Safe entry and exit of students
Parents and carers are responsible for their child's safety when travelling to and from school. Schools can support student safety when travelling to and from school.
Schools can help to keep students safe as they arrive and depart, by:
- regularly reviewing their site entry and exit risk management plan
- using various communication strategies to inform parents and carers about safe road user behaviours on site and in the school zone
- liaising with local councils and police to notify them of local road safety issues and discuss possible solutions
- assisting students enter and exit the school safely
- updating casual teachers about student arrival and departure procedures
- where applicable, liaising with the School Crossing Supervisor and/or the Assisted School Travel Program providers on effective management.
- develop a risk assessment.
Assisting students to cross the road safely
School staff and volunteers can assist students to cross the road safely during any school-endorsed activity, excursion and when entering or exiting the school.
However, only three categories of people are legally permitted to stop the road traffic in NSW. These include:
- NSW police officers
- Transport for NSW (TfNSW) authorised traffic controllers
- TfNSW school crossing supervisors.
Any volunteer (school staff/parents/carers or any other person) is NOT authorised to carry out the duties of the School Crossing Supervisor (SCS).
Students can be supported to cross the road by an adult volunteer as follows:
- Have the volunteer wear a high-visibility vest.
- Choose a safe place to cross the road.
- Identify a reasonable and manageable number of students to cross together as a group, that has the least impact on traffic flow. Students remaining on the footpath until the volunteer returns to collect them should be told where to wait safely.
- Stop, look, listen and think before crossing the road together as a group. The volunteer should see the students safely on their way, then wait for a safe opportunity to cross the road and return to the waiting students.
- Repeat the above steps until all students have safely crossed.
Where possible, volunteers should hold the hands of young children (up to eight years of age).
Assisting students enter and exit cars
At times traffic congestion around schools becomes an issue for schools concerned about student safety in the school zone. Sometimes schools may choose to assist students getting in and out of a car in the school’s kiss and drop or no parking zone to move cars on more quickly to decrease the congestion.
Whilst there is no legal requirement around this, schools should consider the risk to staff in performing additional duties such as this. Considerations include:
- the extent of the assistance a teacher will provide
- slip, trips and falls over gutters and footpaths
- back injury from lifting school bags and/or leaning down to assist students getting in or out of vehicles
- placement of students in the front or rear of the car
- visibility of the assisting teacher to drivers in wet weather
- who takes responsibility for restraining students in seatbelts (driver, assisting teacher, student)
- procedures for drivers when assisting teachers are absent
Health and Safety Directorate can provide further information for schools considering whether or not to provide this service to parents and carers.
The following ideas may enhance arrival and departure procedures for students and teachers on entry and exit supervision:
- increase or decrease the number of available or suitable access points to manage pedestrian numbers, movement and flow
- label, number or colour code access points for easier reference and recognition by students, families and staff, eg. pedestrian entry and exits, kiss and drop area, bus travellers, cyclists, etc.
- spread the arrival and departure of students and families across different pick up and drop off accesses to reduce congestion in any one spot, either on or off site
- use signage, social media, school website, note home or assemblies to inform students, families, staff and visitors of any changes to entry and exit or pick up and drop off arrangements such as absent school crossing supervisor; construction onsite or in the school zone; hazards (fallen trees, power lines, floods); delays to public transport and school buses.
- encourage parents to:
- walk their children to school, if possible
- park away from the school and walk with their children, or drop off their independent children to walk the rest of the way to increase physical and mental health and reduce traffic congestion.
- remind staff to maintain their own safety to reduce their risk of trips, slips and falls when supervising students at kiss and drop zones. For example:
- remain behind the school fence or well away from the edge of the footpath
- not stand on the road between vehicles (to avoid crush injury)
- wear a high visibility jacket when in or near to the traffic environment
- ask drivers to wait until the child is properly buckled up, if the child can do it themselves, before driving off.
- remind teachers and other school staff they are not permitted to operate as a School Crossing Supervisor and control traffic. They can assist students cross the road when it is safe to cross.
Department staff can read more about:
- Managing school road safety (DoE)
- School's duty of care and road safety (DoE)
- School Crossing Supervisor (DoE)
- supervision and duty of care and behaviour management - Legal Services (staff only).
- What is the difference between a children's crossing (flagged crossing and a pedestrian crossing (TfNSW - youtube)
- contact your local Road Safety Education Officer
- contact your local Work Health and Safety Advisor