School Bus Driver Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A School Bus Driver, or School Mini Bus Driver, transports school children. Their duties include driving school buses, inspecting school buses and supervising students.


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School Bus Driver duties and responsibilities

School Bus Drivers have several duties during their workdays. Some of their most common responsibilities include:

  • Collecting students from pickup points and transporting them to and from school
  • Transporting students and faculty to activities during school hours
  • Informing school authorities of any traffic hazards and other issues delaying arrival or departure times
  • Checking buses have enough fuel for journeys
  • Inspecting buses to ensure that the components are in good working condition and reporting potential problems to the supervisor
  • Keeping bus neat and tidy
  • Monitoring student behaviour and reporting any problems to school authorities


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What does a School Bus Driver do?

School Bus Drivers drive children to school each morning and return them home each afternoon. They may also transport children and faculty staff to other venues within school hours. This may include providing transport for excursions and sporting competitions. They are responsible for children and faculty staff arriving at their destinations safely and on time. School Bus Drivers also make sure that students maintain good behaviour while riding on the bus. School Bus Drivers are considered ambassadors for the school and should act as role models for students.


School Bus Driver skills and qualifications

School Bus Drivers use a variety of skills in their careers. A successful School Bus Driver candidate will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that typically include:

  • Excellent driving ability
  • Understanding and respect for traffic laws
  • Knowledge of local area, especially regular driving routes
  • Good verbal communication skills for interacting with students, faculty staff and supervisors
  • Conflict resolution for managing the behaviour of unruly students
  • Vehicle safety knowledge for performing bus inspections


School Bus Driver experience requirements

Many schools and bus operators prefer School Bus Drivers with professional driving experience. School Bus Driving experience is ideal, but any experience in passenger transport is valuable. Some schools and bus operators may hire School Bus Drivers without driving experience if they seem like the right candidate.

Aspiring School Bus Drivers often gain experience through Passenger Carrying Vehicle Driving apprenticeships. These apprenticeships lead to industry-recognised qualifications.


School Bus Driver education and training requirements

School Bus Drivers must hold at least a full category B driver license. Many employers prefer hiring people with a full category D license. However, some schools and bus operators will provide training for this license. Many employers only consider candidates with six or more penalty points on their license. As this role involves working with children, all School Bus Drivers must pass a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

Most employers also prefer candidates with current driver Certificates of Professional Competence. Many School Bus Drivers must undergo additional training before starting work.

There are no formal educational requirements for School Bus Drivers, however, some schools and bus operators may only consider applicants with some GCSEs or similar at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C). Employers also favour applicants with a Level 2 qualification in road passenger transport or Level 2 QCF Award in knowledge of a professional bus and coach driver. First aid and CPR certificates are also preferred.


School Bus Driver salary expectations

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Job description samples for similar positions

People well suited to School Bus Driver may also suit other driving roles. Our job description samples for similar positions can help you write your own job advertisement.


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School Bus Driver job description FAQs


What qualities make a good School Bus Driver?

Good School Bus Drivers should have a positive and pleasant personality. They must also enjoy working with children and have the patience to to stay calm and focused if children become rowdy. They should know how to be firm when students are misbehaving and know how to encourage better behaviour. The School Bus Driver should enjoy driving and value safety on the road. The School Bus Driver also needs to have excellent time management skills, arriving punctually at destinations without taking driving risks.


What is the difference between a School Bus Driver and a Bus Driver?

School Bus Drivers exclusively drive students and faculty members. Regular Bus Drivers transport all members of the public. They often drive children, but do not interact with children as often as School Bus Drivers. School Bus Drivers work weekdays within school hours, often only in the morning and afternoon. Other Bus Drivers work throughout the week. Their hours include weekend, public  bankholiday and school holiday work. They may also work at any time of the day or night.


What should you look for in a School Bus Driver CV?

Look for applicants with driving experience. Professional passenger transport is ideal, but extensive personal driving experience is also valuable. Professional experience working around children can also set candidates apart. Applicants with apprenticeships and driving and first aid certificates are also worth interviewing.

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