Assistance Towards the Purchase and Upkeep of Minibuses

October 2010
Management Circular No. 41
Glasgow City Council
Education Services
Wheatley House
25 Cochrane Street
Merchant City
G1 1HL
Heads of all Educational Establishments
Assistance Towards the Purchase and Upkeep of Minibuses
Interest Free Loan
An interest free loan of up to 50% of the cost, repayable within three years, will be made available
to schools wishing to purchase minibuses.
Educational establishments are required to cover 50% of the costs excluding VAT in the year of
purchase, with the repayment of the loan for the remaining 50% paid over the next three financial
The procedure for applying for the loan is as follows:
The Head of Establishment should seek approval for the three year loan in writing to the
Executive Director of Education marked for the attention of the Finance Manager, General
Finance, Education Services, Glasgow City Council, Wheatley House, 25 Cochrane Street,
Glasgow G1 1HL.
The letter should specify:
ii. the price of the vehicle;
iii. the type of vehicle;
iv. any extra item(s) required.
It should also confirm the amount of the loan required (e.g. 50% of the total price).
The order will be placed by Procurement and Processing section, who will then request from
the Head of Establishment:
the supplier from whom the minibus will be purchased;
ii. less the loan amount;
iii. and less the VAT (VAT will be reclaimed by the authority).
One year after the minibus has been purchased the Head of Establishment will be required
to forward a cheque for the first instalment of the loan.
a cheque for the purchase price of the minibus;
Management Circular No. 41
Two years after the minibus has been purchased the Head of Establishment will be required
to forward a cheque for the second instalment of the loan.
And finally three years after the minibus has been purchased the Head of Establishment will
be required to forward a cheque for the the third and final instalment of the loan.
Once authorisation has been given to purchase a minibus the Executive Director of Education
must enter details of the purchase in a register which will be maintained at Education Services
headquarters and to which reference can be made when issues relating to the purchase are raised.
The Finance Manager, General Finance should ensure that the register is kept up to date and
some of the procedures detailed in the paragraphs which follow will assist in this exercise.
Under an agreement with HM Revenue & Customs, minibuses can be purchased on behalf of
educational establishments by Glasgow City Council, thereby saving the school the VAT element
involved. As a consequence of this concession, it is the Head of Establishment’s responsibility to
account for the VAT on the disposal of the minibus.
Signed declarations of this responsibility to account for VAT on disposal MUST be made when schools
are arranging for the purchase of a bus and a separate declaration MUST be made in respect of
each bus which the school wishes to purchase.
Second-hand Minibuses
A loan may be given for a second-hand minibus but only on production of a road worthiness
certificate from the transport manager, AA or RAC.
Maintenance Grant
An annual maintenance grant payable shortly after the beginning of each school session will be
made by the Executive Director of Education to Heads of Establishment in respect of each minibus
owned by the educational establishment.
In the first year of practice, a pro-rata grant will be paid based on the number of full calendar
months between the date of purchase and the beginning of the following financial year (1 April).
Further annual grants will be paid only after the submission to the Executive Director of Education,
in June of each year, of a statement of expenditure for the twelve months up to 31 March of that
year. The statement must be audited by a member of staff and certified as correct by the Head of
Inspection, Service and Maintenance of Buses
Heads of Establishment shall be responsible for ensuring that the minibuses are correctly maintained
in a roadworthy condition at all times.
The Transport Section, Land and Environmental Services are responsible for the inspection, service
and maintenance of buses. Where a minibus is owned outright by an educational establishment,
the Transport section can arrange inspection, service and maintenance for which a charge will be
Management Circular No. 41
Minibuses in the ownership of educational establishments MUST be insured in the name of
the educational establishment and the cost of the insurance will be met by the educational
Drivers/Drivers’ Hours
Further information can be found within the corporate transport policy on the Connect/Intranet link
below pending the future publication of Education Services Health and Safety Transport Master
Safety File document:
Licensing Incidental Drivers of the School Minibus
In most circumstances, minibus drivers must hold a D1 PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) licence.
However, school staff who hold a car (Class B) licence can legally drive a school minibus without
a D1 PCV licence as long as certain conditions are met. The most significant requirement is that
staff are not specifically remunerated for driving through their contract of employment or otherwise.
The exemption is only for a minibus weighing no more than 3.5 tonnes. In the medium term, when
a school replaces its minibus, it is likely to lose exemption because newer minibuses tend to
weigh more than 3.5 tonnes, and the Government has no plans to change the weight limit on the
Car driver licences issued before 1997 carried an entitlement to drive a minibus not for hire or
reward. Car driver licences issued since then (Class B) do not.
A Class B licence-holder driving a minibus must now also hold a D1 Passenger Carrying Vehicle
licence (D1 PCV), unless they meet conditions for exemption which are:
the driver is 21 or over and has held a car driver (Class B) licence for not less than two years;
the vehicle is being used by a non-commercial body for social purposes but not for hire or
reward; and
the minibus driver receives no consideration for driving other than out of pocket expenses.
