This policy is current as at 21/10/2017 02:14pm, AEDT. Please refer to policy library website (https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library) for an updated version.

Assisted School Travel Program for School Students with Disability

The department manages the Assisted School Travel Program through the efficient and effective procurement, co-ordination and management of travel support services for eligible school students with identified disability to travel to and from school.

1. Objectives - Policy statement

1.1

The Department of Education Assisted School Travel Program provides support for eligible students with identified disability to travel to and from school. Assistance is provided at no cost to families for eligible students to access a formal education program.

1.2

Travel support services under the Assisted School Travel Program are targeted to assist students with disability who may not otherwise be able to access education. Applications for access to travel support services will be assessed in accordance with approved eligibility criteria and the assessed individual support needs of a student.

1.3

The Department of Education has an obligation to ensure that the funding allocated for this program is managed effectively, through the efficient co-ordination and management of travel support services for eligible students in New South Wales to attend school.

1.4

The Department of Education is also accountable for the efficient and cost effective engagement of contractors to provide services in accordance with relevant NSW Government Procurement Policy.

1.5

Travel arrangement supporting students with disability are to be safe for the students, drivers and any supervisors of the students.

2. Audience and applicability

2.1

This policy and associated guidelines apply to departmental officers responsible for assessing student travel support needs, processing applications for access to travel support services and implementing and monitoring of the provision of services to eligible students with disability.

2.2

NSW Government Procurement Policy is applicable to all procurement functions undertaken by department of education and community’s staff and applies to the procurement of travel support services through this program.

3. Context

3.1

The engagement of contractors under this program must conform to NSW Procurement Board Policy Framework (July 2013) The Procurement Policy aims to bring together into one cohesive document all of the requirements for goods and services procurement with the NSW Government. The mandatory requirements set out in this policy framework describe the law and policy as at 1 July 2013. NSW Government procurement information is available on the internet at NSW Government ProcurePoint.

3.2 Public Sector Employment and Management Act 2002 Chapter 7 – Goods and Services

This covers the role and responsibilities of the State Contracts Control Board (SCCB), provision for regulations for the acquisition and disposal of goods and services for the public service and the referral of complaints to the SCCB regarding competitive neutrality in tendering.

3.3 Public Sector Management (Goods and Services) Regulation 2000

This regulation establishes appropriate public service procurement, tendering and disposal procedures to maximise value for money for the public service within a framework of probity and fairness to suppliers.

3.4 Public Finance and Audit Act 1983

Under this Act, agencies are required to be accountable and to use monies efficiently and effectively. Treasurer’s directions are issued in terms of section 9 of the Act.

3.5 Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Under this Act, employers must ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of all the employees of the employer and must ensure that other people are not exposed to risks to their health and safety arising from the conduct of the employer's undertaking while they are at the employer's place of work.

4. Responsibilities and delegations

4.1

The Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education, and the Learning and Business Systems Directorate are responsible for approving departmental guidelines for the procurement and the provision of services under this program.

4.2

The Assisted School Travel Program is responsible for:

  • co-ordinating logistical arrangements for eligible students attending government and non-government schools, who are approved for access to travel support services to attend school;
  • maintaining a register of contractors who are approved to provide these services to the department;
  • engaging contractors from the list of Eligible Service Providers in a cost effective manner to ensure that suitable services are provided for eligible students;
  • determining eligibility criteria for use in assessing applications for access to travel support services under this program;
  • collaborating with the Learning and Engagement Directorate and other departmental officers as required to assist with the needs based assessment process for determining the eligibility of students seeking access to assistance under the program;
  • processing authorised payments to contracted service providers in accordance with the appropriate contract conditions and rates.

4.3

Learning and Engagement Directorate is responsible for liaising with the Assisted School Travel Program  regarding policies and practices in relation to services for students with disability, including changes to disability criteria, program delivery and needs based assessment processes as they may relate to or impact upon the provision of travel support services under this program.

4.4

For advice on the interpretation and implementation of this policy, contact the Director, Assisted School Travel Program.

5. Monitoring, evaluation and reporting requirements

5.1

The Assisted School Travel Program is responsible for coordinating the preparation of budget and expenditure reports relating to this program.

5.2

Staff of the Assisted School Travel Program are responsible for:

  • monitoring contractor/driver conduct and performance through information provided by school staff and parents;
  • monitoring program expenditure on a monthly cycle;
  • preparing reports relating to program expenditure and comparative (over 12 months) analysis of expenditure;
  • monitoring travel distances claimed by contractors by using software systems to map distances of individual services;
  • monitoring of on-going student eligibility to access travel support services by reviewing information provided by school staff, parents and contractors/drivers;
  • enforcing contractor compliance with legislative and administrative requirements set down within the contract terms and conditions;
  • ensuring that the best possible value for public money is derived from the services provided by contracted service providers.

5.3

School and Educational Services staff involved in student assessment and placement processes are responsible for the provision of timely and accurate advice to the Assisted School Travel Program in respect of applications for access to travel support services under this program.

5.4

School staff and staff of the Assisted School Travel Program are responsible for monitoring the arrangements in place to ensure the safety of students, drivers and any supervisors of the students.

6. Contact

Director, Assisted School Travel Program (02) 4224 9252.

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