Assistance with Travel - Frequently Asked Questions

Assistance with Travel - Frequently Asked Questions

“Home to School Travel and Transport Policy for Children of Compulsory School Age”

The Council's current policy is dated from 1 September 2015

An Important change to applications for assistance for a zero fare bus pass.

·          From 1 March 2016 all completed application forms for a zero fare bus pass are assessed by Metro (West Yorkshire Combined Authority), not Bradford Council.

·          If your child is eligible for assistance, Metro will send you a bus pass with the information your child needs to use it.

·          If your child is not eligible for assistance, Metro will send you a letter explaining why and giving details of how you may request a review of the decision.

·          Application forms for bus passes are now available from the Metro website www.generationm.co.uk

If your child has special needs or a disability, or if age 16 and over, there is a separate application form for assistance with travel. These are assessed by the School Travel Service at Bradford Council.

 

Public Transport Information

Where can I find out about school bus and “my bus” services?

What tickets and passes can I buy?

Applying For Assistance with Travel to School

Where can I find out whether my child is entitled to assistance with travel?

What assistance is available?

How do I apply?

Where can I get an application form?

When can I apply?

Why is this information required?

Where can I get help or advice with my application?

The Assessment Process

How are applications for travel to school assessed?

How do you decide if my child is eligible for assistance?

How do you measure distance?

How do you assess whether a route is safe?

Why is assistance given only to the nearest school?

Can my child have transport to a school we prefer?

What if we live in the priority area of a school we prefer?

What if my child’s primary school is a feeder school to the secondary school we prefer?

Is the nearest suitable qualifying school always in the Bradford district?

Are there any circumstances where my child may be eligible for assistance to a school that is not the nearest?

Can my child be picked up or set down at anywhere other than home?

Are transport decisions reviewed?

Are travel arrangements renewed automatically each year?

What if my circumstances change?

What if I change my address?

The Decision, Review and Appeals Process

When will I hear if my child qualifies for assistance?

What if I disagree with the decision?

What is a Stage 1 review ?

What is a Stage 2 appeal ?

What is the role of the local government ombudsman?

Travel Arrangements

What travel arrangements are made?

How long is the travel arrangement for?

Travelling To School By Public Transport

How does my child use the bus pass?

What if my child has a problem on the school bus?

What if my child’s bus/train pass is lost or stolen?

What if my child’s bus/train pass is taken by the bus driver or train conductor guard?

What if my child leaves something on the vehicle?

How can I check whether my child’s school is open?

What if my child encounters poor behaviour when travelling?

Travel Arrangements For Children With Additional Needs

Can I make my own travel arrangement?

What if my child has additional needs and requires dedicated or specialist school travel arrangements?

What do I do if my child’s needs change?

What if I am not at home when the minibus or taxi arrives?

How can the school help?

What standards do you require of providers of dedicated/specialist transport?

Do you use contractors?

Short Breaks Transport

Where can I get advice on transport arrangements to respite care?

Travel Training – A Step Towards Independence

What is it?

How do I know if my child/young person is suitable for travel training?

What happens afterwards?

What if I do not agree to an assessment?

Where can I get further information about the assessment and travel training?

Feedback

How can I have my say?

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Public Transport Information

Where can I find out about school bus and “my bus” services?

Bus And Train Services

For information about reduced fares and bus and train times visit www.generationm.co.uk, Metro’s website designed specifically around the travel needs of young people, or call Metroline on 0113 245 7676.

‘My bus’ services also operate to certain schools. For information please contact the Metro ‘My bus’ hotline on 0113 348 1122.

Journey Planning

For details of other transport services, visit Metro’s website www.wymetro.com or call Metroline: 0113 245 7676.

Metro Travel Centres are located at Bradford Interchange and at Keighley Bus Station - for bus and train enquiries, prepaid tickets and concessionary permits.

What tickets and passes can I buy?

Metro provides a range of tickets and passes that can be used to travel to and from school or college.

