The government’s school transport policy states that school transport is a ‘shared responsibility’ between caregivers and the government. What this means in practice varies from policy to policy, but there is no doubt that it does take a great many participants to make school transport happen.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education develops policy for approval by the Minister of Education and/or Cabinet. The Ministry makes payments to schools and bus operators and resolves problems that can not be solved locally. The Ministry also collects information on vehicle safety and makes it available to service agents and school communities.
|Service Agents are contracted by the Ministry to manage school transport on their behalf. Agents design bus routes and then either contract the route directly or calculate funding to be made available through Direct Resourcing. In the North Island this contract is held by Multi Serve Education Trust, with the contract for the South Island managed by School Support Limited.
|Transport administration service
|Transport administration service providers (such as EasyBus) are private companies or incorporated societies who provide administration services to school communities to assist with the management of Direct Resourcing transport networks. There are two types of administration provider, please click here for more information.
|A Bus Controller is a school employee whose primary responsibility is to maintain school bus lists and forward them to service agents. They often act as the point of contact in the school when a Service Agent wants to make changes to a bus route and have a basic responsibility for the overall safety of a school bus route.
|A Direct Resourcing school is a school community which has decided to manage their own school transport via the Direct Resourcing programme. Funding is paid directly to the school which is then responsible for managing the funds, contracting service providers, meeting compliance requirements and monitoring the safety of school bus services. Many Direct Resourcing schools elect to have these tasks completed by a transport admin services provider.
|A Direct Resourcing network comprises a number of schools who have banded together to manage their own school transport via the Direct Resourcing programme. In addition to the forty-odd responsibilities imposed on Direct Resourcing schools, networks are also required to meet a range of other compliance requirements relating to the operational functions of the network.
|Bus operators are generally private companies who tender for school transport contracts. They are responsible for providing safe and reliable transport services according to instructions given by Service Agents.
|Caregivers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that their children attend school. In situations where the government’s policy does not provide sufficient assistance to help a student access school, the caregiver is expected to find a solution.
Navigating your way successfully through the world of school transport can be a challenge and quite often the hardest part is just finding out which person is best-placed to solve a problem. EasyBus offers a 100% free advice service to school communities and bus operators on how to solve local problems. For more information on our free advice service please click your way through to this page.