Passenger assistants

Information for parents and carers

About passenger assistants

Hampshire County Council currently employs around 600 passenger assistants. Passenger assistants play a key role in enabling children with Special Educational Needs to attend school. They are responsible for supervising the students and ensuring they are happy and safe on the transport.

To ensure a high quality service, the Council carries out regular checks and risk assessments of the passenger assistant service. This could involve a member of the Transport Team travelling on a school transport service.

If you are interested in becoming a passenger assistant, please visit Careers with Hampshire County Council, email [email protected] or phone 01962 845327 for more information.
We do not tolerate any physical or verbal abuse towards passenger assistants from parents/carers or children. This may result in the suspension or withdrawal of transport.
The role of a Passenger Assistant

Passenger Assistants ensure that a student travels to and from school in a safe environment. They check that seatbelts and harnesses are secure throughout the journey once they have been fitted by the transport provider. Passenger Assistants ensure that the student is left in the care of an adult at both the home and school. They communicate with the student in a way that is appropriate to their needs. Passenger Assistants are also trained to carry out emergency first aid if required as instructed by a medical professional.

Passenger Assistants are able to:

  • carry important medical information provided by the parent and ensure medical assistance is called if needed
  • notify delays by either reporting to the Transport Team or calling the parent (by prior agreement)
  • are trained throughout their employment to ensure that students receive the best care during the journey

Passenger Assistants are not able to:

  • knock on the door to let parents/carers know they have arrived, as this may leave other students on board unattended
  • wait for a child for longer than 3 minutes (or any length of time at a bus stop), as this may cause delays in arriving at school
  • administer any medication
  • lift children or heavy bags in or out of the vehicle
  • Passenger Assistants are not able to change nappies or soiled clothing
  • change pick up or drop off points without prior agreement from the Transport Team
When we provide a passenger assistant

If required, a passenger assistant will be provided on SEN transport. This will be based on the needs of the students travelling.

Passenger assistants are not usually provided on transport serving mainstream schools. An exception is made when a student with Special Educational Needs is sharing the transport and requires one.

Passenger Assistants are not usually provided for Post-16 transport. If the student has an evidenced medical reason to support the need for a passenger assistant, one may be provided.

For an escorted route, if the passenger assistant is unavailable and we are unable to find a relief Passenger Assistant, the transport may be cancelled and this could be for the full duration of the absence. This may be at very short notice (on the day) and it is then the parent's responsibility to make the travel arrangements whilst the passenger assistant is absent.