Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has said there must be greater certainty for children with school transport concessionary seats.

As it stands concessionary seats are given to children who are not automatically eligible for school transport but meet certain requirements. The concessionary seats can be rescinded depending on capacity, which causes huge stress for families as one sibling may be able to travel while a younger one can’t.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony explained, “Fianna Fáil have been calling for a guarantee to be introduced to ensure no child loses their place on a school bus if they had been allocated a concessionary seat in either junior infants or first year of secondary school.

“It makes sense that once a school bus place is allocated at the start of the child’s time at school, even on a concessionary basis, it should be guaranteed for future years.

“Every year I am contacted by parents who an anxious and frustrated because they have not been told whether their children have retained their place on the school bus. In many cases the school term has already begun before they are given a definitive answer. Unsurprisingly this causes much stress for the affected families.

“The government can put an end to this administrative nightmare once and for all by introducing a guarantee ensuring that children cannot lose a school bus place once one has been allocated to them.

“Minister Halligan needs to meet with Minister Joe McHugh in advance of Budget 2020 to discuss an increase in the provision of funding for the School Transport Scheme which may solve the many problems associated with the scheme which are causing havoc for young school children and their parents every year, particularly in rural areas.” concluded Deputy Murphy O’Mahony.