Here are some frequently-asked questions that school communities and bus operators often have about school transport. If you have a question that doesn’t appear below please feel free to make contact with us or take advantage of our free advice service.
In most cases the answer is no. Schools cannot own shares in companies, incorporated societies, etc. without the approval of the Ministers of Education and Finance under s161 of the Crown Entities Act 2004. Any school with a shareholding or interest in a company will receive a qualified audit report accompanying it’s annual financial statements. EasyBus can advise your network how to structure its operations to remain within the law while still distributing surplus funding to individual boards.
Yes. If your community elects to contract out services to a bus operator you must use an open process similar to that used by the ministry, including advertising certain routes on the government’s tender website. There are a number of options available to schools to get the results they want from contracting out their bus routes, please get in touch with us for further advice.
One of the benefits of Direct Resourcing is that you can choose to manage your network in whatever way you see fit. You are most definitely not required to use the services of one of the Ministry’s Service Agents.
Yes. If your school decides to own your own vehicles and supply drivers your need to have a Passenger Service License. This aspect of school transport can be quite tricky so please do make contact with EasyBus for advice on how to best manage your particular situation.
Despite their best efforts to remain impartial, many school communities feel that it’s impossible for a Service Agent to get the best possible deal for a school whilst being on the Ministry’s payroll. This raises the need for an independent party to provide advice and to advocate for schools, caregivers and children.
Yes. In any situation where more than one school shares a bus route there needs to be a formal agreement in place to cover the operation of the network. Templates for such agreements are readily available from EasyBus.
The only way to ensure that you are getting your full entitlement is to have your funding reviewed by an independent party. This independent review will determine whether all of your eligible students are generating the full funding entitlement and that routes have been designed correctly.
Your school is able to enter the Direct Resourcing programme when a Ministry contract is not in place. This generally happens every six years, but there are some situations in which things happen outside the normal cycle – contact EasyBus for details.
There are a number of things to consider when deciding if Direct Resourcing is right for your community. Primarily you need to determine whether the level of funding provided by the government will be enough to contract bus services in your local area. Contact EasyBus for no-obligation advice on whether Direct Resourcing will work for your community.
You are not required to contract out bus services – you can provide assistance to students in whatever way you see fit.
Direct Resourcing provides school communities with the flexibility to manage school transport for their students in whatever way they see fit. They can provide assistance to more students and specify higher quality than the basic service provided by the Ministry. They can have control over which bus operator provides bus services and manage their network so as to achieve efficiencies and realise surpluses which can be used to top-up school funding.
Bus operators are required to meet a large number of safety requirements relating to both vehicles and drivers. From January 2009 direct resourcing are required to monitor bus operators to ensure that these requirements are being met and to report back to the ministry on the results of this monitoring. Safety requirements include driver licensing and training, vehicle age and safety checks, maintenance programmes, insurances and reporting.
The key reason to use a transport admin service provider is that it frees up your time to focus on what you do best: improving educational outcomes for your students. Using an external party with the right sort of expertise gives you peace of mind that your community is making the most of the government’s school transport policy. EasyBus aims to eliminate administration requirements for school personnel.