On 16 November at approximately 4pm a school bus from Bradon Forest School to Sparcells and Peatmoor was in a collision with a farm vehicle in Lydiard Millicent.
The bus concerned was a replacement for the B8 school bus as the original bus had difficulty in starting up at the school. The B8 is a Swindon Borough Council contract run by Thamesdown Transport.
All our other school buses had left the Bradon Forest site at the usual time and the replacement bus was sent from Thamesdown to pick up the children (NB: the number displayed on the front of the replacement bus was the B4).
The incident occurred on the road leading into Lydiard Millicent from Greatfield ie on the 53 service route (the Cricklade/Swindon public bus route).
The emergency services were called immediately after the collision. Great Western Ambulance Service (GWAS) sent a rapid response vehicle, two ambulances, an air ambulance and two GWAS officers to liaise with the emergency services at the scene. A number of fire tenders and police units also attended the scene.
A Year 8 girl on the upper deck was freed by the fire service working with GWAS crews before being flown by the Wiltshire Air Ambulance to the Great Western Hospital. She suffered cuts and glass injuries to her leg and hand and also dislocated her shoulder.
Two other Year 8 students were taken by road ambulances to the Great Western Hospital for treatment for cuts and glass injuries. They were both discharged early yesterday evening.
All other passengers, as well as the drivers of both vehicles, were assessed and cleared on the scene by GWAS clinicians. The clinicians also provided advice in case any of the students suffered from shock or felt any later effects.
When the school was contacted, staff were dispatched to go to the scene to assist. As the incident had been called a major incident, road blocks had been put in place, and Bradon Forest staff were redirected by police colleagues to go back through Purton to access Lydiard Millicent via the Pear Tree Hotel road.
When staff arrived and liaised with police, students had already been assessed and collected by parents who had been contacted by mobile phones and local residents’ phones.
The response of the emergency services was exemplary. I went to Great Western Hospital to support the families, joined by two senior colleagues. We were relieved that the injuries were not as serious as we first believed.
I informed all staff – both teaching and support – by e-mail yesterday evening and provided further details at our staff briefing early this morning. This was to ensure that all colleagues were aware of the background and details of the students concerned before the start of the school day and meeting the students.
Colleagues were reminded of the support structures available and to share any concerns they may have about their students with our pastoral team. The start of the school day has been very calm. Support has been available for any student who requires it during the course of the day and this is being actively monitored by our pastoral team. I would like to thank the emergency services and the support shown from members of the Bradon Forest community.