Overview for Parents and Carers

As with all students, parents/carers are primarily responsible for getting their children to and from school. However, many students travelling to Education Support Schools and Centres have special needs and restricted mobility. To help such students access the programs available at Education Support Schools and Centres, the Government provides Eligible Students with a basic level of Transport Assistance.

School Bus Services administers this Transport Assistance program in line with the Government’s Operational Principles and considering the needs and capacities of individual students.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for Transport Assistance for travel to an education support facility including a Learning Development Centre (LDC), an education support student must, under normal circumstances:

  • Be enrolled at an education support facility at a government or non-government Education Support Centre or Education Support School.
  • Be enrolled at their nearest Education Support Centre
  • Be enrolled at an Education Support School within the transport catchment area
  • Are not able to travel independently or make their own way safely between home and school
  • Be regularly attending the school or centre and using their approved school bus service

Assessment/approval of a Transport Assistance Application

The Department of Education (DoE) in conjunction with the school/centre a student may attend, determines which types of programs and facilities are likely to best meet the needs of a student.

Regular Attendance

To be eligible for Transport Assistance in respect of travel to an Education Support School or Centre, a student is normally expected to travel to and from their school or centre (i.e. to and from the one address) at least three full days per week (i.e. three mornings and three afternoons). Students who cannot travel to their school or centre regularly (e.g. because of their disability or medical condition) will only be approved for transport assistance in exceptional circumstances. If a student is unable to travel at any time or for any period, parents/carers should contact the bus staff at the earliest opportunity. However, School Bus Services is aware that in some circumstances regular attendance may not always be possible and will aim to work with the families on the best outcome.

Overview

The buses used to transport education support students are often modified to accommodate the needs of students. In addition, as many education support students have mobility issues, they are usually picked up and dropped off on a door-to-door basis.

A student is only permitted to travel on an education support bus after School Bus Services have advised the contractor of the approval.

Student Medical Considerations

There are circumstances such as a medical condition and/or special needs of a student which makes it not feasible or safe for the student to be transported by an education support bus. The parents/carers of eligible students who cannot be transported by education support buses are usually entitled to a conveyance allowance.

Wheelchair and Special Equipment

Students travelling in a wheelchair or those who require special equipment to travel on an education support bus cannot be transported until the appropriate control devices/equipment is available for use.

Medication

Some students require medication to be administered at set times during the day. However, drivers and bus aides may not legally dispense medication and accordingly such students can only be transported at times when they do not need medication administered.

Feeding

Some students that have special feeding requirements (e.g. feeding via tubes) and cannot be moved after they have eaten. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate such students; however, it can be that the time required for the feeding and related resting period would make a service’s journey time excessive. In such cases, it may be that the student cannot be transported on the available services.

Transport to Respite Centres

Permission may be granted for students to travel on education support buses to and from respite care centres including home based respite, subject to the following conditions:

  • The respite centre is within the relevant school's transport catchment area.
  • The journey to the respite centre does not cause the bus trip to exceed 90 minutes duration for any student on the bus.
  • A seat or space is available for the student on the bus.
  • Approval would not normally be given if the travel to or from home-based respite would involve deviation from the approved route.

Student behaviour on Education Support Buses

Students travelling on education support buses are expected to behave appropriately and in accordance with the general principles set out in the Code of Conduct and the Conditions of Travel which parents/carers acknowledge when applying for Transport Assistance. While all students are expected to abide by the Code of Conduct, special consideration will be given to students with disabilities. In all cases, however, the safety of those travelling on education support buses is paramount and if a student’s behaviour endangers the health or safety of any individual on an education support bus, their entitlement to travel may be suspended or withdrawn.

Notice of Suspension or Withdrawal of Entitlement

If permission for a student to travel or their entitlement to transport assistance is suspended or withdrawn, School Bus Services will notify the parent/carer and any other affected parties as soon as possible so that alternative transport arrangements for the student can be made.

Contractors, drivers and bus aides must fulfil their duties and conduct themselves in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, codes, relevant guidelines and the terms of the service contract. Any person who wishes to make a formal complaint about the conduct of a contractor, driver, bus aide or any other person involved in providing school bus transport assistance should advise School Bus Services in writing. Details on this process can be found in the Student Transport Assistance Policy.

School Bus Services is responsible for taking any action against contractors, drivers and/or bus aides in relation to the service contract or the performance of contractual duties.

Care Plan

Contractors transporting students to education support school or centre must include information in their safety management plan describing any relevant medical conditions the student may have. This information must be contained in a care plan which is appropriate to the particular student travelling on the bus and must provide, if applicable, the following:

  • A basic description of the medical condition of each student.
  • Any behaviour management issues relating to individual students.
  • Contingency arrangements if a parent or carer fails to meet the bus or is late (e.g. emergency drop-off addresses).
  • Location and contact details of the nearest medical facilities.
  • Contact details for education support school or centre and/or respite centre.

Overview

An education support student who is entitled to Transport Assistance usually in the form of transport via ‘Orange’ School Buses, many of which are modified to accommodate the needs of students that require wheelchair access, postural restraints or any other equipment or vehicle modification that can reasonably be achieved, or payment of a Conveyance Allowance as contribution towards the costs incurred by the parents/carers in transporting their Education Support School or Centre.

Transport Assistance applies for the journey from the residential address to approved Education Support School or Education Support Centre and return in the afternoon. This does not include alternate drop offs at day care or after school care locations.

School Bus Services will determine which form of Transport Assistance is appropriate and make available to individual students.

Where the use of contract school bus is not possible or impractical, School Bus Services may offer a Conveyance Allowance.

There are a range of education support schools or centres that provide a variety of programs for students with special needs.

Government Schools or Centres

  • Education support schools and associated satellite classes
  • Education support centres
  • Language Development Centres and associated satellite classes and
  • Western Australian Institute for Deaf Education
Click on the links below to view the current maps of the Education Support Schools catchment areas:

Atwell and Success School boundary

Aveley Secondary School boundary

Burbridge_Gladys_Newton_School_boundary

Butler School boundary

Byford School Boundary

Castlereagh_School_boundary

Coastal_Lakes_College_Secondary School_Boundary

Durham Road Primary School Boundary

Durham Road Secondary School Boundary

Kenwick_School_boundary for Years K - 6

Kenwick_School_boundary for Years 7 - 12

Malibu_School_boundary

Sir_David_Brand_School_boundary

South Kensington_Carson_Street_School_boundary


Language Development Centres

Students who attend a Language Development Centre (LDC) operated by the Department of Education are normally eligible for Transport Assistance in respect to travel to the nearest such facility within the Transport Catchment Area defined for that centre.

Click on the links below to view the current maps of LDC catchment areas:

Fremantle LDC Boundary Map

North East Metro LDC Boundary Map

Peel LDS Boundary Map

South East Metro LDC Boundary Map

West Coast LDC Boundary Map

Non-government Schools or Centres

Non-government education support schools or centres that are equivalent to the above government schools or centres and approved by the Department of Education.

Exceptions

  • Under School Bus Services policy a student attending an inclusion program at a mainstream school is not entitled to Transport Assistance as an education support student, unless, they live in a rural area and meet the mainstream student eligibility criteria.
  • If students are capable of making their own way to and from an education support school or centre, either by public transport, walking or cycling are encouraged to do so.

However, many students travelling to education support schools or centres have special needs and restricted mobility, which can exclude them from using some forms of transport. To enable students to access the programs available at an education support school or centre, the Government provides eligible students with a basic level of transport assistance.


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