Rosie Cooper MP has found that there is no statutory requirement for bus companies to get Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for drivers of commercial school bus services. The West Lancashire MP was investigating this matter after staff at Lathom High School raised concerns that a driver on the school bus service may not have received the Enhanced DBS check that is recommended.  

Driving a bus service that is solely for the transport of school children, not available to the public, is a ‘regulated activity’ and drivers on these services are advised to have an enhanced DBS check.  

If a school bus service is subsidised by Lancashire County Council, they are responsible to ensure these DBS checks are completed. Rosie Cooper MP has found that for commercial school bus services operated by private companies, however, there is no statutory requirement for these to be done. Instead, it is the responsibility of the company itself to ensure this is done.   

Rosie Cooper MP said 
“It is simply unacceptable that we are allowing private providers to operate school bus services without being sure that they are actually getting enhanced DBS checks for drivers. I questioned the Government in August about this, and the Department for Transport wrote to all bus operators in England simply reminding them of the eligibility for checks to be completed.   

“We cannot just trust private companies to do this. The Government need proper assurance, not simple reassurance that every driver of a school bus has a DBS check. This will only come with a statutory requirement, proper oversight and regulation.  

“After I again wrote to the Transport Secretary, describing this as a regulation blackspot, I have now been told that the Government are looking into whether this is being appropriately monitored!   

“I will be following this closely to make sure the necessary levels of regulation are put in place. We cannot allow children to be put at risk if a company hires people without a DBS check!” 

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