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School bus guidance for parents and pupils

This guide has been produced to help parents, guardians and pupils. Similar guides have been produced for bus operators and drivers and schools, which detail their responsibilities.

Transport arrangements and bus passes

Pupils who are entitled to travelling assistance will normally be issued with a bus pass to travel on either a dedicated school bus or a local service bus. Bus passes are valid for one return journey to or from the school or college on Mondays to Fridays when the school or college is open.

  • Bus passes are only valid on the bus service(s) stated and should be shown to the driver each day. Pupils without a pass will have to pay a fare (providing the service is registered to take fare paying passengers).

  • Passes are valid for the named student only.

  • Pupils are advised to put a photograph of themselves on the free bus pass. Those who don’t will have to show their b_line card to the driver as proof of identity (secondary age pupils only).

  • Bus passes should be kept in good condition. The pass will be invalid if it is lost, altered, defaced or damaged. Photocopies or scanned copies of the original pass will not be accepted.

  • Replacement bus passes can be obtained from most school offices on payment of the £5 charge. We will normally issue only one replacement bus pass to the same child during the academic year.

  • If you move address, you will need to re-apply for a free bus pass – even if you only move a short distance away. Apply for home to school transport assistance or paper forms can be obtained from the admissions and transport team, tel: 01629 533311 or 01629 537478 or 01629 537477.

  • Bus passes or tickets must be made available for inspection by representatives of the bus company or us.

  • Bus passes are our property and must be surrendered upon request.

Bus passes will be re-issued each year and will be sent to the student’s home address during the summer holiday. Bus timetable information will be sent to new students but can also be obtained from school or by calling the school transport section, tel: 01629 536740 or 01629 536749.

The journey to and from the bus stop

In most cases, the bus stop will not be too far away from home. However, this might not be the situation in all areas and pupils may be expected to walk up to a mile to the bus stop. The journey to and from the bus stop may contain a number of hazards to pedestrians. Walking the same route on a daily basis means that it is very easy to become complacent about the dangers it presents.

Please remind your child of the following to help them make the journey to and from the bus stop safer.

  • Where possible, walk as part of a group but remember that your safety is your own responsibility, not your friends.

  • If you are wearing dark coloured clothing, please be aware that it will be difficult for drivers to see you, particularly when it’s dark. Where possible, wear something bright during the day and also wear something reflective when it is dark.

  • Use of mobile phones and iPods whilst walking will mean that you are not paying full attention to the road environment. If you do use them whilst walking, please be extra vigilant and pay attention when crossing the road.

  • Pedestrian crossings are there for a reason. Please use them.

  • Some people think it’s OK to mess around on the roads and show off to friends. Remember that you will come off worse if hit by a vehicle.

Each of us has a responsibility to ourselves to be safe on the road. You can help avoid being a pedestrian casualty if these simple precautions are taken.

Waiting for the bus

  • Arrive at the bus stop in good time – the bus can’t wait for you.

  • If the bus is late, wait for up to 20 minutes before making alternative arrangements. Pupils and parents should have a back up plan in case the bus is very late, or does not turn up.

  • For your own safety and those around you, don’t mess around near the road.

  • When the bus is approaching, stand well back from the edge of the kerb. Signal the bus to stop by putting out your arm.

  • Don’t rush for the door when the bus has stopped.

  • Pupils should respect the property of those who live next to, or nearby, the bus stop.

On the bus

  • If you have a free bus pass, always have it ready and show it to the driver. If you don’t have your pass with you, the driver will expect you to pay the bus fare (if the service is registered to take fare paying passengers).

  • If you pay a bus fare, have your money ready. Where possible, have the correct change and take your ticket before finding a seat.

  • Find a seat quickly and remain in it during the journey.

  • If seatbelts are available, make sure that you wear it throughout the journey.

  • If you have to stand during the journey, move well down the bus. Never stand near the driver as you may block his or her view.

  • Respect other passengers and the driver.

  • All pupils should behave on the journey to and from school.

  • It is illegal for anybody to smoke on all buses and coaches. The use of e-cigarettes is also forbidden.

  • Pupils must only open the emergency door if there is a real emergency. It is extremely dangerous to attempt to open the door when the bus or coach is moving. 

  • In the event of a breakdown, follow the advice of the driver.

Behaviour on school transport

We provide a large number of school services and is committed to providing safe and reliable transport. A number of vehicles have CCTV fitted and images can be made available to the school, or police, on request.

Dealing with misbehaviour

Step one

Where issues exist, the driver will normally speak to the pupil(s) about their behaviour. If problems remain, details will be reported to the school and us. Once a pupil has been reported, a verbal warning will normally be given by the school. Pupils may be punished within school for their misbehaviour.

Step two

Where a pupil is a persistent offender or commits a serious offence, a written warning will be issued as follows. Either:

  • A letter will be sent home informing parents or guardians of their child’s behaviour along with a warning that further misbehaviour will result in the child being banned from the bus for a temporary period.


  • A letter will be sent home informing parents or guardians that an immediate ban from the bus has been imposed for a specified period. Pupils may also be asked to sign an acceptable behaviour contract before they are allowed to return to the bus.

Warning letters are issued by either the school or us.

In very serious cases, the right to travel on school transport may be indefinitely withdrawn. Parents will have a right of appeal, to a panel of council members, against the withdrawal of transport provision.

Parents and guardians should be aware that when bans are imposed, travelling arrangements and costs will become a parental responsibility and we, or school, will not be required to offer any alternative transport assistance when a bus pass has been removed.

Serious offences may also be reported to the police, to be dealt with by way of criminal proceedings.

A serious offence can be defined as any type of behaviour which endangers the safety of other passengers, the driver and members of the public. It also includes criminal damage or vandalism to the bus.

Damage or vandalism to the bus

Parents or guardians of any pupil who damages or vandalises the bus will be liable for any costs incurred by the bus company. We will support the bus company and will encourage police involvement if necessary.

Reporting problems with the school bus

Initially, problems should be reported to the school office. To help with any investigations, it would help if as much information as possible can be given such as the number of the bus, date, time and details of the problem. It is advisable to make a note of the name of the bus company and their telephone number as you may need to contact them, for example, when tracing lost property.

Vehicle safety checks

We undertake regular vehicle and driver checks at school and the bus operator’s depot. Checks are also undertaken by VOSA (Vehicle Operator Standard Agency) and the police. 

More information

If you have any enquiries about school transport, contact:

School Transport Section
Economy, Transport and Environment Department
Derbyshire County Council
County Hall

Tel: 01629 536740 or 01629 536749

For calls out of normal office hours, please contact Call Derbyshire, tel: 01629 533190. (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm. Saturday 8.30am to 4.30pm).

Parent, guardian and pupil views and suggestions

It is useful for us to be aware of any views or suggestions parents, guardians and pupils have about school transport. If you would like to share these, please contact the school transport section email: