Transporting children and young people
When arranging transport, it is recommended and is good safeguarding practice for two adults to be present. There may be an occasion where it is impossible for two adults to be present when transporting children.
The Church advises that a risk assessment is completed for transport to be managed as safely as possible. The SG20 Safeguarding Risk Assessment Guidance and the Health & Safety Toolkit produced by the General Trustees can be used to assist you with this.
When considering the issue of transport, either to a specific outing or activity, or to and from regular meetings, certain matters should be considered.
Click on the headings below for more information.
The Church of Scotland Insurance Services recommends that anyone who might use their own transport for church-related business should check the adequacy of their insurance cover with their insurance provider. Similarly, so should vehicle owners who propose to permit other persons to use their vehicles for the same purpose.
When hiring or buying a minibus, it is imperative that drivers are adequately insured.
Please contact the Church of Scotland Insurance Services if you require any further advice on this matter.
What will happen if a parent fails to collect a child or is not at home when the child returns home?
It is imperative that the group working with children has considered this beforehand and asked parents to provide an emergency contact number so that alternative arrangements can be made.
Ensuring parents are fully aware of the arrangements for transporting or collecting their children
Whatever decision is made regarding transport arrangements, it is imperative that parents are informed of these arrangements.
Parents should know when to collect their child from an activity, the time the child is expected to return from an activity and what will happen if their child is not collected. This information gives parents the option of making alternative arrangements in the event they are unhappy about their child being transported by a lone adult.
Is it necessary and possible to provide transport, or might parents be able to make suitable arrangements?
Too often it is expected that the group or club will provide transport. However, as groups change, it can often become increasingly difficult to provide transport. Sometimes careful consideration is necessary to decide whether this service can continue. In many groups, there is usually a minority of children who would be unable to attend if transport was not available. However, this does not mean that every child needs a lift. In these circumstances, it can often be helpful to consult parents and ask that they collect their children wherever possible.
It is best to transport a group of children who live close to each other, so that an accurate arriving home time can be given to parents.
If there is a single adult driver, the children or child should always sit in the rear of the car.
Those providing transport for children must be fully recruited, which includes joining the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) to do regulated work with children or applying for an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check) with/without the barred list check for working in regulated activity with children.
UK legislation states that it is an offence for an adult to smoke in a vehicle if there is a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle.
Transporting protected adults
Where appropriate the above guidelines also apply to transporting protected adults.
Groups within the Church are required to ensure that workers providing transport for those with 'particular needs' are fully recruited, which includes joining the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) to do regulated work with protected adults or applying for an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS check) with/without the barred list check for working in regulated activity with adults at risk.
Please refer to chapter 3 for further information on the PVG Scheme and DBS checks.