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Glens parents being forced to pay over £700 in bus fares for children

27 September, 2007

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that schoolchildren living in the Glens of Antrim are being unfairly treated by the NEELB. Mr McKay was referring to the circumstances in which pupils who have entered secondary education in the area now find themselves.

Mr McKay said:

'At the moment the future of St. Aloysius' High School is being reviewed but for some new secondary school pupils from the area this means that they find themselves being treated unfairly.

'Parents in the area have outlined to me that because there is such a low number of pupils going into first year that they are being educated along with the second year pupils.

'Parents understandably find this unacceptable and would rather that their children were sent to Cross and Passion secondary school in Ballycastle. However parents who have decided to send their children to Cross and Passion have been penalised by NEELB for not applying to go to the secondary school within 3 miles of a pupil's home, i.e. St. Aloysius', thus forcing them to pay nearly £700 a year in bus fares!

'This is a grossly unfair situation and it is clearly up to the NEELB to make an exception to the rule given the unique circumstances that these parents find themselves in. I have called upon the CCMS and NEELB to immediately publish a timetable outlining when the review of St. Aloysius' will be completed and have brought it to the Education Minister's attention.' ENDS

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