TRANSPORTATION POLICY 2019

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 only 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 as Bus Supervisors:

  • Permanent staff who, within their general working hours are willing to be designated as Bus Supervisors on a route to/ from their home town in exchange for free transport to/ from their home town.
  • Permanent staff who are willing to be designated as Bus Supervisors on a route that is not to/ from their home town in exchange for time off in lieu (to be agreed with Principal)
  • Staff whose working day would generally start at 9.00am and end at 3.15 but who are willing to be designated as Bus Supervisors on any route in exchange for an agreed payment or time in lieu (to be agreed with Principal).

 

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:

 

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 18th  - August 5th 2019

Revisions prepared by:

Chris Jacobsen, Fairlight Educational Consulting

Date of next review:

August 2021

 

 

 

 

TRANSPORTATION: START/ END OF DAY PROCEDURES

At the start of the day, the designated Bus Driver:

  • Checks all buses for road-worthiness.

 

At the start of the day, the Bus Drivers:

  • Check students’ names off the Contact Information Sheet they maintain as students get on the bus
  • If parents/ carers ask for messages to be given to Giant Steps Tasmania staff, ask the parents to call the school, use StoryPark or write in the Communication Book so that it will not be forgotten.
  • Take, sign for and secure any medication given to them by parents/ carers.
  • From the school phone, call the parents/ carers of any student who has not arrived at the pick-up point.
  • Pass the school phone to a Bus Supervisor before starting the journey.

At the start of the day, the Bus Supervisors:

  • Ensure one Bus Supervisor is on the bus and the other outside the bus to help students get on calmly and safely
  • Ensure that all students have their seatbelts properly fastened, including any Buckle Guards or Harnesses as necessary (Please refer Transportation: Buckle Guards and Harnesses Procedures)
  • Receive the school phone from the Bus Driver
  • Ensure that all passengers are safely seated before the Bus Driver begins the journey
  • Ensure that conversation is kept to a minimum and a calm atmosphere is maintained
  • On reaching the school gates, ensure that one Bus Supervisor gets off before the students to assist them to get off the bus calmly and safely.

At the end of the day, the Bus Drivers:

  • Check students’ names off the Contact Information Sheet they maintain as students get on the bus
  • Checks that the person picking up the student is the designated parent/ carer or an employee of the respite/ Group Home the student is attending
  • When the second Bus Supervisor has exited the bus, check that no-one is left on the bus.

 

At the end of the day, the Bus Supervisors:

  • Ensure one Bus Supervisor is on the bus and the other outside the bus to help students get on calmly and safely
  • Ensure that all students have their seatbelts properly fastened, including any Buckle Guards or Harnesses as necessary (Please refer Transportation: Buckle Guards and Harnesses Procedures)
  • Ensure that all passengers are safely seated before the Bus Driver begins the journey
  • Ensure that conversation is kept to a minimum and a calm atmosphere is maintained
  • On reaching the designated drop-off location, ensure that one Bus Supervisor gets off before the students to assist them to get off the bus calmly and safely.

BUS PROCEDURES FOR PARENTS/ CARERS

General Procedure

 

  1. Bus times are: Launceston (Door of Hope) 8.10am (pick up); 3.50pm (drop off)

                                                Devonport (Argosy) 8.05am (pick up); 3.50pm (drop off)

                                                Latrobe 8.20am (pick up); 3.40 pm (drop off)

  1. Aim for a calm start to the day that follows a predictable pattern. (e.g. same getting up time, same leaving home time, same route etc.)
  2. Be on time to the pick-up point, but do not arrive too early as waiting can be disruptive to a student.
  3. Park near the bus. Crossing a car park with vehicles arriving and departing is dangerous.
  4. Until the student is safely seated on the bus s/he is the responsibility of the parent/ carer, so conversations with other parents/ carers should wait until all students are safely seated on the bus.
  5. Students must not get on the bus until it is fully staffed (by the Bus Driver and all Bus Supervisors). Do not get on the bus; the Bus Supervisors are there to assist your child.
  6. Do not become involved in the management of other students. There will be processes and plans around other students that you might not be aware of and your involvement might be unhelpful.
  7. Give any medication to the Bus Driver. All prescription-only medication must be in a Webster Pack. Over-the-counter medication must be in the original, in-date packaging. Giant Steps Tasmania must have a drug chart for ALL medication.
  8. Do not involve the Bus Supervisors in conversation. Their responsibility is getting the students safely onto the bus. If there is information the school should have, make sure it is written in the Communication Book, provided on StoryPark or that you call the school to pass on the information.
  9. Once your student is safely seated on the bus, leave promptly. Some students can find the transition from home difficult and it helps them if parents/ carers do not linger.

 

Absence

 

If a student is going to be absent for any reason, call the School, not the Bus Driver.

 

Lateness

 

In exceptional circumstances, if you know that you will be late getting the student to the pick-up point, call the Bus Driver before the designated pick-up time and the Bus Driver may wait for the student for no more than 10 minutes. If a student is regularly late, the Principal will contact you to discuss the situation. If the situation cannot be resolved, you may need to make alternative arrangements for getting the student to school.

