Page 42 - Independent Schools Magazine
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 School Travel
Castle Minibus launch a dedicated site for minibus sales
Castle Minibus has always run a rehoming scheme for schools’ used minibuses; buying unwanted minibuses and re-selling them to community groups like churches and scout groups once they are MOT’d, serviced and given their 54 point safety check. It meant schools didn’t have to worry about selling their old minibuses privately; nor would they have to deal with tyre kickers, problems post- sale or seeing their old, liveried minibuses on the road but in the hands of new owners.
As an extension of this service and a natural progression from the leasing side of the business, Castle has launched a dedicated website for those looking to buy new or
used minibuses. Castle’s stock of minibuses is exclusively from the education sector to ensure a certain standard of vehicle and assurances
of its history. Chris Maynard, Managing Director of Castle Minibus, comments “Castle are Champions of Minibus safety and this is at the heart of everything we do. Our used minibuses are all ex-school stock and have been through not only an MOT and service but a trading standards approved 84 point safety check. With this Platinum Plus RAC warranty, we could not offer any higher levels of safety and service where our used vehicles are concerned.”
Castle are based in Bicester, Oxford and are the only UK minibus provider to be an RAC approved dealer. The RAC warranty that comes
with all Castle’s vehicles includes roadside, recovery and at home breakdown cover.
Chris continues “We currently have a wide range of minibuses for sale and our stock is updating and changing all the time. We’ve even included a reservation and deposit option for schools to ensure that they have time to organise the funds they need for their chosen vehicle.”
“Buy a Minibus has enabled us to offer schools a safe and reliable way to dispose of their old minibuses while saving them money on their replacements. Any school, whether selling or buying a minibus from us, can rest assured that safety is our priority; both the new and used vehicles will have gone through our stringent checks before delivery.”
For schools that are facing tight budgets
and limited time to deal with buying and selling minibuses, Castle are happy to take old minibuses as part-exchange to not only offset
the cost of the new vehicle but deal with the safe resale of the old vehicle.
Castle are leading the way in safety where minibus sales are concerned and have recently launched a course in partnership with the ISBA. The course, called the MCC (Minibus Compliance Course), covers the licencing, permit and legal side of school minibus operations as well as driver and journey safety and management. The course is delivered in two parts; a one-day training course followed by an on-site assessment.
Chris concludes “Most schools operate under a Section 19 Permit but we found that they did not understand their obligations to servicing and maintenance. Safety is a top priority, which is why we have included the required 10-week safety checks as standard with all
our minibuses and have launched the MCC to educate schools about the safety standards their vehicles need to meet.”
For more information call 01869 255395 and to see details of minibuses for sale visit
Students make a difference
As part of this summer’s trip the Ellesmere College students painted the classrooms at Nanja and met with the local women’s group too. They also visited National Parks and museums. Money for the trip is raised throughout the term through fundraisers and events.
A group of Shropshire students have spent a fortnight helping to make a difference at a school in Tanzania.
The students from Ellesmere College were involved in English teaching, tree planting, classroom painting and gained first-hand knowledge of the difficulties experienced in the day-to-day lives of people in the East African country.
It was all part of the Monduli Green project, set up 10 years ago by Cathy Allen, an English as an Additional Language teacher at Ellesmere College, to work with schools and communities
in Tanzania with the aim of improving facilities and the environment for children.
Cathy said: “This is a really worthy charity and one which allows our students to help others in need
while appreciating the difficult circumstances many people are still living under in the 21st Century.
“The charity is committed to getting better water access, expanding the tree cover, improving educational facilities and opportunities and creating a better understanding of a range of different cultures.
“Our students had a full itinerary during their trip. They visited with the District Commissioner before attending Mtimmoja Primary School to do some tree planting and watch a student dance show.
“They were able to meet the renowned primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall after attending one of her lectures and visited Nanja school where they were involved in some sapling care.
“The school has no water for its 450 boarders and pupils have a 10-minute walk to collect dirty water from a pond for washing and so on. They have to buy drinking water from the military. We are planning to help them harvest water in the future to make things more tolerable.”
  42 Independent Schools Magazine
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