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Special Educational Needs Transport - Escort Guidelines

Special Educational Needs Transport

Escort

Pupil Supervision

Escorts are expected to supervise pupils with Special Educational Needs whilst they are being transported from home to school and vice versa. This includes:

  1. Making sure that the pupils being transported do not distract the driver whilst the vehicle is in motion.
  2. That the pupils behave in a suitable manner whilst on the vehicle.
  3. Appropriate physical contact with pupils to enable comfortable entry and exit from the vehicles.
  4. Not leaving children unsupervised on a vehicle. To enable supervision, parents are expected to escort their child to and from the vehicle each day.
  5. Escorts must sit in the back of the vehicle with the pupils, and not in the front with the driver .

Escorts should also note that some pupils may have medical conditions which could also affect them during the journey, for example, epilepsy. If this is the case then guidelines are available from the school. This also applies to those pupils who show unacceptable behaviour whilst travelling on the vehicle as the school may wish to reprimand or apply sanctions to those pupils.

Safety Checks

The escort should make sure that all aspects of safety are carried out effectively.

  1. Fastening all seat belts where provided.
  2. Informing the Driver when all pupils have been safely seated before the vehicle sets off.
  3. Securing the appropriate children into their harnesses if they have been provided. This may also include fitting the harnesses into the vehicle if the driver removes them after a journey.
  4. Making sure that doors are closed and if possible locked before the vehicle starts to move.
  5. Making sure that the pupils on arrival at school are handed over to a member of school staff .On no account should a child be left unattended on a vehicle
  6. When collecting pupils from school you must ensure that they are escorted to the vehicle after the staff have handed over pupil(s) to your care, once on the vehicle with a pupil(s) you should remain there to receive any other pupils that are to be taken home.
  7. That on the return journey it is imperative that pupils are only taken to their home address unless escorts have been instructed otherwise by the Services for Children and Young People, Special Educational Needs Service Unit. It is important not to leave a pupil with neighbours.
  8. Making sure that all bags are stored safely e.g. placed under the seats.
  9. Making sure that all medication and any information from parents is handed to a member of staff at the School.
  10. Displaying identification badges at all times.
  11. Under no circumstances must children be left unattended in the vehicle.
  12. Escorts are required not to smoke on the vehicle whilst transporting children.

The duties of the escorts do not include loading and unloading of wheelchairs. This is the sole responsibility of the driver and the escort should remain on the vehicle. Generally the escort should consider the safety of the pupils he/she is travelling with at all times as the prime consideration.

Collection of Pupils

  • When collecting pupils please wait outside the home address for approximately 3 minutes.
  • If the parent fails to bring the pupil out to meet the transport the driver must post the appropriate collection card through the letter box. This card informs parents that they must contact the driver to resume transport.
  • Pupils who fail to use the transport will not be collected until parents have contacted the driver

Drop-off of pupils

  • If you return a pupil to the home address and the Parent/Guardian is not at home to receive him/her the procedure is to continue with the journey taking all other pupils home.
  • After this is complete, return to the home address with the pupil.
  • If parents/guardians are not at the home address on the second attempt to deliver the pupil, the driver must contact the Special Educational Needs Services Unit to receive instruction of where the pupil must be delivered.
  • The driver must post the appropriate information card through the letter box informing parents where their child has been taken to.
  • SENSU must be kept informed when parents fail to receive their children on either the first or second attempt.
  • The pupil must not be collected following this circumstance until instructed to do so by SENSU.

Signing in sheets

Each Escort should sign in at school once all the children have been handed over to the staff in the morning and before receiving the children in the afternoon.

Escorts should record the times, which they have arrived at school so that the Special Educational Needs Service Unit can identify the contractors arriving late on a regular basis.

It is important for Escorts to record the time of arrival and not record the time after they have unloaded their pupils.

The schools will return the sheets to the Special Educational Needs Service Unit on a weekly basis.

Sickness

In the event of sickness the following procedure should be followed:

  1. The transport company must be notified immediately so that a replacement escort can be found as soon as possible.
  2. The Special Educational Needs Service Unit must be notified.
  3. The appropriate certification for sick leave should be supplied, i.e. Doctor's Note or a self certification form.
  4. The Special Educational Needs Service Unit and transport company should be kept informed of your absence from work and notified prior to your return to work.

Leave of Absence

Leave of absence will not be granted except in exceptional circumstances and Escorts should make a written request to the Special Educational Needs Service Unit in advance. Each request will be assessed individually on its own merit in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy of fairness and good practice.

Escorts booking holidays during the term time at the school to which they are located will not be granted leave of absence retrospectively.

Escorts Cover

It has been brought to the attention of Services for Children and Young People Special Educational Needs Service Unit that occasionally Escorts requiring leave of absence from their post have either:

  1. Arranged for their driver to cover
  2. Arranged for their friend to cover

They have then submitted their time sheets to SENSU including the time covered and made arrangements to forward the payment to their friend/driver. This is not an acceptable procedure. Timesheets should be an accurate reflection of the time taken for work carried out by each escort and all claims should be validated. To ask someone else to cover without permission from SENSU will be treated as a serious breach of these codes of practice and may result in disciplinary action being taken.

Place of Work

Escorts service approximately 45 schools in and around Tameside on a daily basis and you may be allocated to any one of them. Your designated place of work will usually remain the same for a fixed period of time i.e. from one contract period to another. However, due to the reduced number of escorts available it may be necessary to move you to another school at short notice. Your co-operation in the circumstances is appreciated.

Problems/Queries

Please ensure that any problems or queries are directed to the Services for Children and Young People Special Educational Needs Service Unit as and when they occur. It is important that we know about any difficulties to enable us to solve them

Please note that failure to work within the guidelines provided may result in disciplinary action.

If you have any queries regarding these guidelines or any other aspect of the post, please contact:-

Contact Information
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Contact by Post

Special Educational Needs
Tameside MBC
Council Offices
Wellington Road
Ashton under Lyne
OL6 6DL
Contact by Telephone
0161 342 3205
Contact by Fax
0161 342 3714
Page last updated: 26 October 2007