Epsom Coaches joins school trip safety scheme

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The Simply Safe scheme teaches school staff about how Epsom’s vehicles are kept safe
The Simply Safe scheme teaches school staff about how Epsom’s vehicles are kept safe

BUSK UK’s scheme aims to reassure parents and stop the culture of automatically picking the cheapest quote

Epsom Coaches has joined a new scheme, Simply Safe, which aims to change the culture of how teachers hire coaches for school trips, as launched by child transport safety consultancy, BUSK UK.

Simply Safe is a tool schools can use to gain a clear understanding in areas such as how many drivers should be provided on any one school trip and how often the coach is safety inspected and to get essential information without the need to ask questions.

BUSK UK said this is a must before the coach arrives through the school gate and full information about the transport hired should be given to parents before they sign along the dotted line for their child to participate in the trip. The scheme means free advice and information from BUSK on how to produce a School Transport Policy document covering all aspects related to the transportation of pupils and staff on school trips, seat belt policies, their enforcement and emergency planning which the youngest child can understand.

As a Simply Safe member Epsom Coaches now has a Safety Charter unique to it, outlining exactly what it will provide to schools and significant information to the school about its legal requirements when organising transport for children in its care and how to remain compliant and safe is a proactive approach for future trips.

BUSK’s Director Pat Harris said: “Too many schools obtain three quotes and just pick the cheapest. For years this is how it has been done with many teachers not realising that, in fact, they should be taking account of more than just the cost. Should something go wrong during the trip resulting in the death of a pupil, for instance, a court would want to know what criteria was used to source transport.

“A court is unlikely to accept the teacher or school had done everything reasonably possible if they tried to raise a defence that they did not understand the subject or that they selected a transport company by choosing the cheapest.”

“We are delighted to be part of Simply Safe, because all coach operators are not the same and this ensures schools can be confident the operator they place their trust in complies in all ways with the responsibility that teachers have to look after the welfare of their pupils,” said Steve Whiteway, commercial director of Epsom Coaches.

BUSK UK was set up in February 1993, mounting a high profile campaign resulting in changes to seat belt legislation requires coaches and minibuses to be fitted with safety belts when carrying children. For more information about BUSK, visit its website at www. busk-uk.com and to access Epsom Coaches’ Safety Charter visit its website at www.epsomcoaches.com