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School transport issue gaining momentum

A section of the large crowd at the meeting in Castlefin on Monday night.

BY SEÁN P. FEENY
PARENTS in the Finn Valley and public representatives are calling on the government to postpone plans to introduce new post primary school transport regulations introduced in the Budget 2011.

Following a public meeting at the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative on Monday, attended by nearly 150 people, an urgent meeting has been requested with the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn TD, to discuss the pressing issue.

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From September all new entrants to post primary education will be eligible for school transport to their nearest post primary education centre if they live 4.8km or more from their nearest Post Primary education centre having regard to language and ethos.

The parents of 108 children from St Safan’s NS, St Columba’s NS Ballylast and St Mary’s NS, Castlefinn formed a committee and called the meeting on Monday evening to clarify the situation for current and future parents of secondary school children in the area.

Committee Chairman, Mr Donal Foy commended the ‘excellent’ turnout and said it showed how anxious the parents in the area were to have the transport issue resolved.

“Of course nobody would object to cost-saving initiatives, but there problem here is that there was little or no communication or consultation from the department with the schools, never mind the parents of children affected.

“The Finn Valley College received a letter from the department as late as yesterday (Monday) notifying them that the new regulations will take effect from the new school year.”

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