· Children under 5 years old travel free when accompanied by a fare paying passenger on all trains and most buses displaying the Metro M symbol. They can travel at any time of the day and on any day of the week anywhere in West Yorkshire.

· 5 to 16 year olds pay half fare on all trains and most buses displaying the Metro M symbol. They can travel at any time of the day and on any day of the week anywhere in West Yorkshire. When a child reaches 11 years of age they will need a Young Person’s PhotoCard to continue to pay half fare.

· 5 to 16 year olds can also buy a discounted School Plus Weekly or Monthly ticket for travel on buses but they need an Under 16's PhotoCard to buy these tickets.

· 16 to 18 year olds in full time education can also pay half fare and buy discounted tickets if they buy a 16 - 18 PhotoCard.

You can find out more about Mcards and Tickets at www.m-card.co.uk

Bus Tickets for use only on Transdev Keighley and District Services which also extend into Lancashire and North Yorkshire are available through their website www.keighleybus.co.uk

Bus Tickets for use only on First Services in the Bradford District are available through the First Group website www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bradford

Applying For Assistance With Travel To School

Where can I find out whether my child is entitled to assistance with travel?

The Council’s policy gives entitlement for assistance with travel. It remains the parent’s responsibility to get their children to and from school or college.

Bradford Council’s policies covering travel between Home, School and College set out the statutory obligations the Council has for making travel arrangements, and also the additional discretionary entitlements it has made for children and young people.

You can view the Policy at www.bradford.gov.uk/schooltravelpolicy

Information about transport arrangements is also available in two online guides covering admissions to schools - “A Guide for Parents About Admission Arrangements to Primary Schools” and “A Guide for Parents About Admission Arrangements to Secondary Schools”.

The guides are available at www.bradford.gov.uk

Parents/carers and students are strongly advised to discuss their transport arrangements and costs with their school or college prior to admission/enrolment. Parents have a right in law to state a preference for a school for their children but that does not carry with it the right to free transport.

What assistance is available?

One journey from the child’s home to the school and one return journey. Transport for short breaks is not covered by school transport arrangements.

How do I apply?

Complete the application form that best meets the child’s needs. The form must be completed in full by the parent/carer in consultation with the school or college where the child has additional needs.

Where can I get an application form?

You can download Application Forms for travel to school from here:

Children of Statutory School Age

·          Application for a bus pass.

Download "Application for Assistance with Travel from Home to School for Children of Statutory School Age" (Ref WYCA001)

Please note that completed forms should be sent to Metro and not Bradford Council

·          Application for all other children including those with Special Educational Needs, a Disability or a Temporary Medical Condition.

·          Application for all young people age over 16 whether they have additional needs or not.

Download "Application for Home to School and Travel Assistance" (Ref PAT089)

The parent/carer is requested to complete the form with input from the school. It is important that both the parent(s) and the school agree the child’s needs.

When can I apply?

When your child’s school place is confirmed and your child is registered at the school.

Why is this information required?

To establish whether the child is eligible for assistance with travel, and to inform an assessment of the child’s needs so that the transport provider can make appropriate, safe and secure provision. We may for example need to arrange specialist transport, seating, equipment or supervision.

Where can I get help or advice with my application?

Applying for a bus pass contact:

Education Transport Assessment Team,

West Yorkshire Combined Authority,

Wellington House,

40 – 50 Wellington Street,

Leeds, LS1 2DE.

E-mail: freetravel@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Tel 0113 348 1121

Office Open: Monday to Friday 07.45 to 17.00

Applying for travel assistance for those children and young people with special educational needs or disability all post 16 students travelling to school and college contact:

Travel Assistance Service,

Margaret McMillan Tower,

Prince’s Way

Bradford, BD1 1NN

E-mail: schooltravel@bradford.gov.uk

Tel: 01274 439450

Office Open Monday to Thursday 08.30 to 17.00 and Friday 08.30 to 16.30

The Assessment Process

How are applications for travel to school assessed?

