School Transport cases urgently require Ministerial intervention – Nolan
Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Education and Skills, Teachta Carol Nolan, has today called on the Minister of State with Responsibility for School Transport, John Halligan, to urgently intervene to address cases where students previously in receipt of school transport are now being denied a place.
Teachta Nolan said:
“I am aware of a number of cases in Donegal, Cork, Kilkenny, and my own constituency of Offaly, where students who were previously in receipt of school transport have been told that they can not avail of it this year.
“It is clear that, while the nearest school rule introduced by Fianna Fail and implemented by Fine Gael and Labour may, on the face of it, appear to be an efficient arrangement, it is in fact a restrictive measure that simply does not work in practice.
“Almost 20% of all students availing of school transport do so on a concessionary basis as a result of this policy and these students are vulnerable to losing the service on a whim by policy makers.
“In some cases, students who have attended a particular school for the last number of years are being advised to attend a different school, in some cases a school that is not even in the county.
“The fact that parents have only been informed that their child will not have a place on the school bus in late August when preparations to send the child back to school are well underway is a complete farce.
“The Minister of State made a commitment in the Dáil that no student would lose a seat on the school bus this September and it appears that this is not the case.
“I have personally contacted the Minister of State to highlight this issue and I am calling on him to immediately intervene in these cases to uphold the promise he made in the Dáil on this issue.”