Claire's CharterFriday December 07, 2018
The 25th anniversary has just passed of the tragic minibus crash on the M40 that resulted in the deaths of a teacher and twelve gifted pupils from Hagley RC High School. For one family that lost their much loved daughter, they believe that in many instances, children are no safer when driven by school teachers today, than their daughter was all those years ago. They have asked BUSK to mount a campaign to raise awareness about the safety breaches they want to see closed and to empower teachers to act, to give teachers a voice if they feel uncomfortablel about driving the school minibus but feel they cannot refuse. Liz and Steve Fitzgerald have worked on a charter they would like to see observed and have called this simply, 'Claire's Charter'. In 2019 BUSK will begin to mount a campaign to ensure that all schools UK-wide understand the law surrounding minibus operation and the safety aspects that so often are unwittingly not adhered to. BUSK and the Fitzgerald Family are certain that no school would knowingly break the law. This campaign will be one that will assist in that respect.
Claire's Charter aims to ensure the safety of children and their accompanying adults within the UK, when they are being transported by schools and/or organisations in vehicles other than a commercial passenger transport company.Claire’s family understand that schools need to transport children for the purposes of their wider education, HOWEVER, a school or organisation must take their safety duties seriously and demonstrate this by:
- NEVER asking teachers to drive minibuses in addition to other duties during or after the working day.
- Recognising that driving IS working, and all time spent working affects the ability to drive safely. Include all working hours when considering the length of the working day is crucial.
- Holding an Operator’s Licence and employing the services of a qualified transport manager.
- Ensuring that all teachers and volunteer drivers of a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats hold a PSV licence and CPC certification.
- Training drivers in all aspects of safe transport, including the drivers' own responsibilities under health and safety and road traffic legislation, seat belt legislation and contingency planning.
- Ensuring the young passengers they transport understand and can implement the safety rules.
- Ensuring that a minimum of one responsible adult travels in the minibus in addition to the driver on all trips.
- Maintaining a safety recording system, including six monthly checks on and copies of all drivers' driving licences.
N.B. Only drivers with a clean driving licence should be permitted to drive children.