School operations

Buses – Owned, Hired or Chartered by a School

Management information system

The purpose of the management information system (MIS) is to document the systems that schools have in place for managing information about the operation of their buses.

An MIS must have up-to-date documents that reflect the school’s bus operating conditions, risks, incident history and safety objectives.

The components of an MIS (from Safe Transport Victoria) are:

  • bus safety policy
  • governance and internal controls
  • roles and responsibilities
  • emergency management, hazard, risk and change management
  • internal audit.

This guidance chapter outlines how schools are to address the components of an MMS. Templates are provided to support schools to meet these requirements. The consolidated MIS template (DOCX)External Link (which combines all the separate components of an MIS) can be used by schools when applying for accreditation. For more detailed guidance, refer to Safe Transport VictoriaExternal Link .

Roles and responsibilities

Schools must maintain a fleet register that provides information about the bus service they operate.

Schools must use a qualified mechanic for bus maintenance and repairs. Schools must document the accountabilities and authorities for all persons involved with the maintenance and repair of buses using the Accountabilities and authorities register (DOCX)External Link .

Schools must document how they will manage risk and how they will maintain control and oversight to ensure they are providing a safe bus service. Schools may use the Governance and internal controls template (DOCX)External Link to assist in meeting this requirement.

The position holder for each relevant job description must sign/accept their role and responsibilities as outlined in the department’s Position descriptions template (DOCX)External Link to signify they have read and understood their bus safety obligations. The signed bus safety related job descriptions must be saved on file by the school.

The school council, as the accredited bus operator, should nominate the principal as the ‘responsible person’ who can provide information and assume responsibility of the day-to-day operations and compliance of the bus service

The principal may delegate tasks to others who are trained and competent to undertake the delegated activities.

Emergency management, hazard, risk and change management

Schools must review their existing arrangements for emergency management and hazard, risk and change management to ensure they contain reference to ‘bus safety’ activities

The department’s Registered bus operator risk register template (DOC)External Link (staff login required) must be completed by all schools that provide a school-managed bus service.

Schools should seek advice from their regional emergency management representatives for advice on appropriate emergency response plans.

Communication of bus safety requirements and culture

Schools must document their Bus Safety Policy (DOCX)External Link which must include a commitment to safety and to the continuous improvement in all aspects of bus safety management and be signed by the school principal as the responsible person.

The Bus Safety Policy must identify how safety information is communicated to persons performing bus safety work for their buses and that bus safety workers can advise the school about safety issues.

Schools can use the following strategies to communicate safety information:

  • ensure that the Bus Safety Policy is readily accessible to persons acting for or on behalf of the school/school council
  • circulate safety bulletins to all staff involved in bus safety when particular bus safety issues are identified
  • use electronic media, such as emails and the school noticeboard, to disseminate bus safety information such as safety training sessions and how to report bus incidents.

Governance and internal control arrangements

Schools operating bus services must have appropriate governance arrangements in place. Schools are strongly encouraged to complete the Governance and internal control arrangements template (DOCX)External Link , which contains strategies for schools to implement appropriate governance and internal controls for their local context.

Internal audit

Schools must undertake an annual internal audit of the MIS to identify any deficiencies in the system and to rectify those deficiencies.

Schools may use the department’s Bus safety audit report template (DOCX)External Link to assist in meeting this requirement and also refer to Procedure 6 Monitor and review work-related driving safety of the department’s Work-Related Driving Policy.

Schools must maintain a copy of the audit report on file.

Bus driver requirements for school-operated bus services

Schools are responsible for ensuring school-operated bus services are appropriately staffed. This means ensuring that staff who are required to operate school owned or hired buses (school bus drivers) meet the appropriate licensing requirements and follow the department’s procedure for work related driving. These requirements are outlined below.

Licensing and driver accreditation requirements

VicRoads is responsible for the licensing of drivers in Victoria and providing advice on the types of licenses required to drive a variety of vehicles including buses used for school excursions and other events.

For further information visit VicRoads' License categories pageExternal Link .

Work-related driving procedure for school-operated bus services

School staff who drive school owned or hired buses are required to follow the Work-Related Driving Policy and Procedure.

Includes information on documenting the systems that schools have in place for managing information about the operation of their buses through a management information system

Reviewed 20 February 2024

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