Transportation
Policy 2021

Forming part of: Giant Steps Tasmania’s Health and Safety Manual

TRANSPORTATION POLICY 2021

Forming part of: Giant Steps Tasmania’s Health and Safety Manual

Policy Statement

Giant Steps Tasmania transports school-aged students to and from school and to and from excursions on three buses owned by the school. The maximum number of passengers allowed on the two smaller buses is eleven (plus the driver). The maximum number of passengers allowed on the larger bus is twenty (plus the driver).

Students are picked up from and delivered to a designated area at the start and end of the day. The time of the pick-up and delivery of students is dependent on the location.

In the mornings, buses may delay departure from the pick-up area for a maximum of 10 minutes, if a parent/ carer has called the driver before the scheduled pick-up time to advise that they are running late. In the afternoons, students are dropped off at the same designated area.

Parents/ Carers accompany student to the bus and meet them from the bus.

Purpose

The aim of this policy is to ensure the safe transportation of students and staff on journeys between the home pick-up point and Giant Steps Tasmania and on excursions organised by Giant Steps Tasmania where Giant Steps Tasmania buses are used.

Implementation

Transportation to and from Giant Steps Tasmania is available for students aged 5 and above.

Giant Steps Tasmania requires, at the time of the student’s admission, photo ID of any parent/ carer allowed to pick up a student. If there is any change to the person picking up the student, the parent/ carer must inform the Principal, who will ensure that the information is passed on to the driver, and the person picking up the student must show the bus driver photographic ID before s/ he is allowed to collect the student.

If the student is residing in a Group Home or staying in respite, the member of staff collecting the student must show the driver photographic ID that proves that s/ he is an employee of the Group Home.

Students and staff must not eat on the school buses. Students and staff may drink water only on the school buses.

Each school bus is checked daily for road-worthiness by a driver designated by the Principal to carry out these checks.

Bus Drivers (whether employed in this capacity, or acting in this capacity because designated by the Principal) and Bus Supervisors (whether employed in this capacity, or acting in this capacity because designated by the Principal) have primary responsibility for ensuring the safety of Giant Steps Tasmania students on journeys between students’ home pick-up points and the school and on school excursions. (Refer to Transportation: Start/ End of the Day procedures)

Drivers of Giant Steps Tasmania buses must be over 25 years of age, have a clean driving record and be approved by the Principal.

Prospective Drivers must submit a National Police Certificate to the Principal before they can transport students.

Administration ensures that Bus Drivers have a Contact List with students’ names, parent/ carer names, details of respite care/ Group Homes students attend and relevant phone numbers.

Bus Drivers must drive conservatively and defensively, keeping to the speed limits and adhering to traffic advisories. The safety of Giant Steps Tasmania’s students and staff must be the driver’s priority at all times.

Administration ensures that a copy of Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures is kept on each bus and is easily accessible.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the bus is equipped with a First Aid Kit and that they give the kit to the Administration Assistant monthly to be checked and re-stocked as necessary.

Bus Drivers must ensure that they have a lockable container in which to place students’ medication delivered to them by parents/ carers or respite care and Group Home employees.

Bus Drivers must ensure that they have a safely-stowed Spill Kit in their bus.

A spill kit contains:

A bucket filled with the necessary equipment to clean up a spill, including:

  • Disposable gloves
  • Paper towels
  • Disposable cloths or sponge
  • Detergent
  • Disposable scraper and pan
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Disinfectant

It is the Bus Driver’s responsibility to ensure the Spill Kit is properly stocked and safely stowed. Drivers order supplies through Administration when supplies are running low/ wearing out.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the bus has sufficient fuel for the journey.

Bus Drivers must have zero blood alcohol/ drug content when they are driving a school bus, irrespective of whether or not there are students on board.

Bus Drivers must follow the same route between the home pick-up point and school and between school and the home drop-off point, unless there are diversions in place.

Bus Drivers must not interact with students. If a driver has concerns that a student’s behaviour may impact on safety, s/he must speak to a Bus Supervisor.

Bus Drivers must not speak to Bus Supervisors while the bus is moving, unless it is essential to preserve the safety of the students.

Bus Drivers must ensure that the school mobile phone is on the bus and that it is charged and switched on. The Bus Driver must give the phone to a Bus Supervisor before starting to drive.

The following people may be designated by the Principal, or his delegate, as Bus Supervisors:

  • Permanent staff who are paid to act as Bus Supervisors.
  • Casual staff who are paid to act as Relief Bus Supervisors.

The following staff may not be designated as Bus Supervisors:

Volunteers

Bus Supervisors are responsible for all interactions with the students and for ensuring that the students are calm and not over-stimulated on the journey.

When supervising students who may self-stimulate on the bus, Bus Supervisors should aim to distract the student and/or replace the activity.

Bus Supervisors are responsible for Risk Assessing students and determining whether they are fit to travel. Agitated students and students who are known to have experienced vomiting and/ or diarrhoea since leaving school the previous day, or who did experience vomiting and/ or diarrhoea at school the previous day will not be allowed to travel into school. (Please refer Recognising and Responding to Contagious Diseases)

Students are allowed to bring games and devices with age-appropriate games and music loaded onto them. If the music or games are not age-appropriate, the Bus Supervisors will deal with the matter from school by contacting the parent/ carer and reminding them of this policy. The Bus Supervisors will not attempt to remove the device from the student during the journey.

Students are not allowed to bring mobile phones that can connect to the Internet onto the school bus. If a student does bring a mobile phone that can connect to the Internet, the Bus Supervisors will deal with the matter from school by contacting the parent/ carer and reminding them of this policy. The Bus Supervisors will not attempt to remove the phone from the student during the journey.

It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to make sure that all passengers wear seat belts at all times on the bus. Some students need to wear a Buckle Guard or Harness when travelling on the bus for their own safety. (Please refer Transportation: Buckle Guard and Harness Procedures). It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to ensure these are fastened correctly.

It is the Bus Supervisors’ responsibility to make sure that no passenger stands while the bus is moving.

In the event of a Traffic Accident occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures. A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus.

In the event of a Medical Emergency occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures. A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus.

In the event of a Behavioural Incident occurring during the journey to/ from school or on an excursion, staff must follow the Transportation: Accident and Emergency Procedures. A copy of this document is kept by the Bus Driver on each bus.

In the event of an emergency occurring at Giant Steps Tasmania before the buses have arrived at school in the morning or when one or more of the buses is carrying students out on an excursion, the Principal (or a member of staff designated by him) will contact each bus and instruct the driver as to an appropriate course of action (e.g. to take the students to an alternative venue until it is safe to return to school.

Buses may be borrowed by Giant Steps Tasmania’s staff with the permission of the Principal. Smoking on the bus is not allowed and drivers must have zero blood alcohol/ drug content when they are driving a school bus, irrespective of whether or not there are students on the bus.

Authorised by:

Position:

Chair of Board

Signature:

Date revisions accepted:

Original policy developed by:

Chris Jacobsen

Position:

(Previously) Education Administrator

Date Original Policy developed:

Feb-May 2016

Date of first review:

June, 2017

Date of last review:

July - August, 2019

Staff consultation period:

July - August 20121

Revisions prepared by:

Chris Jacobsen, Fairlight Educational Consulting

Date of next review:

August 2023