Using private cars for school trips
Some schools use private cars for school trips. National guidance is available for schools via their local authority. Specific written permission is required from parents whose child is to be transported by a teacher or another parent.
If a school uses private cars to transport pupilson a school trip they must:
- Ensure that the driver is not alone with any children. There are two reasons for this. The first is related to safeguarding the children and the adult. The second reason is because a driver cannot supervise children and drive.
- Ensure the driver understands their legal obligations when transporting pupils.
- Evidence the driver have a clean and valid driving license without points for speeding, drink/drug driving, talking on a mobile whilst driving, careless or dangerous driving. A copy of the driver’s license should be taken and kept on file with a updated copy taken every three months.
- Evidence that adequate insurance cover is in place. Usually this will need to be business insurance.
- Evidence that the car is road worthy by taking copies of the MOT certificate, records of how often the car is serviced, checking tyres are safe and correctly inflated.
- Evidence that the driver is medically fit to drive and that they have had an eye test to determine if driving glasses are required.
- Ensure the driver knows how to get to the destination independently to avoid driving in convoy.
- Ensure the driver is equipped with a mobile telephone for emergencies.
- Ensure the driver is given an emergency plan to follow in the event of breakdown or road traffic collision.
- Ensure the driver understands and is familiar with seat belt legislation and that all passengers will be secured properly.
- Ensure that all children will be provided with child or booster seats if they are under 12 years of age or under 135cms in height, whichever they reach first and that only three point lap and diagonal safety belts are used in conjunction with a child or booster seat.
- Ensure that no child is carried in the front seat of a vehicle where an active airbag is fitted.
- Ensure that specific written permission is given by each parent for their child to be transported in private cars.