This is something of a grey area. Sometimes schools act and sometimes they don't. It depends on the school.
A High Court case several years ago established that schools were not liable for bullying carried out by pupils outside the school gates but the DFE announced in 2007 that schools COULD take action on incidents on the journey to and from school.
The relevant section is http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/behaviour/exclusion/guidance/pa... which says........
"Pupils' behaviour outside school on school business, for example, on school trips, away school sports fixtures, or work experience placements, is subject to the school's behaviour policy. Bad behaviour in such circumstances should be dealt with as if it had taken place in school.
"For behaviour outside school, but not on school business, a head teacher may exclude a pupil if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the pupil body as a whole. This will be a matter of judgment for the head teacher. Pupils' behaviour in the immediate vicinity of the school, or on a journey to or from school, can be grounds for exclusion."
There are a number of ways of tackling this problem
- It should help if this is a bus provided by the LEA if pupils can sit near the driver, and sit by other adult passengers if it is an ordinary service bus.
- Write to the school to make a complaint about bullying on the bus but also make a complaint to the LA department that deals with school transport if this is one of their buses.
- Ask if the bully can have his/her pass withdrawn for a week or so in the hope that the inconvenience to them and their parents will result in better behaviour.
- A parent could also make a complaint to the bus firm because if there is regular trouble on the bus, the firm may be pleased to have an opportunity to make a complaint to the school which could help to solve the issue.
Bullying UK regularly gets complaints about bullying at bus stops and on the way home. Many business premises are covered by CCTV which sometimes also films the street so if your child is assaulted the police may be able to recover film evidence of what took place.
If your child feels unsafe you could get him/her an attack alarm. These often look like keyrings and cost about £5. The noise they make when activated should scare an attacker off and attract the attention of passers-by.