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Rural schools must not be impacted by school transport cuts – Martin Kenny

22 June, 2016 - by Martin Kenny TD

Today in the Dáil, Deputy Martin Kenny raised the issue of school transport and the nearest school rule during questions on the order of business, highlighting the fact that cuts to rural school transport may negatively impact rural schools.   

Deputy Kenny stated:

“On page 47 of the programme for government, there is a commitment to ensure that there are no small school closures and this context I want to raise the issue of cuts to rural school transport which will have an impact on small schools.

“This goes back to 2010 when a review of value for money brought in new rules and charges for school bus transport, which has moved huge numbers of children into the concessionary category, or denied them a bus ticket completely.  

“All of these rules need to be re-examined, especially the nearest school rule which means children have to attend the nearest school in order to qualify for school transport.  This is very negative for many rural schools and indeed for families in towns where the nearest school may be full and are not accepting students and therefore they are not eligible for bus transport to the next nearest school.  

“Will the government please review these rules and allow some common sense flexibility into the system to deliver a proper and adequate service?”  

Replying on behave of the government, Minister Frances Fitzgerald said, “the issues raised regarding the school transport scheme is under review at present.”

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