Controversy over school bus drop-offs sees driver sacked
THE bus driver at the centre of a row over an ill-fated school journey has been sacked.
Karen Baseden received a letter from employer Nu-Venture dismissing her after students were let off her bus in Woodchurch during the school run from Homewood School in Tenterden, says her fiance, Simon Baker.
The controversial journey last month saw Ms Baseden turn the bus around and head back to the school after reports of trouble among a small number of students.
However, the bus stopped and students disembarked.
While Nu-Venture insisted that pupils demanded to be let off, some parents were distraught to find their children adrift in a dark Woodchurch road and say the youngsters had to walk to a nearby pub to summon lifts home.
Nu-Venture boss Norman Kemp said at the time: “The driver, rightly or wrongly, was following instructions given by the school that if there was any trouble then the bus was to be returned to the school.
“Some kids took exception to that, rang the bell and decamped.
“All those who left the bus did so of their own accord.”
However, Ms Baseden’s dismissal seems to centre on her actions.
According to Mr Baker, a bus driver with a different company, Ms Baseden was in a no-win situation.
He said: “The letter (from NuVenture) said that her explanation was considered to not be satisfactory.
“But the kids were standing around the driving area and so she couldn’t see out. She had to stop the bus and she had to agree to let the kids off.”
Ms Baseden intends to appeal against the dismissal.
Nu-Venture declined to comment on disciplinary matters.