Eligibility for assistance is based on information supplied on the Application Form and the qualifying criteria set out in the Policy. It is very important that full details are given on the application form and that the declarations are signed.

If the child meets the qualifying criteria, we will confirm to the parent that the child is eligible and make a travel arrangement.

If the child is not eligible we will give the decision to decline assistance to the parent in writing with notice of how to request a review of the decision if you consider it not to be correct.

How do you decide if my child is eligible for assistance?

There are qualifying criteria set out in the Policy against which your application will be assessed to determine whether your child is eligible for assistance.

It is the parent’s statutory duty to ensure their child attends school and parents have a right in law to state a preference for a school for their child, but that does not carry with it a right to free transport. The Council has a statutory duty in certain circumstances to make suitable travel arrangements that they consider necessary and these are set out in the Council’s “Home to School Travel and Transport Policy for Children of Compulsory School Age”.

Before applying please note that:

· Your child must attend the nearest suitable qualifying school from your home address. If there was a place at a nearer school at the time of allocation of school places during the admissions process or at the time you applied for a school place during the year after the main allocation, it is unlikely that assistance will be given.

· We do not consider the individual school admissions arrangements (it will be for the parent to demonstrate why their child was not able to gain a place), neither is any distinction made between single sex and co-educational schools or whether your home address is within the priority admissions area for your preferred school or if it is inside or outside of the Bradford District. These considerations do not determine eligibility for assistance with travel.

· We no longer take into account your religion, belief or lack of belief when considering your nearest suitable qualifying school, except if you are a low income family and your child is age 11 to 16.

· Children aged 5 years and up to 8 years who live 2 miles or less from the nearest suitable school are expected to walk that distance to school. Only distances beyond 2 miles will be considered for assistance.

· On the child’s eighth birthday up to 16 years of age the distance the child is expected to walk is 3 miles. Only distances beyond 3 miles will be considered for assistance.

· The “statutory walking distance” is measured along a safe walking route. It is the responsibility of all parents to ensure their child attends school and, where necessary, to accompany their child on the journey to school. If there are concerns about the safety of their child en route it is for the parent to demonstrate the route is unsafe and any assessment will take into account only those factors where the child is at risk when they are accompanied by an adult.

· Where the child is entitled to free school meals or whose parents receive the maximum level of Working Tax Credit: the qualifying distances to the nearest suitable qualifying school changes for some age groups and there are other additional considerations.

– Children aged 5 years but under 11 years and live 2 miles or less from the nearest suitable school are expected to walk that distance to school. Only distances beyond 2 miles will be considered for assistance.

– Children aged 11 to 16 while in Year 11 and attend one of their 3 nearest suitable schools, where it is more than 2 miles, but no more than 6 miles from their home will be expected to walk that distance to school. Only distances beyond 2 miles, and no more 6 miles will be considered for assistance.

– Children aged 11 to 16 while in Year 11 and who attend the nearest school preferred on the grounds of parent’s religion or belief (or lack of belief), which is more than 2 miles, but not more than 15 miles from that school. Only distances beyond 2 miles, and no more 15 miles will be considered for assistance.

· If supporting evidence is required, please remember to include it with the application form.

Assistance with travel to school will be made only to the suitable qualifying school with a place available that is nearest to your home, and where children live over the qualifying distance to that school nearest to your home; otherwise children will be expected to walk to school, accompanied by an adult as necessary, to ensure their safety.

There are other qualifying criteria and conditions, please refer to the policy for full details.

How do you measure distance?

The mapping system used measures the nearest walking route to reach the school and measures walking routes along metalled roads. Commercial mapping systems are usually designed to measure only along driving routes and may vary.

How do you assess whether a route is safe?

The Council has a duty to make travel arrangements where the nature of the route is such that a child cannot reasonably be expected to walk in reasonable safety when accompanied by an adult - reflecting the fact that it is the parent’s responsibility to get the child to school. When measuring the distance we do not include routes that are designated in the policy as unsafe.

