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Minister’s Fudging of School Transport highlights problems with scheme – Nolan

28 June, 2016

Speaking after Questions to the Minister for Education and Skills in the Dáil this afternoon, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Education and Skills Carol Nolan TD has said that the Minister of State’s fudging of the issue has highlighted the problems with the criteria for the School Transport Scheme.

Deputy Nolan said:

“Sinn Féin has consistently highlighted the impact of the new scheme for school transport that requires a child to attend their nearest school irrespective of family tradition, traditional catchment area or community bonds.

“You would be forgiven for forgetting the fact that it was a Fianna Fáil Government that introduced these changes through the 2011 Budget on foot of recommendations after listening to the faux outrage today.

“The fact that the Minister of State as unable to provide a cast iron guarantee that no concessionary school transport holder will lose their seat this year.

“The fact that concessionary school transport holders may lose their seat if there is increased demand by eligible children under the scheme highlights the fact that the current school transport scheme does not deliver for parents and children.

“The fact is that the Department of Education has created huge confusion and anxiety in relation to the school transport scheme with a number of different reports in relation to downsizing of buses and the proposed review of the concessionary criteria.

“The only thing that is clear at present is that the Minister of States’ fudging of this issue has highlighted the problems with the current scheme.

“Sinn Féin is calling for a comprehensive review of the school transport scheme, with full public consultation with parents, pupils, schools and other stakeholders, before any decision is taken in respect of the scheme.” 

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