They'll be framed - on school bus

23rd April 2004 at 01:00
The popular pupil sport of harassing the school bus driver could be under threat thanks to a new security system designed to put the wind up unruly children.

Bus drivers will be able to hit a panic button connected to a central control room if they suspect trouble is kicking off behind them.

Their colleagues then take over and home in on the trouble via a network of video cameras and warn the children over a loudspeaker system to simmer down or they will alert the police.

The school transport safety charity Belt Up School Kids (Busk), came up with the idea after consulting schools, local education authorities and governing bodies.

Charles Pedrick, a Busk trustee, said: "Schoolgirls we spoke to told us that one game is to try and get the driver's mobile number so that they can ring him while he is driving. Everything from footballs to cola cans are lugged at the driver."

The technology, currently under development, is due to be piloted in Newport and at two Gloucestershire secondaries before the end of the summer term. Whereas CCTV records images and plays them back later, the new system will feed live images to the control room.

Pat Harris, corporate director of Busk, said: "Videos of the incidents will be sent to schools and played in assembly the next morning, so that the pupils who have misbehaved are named and shamed."

Busk intends to market the technology to schools as part of a wider package which will include behaviour contracts to be signed by pupils, parents and the school.

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