Children on buses need chaperones

In response to your story in the Courier last week. I am the chaperone responsible for the 49 children that I take daily to Bishops Tachbrook Primary School. I find it absolutely disgraceful that council cuts means putting childrens lives at risk by removing us from the coaches.

The children I am responsible for are as young as four up to 11 years old. No way should they be put on a coach without any supervision for their journey to school, I have done this job for over six years now and have encountered all sorts of problems that have had to be sorted on their journey to school. A driver would not be able to drive safely to school with problems going on directly behind him.

Every other morning I have had to either comfort or care for one of the younger children, just getting upset over leaving a parent at the bus stop. I have children occasionally vomiting, arguing, disagreeing with each other, generally feeling poorly, nosebleeds, all sorts of little problems popping up which cannot be left or cause a distraction to the driver.

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How can a driver drive safely with problems going on behind him? Will it take a bad accident (god forbid) for the county to realise they’ve made a mistake and that a child’s life is worth more than the £700,000 they say they will save by removing us from the children’s safety. The one bad incident that that has occurred three times in the past is the emergency door being opened as we have travelled along!

What happens next time? Does the driver have to slam his brakes on and run the length of the coach before one of the children falls out onto the road? I dont think so. Children of this young age need care and attention on their journey to school and should not be put in jeopardy by penny pinching councillors who just haven’t got a clue! - Cheryl Bromilow, via email.