Does your school meet parents’ expectations of safety?
School transport can be a valuable tool for parents, but comes at a significant cost, with fees up to £1000 a year for some parents. When paying for the service, parents need to be assured their children are protected and safe whilst on board, protected from incidents or harm from others.
In 2017 the father of a severely autistic 10-year-old complained after his son suffered a mysterious injury on a school bus, calling for CCTV to be installed on all vehicles carrying children with learning disabilities. The father, Mr Hitchman, was shocked to find his son had come home on the bus with heavy bruising on his upper body. Because of his son’s communication issues, all he was able to do was to say “hurt, hurt” and point to the bus.
He suffered bad bruising, but because there is no CCTV, we’re unlikely to know what happened. The school is investigating, but it has no control over the buses. If they had CCTV, we might have some indication of what happened.
Many councils who provide school transport believe that the installation of CCTV cameras on every vehicle is not necessary, practicable or affordable. On the contrary, a simple vehicle CCTV system, combined with a driver monitor, can help to prevent these kinds of problems.
Internal cameras can provide school vehicles with full protection, with views of the pupils on board as well as the vehicle surroundings. Doing so means all behaviour on board the bus can be moderated, preventing bullying and vandalism. In the event of an incident on the vehicle, such as the with Mr Hitchman’s son, not only can the driver see what happened, but the incident can be recorded as evidence.
On top of this, using GPS tracking with an easy to use mobile app means parents can see where their children are when in transit, avoiding situations where parents aren’t sure where their children are. There is a lot to be said for keeping everyone informed of children’s location and arrival times and providing 100% accountability for the children’s welfare.
Whether school transport is contracted out or provided as part of the school infrastructure, installing CCTV and GPS tracking has proven to encourage support for a school’s transport systems bringing benefits to both school, parent and children.
If you’d like to learn more about our Tracking and Telematics solutions then check out our AdvancedFleet Solutions here.