Why is assistance given only to the nearest school?

Parents have a legal obligation to send their child to school and the local authority has powers to prosecute if they do not. However, parents have a defence in law if the distance they live from the school is beyond the statutory walking distance. In these circumstances, the local authority must either make provision for education within the statutory walking distance or make a suitable transport arrangement to the nearest suitable qualifying school to the child’s home that has a place available. The Council has no obligation to provide transport to a school that is not the nearest and can meet the needs of the child.

Can my child have transport to a school that I prefer?

Not if there is a school nearer to the child’s home address, that is also able to meet the needs of the child and there is a place available. This also applies to children with special educational needs. Within the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice the attention of parent’s is drawn to paragraph 8.87 which states that “The parents’ preferred school might be further away from the child’s home than another school that can meet the child’s special educational needs. In such a case, it might be open to the LEA to name the nearer school if that would be compatible with the efficient use of the LEA’s resources. It would also be open to the LEA to name the school preferred by the child’s parents on condition that the parents agreed to meet all or part of the transport costs”.

If parents wish to exercise their preference for the other school they must assume responsibility for taking the child to and from school and incur the full costs of doing so.

What if we live in the priority area of a school we prefer?

Priority Areas are drawn up as part of the school admissions process. Assistance with transport is assessed to the nearest suitable qualifying school, which may or may not be the school located in the Priority Area in which you live.

What if my child’s primary school is a “feeder” school to the secondary school we prefer

Although the child may move to a Secondary School from what is regarded as a “feeder” Primary school, assistance with transport is assessed to the nearest suitable qualifying school, which may or may not be the school which your child’s previous Primary School feeds into.

Is the nearest suitable qualifying school always in the Bradford district?

No, we measure to the nearest suitable qualifying school even if it is in a neighbouring Local Authority.

Are there any circumstances where my child may be eligible for assistance to a school that is not the nearest?

Only if the child is from a family with a low income as defined in the policy.

Can my child be picked up or set down at anywhere other than home?

Some children may be expected to travel to a pick up point but transport arrangements are ordinarily made only from and to the parent’s home address.

Are transport decisions reviewed?

Yes. Qualification for assistance with travel is reviewed each year in accordance with any changes to your child’s circumstances and/or any changes in the Council’s policy.

Are travel arrangements renewed automatically each year?

If your child attends a mainstream school and your circumstances remain the same and your child remains eligible under the Council’s Policy, assistance with travel will be renewed.

Where a child has Special Educational Needs any changes to travel requirements will be determined through the Statement review process or through an Education Health and Care Plan.

What if my circumstances change?

You are responsible for making an application for assistance with travel and must sign a declaration that the information is correct. You must inform the School Travel Service straight away of any changes to your circumstances that may affect your eligibility to assistance with travel to school. Any changes must be confirmed in writing. Instructions by telephone are not accepted.

What if I change my address?

You must inform the School Travel Service of any changes of address straight away. Your eligibility for assistance may be affected. Reasonable notice of a change of address is required so that the necessary arrangements can be put in place if you continue to qualify. The School Travel Service can only accept the home  address registered at the school.

The Decision, Review and Appeals Process

When will I hear if my child qualifies for assistance?

For applications received during the year

The aim is to assess the application within 30 school days from the date your fully-completed form is received.

If we agree your child needs a Zero Fare Pass, it can take an additional 10 days for it to be issued by Metro.

If we agree that your child needs a taxi or minibus, it can take an additional 15 working days to put the necessary arrangements in place, more if an escort is required.

For applications from pupils transferring from Year 6 to Year 7.

Applications are assessed in date order of arrival at the office up to the deadline on the application form in time for the start of the Autumn Term.

The aim is to issue Zero Fare Passes for all those who qualify during the last week in August. For applications received after this date, it is not possible to guarantee it will be processed before the start of the new school year.

What if I disagree with the decision?

The Council operates a two stage review and appeals process.

