School bus ‘anti-bullying’ consultation
Welsh Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has launched a consultation on an improved Learner Travel Behaviour Code, which includes more robust anti-bullying measures on school transport. Launched in 2010 the All-Wales Travel Behaviour Code aimed to ensure the safety of learners under the age of 19 on the journey between home and school, whatever the mode of transport. However, feedback from young people, schools, parents and the Children’s Commissioner on the Code showed some aspects were not working well. The Welsh Government then carried out a Wales-wide consultation with learners, aged between 12-18, to develop a new and improved Travel Behaviour Code.
Some of the measures in the new draft code include: more robust anti-bullying messages; better links with the Welsh Government anti-bullying agenda and school behaviour codes; encouraging a safe, comfortable and positive bus environment; recommending that learners be allowed to eat and drink on buses; and putting in place Travel Behaviour Contracts between learners, parents, local authorities and transport operators to reinforce the sense of shared responsibility for ensuring good behaviour on the home to school journey. It also includes using pupils from Years 11, 12 and 13 as bus monitors to supervise journeys; as well as getting schools to consider rewards for learners who behave well on school transport. A communications campaign to raise awareness of the Travel Behaviour Code amongst learners was also called for.
Edwina Hart said, ‘Enjoying a safe and comfortable journey to and from their place of learning is vital for all children and young people’s education and welfare. This proposed code has been developed together with the Children’s Commissioner and children and young people from across Wales. I have been impressed by the dedication and insight all those children and young people have shown in developing this new code. I believe this proposed code now reflects their ideas, views and opinion that everybody’s rights and responsibilities for safe journeys to school should be included. I hope as many people as possible take the opportunity to feedback on this very important document.’
The new draft Travel Behaviour Code and consultation document can be found at http://gov.wales/consultations/education/?lang=en