To be furious with school bus driver

(191 Posts)
WashingLion Tue 26-Feb-13 19:13:34

For taking my 5year old off the bus and leaving her, alone by a busy main road, because the childminder was 5 minutes late.

And then to be furious with the bus company for denying all responsibility (this is a school bus).

The childminder is very responsible but was held up in traffic. My daughter was found wandering down the road by a (luckily) kindly stranger who asked her where I work and managed to track me down.

WashingLion Mon 01-Jul-13 14:21:43

We have also received a letter from Oxfordshire County Council, apologising and stating that they will 'review their policies and procedures in the light of this incident'.

The bus driver involved is back on the route. He cannot bring himself to look at or speak to me, which is cowardly to say the least. He obviously feels very badly done to.

I have decided on a change of career from September so that I can pick up my kids at the school gates each day. This will mean some loss of income but very worth it for the peace of mind. I can't begin to say how much the whole thing has shaken me up.

SugarandSpice126 Mon 01-Jul-13 13:58:02

Even if they/anyone in this situation legitimately had no formal responsibility for child, what normal person actually has no problem abandoning a five year old on their own on a busy street?! Frothing at the mouth a little bit here! How would they feel if that happened to their child?!

Pigs, it is a school bus, but all school services are ultimately run by the LA.

The policies have to be approved and set by the LA and they are the actual employers of the bus driver.

The policy is that a child, under senior school age, or any age, if disabled etc, unattended and must be dropped off in an approved safe place/manner.

Pigsmummy Mon 01-Jul-13 13:34:09

I don't understand? Did your DD board the bus on her own to be met by a childminder at a stop? Is this a school bus or public bus?

If public then you are being unreasonable to let your 5yo travel on her own? If school bus then you need to be addressing the school with the complaint.

buildingmycorestrength Mon 01-Jul-13 13:16:29

I thought you all might like to know that I received a response from my MP today saying that my County Council is going to review its bus policies and procedures in light of this incident. I'm delighted on behalf of all the young children in the county who catch the bus (we actually live about 100 yards from the school so walk, but it just felt so urgent and awful that I had to write).

I sincerely hope that others have had a similarly fruitful response?

buildingmycorestrength Fri 15-Mar-13 06:19:56

That is shocking behaviour on their part.

Well done writing to your MP. I do really wonder whether a quick chat with a journalist might not be in order. Local press, perhaps.

Any other suggestions? Free half hour with a lawyer, so you can bandy about some litigious language? Really, they need a kick up the arise.

I also think a Mumsnet Campaign would be perfect.

cumfy Thu 14-Mar-13 22:51:31

Have they put anything in writing ?

It's ridiculous; they have deliberately excluded you, CM and DD from the investigation.
Essentially they are lying that they have conducted an investigation.

Long-term sick my arse.

Cover up.

Goldmandra Thu 14-Mar-13 22:36:04

That's dreadful mud-slinging and must make you feel very angry.

However I fail to see how it would be relevant even if it were true. You can't put a child at risk because you don't like what their parent is doing. If you were repeatedly late I am sure there are appropriate ways to address this problem and they clearly have no evidence that they have taken any action of this sort.

Nothing in that statement is at all relevant to the fact that they bus driver left a small child in terrible danger.

Sparklingbrook Thu 14-Mar-13 22:34:07

So if they are saying there's not always an adult to collect DD from the bus stop on time have they been letting her off to nobody a lot? confused

Bearandcub Thu 14-Mar-13 22:32:52

Sorry it's an investigation they must use evidence to back up someone's statement.

Tell them you want them to verify this statement.

Sparklingbrook Thu 14-Mar-13 22:28:25

shock Washing. That is all really disappointing news. You must be livid.

WashingLion Thu 14-Mar-13 22:26:45

Just to update what has happened with this since I last posted. We had heard nothing from the council so contacted them today as the driver is now back driving the school bus. After two weeks of investigation, the council stated 'as part of our initial investigations, it has been brought to our attention that there is not always an adult present to collect (DD) from the bus stop on time'.

