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Your police school community officer is responsible for training school patrols and wardens. Here is the process.

Adult supervisors should be inducted to ensure that patrols and wardens carry out their duties professionally and competently.

The school community officer also implements procedures specific to particular crossings to ensure that patrol members and crossing students stay safe. These could include establishing special reference points or ‘marks’, making changes to operating procedures owing to heavy traffic flows, or using third members as leaders.

6.1 Timing your training programme

Most school traffic safety teams are trained in term 4 so they’re ready to start their duties in term 1 the following year. Refresher training is normally provided during the first few weeks of the first term to ensure patrol members are competent to carry out their duties.

However, some schools prefer to have their patrols trained during term 3 then starting their duties in term 4, continuing through to the end of the third term the following year. Your police school community officer will be able to advise on the best option for your school.

When you’re ready to schedule training for your school patrols and wardens, contact your school community officer. They’ll work with you to choose a date that suits you and your students.

Before training starts, please photocopy the training sheet.

School patrol training sheet [DOCX, 53 KB]

Your school community officer will use it as part of the training programme.

6.2 Training for school patrols and school wardens

You’ll need to set aside a day for this training – and all students need to attend (no exceptions).

The training day covers essential information such as:

  • participants’ roles and responsibilities
  • correct procedures for operating the patrol
  • the need for teamwork and reliability
  • what to do if someone doesn’t turn up or for some reason can’t do the job on the day
  • uniforms and how to wear and look after them
  • other equipment they need to do the job.

Participants will also get practical training, learning about things like reference points or marks that they can use to identify safe gaps in traffic and determine traffic speeds and volume.

Supervisors will also need to be inducted into the school safety team procedures.

When the training is complete, consider including the new recruits in the roster for the rest of the year. It’s a great opportunity to give them practical experience with your established patrol members.

6.2.1 Refresher training

Early in the new school year, your school community officer will contact you to arrange refresher training at crossings and check that you’ve set up your rosters. They might also meet the supervisors to make sure they’re aware of their roles and responsibilities.

This is also an ideal time to show newcomers to your school how your school patrol or warden operation works.

6.3 Training for bus wardens

Your school is responsible for ensuring that students travelling on buses understand basic safety procedures. Remember to get parent or caregiver permission before training takes place.

In preparation for your training day, make sure that:

  • the bus operator can provide a bus for the day
  • a first-aider can attend (such as a staff member or a St John or Red Cross representative)
  • your school’s bus controller will attend.

The training day should also cover topics such as:

  • bus wardens’ roles and responsibilities
  • the need for trust, teamwork and reliability
  • what to do if someone doesn’t turn up or for some reason can’t do the job on the day
  • emergency procedures
  • describing and reporting student misbehaviour.

You could also contact your school community officer if you need specialist training support, such as emergency procedures, checking the bus is roadworthy, and that unloading sites are correct and signposted.

7.3 School patrols and wardens: reporting unsafe or illegal behaviour

Safety is the top priority of every school patrol and warden, so it’s important to watch for and report unsafe or illegal behaviour – by pedestrians and drivers.

7.3.1 Incidents involving children

School traffic safety team members should identify any children who distract or interfere with their patrol’s safe operation – and give their names to the supervisor as soon as they’ve finished their duties.

7.3.2 Incidents involving drivers

Drivers who fail to stop when children are on pedestrian or kea crossings, or fail to give way when they should at crossings controlled by traffic signals, are breaking the law.

If the supervisor sees any of these things happening they should write down:

the vehicle’s registration number
a description of the driver
the type of vehicle
the vehicle’s colour
the date and time of the incident
the direction in which the vehicle was travelling
whether any children were on the crossing – and if so, where they were and the direction in which they were walking
the names of any witnesses
where the vehicle was first sighted when the STOP signs were extended on the roadway
any other matters they consider relevant.

These details should be transferred to the School patrol infringement form as soon as possible, then faxed or scanned to your local police station.

School patrol infringement form [DOCX, 141 KB]

In an emergency, dial 111 immediately.


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