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Safe school transport

Parent's responsibility

We know that lots of children catch the bus each day and that the vast majority of journeys are hassle free. Sometimes though, children can cause offence, even if they don't mean to. This could endanger their journey and that of other passengers. Also, some of the things they do with their friends can create concern to other people, even though they may think they are just having fun.

Parents have a very important part to play in helping to ensure that their child has a safe and pleasant journey on the school bus. Whilst we know that the vast majority of young people are well behaved on school buses, there is unfortunately a small minority whose poor behaviour causes distress and offence to others. As well as being unpleasant, bad behaviour can sometimes escalate into dangerous situations which endanger your child's and other people's safety.

Please read this advice carefully and act on the information it contains. Please also ensure that your child reads, understands and follows the advice given on this page. By working together, we can ensure that your child has a safe and pleasant journey on the school bus.

If you would like any more information about the council's transport support team please telephone the Passenger Transport Unit (PTU) on 01225 712852.


  • make sure that your child has read the information regarding travel on school buses and that he/she understands what is expected
  • all children must follow current government guidance
  • make sure that your child knows about safety on the roads - teach him/her the Green Cross Code
  • make sure your child is aware of clothing and bags which could present a danger if caught in bus doors - e.g. loose baggy clothing, hanging belts, long scarves, clothing with toggles, large bags, satchels with loose straps
  • the law requires that if the vehicle they are travelling on is fitted with seat belts, passengers must wear them. Please make sure your child understands about wearing seat belts
  • your child will need to know what to do if the bus is late or does not arrive
  • if the vehicle your child is travelling in experiences a problem, it is essential that they remain in the vehicle until a replacement arrives and follow instructions from the driver. Under no circumstances should they attempt to walk home or to school


Ensure that your child is aware of the consequences arising from vandalism. Vandalism on school buses is an increasing problem and parents should be aware that they would be held responsible for any damage caused by their children including paying all costs for repair. Be aware that if your child does cause damage or creates trouble on the bus he/she could:

  • be made the subject of an Acceptable Behaviour Contract
  • be banned from the bus
  • be prosecuted by the police

You will also be contacted if:

  • your child smokes or vapes on the bus
  • your child's behaviour falls below the standard required
  • your child's actions put the safety of other passengers and road users at risk
  • your child's actions cause the driver of the bus to become distracted
  • your child's bus pass is confiscated

You will be required to pay for any damage caused as well as arranging for getting your child to and from school each day.

Younger children

  • make sure that young children are taken to the bus stop in good time; take and collect young children on the same side of the road as the bus collects and sets them down
  • ensure that young children are met when the bus returns from school
    We recommend you should be at the stop a minimum of 5 minutes before the scheduled time. It is not the responsibility of the bus driver, or the school to ensure that children arrive safely after they have got off the bus
  • remember that young children are easily excited and can quickly forget about the road safety rules
  • make sure your child is trained to fasten the seatbelt themselves

Older children

Children should be at the stop a minimum of five minutes before the scheduled time. If your child walks home unaccompanied make sure they know the safest route home and follow the Green Cross code when crossing roads. It is not the responsibility of the bus driver, or the school to ensure that children arrive home safely after they have got off the bus.


The Transport Support Team works in partnership with your child's school to make their journey safe. Pupils identified breaking any of these simple rules, either via the school bus prefect network, on-bus CCTV systems or by complaint, risk immediate exclusion from all home to school transport provided by Wiltshire Council. The responsibility for arranging and paying for transport would then be yours.

Safe School Travel leaflet - printable version (PDF) [668KB] (opens new window)

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