Birmingham City Council have terminated their contract with Birmingham based transport company North Birmingham Travel after learning that they had not demonstrated the correct Disclosure and Barring Service checks (DBS) for its drivers.
North Birmingham Travel, who transport children with special needs, have raised safeguarding concerns after an audit report to the chief executive confirmed only 51 out of 110 employees had a completed DBS check.
The local authority has been left with just two weeks to find a replacement provider to transport the 848 children that rely on the service when term time begins.
Why Are DBS Checks For Bus Drivers Important?
A DBS check contains details of both unspent and spent convictions and provides any cautions, convictions, warnings and reprimands that are held on the Police National Computer.
Previous ‘failings’ of Birmingham’s Home to School Transport service for children with Special Needs and Disabilities (SEND) have been flagged, when in 2020 a group of headteachers raised their concerns about the safety of the city’s transport service for children with special needs.
Azeem Hafeez, director of North Birmingham Travel, defended his company and told UK Today News that he would ‘never put any child in our care at risk’. He declared that the company deliver to exceptional standards and feels it is a shame that ‘we have now lost the opportunity to show all the hard work that has gone in preparing for this coming term”.
The case has now been referred to the local authority’s designated officer (LADO) for further investigation.
If you would like more information on the importance of safeguarding, and DBS Checks then please contact Care Check on 0333 777 8575 and one of the team will be happy to help.