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School bus guidance for schools

This guide has been produced to help schools. Similar guides have been produced for parents and pupils and bus operators 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).

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 not be valid 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 a pupil moves address, they will need to re-apply for a free bus pass – even if they only move a short distance away. Parents can apply for home to school transport assistance or contact the admissions and transport team for a paper copy, tel: 01629 533311 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 pupil's home address during the summer holiday. Bus timetable information will be sent to new students with their pass.

Behaviour on school transport

The behaviour of pupils on school transport is an issue which is raised frequently. Some operators have CCTV fitted to vehicles and we will help to encourage them to provide images to school (or the police) on request. To help deal with behaviour problems, we recommend a behaviour code, which schools and operators will be encouraged to adopt.

Step 1

Where issues exist, drivers will be expected to speak to pupils about their behaviour. If problems remain, details must be reported to the school and us. Once a pupil has been reported, a verbal warning should be given by the school. Schools should include within their disciplinary procedures, behaviour which takes place on the journey to and from school as well as behaviour within school

Step 2

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 will be 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.

When bans are imposed, travelling arrangements and costs will be a parental responsibility and we, or school, will not 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 to the bus

Parents or guardians of any pupil who causes damage to 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.

Contact information

If you have any enquiries about school transport, contact:

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

Tel: 01629 536740 or 01629 536749

Enquiries about eligibility to free travel should be made to the admissions and transport section, tel: 01629 533311 or 01629 537477.