It follows that car drivers are exempt from the D1 PCV licensing requirement when they drive
a minibus in the course of their employment and are not paid for doing so. This means that
most teachers and other school staff may legally drive the school minibus on their Class B car
driver licence because their contract of employment does not expressly require them to drive a
It would, nonetheless, be bad practice for school staff to drive the minibus solely on the basis that
they have held a Class B licence for two years. Therefore, in addition to having a current valid
licence, all drivers of minibuses (even those expected to drive occasionally) must successfully
undergo practicable driver training and assessment Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS),
as soon as is reasonably practicable to ensure they have the necessary knowledge, understanding,
capabilities and attitude to drive a minibus safely.
MiDAS is a nationally recognised scheme that enhances the driving skills of minibus drivers
through driver training, driving assessment and driving re-assessment (every four years). MiDAS
has been endorsed by various organisations including the Drivers Standards Agency, RoSPA and
the National Union of Teachers.
Management Circular No. 41
Land and Environmental Services Training and Development Unit have negotiated the delivery
of MiDAS Training and Assessment from Community Transport Glasgow (CTG) at a reasonable
charge of £75 (at time of print). CTG can be contacted by phone on 0141 778 2042 or by e-mail
[email protected]
At times when CTG cannot deliver the MiDAS training, please contact Land and Environmental
Services, Training and Development Unit on 0141 276 5306. Land and Environmental Services
will provide this service, albeit at a slightly higher charge.
Good Practice Options
Advanced driver training mitigates the risks to staff and children/young people when school staff drive
in the course of their work. Acquiring the D1 PCV licence is a good practice option for exempted staff.
The exemption does not apply where a driver’s employment contract expressly states that driving
a PCV vehicle is part of the job. Employers of, for example, support staff hired as drivers, or of
instructors at outdoor education centres, should check the contracts of these categories of staff
carefully before concluding whether or not a D1 PCV licence is required. Employers of part-time
teachers working extra hours and being paid additionally for driving a PCV should also check their
contract(s) to establish whether a D1 PCV qualification is needed.
The exemption does not apply where a minibus exceeds 3.5 tonnes or where a trailer is attached.
Out-of-Hours Driving
There are a number of other situations in which the exemption does not apply. These include:
driving in other European Member States;
driving in the UK during out-of-hours-situations (for example, during school holidays) where
children/young people or parents/carers have to pay for carriage (unless the bus has a Section
19 permit allowing not for profit charging);
when a teacher is being remunerated under the Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document for
driving the minibus on an out-of-school-hours learning activity.
Permits issued under Section 19 of the Transport Act 1985
If, however, the school offers the minibus to pupils for a charge but on a non-profit basis under a
Section 19 bus permit then the driver is exempt from the D1 PCV requirement. This is because the
Section 19 permit exempts the employer from holding a PSV operator licence and exempts the
driver from the D1 PCV requirement.
If you require a permit please contact Chief Executive Department, Legal and Administrative
Services section, City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow G2 1DU, phone 0141 287 4468.
It will be the Head of Establishment’s/Manager’s responsibility to ensure that the vehicle road
tax, driver’s license and MOT (if appropriate) are current, valid and in place for any vehicle that is
driven under the auspice of their establishment.
Sources: Teachernet/GCC ES Health and Safety section/GCC LES Transport section
Management Circular No. 41
Minibus Packs
Should an educational establishment wish to make charges for the use of its minibus then, in terms
of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, the minibus must be fitted with a
‘Mini Pack’ e.g. a standard set of modifications required for safety purposes (in order to conform
with Schedule 6 and Schedule 7, Parts 1 and 2 of the Regulations). The ‘Mini Pack’ should be
included in the specification at the time of purchase or if the minibus is purchased second-hand,
the ‘Mini Pack’ can be obtained from the Main Dealer Supplier of the particular make of minibus.
Tachographs are only required when a vehicle is going abroad. If this is the case the driver must
be at least 21 years old and have held their licence for two years.
Log Book
Once a minibus has been purchased, it will be the responsibility of the Head of Establishment to
ensure that certain standard procedures must be followed in relation to its use. A proper record
(Log Book) must be kept detailing the journeys made by the minibus. On each occasion when
the bus is used, the purpose of the journey must be logged, giving the driver’s name, number of
passengers, charges made, time booked in and out and the mileage.
Accounting Procedures
Management Circular No. 23 gives instructions on how to maintain school fund accounts and
on the recording of transactions in respect of monies not belonging to Glasgow City Council.
On matters pertaining to the maintenance of minibuses, cognizance must be taken to the financial
practices advocated in Management Circular No. 23. It is recommended that for easy reference,
transactions relating to minibuses should be entered in a separate column in the school cash book.
Further information
Further information can be found within the corporate transport policy on the Connect/Intranet link
below pending the future publication of Education Services Health and Safety Transport Master
Safety File document:
The RoSPA ‘Minibus Safety Code of Practice’ on the link below can also be referred to for supplement
information but in the first instance, contact should be made within Education Services Health and
Safety on 0141 287 4574.
If you require clarification or assistance with regards to the points raised in this Management
Circular please contact Education Services on 0141 287 0143.
Alternatively you may wish to contact the Education Services Health and Safety Section on
0141 287 4574 or the Land and Environmental Services Transport Section on 0141 287 3311.
Maureen McKenna
Executive Director of Education
Management Circular No. 41