By May 2016 the PSO board had received significant feedback from parents on bussing and felt that the points needed to be reviewed and presented to the school administration.
After the last bussing survey came out, many parents felt that school ignored their issues with bussing. The changes implemented by the school were to increase, rather than decrease, fees for everyone – even more for those in London – and introduce the KT11 Express.
Four main issues were identified:
In June 2016 PSO Representatives and PSO President Allan Scott met with Heidi Ayoub, Phil Bridger, Tony Eysele, Chris Johnson and Fergus Rose of ACS to discuss the issue of improving the bussing at ACS Cobham.
A wide discussion of the points raised was held. The PSO representatives were looking for a flexible service, which met the needs of as many students as possible, and which was affordable. The major issues identified were:
The discussion looked at a number of areas including:
It was agreed that ACS would:
Flexible bussing: No change – the school is not considering flexible bussing at this time. Families still have to sign up for Mon-Fri bussing, for a full term.
Lower School students using shuttle buses: Lower Schooler students are allowed to use shuttle buses to and from school. If a parent/carer fails to meet them at the stop on two occasions, and the bus has to return to school with the child, the family must switch to the door-to-door service.
Lower School students using the late bus: The School will only consider LS-students with an older sibling with them to take the late bus home, provided they have written permission from parents and “all the safeguarding structures are in place”. This appears to mean that parents can negotiate this kind of an arrangement with the School.
The School checked with ACS Hillingdon about their late buses, and there had been occasions when the drivers had to return to school with the pupil as no-one had been there to meet them at the late bus drop-off point. This obviously raises safeguarding concerns for the school.
Arrangements for Lower Schoolers to stay at school till later (wraparound child care) and then take the late bus home: “Until such time that we have a full LS co-curricular programme and possibly a separate LS dining hall we are not yet in a position to extend the day to LS apart from what is currently offered. We employ extra people to run the LS library until 5pm which has worked well, but the parents collect their children from the library and the children do not use the late buses. Staff are already stretched in managing all of this.”
The school was able to move on some issues and is implementing changes. On some issues, such as cost and flexible bussing they are unable to make a change at this time.