The use of a school minibus is important for both mainstream schools and special needs schools; they are used for school runs and are especially beneficial to rural schools where kids have to travel long distances to get to the school. Minibuses are also popular for numerous school trips that are planned for different age groups on a regular basis.
School minibus policy
Schools that have access to a minibus for any use will be required to have a policy in place that is strictly adhered to for safety and insurance purposes. Most schools will have a similar set of general principles; there will be nominated staffs who are responsible for carrying out daily monitoring and checks of the minibus. All departments that have access to the minibus must have a eligible driver and will be able to use the vehicle in activities and educational tasks off the schools premises, it is usually required that the department wanting to use the minibus pre- book the use in a school dairy stating in full clarity the intended purpose, times that the minibus is to be used and how many pupils will be travelling. Keys for the bus and a school mobile phone will only be available once these details have been passed.
Most school will also have principles that are to be implemented on trips, any excursion that involves more than more than four hours travel will need the presence of two teachers of staff and no driver should drive the school minibus for longer than two hours without a break of 15 minutes.
A designated member of staff will be responsible for making sure the bus is fully fuelled before trips and the driving of the bus on the school premises.
When driving a school minibus on a public highway there will be a set of requirements that the designated driver must meet, these terms must be met by any member of staff planning on carrying out the carriage of children:
A school minibus can be purchased to suit the needs of the school in many different sizes and types, buses are available with full wheelchair access and tracking for secure housing of wheelchairs whilst on board the bus. School minibuses are usually purchased through school grants or fundraising efforts.
- The driver must be over the age of 25
- The driver must be in possession of a valid driving license, anyone that passed their driving test prior to December 1996 will need to have the code D1 specified on the licence which entitles them to drive a vehicle with up to 16 passengers for non-profit trips and activities, anyone with a license prior to December 1996 may need to check whether they are covered to do this, approval must be sought from the DVLA.
- Appropriate training must have been passed by the person intending to drive and proper certificates must be obtained.
Most schools will have several staff and teachers that are able to drive the minibus.
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