At stage one, parents may challenge a decision about their child’s eligibility, the distance measurement and the safety of the route.

At stage two, parents may give details of any personal and/or family circumstances including financial details the parent believes should be considered at appeal.

What is a stage one review?

A parent/carer has 20 working days from receipt of the Local Authority’s home to school transport decision to make a written request asking for a review of the decision.

Requests should be sent to: The School Travel Manager, School Travel Service, Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford, BD1 1NN.

The written request should detail why the parent believes the decision should be reviewed.

Within 25 working days of receipt of the parent’s written request a senior officer reviews the original decision and sends the parent a detailed written outcome setting out:

1. the nature of the decision reached;

2. how the review was conducted (including the standard followed e.g. Road Safety GB);

3. information about other departments and/or agencies that were consulted as part of the process;

4. what factors were considered;

5. the rationale for the decision reached;

6. information about escalation to stage two (if appropriate).

What is a stage two appeal?

Parents have 20 working days from receipt of the Local Authority’s stage one decision to make a written request to escalate the matter to stage two.

Appeal letters should be addressed to Committee Services Officer, Committee Secretariat, City Hall, Bradford BD1 1HY.

Within 40 working days an independent appeal panel will consider written and verbal representations from the parent and officers and will give a detailed written outcome also set out as above and including information about escalation to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Parents may present their case in person at a hearing of the Education Appeal Panel. The Panel is made up of three elected Council Members who determine the appeal. The decision of the Panel is notified to the appellant and the School Travel Service.

What is the role of the local government ombudsman?

If a parent/carer considers that there was a failure to comply with the procedural rules or they think there were any other irregularities in the way the appeal was handled there is a right of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman. A parent/carer may only make a complaint if they consider the decision of the independent panel to be flawed on public law grounds.

Travel Arrangements

What travel arrangements are made?

If your child qualifies for assistance we will make a suitable travel arrangement appropriate to the needs of the child which best achieves the goal of travelling independently.

Provision may take the form of the following arrangements:

· a Zero Fare School Pass, which is accepted for travel on buses and trains operating within the county of West Yorkshire and allows one journey to school and one journey home between 7am and 7pm each school day – it can be used on more than one service if no direct service is available and the child needs to change from one bus service to another (or from bus to train and vice versa). But it is not valid if they break their journey unnecessarily and try to re-board without paying.

· a Zero Fare Boarding Pass, which would allow your child to travel on a school bus free of charge – these ‘school specials’ are funded by the local authority to serve areas where ordinary bus services are not available.

· Travel training to enable independent travel.

· Mileage allowance to enable the parent to provide their own transport if they so choose.

· An escorted walking/bus journey.

· A personal budget to allow a parent/student to arrange their own travel.

· Specialist transport where access to public transport is not practicable.

How long is the travel arrangement for?

The arrangement will be valid until the end of the academic year unless your circumstances change.

Travelling To School By Public Transport

How does my child use the bus pass?

Zero fare passes will be issued by Metro in the form of a SmartCard and send you a leaflet explaining how to use the pass.

Where can I find out about school bus and “my bus” services?

For school bus services and times on which your child’s Pass can be used, visit Metro’s website designed specifically around the travel needs of young people www.generationm.co.uk

What if my child has a problem on the school bus?

All queries relating to the operation of specific School Bus Services should be referred to:

 

Education Transport

West Yorkshire Combined Authority,

Wellington House,

40 – 50 Wellington Street,

Leeds, LS1 2DE.

Tel: 0113 348 1122

E-mail: generationm@wypte.gov.uk

Fax: 0113 251 7327

Office Open: Monday to Friday 07.45 to 17.00

What if my child’s bus/train pass is lost or stolen?

Apply for a replacement from Metro. Please note there is a £7 fee for this service. You can send a cheque or postal order for £7 made payable to Metro or payment can be made by credit or debit card over the phone: 0113 348 1122.

You will need to provide your details including your name and school.

