Local authority preferred list
Some schools are told that they must hire from a preferred list of transport companies provided to them by the local authority. This is not true.
It is the legal responsibility of the governing body and head teacher to research and choose the transport operator for school trips – not the local authority.
The transport companies listed and recommended by a local authority are normally the companies used by them for home to school transport. Local authorities rarely background check transport companies to ensure they are legally and safety compliant. BUSK carries out background checks for legal and safety compliance and can recommend Benchmark members for this reason. If schools checked this out with their local authority they would have to confirm that they make no such checks on transport companies, yet they still recommend your school to use them.
An exception to this is where a local authority own and operate an in-house fleet and employ their own drivers. Some authorities do this and offer schools the opportunity hire directly from them. This is different from a school using an operator on a preferred list.