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 parent/carers cars are used for a school trip the school must:
- Ensure drivers do no have unsupervised access with children. These are for safeguarding reasons but also because a driver cannot supervise children and drive.
- Ensure drivers understand their legal obligations when transporting pupils.
- Evidence that drivers 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 and an updated copy taken every three months.
- Evidence that adequate insurance cover is in place, usually this will require business insurance.
- Evidence that the car is road worthy by taking a copy of the current MOT certificate, records of how often the car is serviced, checking tyres are safe and correctly inflated.
- Evidence that drivers are medically fit to drive and that they have had eye tests to determine if driving glasses are required.
- Ensure drivers know how to get to the destination and not drive in convoy.
- Ensure drivers are equipped with a mobile telephone for emergencies.
- Ensure drivers are given an emergency plan to follow in the event of breakdown or road traffic collision.
- Ensure drivers understand and are familiar with seat belt legislation and that all passengers will be secured properly.
- Ensure that all children will be provided with child or booster seat if they are under 12 years of age or under 135cms in height, whichever they reach first. Check that lap belts are not used to secure a child into 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 by another parent or carer.
The above equally applies to teachers using their own private car.