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STUDENT TRANSPORT SCHEME

Our strategy to promote sustainable modes of travel to school

The School Student Transport Scheme (SSTS) provides free and subsidised travel for eligible school students on Gracedom's mini-buses. This is going to be available for transport to and from school in (remote) places where students find it difficult in obtaining transport to and from schools. Gracedom Alms International will manage the School Student Transport Scheme and students will be issued passes which they shall use to board on a regular basis.

Summary of the Sustainable Travel to School Strategy 2013

Gracedom's Education Policy places a general duty on projects in developing countries to promote the use of sustainable transport on the school journey. Sustainable travel is any form of transport that keeps damage to our environment, and therefore to the future, to a minimum.

The sustainable travel to school strategy builds on other related policies, initiatives and strategies at both national and local level to improve the safety, health, well-being and future prospects of young people. The strategy takes into account the needs of young people with disabilities, extended schools, and schools that are located in remote places, far away from where pupils live.

Our vision for travel to school is to help children and young people in Ghana to places of education and training in ways that are sustainable and good for their health, personal development and independence. It has the following objectives:

  • To reduce the impact of the school journey on local congestion by increasing the proportion of journeys by walking, cycling, public transport and car sharing;
  • To promote practical opportunities (through learning) for young people to determine changes to their own travel habits, including arrangements that will support sustainable school transport, through the provision of road safety training, cycle training, walking buses, car share schemes and park and stride schemes;
  • To provide map based travel information for every school and college for choice advisors, parents and schools; showing how schools are served by: bus (including school transport provided by the (Gracedom), footways, cycle routes, roads and associated features such as crossing points and patrols, traffic calming measures and speed limits;
  • To contribute to local and national Government health targets through improved children's health, and To increase awareness of the safety, health, environmental and economic implications of transport and travel.

Gracedom hopes to achieve these in partnership with schools and parents.

  • To complete an infrastructure audit of routes to schools
  • To actively support initiatives aimed at reducing the single passenger car journey
  • To provide schools with individual travel packs containing mapping and information identifying safe crossing points, bus stops, school keep clears, cycle storage and approximate walking and cycling times for their school.
  • Monitor travel modes through the annual school census, and review where necessary
  • Take active steps to encourage cycling, walking and car share
  • To investigate sources of funding to support the strategy
  • To offer active support to all schools to encourage sustainable travel.
  • The strategy builds on work done by schools through their travel plans. It offers practical support to schools and to parents/carers when making decisions on schools and the school journey

Children and young people's plan

The strategy is consistent with the six priorities of the Children and Young People's Plan, to:

  1. Reducing the incidence and impact of poverty on the achievement and life chances of children and young people.
  2. Securing children and young people's physical, spiritual, social, emotional and mental health, promoting healthy lifestyles and reducing inequalities.
  3. Providing opportunities to learn that raise children and young people's aspirations, encourage excellence and enable them to enjoy and achieve beyond their expectations.
  4. Ensuring that children and young people are safe and feel safe, enabling them to build resilience and personal confidence.
  5. Providing vocational, leisure and recreational activities that provide opportunities for children and young people to experience success and make a positive contribution.
  6. Removing barriers to access, participation and achievement, and not tolerating discrimination and abuse.

Extended schools

The strategy has due regard to the extended schools initiative and assists parents to make an informed decision on whether to let their child travel to and from the school using modes of transport other than being driven.

An extended school is a school that recognises that it cannot work alone in helping children and young people to achieve their potential, and therefore decides to work in partnership with others who have an interest in outcomes for children. In doing so it not only meets the needs of the school but shares in meeting the wider needs of the community Dake (2012)

Special Educational Needs (SEN)

The Special Needs Transport (SEN) Team faces the challenge of ensuring that those with special educational needs those with learning difficulties are safely transported into either school or specialist services every day.

The customers that we make arrangements for could have a wide variety of needs such as, physical disabilities, learning difficulties, emotional and behavioural difficulties, autism epilepsy and many others, making the job of getting them from home to school or day services a complex one.

Car Seats and Specialist Equipment

It is very important that SEN pupils are transported to school in a safe manner and it is the policy of the Gracedom Team to provide equipment that ensures that this is the case. We provide a range of equipment such as car seats and booster cushions for smaller and younger pupils, specialist car seating for pupils with severe or complex learning disabilities, specialist harnesses for pupils who need extra support, or who are likely to wriggle out of standard 3 point harnesses and a range of other equipment. We also provide a range of specialist webbing restraints for the safe transportation of wheelchairs.

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