This week I typed the phrase “School Minibus” into Google.co.uk and then read through the first six pages of listings that the search engine offered.
Leaving aside the inevitable advertising sites that always dominate any such search results, there were three types of informative article that Google offered links to.
The first and most common listing came from schools detailing how the school minibus is used to help parents do the school run, noting the daily pick up points and timings. Obviously an important point for schools as a way of saying to parents that their child will be able to get to the school, even if there is no obvious bus route.
The second most common website that was found related to the technicalities of operating a minibus, with such matters as insurance, driver qualification and so forth. In fact most of these were pretty much non-stories since although there are inevitably some regulations, just as there are for driving a car, there is nothing particularly onerous or unusual.
Finally there are a couple of stories from newspapers in which schools talk about their fundraising activities across a number of years which have recently resulted in the purchase of a bus.
So what’s missing?
First, I didn’t find any stories talking about how, because of the minibus, the school was able to run certain trips and visits for students, which, without the bus, they could not have organised. To me that is a rather sad omission.
Yes, of course, knowing that the school bus will pick up students at the railway station at 7.45am and drive them to school, is very important and encouraging. But then so is the fact that the students are able to have weekly swimming lessons, or go on field trips. I felt it would have been good to hear of such activities.
Second, and as I have mentioned before, while some schools offer the stories of heroic multi-year fundraising activities, there is nothing about the fact that the years and years of waiting for the finances to fund a bus can be overcome by leasing the vehicle.
Perhaps the problem is that overall that is not much of a story – although to me it does show that the school knows what’s what in the world of finance.
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