PARENTS in Wrexham will be able to check if their child is on the school bus thanks to a satellite tracking system.
STAR is part of a groundbreaking pilot scheme launched on Tuesday at the Alun School in Mold aimed at improving behaviour on journeys to school.
Pupils will use a picture swipe card to clock on and off the bus allowing parents to keep a closer check on their child if they choose.
It will help deal with a number of issues including truancy, drivers reporting and identifying ill-behaved children and monitoring a child’s whereabouts in the event of them going missing or a bus breakdown.
The STAR scheme is part of the wider Zoom project, supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, which aims to reduce anti-social behaviour on the school bus.
The scheme is being trialled across the six counties of North Wales for a 12 month period.
Peter Daniels, transport manager at Denbighshire County Council and head of the Zoom project, said: “The main aims are to support schools, drivers, parents and pupils on school buses to improve behaviour and enable them to understand the consequences of some of the things they do.
“I have to say in North East Wales we don’t really see trouble and misbehaviour, but in the afternoon some of the pupils can be jolly and minor anti-social behaviour can occur, or from time to time something more serious.”
Other aspects of the scheme include Bus Angels – aged 14 and above who covertly report incidents of bad behaviour – CCTV, plus training to help bus drivers cope with anti-social behaviour.
Until the end of May a multi-media drama presentation is also being taken to every secondary school in North East Wales, tackling the issue of bad behaviour on school transport.
A cohesive support strategy linking schools, transport departments, bus companies and the police will also be introduced.