Fears for school bus services as school transport review is announced

Fri, 07/12/2018 - 15:56 -- Editor

SDLP Education Spokesperson Colin McGrath MLA has expressed concern over the Department of Education’s announcement of a review of its ‘Home to School’ transport.  Mr McGrath added that any change to the financing of school transport would be a damning indictment of how government, or lack of, is failing school children in Northern Ireland.  The MLA for South Down commented:  “For a generation, pupils have received subsidised school transport and news that Home to School Transport may be under threat will be a major worry to many parents and guardians who will now have to factor in transport costs in their overall budgets.  "It is bad enough that parents must worry about the environment in which their children are educated in due to cutbacks and financial constraints but to add to this the worry of whether or not they can afford to send their children to school will be devastating. This is a policy that will unfairly impact rural dwellers too. Those that live furtherest from school gates will be penalised the most and that cannot be allowed to happen.  “The difficult decision by the Department of Education to reconsider its financing of school transport due to financial difficulties, is a stark reminder that political parties need to get back to work to help mitigate the crisis facing our education budget.”