Temporary passes cannot be issued in these circumstances.

What if my child’s bus/train pass is taken by the bus driver or train conductor guard?

The pass issued to your child remains the property of the issuing organisation. If the bus driver or train conductor guard has a concern about whether the pass is valid, it will be withdrawn. Common reasons are that the card has been altered in some way, or cannot be read so please ensure your child keeps it in good condition.

When a pass is withdrawn, the reason will be explained to the child and you will be informed subsequently in writing. Please follow the instructions of the issuing organisation to obtain a replacement. Temporary passes cannot be issued in these circumstances.

What if my child leaves something on the vehicle?

Contact the service provider

· School Bus Service – contact Metro

· Local Bus or Rail Service – contact the bus or train operator

· Dedicated/specialist transport – contact Passenger Transport Service (PTS)

How can I check whether my child’s school is open?

School Open and Close Dates can be viewed at www.bradford.gov.uk

What if my child encounters poor behaviour when travelling?

Our aim is to ensure a child can reach school without undue stress, strain or difficulty as would prevent him/her from benefiting from the education the school has to offer.

Transport operators are responsible for providing a safe journey and have a duty of care to both passengers and staff. Passengers are required to behave in a reasonable manner that does not compromise their health and safety and that of others.

Most journeys pass without event but a minority of pupils do not behave reasonably. Our Behaviour Policy sets out the required standards of behaviour and the consequences of poor behaviour for the individuals concerned.

The main features are:

· Parents sign a declaration on the application form requiring their child to adhere to certain standards of behaviour when travelling.

· Metro liaises with schools and takes action where poor behaviour is reported.

· Incidents are referred to the Police where appropriate.

· Passengers on Local Bus Services are subject to regulations that have the force of law.

· Where there have been acts of vandalism etc. the operator will try and recoup the cost of this from the parent concerned.

· Schemes promoting good behaviour (SafeMark and School Bus Monitors) are organised by Metro as appropriate.

Bradford Council works with Metro, bus and rail operators and schools to promote good standards of behaviour when travelling to ensure pupils arrive at school ready to learn. This is our behaviour contract which parents and pupils are required to support.

The Behaviour Contract

I understand that assistance with travel is conditional upon my child maintaining standards of good behaviour when travelling so that the health, safety and comfort of other passengers are not compromised. I will ensure my child is fully aware of the required standards of behaviour and of the sanctions that will apply if they are not met.

Where the actions of my child compromises the health, safety or comfort of other passengers, sanctions will result in the withdrawal of the ticket or pass for a specific period and re-instatement will be subject to review. I understand that all tickets and passes remain the property of the issuing organisation, must be available for inspection by the issuing organisation, and must be returned when requested.

In circumstances where the pass is withdrawn I am responsible for ensuring my child attends school and for incurring any costs that arise as a consequence. Examples of the sort of behaviour that will result in the ticket or pass being withdrawn are carrying an offensive weapon or drugs/alcohol, bullying, racism, fighting, vandalism and persistent anti-social behaviour including inappropriate language, smoking or spitting. I understand liability may be incurred in the event of wilful damage to the vehicle or to property which transport providers may take action to recover.

Travel Arrangements For Children With Additional Needs

Can I make my own travel arrangement?

We will give consideration to requests for parents to make their own travel arrangements to school where children have additional needs. We currently pay £0.75 per mile, the mileage being based upon two return trips to school each day. Parents/carers should indicate whether they are interested in this option on the Application Form. This option is not available where children do not have additional needs and travel to mainstream school.

What if my child has additional needs and requires dedicated or specialist school travel arrangements?

The School Travel Service works with the Council's “Passenger Transport Service” (PTS), to ensure that children and young people with additional needs have dedicated door-to-door transport provision with specialist arrangements made as required. PTS uses their fleet of minibuses and commissions other minibus and taxi operators who meet the required standard, to provide transport services.

PTS will send a letter to the parent confirming the transport arrangements suitable for the child. This will include details of the journey (operator details, pick-up and set-down points, dates and times etc.).

