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School mini bus no D1

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by sbf, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    This seems to be a bit of an issue. Some authorities are happy for staff to drive with no D1 on licence and others don't.

    It seems to hinge around the hire or reward aspect of the law. Is as teachers are we being rewarded for doing our job.

    Does anyone have any links to the law either way. Or anything that might help clarify this issue. Or no issue depending on your point of view.

    Last thing anyone wants is to get a pull and end up being done for driving without a licence. Would probably result in a ban!

    Hope that makes sense

  2. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    If you are unsure, then don't drive one! I'd check with your Union.

    FWIW I drove a minibus quite often on school trips, even (before it became problematical) to France. But I've been retired for some years, and the rules have probably changed.
    agathamorse likes this.
  3. daisy1603

    daisy1603 Occasional commenter

    I got told you can drive a minibus that has up to 14 seats without a D1 and once it gets to 16 seats you need a D1.

    Not sure on other laws though sorry.
    agathamorse likes this.
  4. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    It's even more complicated than that! Depends on all sorts of things.

    1)If your licence includes category D or D1 without restrictions (obtained by taking a separate bus / minibus driving test) then you may drive any minibus in UK or Europe

    2)If your licence includes category D1 with restriction 101 (obtained automatically by taking a car driving test prior to 1997) then you may drive any minibus in UK or Europe, but not for Hire and Reward (Payment in cash or in kind, direct or indirect, which entitles a passenger to travel is Hire and Reward.)

    3)If your licence does not include category D or D1 (probably because your car driving test taken after 1996), then you may not drive any minibus, unless eligible to drive as a volunteer (providing GVW does not exceed 3500kgs or 4250kgs if modified for disabled persons) – this dispensation is for driving in the UK only. In this context a teacher is probably a volunteer so long as driving isn't in the contract of employment. Modified for disabled would probably include a hoist for wheelchairs or a fold-out ramp for wheelchairs.
  5. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    One piece of advice - get MIDAS trained as well. I learned so much from my MIDAS instructor and was also relieved to find my driving was good enough to pass! School should be prepared to sort this out as CPD as it has health and safety implications.
    saluki, nomad and agathamorse like this.
  6. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    That's fab thanks.
    nomad and agathamorse like this.
  7. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    If you were caught driving the school minibus without the proper licence not only might you be prosecuted but what would happen if there was an accident? The school's insurance policy might well not cover the bus being driven by an unlicensed driver, so who then would have to pay for any damage or compensation to injured parties?

    This problem has come up before, as some schools do not know the law. Check whether you are eligible to drive the school minibus with someone outside of the school.

    Yet another problem thrown up by forcing older teachers, who had the old D1 entitlement, from their jobs.

  8. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    MIDAS training is excellent. It was like a personalised advanced driving session.

    Refuse to drive the thing unless trained.
    blazer likes this.
  9. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Up to 3.5 tonnes you don't need D1 but will need a MIDAS permit from a training course. The permit will allow you to drive the kids from your school in the school bus. If the bus is wheelchair adapted then the weight limit becomes 4.25 tonnes. There are companies that will build minibuses with 17 seats (take 4 out to fit a wheelchair) that come in under the 4.25 tonnes for schools. My last school bought a Puegot Boxer van that had been converted. Can't recall the name of the company but they were based down Devon way.
    The MIDAS permit will not allow you to hire a minibus.
    agathamorse likes this.
  10. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    I don't think MIDAS allows driving abroad and the bus would need a tachograph.
  11. Skeoch

    Skeoch Star commenter

    MIDAS isn't statutory so won't allow you to drive/prevent you driving without it. See the link and Govt advice in my post #5 and JollyRoger's #7. However some employers/LAs/etc do have it as an in-house requirement.
    And Daisy1603's post #3 is wrong on 14 seats: again see that link.
  12. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    As I said, this was a time ago. The document referred to in post #7 above was issued just as I was retiring (& a few years after I'd driven a minibus).
  13. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    2 members of staff have independently contacted local police and both have been told that under no circumstances should a teacher drive the school mini bus without a D1 entitlement on their licence.

    Another member contacted the dvla and the person they spoke to had no idea if it was legal.

    It's such a grey area that I am inclined to tell staff not to go near the mini bus unless D1. The prospect of being involved in an accident as stated above and not having insurance is just not worth it.

    The way the law is written leaves a bit to much ambiguity.

    Also i think it should be best practice to always have an additional adult along with the driver when transporting children. Is this the advice others are given ? Must surely be best practice from a health and safety standpoint.
  14. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    When I first started teaching in 1981, my school wanted extra minibus drivers. I had a go in one, went about 100 yards, stopped and said I couldn't drive the thing! I can only drive small cars, even now!
  15. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Best that the school employs a professional driver, IMHO, and doesn't rely on teachers.
  16. sbf

    sbf New commenter

    Cheers of that Bertie!
  17. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    When first started teaching all that was needed was D1 and back then (1990) everyone had it on their licence. So I was asked to take a group of kids to the funeral of a member of staff in the bus. It was an LDV 'crew' bus. So seats in the front but in the back just a wooden bench down each side. Someone had put cusions on the benches. No seat belts in the back! Tootling back from the service on a 40mph road when a charlie pulls out of a side road right in front of me. I hit the brakes and we stopped before hitting the car, however 12 kids in the back slide along the benches and joined us in the front!

    When I was at school (late 60s) the school bought its first 'minibus'. It was an old ambulance. No windows in the back. A dad who worked for the local bus company supplied some seats from scrapped buses which were biolted to the floor. Teacher would jump into the driving seat and off we would go. We went everywhere in that this. No seat belts and I doubt that the seats were that well attached. Communication with the driver was through a small hatch. Happy days!
  18. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    Advice is one adult to drive one to supervise the kids. Unacompanied adults can drive for short trips (less than one hour) but I would be very wary of doing so.

    Mind you Mrs B and I followed a school minibus a while back along the local dual carriageway. As we went along a series of golf balls were dropped from the rear side windows of the bus. One hit my car. We reckoned the bus had been to the local golf driving range. At the next junction we pulled alongside and Mrs B wound the window down to inform the driver. There were 3 adults, all in the front with the kids basically doing what they liked in the back. The driver denied anything was wrong while the kids in the back gave us a torrent of abuse! There was no logo on the side so we took the number and reported it to the police. We assume it was a special school of some sort.
  19. Jolly_Roger15

    Jolly_Roger15 Star commenter

    I never fancied driving minibuses after we were given a chance to do so, by ILEA as part of our LFA (1970s NQT) training. The training vehicle was an old diesel Comma van, the demise of which suspended further lessons indefinitely. As I rode a motorbike to school, I lied that I only had a bike license if someone tried to persuade me to drive a school minibus.

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