Parents oppose school bus policy

Carolyn Farrar

Reporter:

Carolyn Farrar

A new policy for post-primary school transport will have a disruptive impact on rural communities, a Finn Valley parent said.

A new policy for post-primary school transport will have a disruptive impact on rural communities, a Finn Valley parent said.

Brid McGrenra, one of the parents who organised a meeting on the issue in Castlefin on Monday night, said policy-makers “don’t realise the impact it’s going to have on the whole community. It hasn’t hit home to them.”

Under the new national policy, students entering post-primary education will be eligible for transport to the school nearest their home. This means some incoming students will not be eligible for transport to the school their sibling attends.

Mrs. McGrenra has a son at St. Columba’s College in Stranorlar and learned that her younger son, who enters post-primary this year, will be eligible for transport to Deele College in Raphoe. She said many families would be split up in this way, many with several children who would have to attend different post-primary schools to be eligible for transport.

Parents had also invited local TDs and councillors, and local school principals to last night’s meeting.

Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin TD, raised the issue in the Dáil last Thursday. “The issues are becoming clearer and also increasingly more worrying for families in Donegal, particularly in the Stranorlar area,” he said. “The changes to the eligibility criteria for school transport will affect a sizeable number of students and families.”