· Download. “Specialist Transport Arrangements – Frequently Asked Questions” Leaflet. (Ref PAT054)

What do I do if my child’s needs change?

If your child has a “Statement of Special Educational Needs” or an “Education, Health and Care Plan” changes will be discussed at your child’s annual or periodic review and any adjustments to transport requirements will be made.

What if I am not at home when the minibus or taxi arrives?

It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure a responsible adult is at the pick-up and set-down point ready to hand over on the outward journey and receive the child on the return journey.

Outward Journey

If the vehicle arrives at the child’s home to collect the child and there is no reply. The driver will report the fact to the school or college.

Return Journey

If the child is not met by the parent/carer or a designated adult, the driver will put through the letterbox an “Emergency Contact Card” stating they have called, and will continue with the journey so as not to cause concern to other pupils and parent/carers. Taxis drivers not accompanied by an escort will leave the card after the other children have been taken home. The driver will then return again to the address.

If there is no-one home on the second occasion, the emergency procedure for the protection of the child will then be activated and the designated person at the emergency address will be contacted. If accepted, the child will be taken to the notified emergency address.

If the notified emergency address is not available, the School Travel Service will contact Social Care to make appropriate arrangements. Parents should be aware that these arrangements will be made under the Council’s Child Safeguarding Procedures.

How can the school help?

Have in place the vehicle operator handover arrangements that ensure the safety and security of the child.

Tell the escort or driver about any mood changes or physical problems the child may be experiencing.

Check identification badges of transport staff if in doubt.

Take up any operational problems straight away with the PTS supervisor.

What standards do you require of providers of dedicated/specialist transport?

All staff employed by PTS and contracted suppliers will be competent and confident in meeting the pupil’s needs. All staff works to a code of conduct and established protocols. Guidance for Bradford Council's Driver Attendants and Escort Attendants are specified in the Passenger Transport Services Handbook. Guidance is also given for Escort Attendants working in taxis and minibuses with contracted operators.

The main features are:

Service - Drivers and Escorts staff will work as a team and will greet the children politely, treat them with dignity and respect, and ensure they travel in safety and comfort. They will offer any help the child may require whilst on the journey and will also bring to the attention of the parent and school any matters concerning the child’s journey.

Trust and Confidence - In recognition of the role of the driver attendant and escort attendant in building a relationship with the school and the child that will develop trust and confidence. PTS and contractors will try and provide the same staff on the same run each day, subject to the availability of staff.

Confidentiality - Staff will treat all information about the child with confidence and are expected to act with tact and discretion at all times.

Security - All staff will be appropriately dressed and carry identification. PTS staff and minibus drivers employed by contractors carry identity cards. Taxi Drivers have their own badges issued by the taxi licensing authority.

Safeguarding Children - Appropriate enquiries are made through the Disclosure and Barring Service by PTS for their drivers and escorts. Social Care check contracted minibus operators and taxi drivers are vetted by the Licensing Authority.

Supervision - Children will not be set down at any place other than the designated address with a designated responsible adult. No child will be left on their own.

Safety Training - PTS staff receive training in basic First Aid, Disability Awareness, Child Protection, Challenging Behaviour, Manual Handling, Personal Safety and Bus Fire Evacuation. They are also trained in the use of specialist equipment such as passenger lifts and wheelchair restraints.

Contracted operators receive training in Disability Awareness, Challenging Behaviour, and Child Protection and are required to undertake training in First Aid and Manual Handling.

All Staff undertake training in how to respond to a variety of emergency situations. Driving staff are competent, safe drivers to the appropriate standard.

Vehicles - All vehicles meet the required standards of safety and offer a high standard of comfort. Vehicles will be equipped with seat belts, fire extinguishers, first aid kit and mobile telephone. Buses will be well maintained and kept clean, and faults and breakdowns will be dealt with promptly.

Equipment - Any specialist equipment required will be provided where appropriate and to the necessary specification.