 

Person Collecting

 

Notify the school if anyone other than the person(s) listed on the Enrolment Form will be meeting the student from the bus. Ensure that the person who meets the student will be carrying photographic ID which they can show to the Bus Driver.

 

Health

 

Ensure that students are well enough to attend school and have not experienced diarrhoea or vomiting at any time during the preceding 48 hours.

 

TRANSPORTATION: BUCKLE GUARD & HARNESS PROCEDURES

Buckle Guards and Harnesses can only be used with students who have been identified by a GP or Senior Practitioner as needing one to ensure their safety and with the approval of their parent/ carer.

Students can be released from harnesses in seconds.

A Buckle Guard prevents a student from undoing a seatbelt.

 A Buckle Guard may only be put on a student by a Bus Supervisor if the necessary approvals have been given.

A Buckle Guard will look similar to the one pictured here.

 

 

A Harness may only be put on a student by a Bus Supervisor if the necessary approvals have been given .

Two harness types are used:

One fits around the body and is fastened with a D-buckle. A single strap passes from between the shoulders to a quick-release buckle behind the seat.

The second fits around the body and is held by a zip. Two straps come up the back of the seat and are attached at the shoulder with spring clips.

A harness will look similar to the one pictured here.

With both types of harness, it is possible to attach a strap which passes up between the legs and fastens to the front of the harness. The front strap is only to be used if a student’s safety cannot be maintained without it.

A harness must only be tightened enough to ensure a student’s safety.

At no time should the strap of the seatbelt be threaded through loops on the harness, as this prevents the student being released quickly.

When a student shows that s/ he can be relied upon to remain in his/ her seatbelt, a harness is not required.

Bus Supervisors must check Buckle Guards and Harnesses daily for signs of wear and tear.

TRANSPORTATION: ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES

 

EMERGENCY PHONE NUMBERS

  1. Ambulance/ Police/ Fire: 000
  2. Tim Chugg (Principal): 0427 281 479
  3. Giant Steps Tasmania: 63 622 522
  4. Launceston Minibus Hire: 6344 5031
  5. Devonport Hertz: 6424 1013
  6. Devonport Budget: 6427 0650
  7. RACT: 13 11 11 (Membership Number: 520180)

Insurance details are on each bus

In the event of a Traffic Accident, the Bus Driver, or if s/he is not physically able to do, a Bus Supervisor:

  • Ascertains whether passengers are safe/ unharmed
  • Contacts Emergency Services as required
  • Decides whether passengers should be escorted off the bus
  • If passengers are escorted off the bus, with the Bus Supervisors’ assistance, ensures that they are well away from traffic and, whenever possible, sitting down
  • If/ While the bus cannot be driven, puts warning triangle 45-50 metres behind the bus to alert other road users
  • Keeps interaction with any third party to a minimum (Giving and obtaining Name, Phone Number, Registration Number, Insurance details – not demanding or accepting liability)
  • Calls the RACT if the vehicle is in need of repair, or is stuck or damaged
  • If the vehicle cannot be driven, makes alternative arrangements to get students to school/ home
  • If another Giant Steps Tasmania bus is not available, hires a bus from Launceston Minibus hire or, if in Devonport area, from Hertz or Budget
  • If the accident occurs at the start of the day, calls the Principal. The Principal will then call parents/ carers and insurers.
  • If the accident occurs at the end of the day, calls the parents/ carers
  • If the accident occurs at the end of the day, after calling parents/ carers, calls the Principal who will call insurers.
  • Collects as much information from the scene as possible, including details of witnesses, Police Officers attending and any charges made or pending, details of injured persons and photographs (or a sketch) of the scene.
  • If the vehicle can be driven, checks all systems before continuing on journey
  • On returning to school, completes a Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form (a copy of this form is attached, is available electronically on the shared drive and in hard copy in the staffroom)

In the event of a Medical Emergency, the Bus Supervisors: 

  • Request the Bus Driver pulls over
  • Determine the severity of the emergency
  • If appropriate, apply First Aid (If passenger is suitably recovered, the journey may continue)
  • If appropriate, contact Ambulance Service
  • Contact parent/ carer/ emergency contact if Ambulance Service called
  • Determine if other passengers should be escorted off bus
  • If passengers are escorted off bus, with the Bus Driver’s assistance, ensure they are well away from traffic and, whenever possible, sitting down
  • Contact the school
  • When Ambulance Service arrives, if the parent/ carer/ emergency contact is not available, one supervisor escorts the student to hospital
  • Remaining Supervisor(s) and Bus Driver risk assess continuing journey with fewer staff. If they consider the risk unacceptable they call school to request additional personnel
  • On returning to school, complete a Medical Emergency/ Medication Incident Report Form

 In the event of a Behavioural Incident, the Bus Supervisors:

  • Move themselves closer to the student experiencing difficulties
  • Use calm talk/ distraction/ reminders to de-escalate the situation
  • If it is necessary to move a student to ensure another student’s safety, they request the Bus Driver pulls over before doing so
  • Whenever possible they move a student who is not experiencing difficulties, rather than the one who is
  • Ensure the journey continues as soon as it is safe to do so
  • On returning to school, complete an Incident Report Form