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School Transport - Ministry of Education

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School Transport - Ministry of Education

    ________________________________________________

    SCHOOL TRANSPORT

    Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special

    Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA)

    - A Good Practice Guide

    September 2007

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     SCHOOL TRANSPORT | Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA) | A Good Practice Guide (September 2007)

    School Transport ________________________________

    Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA)

     A Good Practice Guide

The Ministry of Education has a proud safety record in school transport.

Approximately 4,500 students who receive special education school transport

    assistance (SESTA) travel to school and back everyday of the school year in ministry-contracted buses, taxis, minivans and total mobility vehicles. The

    ministry is committed to ensuring their journey is a safe one.

    In order to achieve the ministry‟s overall goal of raising educational achievement and reducing disparity, the Ministry of Education is focussed on

    a number of key areas student presence, engagement and achievement.

SESTA supports the presence of students in a range of school settings. It has

    an important role to play contributing to the ministry‟s aim of providing a high quality education for all students.

    These guidelines have been developed for families, caregivers, schools and specialist staff, as well as transport service providers and service agents

    indeed everyone who has a role to play supporting the safe passage of students with special education needs to and from school. They include a good practice model, as well as fact sheets about equipment, and approaches

    to consider to keep students safe.

    Although the guidelines focus primarily on students who are eligible for SESTA, the information provided will also be relevant to other students who require different types of assistance to travel to school and elsewhere.

    The ministry hopes everyone who has a role to play in this important area will use the guidelines as a basis for ensuring safe travel practices continue to be implemented for all students.

Jean Smith Paul Burke

    Acting Deputy Secretary (Special Education) Acting Senior Manager, Resourcing

    Ministry of Education Ministry of Education

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     SCHOOL TRANSPORT | Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA) | A Good Practice Guide (September 2007)

    Contents ________________________________________

    Good Practice Guide

    Introduction

    1.1 Overview

    1.2 What does the guide mean by safety and restraint?

    1.3 Who is the guide for?

    1.4 Why is this guide needed?

    1.5 What is the scope of the guide?

    1.6 Who is eligible for Special Education School Transport Assistance

    (SESTA)?

    Introducing a team approach to safe transport

    2.1 What is a team approach?

    2.2 Who is in the team?

    2.3 Teamwork

    2.4 Clarifying roles & responsibilities

    Identifying travel needs

    3.1 What is the process for identifying travel needs?

    3.2 What issues need to be considered when identifying travel needs?

    Process for identifying a student’s travel needs

    4.1 Suggested process flowchart

    4.2 When should the process start?

    4.3 The transport care plan

    4.4 Process checklists

    Safe Travel Key Messages

    Further Information

    Appendices & Supporting Documentation Appendix 1 Legal & Policy Framework Appendix 2 Safe Travel Fact Sheets

    ; Fact Sheet 1 Vehicle Safety Belts

    ; Fact Sheet 2 Child Restraint & Booster Seats

    ; Fact Sheet 3 Harnesses

    ; Fact Sheet 4 Buckle Guards

    ; Fact Sheet 5 Wheelchairs & Wheelchair Accessories Appendix 3 Suggested Process Templates: Checklists &

    Plans

    ; Transport Care Plan

    ; Checklist 1

    ; Checklist 2

    ; Checklist 3

    ; Checklist 4

    ; Checklist 5

    Appendix 4 Glossary of Terms

    Appendix 5 Literature Review

    Appendix 6 References

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    SCHOOL TRANSPORT | Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA) | A Good Practice Guide (September 2007) Introduction _____________________________________

1.1 Overview

The Ministry of Education recognises that some students travelling to school

    in a vehicle may require support or equipment to ensure their safety and

    comfort during the journey. This good practice guide aims to provide

    information about what a student‟s travel needs are and how to identify and respond to these needs.

The guide is primarily aimed at students in receipt of Special Education

    School Transport Assistance (SESTA). It provides advice on issues that should be taken into account when thinking about safe travel such as the different types of equipment available, who is involved in determining safe travel, legal considerations, etc.

    The guide also suggests a process to follow to identify and meet a student‟s travel needs. This process is supported by checklists and plans that can be

    found in the guide‟s appendices.

A series of fact sheets on restraints & equipment used to support safe travel in

    vehicles, such as buckle guards, child restraint & booster seats, harnesses,

    vehicle safety belts and wheelchairs & wheelchair accessories, have also been

    developed to support this good practice guide. The fact sheets provide more

    detailed information on safe travel procedures for each identified issue. They

    can also be found in the guide‟s appendices.

    A glossary is included in the guide‟s appendices to provide definitions of the various terms and references referred to within the document.

1.2 What does the guide mean by safety and restraint?

    There are different interpretations of safety and restraint depending on why the term is applied.

    Restraint in this guide refers to a variety of different types of equipment, intervention or strategies to ensure the safety of students and others in the vehicle.

    The use of suitable restraints to ensure safety in the event of a crash may be regarded as one aspect of safety. For the purposes of this guide, safety also covers the physical, social, emotional and health related aspects of a student‟s wellbeing, as well as others in the vehicle, during the journey to and from school.

