Page last updated at 12:43 GMT, Monday, 1 March 2010

School bus movies to fight bullying and bad behaviour

A school coach (generic)
It is hoped it will help drivers to concentrate on the road

Films and TV programmes are being screened on school buses across north Wales in a bid to reduce noise and bad behaviour on the way home.

The 12-month pilot scheme, called Zoom, is being trialled across six counties to see if it can help fight bullying and anti-social behaviour.

Denbighshire, the lead authority on the project, said it had already produced "promising results".

"Age appropriate" movies, concerts and nature programmes are featured.

In Denbighshire, four entertainment systems have been installed on school buses "to keep the students engaged and sat in their seats".

This may seem a radical approach to school transport but if it reduces poorer behaviour and stops bullying it is well worth it
Stuart Davies, Conwy and Denbighshire councils

The council has teamed up with Ysgol Dinas Bran, Llangollen, and GHA Coaches for the trial.

Berwyn Davies, of GHA, said: "It works.

"A driver turns his back on 70 kids and drives.

"If we can keep them occupied and entertained on the trip home they are more likely to be well behaved and less likely to cause vandalism or distract the driver."

Stuart Davies, joint head of highways and infrastructure for Conwy and Denbighshire said: "At the end of each school day students board the bus for home animated and energetic, and noise levels can be quite distracting for bus drivers.

"This may seem a radical approach to school transport but if it reduces poorer behaviour and stops bullying it is well worth it.

"In the USA, entertainment systems are already used to reduce antisocial behaviour. They also report positive results."

The pilot is also being trialled across Flintshire, Wrexham, Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey, in response to a reported rise in anti-social behaviour.

It is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government.

The aim "is to make the trip a pleasant experience and lessen bullying which can lead to school truancy".



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