Bus controllers

Information about bus controllers, including the eligibility criteria, the bus controller allowance, and forms required to change a bus controller.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Teachers and Kaiako
  • Bus Controllers
  • General Staff/Administrators

Every school served by Ministry-funded bus routes must appoint a bus controller to serve as a single point of contact on school transport issues.

Bus controller training course

Daily Bus is an online training course that helps bus controllers (for daily school buses) carry out their roles and responsibilities is now available. 

Even if you’ve been a bus controller for a number of years, we recommend that you complete the course – it’s a good way to make sure that you are up to date with current bus controller duties and responsibilities. 

It will take approximately 40 minutes to complete the course, and you can choose to complete this course over a period of time. Your progress will be saved so when you log in again you can pick up where you left off.

Please note, this training course is designed for bus controllers at schools served by the Ministry’s daily school bus service. A training module for bus controllers at directly resourced and Māori-medium schools will be developed.

To access the training course:

  1. Go to the Education learning management system
  2. Login via your ESL Logon
  3. Search ‘Catalogue’ for ‘Bus controller’

Training – Education LMS(external link)

Duties of a bus controller

Bus controllers must:

  • act as the first point of contact for caregivers and students for all school transport enquiries, including eligibility
  • assess student school transport assistance eligibility using Ministry criteria
  • maintain accurate, up-to-date lists of eligible students by route
  • supervise bus loading and unloading
  • create a documented procedure for bus loading and unloading
  • inform caregivers of bus timetables and changes to routes and stops
  • regularly communicate expectations for appropriate behaviour on school transport services to caregivers and students

If more than one school uses a route, one school takes responsibility for the route – they are known as the head school. This is usually the school where the route starts or ends.

In addition to the responsibilities above, the head school’s bus controller must (or if there is only one school on the route, then that school’s bus controller must):

  • notify their regional transport advisor (RTA) of any complaints about drivers, vehicles or behavioural issues on behalf of all schools served by the route
  • notify all relevant parties in the event of an incident or emergency
  • advise their RTA of changes in bus controller.

Changing a bus controller

To change who is the bus controller at your school, complete the following form and email it to school.transport@education.govt.nz.

Change of bus controller form [PDF, 114 KB]


Bus controller allowance

Who is eligible for a bus controller allowance?

Teachers and principals covered by the following employment agreements may be eligible for the bus controller allowance (if authorised by their employing school and Land Transport Agent):

  • Primary Teachers' Collective Agreement
  • Primary Principals' Collective Agreement
  • Secondary Teachers' Collective Agreement
  • Area School Teachers' Collective Agreement
  • the promulgated Individual Employment Agreement of the above.

Employment agreements

Who is not eligible for a bus controller allowance?

Non-teaching staff

School employees who are not teachers cannot get the bus controller allowance.

However, non-teaching staff can be paid for bus duties by completing a timesheet for non-teaching staff form (NOVO13nt).

EdPay and forms – Education Payroll(external link)

Area school principals

The bus controller allowance was removed from the Area School Principals' Collective Agreement on 13 April 2011.

All principals who are covered by a more recent collective agreement, or who have signed an Individual Employment Agreement based on the new version of the collective agreement, cannot get a bus controller allowance.

If more than one school uses a route

The allowance is only paid to one bus controller per route.

If more than one school uses a route, one school takes responsibility – they are known as the head school. This is usually the school where the route starts or ends.

The bus controller from the head school will usually receive the allowance for the route.

How to claim the allowance

To claim the bus controller allowance, complete the NOVO39t form.

EdPay and NOVO forms – Education Payroll(external link)

At the end of term, email the form to Education Payroll: Support@novopay.govt.nz

For further information contact Education Payroll.

Contact us – Education Payroll(external link) 

Bus controller resources

Safety drills to teach your students [PDF, 800 KB]

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