Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

6:00 am

Photo of David CullinaneDavid Cullinane (Sinn Fein)

I thank the Minister of State for agreeing to investigate my first concern about the distance eligibility. At the end of his contribution, the Minister of State referred to efficiency and cost-effective schemes. We have no difficulty with cost-effective schemes. There is logic in people attending their nearest education centre. However, sometimes their nearest education centre is not the best choice because of the road infrastructure or because of county boundary issues. Those are practical considerations that need to be taken into account.

Some people are now availing of the concessionary transport, for example, in Tramore, where there is a place on the bus to go to Kilmacthomas or from Dunmore East to the city. However, if they are medical cardholders they need to pay the €350 and do not get the free transport, which is also a concern for many of those parents. There needs to be an element of choice. If there are six schools that are 7 km away and one school 6.5 km away and the road infrastructure is not the best, it makes perfect sense. My point is that there needs to be some flexibility. One could argue there was some with the catchment areas, although that gave rise to its own set of circumstances. While there may not be any perfect system, it could be tweaked to add value and improve it for all concerned.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.