An element of additional restraint for one or more passengers in a vehicle may

    be required to ensure safety. In these circumstances, the situation for

    students fitted with a restraint must be managed to support a balance

    between their right to minimal restraint and the need for both themselves and others in the vehicle to be kept as safe as possible.

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    While seat belts in vehicles provide for an individual‟s safety in the event of a sudden stop or crash, other restraint systems (e.g., harnesses and buckle guards) may be needed to minimise the risk of an individual causing harm to themselves or others during the journey. It is, therefore, important to note that the use of any restraint system should be implemented in ways that

    respect a students rights and other ethical principles (e.g., by reference to the code of ethics that guide professionals whose work is governed by the terms of

    the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act (2003)).

1.3 Who is the guide for?

    The information given in this good practice guide will be helpful for all those involved in providing school transport assistance for students with special

    educational needs. It will be of most use to parents/caregivers, schools,

    specialised assessors, service agents and transport service agents who are

    involved in the provision of SESTA.

1.4 Why is this guide needed?

    A number of concerns have been raised with the ministry in relation to safety and restraint during the journey to and from school. For example:

    ; some procedures for the provision of safe equipment in the vehicle

    are not clear (such as procedures to follow for the assessment of a

    student, training in the use of equipment, and the ongoing suitability

    of equipment with a growing student);

    ; some students can unfasten their belts while travelling;

    ; some students require a harness for postural support when travelling

    in a vehicle. These can be difficult to fit into some vehicles including

    school buses, taxis, minibuses or total mobility vehicles;

    ; during the journey to and from school, some students are not

    fastened securely in their wheelchairs and some wheelchairs are not

    secured to the total mobility vehicle;

    ; some wheelchairs are not strong enough to withstand the impact of a

    collision.

This guide aims to respond to the above concerns and issues. While it does

    not say what must be done to meet a particular individual student‟s travel

    needs, it does provide a range of examples and solutions to inform decision

    making regarding safe travel.

1.5 What is the scope of the guide?

This guide includes consideration of safe travel equipment and restraint issues

    for students eligible for SESTA travelling on vehicles provided by the Ministry

    of Education (e.g., school buses and contracted special education school

    transport services including taxis, minibuses and total mobility vehicles).

    In these cases, the Ministry of Education must satisfy itself that it is providing a safe and comfortable environment for each student during the journey. The

    guide is primarily aimed at students in receipt of SESTA. It may, however,

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    SCHOOL TRANSPORT | Safe Travel for Students in Receipt of Special Education School Transport Assistance (SESTA) | A Good Practice Guide (September 2007) also be useful for those students with a disability or injury in receipt of a

    conveyance allowance or travelling to and from school by private car.

    The information in this guide has been collected from the sources listed under section five, Further Information. It provides general information about what

    is considered good practice in relation to the safety and restraint of students with disabilities travelling to and from school. The guide is not intended to be

    prescriptive or fully comprehensive, nor is it intended to be a substitute for

    legal advice. While care has been taken in its preparation to ensure that it is

    accurate and up to date, the ministry is not liable for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies. Furthermore, the suggestions in this guide should be read in

    conjunction with any policy and guidance currently in place for the provision of SESTA.

    1.6 Who is eligible for Special Education School Transport

    Assistance (SESTA)?

SESTA is provided for students whose safety or mobility needs require a level

    of assistance to attend the nearest school able to meet their needs. In general this will include students with special educational needs relating to a learning

    disability, medical need, severe & challenging behaviour and/or a physical

    need.

    As with all school transport assistance provided by the government, the aim is to provide assistance. In some cases this assistance may not meet the full school transport cost. Eligible students may receive assistance in the form of a school bus service, a conveyance allowance or a contracted Special Education School Transport Service (e.g., by taxi, minibus or total mobility

    vehicle).

For further information about School Transport Assistance, a series of fact

    sheets can be found on the Ministry of Education‟s website www.minedu.govt.nz/goto/schooltransport

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     Introducing a team approach to safe transport ________________________________________

2.1 What is a team approach?

    The organisation of transport to and from school for a student can be complex. Apart from access and equipment needs, there are many other issues to consider such as the student‟s behavioural or medical needs during the journey. There will be various people involved in providing home to school transport and all will be able to provide different information to help choose

    the safest transport option for a student.

    A team approach is about working together to identify the most appropriate support and equipment an individual student will need during their journey to and from school. It‟s also about ensuring all team members know and understand the best way to work together and understand their individual

    roles and responsibilities.

2.2 Who is in the team?

    The team includes everyone involved in arranging and providing transport between home and school. It will always include:

    ; the student,

    ; the parent/caregiver, and

    ; the school.

    Depending on how the student is transported to school and whether any equipment to support safe travel is required, the team may also include:

    ; the transport service agent,

    ; the special education transport service provider,

    ; the driver, and

    ; the specialised assessor.

2.3 Teamwork

Good teamwork relies on good communication i.e., knowing what

    information to share and when.

It may not always be practical or possible for the team to meet together as a

    whole to share information. It is, therefore, recommended that an individual takes primary responsibility to update and share information with team

    members as and when appropriate. The parent/caregiver is well placed to play this role as they will provide most of the information regarding their child‟s travel needs. Team members should, however, be aware that the parent/caregiver may need some support to do this and should be willing to take over this role when necessary.

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