Egan calls for review of home to school transport across Northern Ireland

Alliance Education spokesperson Connie Egan has called for the recommencement of a review into home to school transport after it was placed on indefinite hold by the Department of Education.

Education Connie Egan

The North Down MLA has said: “The current policies regarding home to school transport are simply not fit for purpose, and this has been widely recognised for a considerable length of time now.
"A public consultation and subsequent review commenced in 2019 and yet, four years later, no significant policy changes have been made. The review was placed on hold pending the outcome of the ongoing Independent Review of Education. This review should have taken place alongside the Independent Review of Education, rather than pupils and parents still having to wait years for any proposals to be brought forward by the Department for Education.
"The interim report on the Independent Review of Education doesn’t even mention Home to School Transport Policy.
“Parents need action, especially while the cost of living crisis continues to impact families across NI. The current policy is simply not fit for purpose with parents struggling to navigate the differences between the six school sectors including controlled, maintained and voluntary grammar. The inflexibility of this policy causes huge issues for families that just miss out on support as, for example, their child lives 2.99 miles from their school in a rural area with no footpaths or streetlights.
“Just over one in four pupils across Northern Ireland currently benefit from this scheme and it is essential that the DoE prioritises this issue in order to provide safe, reliable and fit for purpose home to school transport for all our children and young people."