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24/10/2021

Department of Education bosses respond to Longford mother's school bus concerns

School bus

Transport chiefs have issued a response to concerns aired by a Longford mother over allegations her two children are being forced to stay at home because they have not been afforded school bus seats

Transport chiefs have issued a response to claims made by a single mother of three who insists she has been left at her "wits end" after being told her two children will not be able to avail of school transport even though their six kilometre journey is free.

Last week, the Leader told of Longford based mother, Melanie Duignan's desparation at an anomaly which she claims has left her with no option but to keep her teenage children Byron (16) and Jasmine (13) at home.

Ms Duignan said uploading her children's medical card details on Bus Éireann's online payment portal for school transportation services led to the problem and her children being forced to forego several days of school at Lanesboro Community College.

In a response this week, a Department of Transport spokesperson said while it does not comment on individual cases, all children who are eligible for school transport and who have completed the application and payment process on time (including submission of medical card details as appropriate) are accommodated on school transport services.

“Late applicants and/or families who pay late are not guaranteed a seat and will only be allocated a seat if capacity is available once seats are allocated to those families who applied and paid on time for transport services for the 2021/2022 school year,” said a spokesperson.

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