Thursday 18 October 2018 03:07:06 PM

McGrath Attacks EA Over Special Needs Transport
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South Down MLA Colin McGrath has responded to the failure of the Education Authority to provide transport for a day for disabled pupils at Knockevin Special School when a driver took sick.

South Down MLA Colin McGrath has questioned the EA over a failure to pick up disabled pupils for Knockevin Special School school for the Newcastle area.

Mr McGrath said: “Parents were left high and dry last week when the bus driver who works for the local Education Authority took ill and no replacement could be found.  As a result, these children were unable to get to school.

“I was alerted to this issue on Thursday. Local children in the greater Newcastle area who normally attend Knockevin Special School had no way of getting to school as the bus driver was sick.  Parents contacted the school and Education Authority but to no avail.

“Not only were these children missing out on their education but they were also missing out on key services such as physio etc., as many of these outside agencies attend the school to tend to the children’s needs at the one time.

“This situation was totally and utterly unacceptable.  These children are entitled to their education.

“Many parents were forced to take time off work to either care for their children at home or to transport them to school in Downpatrick.  However, for some parents transporting their children was impossible due to the varying needs that that they have.

“I am pleased to say that following my intervention, the Education Authority have sourced a driver and the children will be collected as usual tomorrow morning”.