School Crossing Patrols (SCPs)

Information for schools on the management of the SCP service.

EA manages the school crossing patrol (SCP) service for all types of schools.

SCPs are valued members of staff, however this service is not a statutory function of the EA and so they are only replaced or established where a location has been assessed and confirmed as suitable for the operation of a SCP. 

Even where an SCP is in operation, parents remain primarily responsible for their child’s safe arrival at school.

Schools must submit a site survey request if they wish to fill a vacancy or establish a new SCP.  This request must be endorsed by the Board of Governors. 



Site surveys must be conducted during term time when schools are fully operational.   Surveys will not typically be repeated within a 2-year period. 

Site surveys are conducted over 3 separate occasions at times of peak traffic & pedestrian flow e.g. opening and closing times.  They are based on Road Safety GB’s guidelines for the operation of SCPs and determine whether a site is suitable, and meets the minimum requirements, for a SCP. 

Surveys measure volumes of child pedestrians and traffic, as well as other factors.  Issues with illegal car parking, street lighting and congestion however are out with the responsibility of the School Crossing Patrol service and are not grounds for an assessment or establishment of a SCP.  They should instead be addressed to the PSNI or Department for Infrastructure as appropriate.

EA will try to update schools on the progress of their request within 20 working days. However, this target may be difficult during school closures or peak periods i.e. September/October.

Management of School Crossing Patrols

SCPs are EA employees who are managed with the support of the school to which they are assigned.

Schools should be aware that SCPs are not authorised to stop traffic unless wearing their uniform and must operate only at an approved location.

As a ‘regulated activity’ only those formally employed as a SCP by the Education Authority are authorised to stop traffic.  Individuals who have not been formally employed by the Education Authority as a SCP, are not indemnified by it in the event of any legal proceedings.

More information on the options open to schools if they have a SCP who will be absent for a prolonged period is available in the SCP Scheme document below.

Last updated: 30/11/2021