This is a desperate lie on the part of the bus company. However, seeing as DD is the only child to get off at our stop and there is no-one else around, it is the bus company's word against ours. I am sure that if I had been repeatedly late over the past 17 months that we have used the bus service, the company would have complained to the school and/or said something to me? But we are usually waiting for the bus as it is late. Basically, they are lying to cover themselves. The person at the council who was initially dealing with this has gone off on long-term sick leave. The school have heard nothing and we are no closer to having a policy in place to prevent this happening again. We have written to our MP.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 05:15:09

Hmmm. This smacks of being an ideal candidate for a mumsnet campaign. Compile a list of bus companies along with their relevant MP's and demand that a national protocol be decided and implemented.

Take the decision out of the drivers hands, remove the uncertainty.

TheFallenNinja Fri 08-Mar-13 05:09:58

I would be equally furious with the childminder.

Jengnr Thu 07-Mar-13 21:25:52

Write to your MP too.

roadkillbunny Thu 07-Mar-13 21:15:26

m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-21667210

Not a good week for OCC school bus service, makes me wonder if all things combined there are some serious issues with this service.

Our OCC school bus is very good however, I don't need to use it but those that do are more then happy, always the same driver and good bus and no issues reported at all.

My DS does not use the school bus but I was horrified to read this thread. So much so that I looked up the guidelines to bus & taxi drivers contracted by our local area education board (in NI, so not run by local council). The guidelines state:

(d) On arriving at school, pupils should be given into the care of school
staff and again on the homeward journey they should be given into
the care of the parent or guardian. Pupils must not be “abandoned”
or left to their own devices at either end of their journey.

Why is this simple guideline not adopted, and adhered to, by all councils/education boards in the UK?

JengaBlock Mon 04-Mar-13 22:43:17

Have just seen this thread and was shocked. Glad your dd was ok and it is all being investigated.

cumfy Mon 04-Mar-13 22:35:49

blush Sorry. I missed that.

CrystalTits Mon 04-Mar-13 22:29:51

Cumfy, the OP says AIBU to be furious with school bus driver [...] For taking my 5year old off the bus and leaving her, alone by a busy main road

Washing I've followed this thread with increasing horror and hope that you get the right outcome.

cumfy Mon 04-Mar-13 14:27:28

I do hope whoever was responsible ie the driver or his manager(s) is sacked.

Just to be clear the OP has not specified how DD got off the bus and has not said driver took dd off the bus or similar.

LucieLucie Sun 03-Mar-13 21:39:34

I missed the bit in your op where you said the driver ' took dd off the bus'. Sorry I presumed he remained in his seat to let her jump off herself as that's what happens where I live.

If the case is that the driver took her off the bus and deliberately left her there knowing an adult hadn't met her then that is a serious safeguarding issue and I would be livid as well, though I do think the cm should take some of the flak for failing to make emergency plan in case of lateness.

The driver may lose his job.

I pressed post too soon - what I meant to say was, in the OP's circumstance, if a proper policy had been in place, either the child minder would have phoned the driver (or whoever was responsible for coordination) and rearranged a drop off with the driver, or, in the absence of any communication from the childminder, the driver would have rung the coordinator or the childminder to rearrange,pick up. In either case, the bus driver would have kept the child on the bus until the child was picked up by the childminder or a parent.

Sparklingbrook Sun 03-Mar-13 21:34:46

Yes, to me it's the same as the childminder being a bit late to school to pick the child up. The school wouldn't kick them out if the door and leave them outside.

In my opinion, the bus driver was responsible for the children's safety, until he handed them over to whichever adult was picking them up from the bus stop. This one didn't - to quote the OP, he took her off the bus and left her alone, beside a busy road.

In this kind of arrangement, everyone involved needs proper procedures in place to deal with situations like this, and these need to be joined-up, if you see what I mean. The LEA, school and parents all need to know who to contact when a problem arises, and what each person's responsibility is, when a problem arises. One policy that everyone understands and uses.

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