, Sutton West, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, SM1 2SD

Tel: (020) 8770 5739

6.17. Parents, schools and the Transport providers will receive instructions from the London Borough of Sutton on what to do if this happens. Transport assistance may be withdrawn if this happens frequently. Parents or schools should contact the Transport Team if there are any emergency changes.


Severe weather

6.18. Overall responsibility for the safe running of the transport service rests with the Transport Manager. However, it is expected that each transport provider and each school or college will assess local conditions and make decisions based on those conditions and their knowledge of the passengers involved.

6.19. Where schools inform the Transport Team that the school will be closed, transport to that school will be cancelled. For Sutton schools, and those in many other Local Authorities, the school’s status can be checked online. Visit the opencheck website for school status (external link). 

6.20. In cases of severe weather, where parents and carers are advised that transport has been cancelled for their child’s morning journey, they should assume that transport will also be cancelled for their child’s afternoon journey, unless they are advised otherwise. If parents or carers decide to take their child to school despite the severe weather, they will also need to arrange to collect their child after school.


Medication on transport

6.21. As part of the service, we require that every driver and passenger assistant is able to respond to an emergency situation. Although there is no statutory duty for transport staff to administer medication, they are expected to ensure the health and safety of all pupils in their care. First-aid training includes: managing the symptoms of shock; dealing with an unconscious casualty; cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation; choking; and seizures.

6.22. In the event of an emergency on board a vehicle, the procedure is for the passenger assistant or driver to seek guidance from medical professionals by calling 999 and asking for a paramedic crew to attend the scene.

6.23. Members of transport staff are not generally permitted to carry or administer medication or to replace medical accessories (for example, gastrostomy or tracheostomy tubes) on board a vehicle. Where it is assessed to be unsafe for a pupil with complex or acute medical needs to travel with only a passenger assistant, the London Borough of Sutton will seek to provide a medically-trained professional, such as a nurse, to accompany the pupil on the vehicle. A risk assessment will be undertaken to ensure the correct level of medical support can be arranged.