Parents deserve answers from Education Authority on school transport issue, says O’Lynn

Education Patricia O'Lynn

Parents of a local primary school deserve urgent answers from the Education Authority (EA) after it was left without school transport, Alliance North Antrim MLA Patricia O’Lynn has said.

Mary Queen of Peace Primary School in Glenravel is currently without a school bus driver following illness, meaning dozens of pupils have been left without transport to the school. Alliance MLA Dr O’Lynn said it showed a shocking lack of preparation by the EA.

“I’ve been contacted by over 40 parents, all concerned about the lack of transport provision for the school for a number of days now. Due to a shocking lack of preparation by the EA, they will now have to find some other way to get their children to school, or else they will miss out,” she said.

“In the midst of a cost of living crisis, some parents will now potentially have to take time off work to provide childcare themselves at short notice. It’s difficult to believe the EA had no back-up plan or additional support in place and I have contacted them to ask on this matter.

“This is only the latest in a long-line of transport provision issues here, with the shuttle bus serving the area having inadequate capacity, and often has to make multiple runs to cover the area. As the school is in a rural area, pedestrian access is difficult, heightened by the lack of a designated crossing point or lollipop service.

“I have raised these issues, as well as the urgent need for a new school building, in the Assembly. This is another call to the EA and the Department of Education for an urgent review of transport provision and for a better offering for Glenravel.”