Do you use contractors?

Yes. Whilst PTS operate a fleet of minibuses, other minibus and taxi operators are contracted to ensure demand is met. School Bus services are operated by Local Bus Service operators. Other transport is arranged through Social Care Transport at Bradford Council.

Short Breaks 

Where can I get advice on transport arrangements for short breaks?

Advice on transport arrangements for short breaks is available from the Passenger Transport Service at Bradford Council. Contact 01274 436692 for details.

Payment For Transport Services

Will I have to pay?

If your child is eligible for assistance and aged 16 years old up to 18, there is a charge of £370 per year which is a small part of the total cost of transport.

You can also claim a payment of £7.90 per day up to a maximum of £1,500 per year if you would like to make your own travel arrangements. This option is available up to age 25 years.

Otherwise travel is free of charge.

Travel Training – A Step Towards Independence

What is it?

Travel training is a structured and planned course of training which empowers children and young people to take their first step towards independence.  The Travel Training Unit works with children and young people on a one-to-one and/or small group basis planning and practising planned journeys and learning associated tasks and skills to enable students to travel independently to and from school alongside their peers.

The Travel Training Unit works with disabled and none-disabled children and young people who require support, assistance, mentoring and training to plan and use walking routes and all forms of public transport including buses and trains.  The Travel Training Unit works in partnership with parents, carers, guardians and professional bodies such as schools and colleges and professional individuals such as teachers and social workers.   

Travel training is available to all students who require travel assistance. 

How do I know if my child is suitable for travel training?

The Travel Training Unit will arrange an appointment to meet you and your child/young person at your home address or other suitable venue for example school or college.  An independent traveller skills and abilities assessment will be carried out by an approved and experienced travel training assessor in order that your child/young person can be assessed for their potential to safely and effectively travel independently.

Travel training is offered to all children and young people age 11 or over.  For young people who are age 16 or over a travel training assessment is mandatory in order that the most appropriate form of travel assistance provision can be offered by the Council

What happens afterwards?

If your child/young person has been assessed as having the potential to travel independently it is expected that they will undertake a programme of travel training.  The Travel Training Unit will devise an individual training programme which is thoroughly planned well in advance and as far as possible will take into account all the variables (or what if’s) that might occur during the training period.  Assessing these risks and making sure that all travel training is safe is the most important part of the work the Travel Training Unit does. 

An arrangement will be made with you to carry out an initial taster session of the planned journey from home to school or college and return.  You may accompany your child/young person on this initial training session if you wish.   Arrangements will then be made with you to carry out a planned course of training tailored to you and your child/young person’s wants and needs.

Family support during travel training is very important and greatly appreciated.  The Travel Training Unit will provide you with periodic knowledge and practical skill development reports about your child/young person during the training period. Guidance and support will be provided to the whole family in order that skills learned in training may be developed and practised at home. 

What if I do not agree to an assessment?

In order that the Council can support you and your family with the most appropriate form of travel assistance provision it is vital that a travel training assessment is carried out.  Travel training enables children/young people to take their first steps toward independence, improves outcomes and facilitates opportunities for further education, supported work placement and employment.

A travel training assessment (and participation in an individual travel training programme if suitable and capable) is a condition of eligibility for assistance with travel to school or college for young people who are age 16 or over.  Parents/carers are asked to sign the application form to give their agreement to the assessment and participation in an individual travel training programme).

Where can I get further information about the assessment and travel training?

You can contact the Travel Assistance Service at:

Margaret McMillan Tower, Princes Way, Bradford, BD1 1NN

Telephone: 01274 436199 Email: traveltraining@bradford.gov.uk

Feedback

How can I have my say?

If parents or schools have an unresolved complaint about the child’s transport, or want to make a suggestion on how to improve it, use the Feedback link on this website or write to the School Travel Service.

 

 


Page owned by Norman Parker, last updated on 13/04/2017. This page has been viewed 42,343 times.