School bus review lags with no immediate outcome
School students who have been punished by not being allowed to board a school bus because they have gone to ‘wrong’ school, have grown up and entered the workforce since Member for Frome Geoff Brock MP has been lobbying the State Government for equity for all students to ride a bus to the school of their choice.
Mr Brock has been asking for a review of the Department of Education School Transport Policy to allow students, no matter where they live or which school they attend, to board a school bus.
“This is a critical issue in rural areas, where buses pass by rural properties but are not allowed to pick up students who may attend private schools or a different government school than the one closest to them,” Mr Brock said.
“As a result, parents and caregivers have to leave their on farm work, or make special arrangements on their way to their jobs to get their children to their school of choice using private transport.
“This is inequitable.”
Mr Brock has been lobbying the government since 2013 and was forced to again ask a question in Parliament last week of Education Minister John Gardner.
The Minister was asked to update the progress of the review of the regional school bus policy which was completed in February this year.
“The Minister’s response was frustrating in that it spoke of the continued delay in a decision being made.
“I appreciate that the review is being widened to include the possibility of using school buses for the broader community, but the simple matter of ticking a box to give all school students the right to access a bus should not be subject to such a long delay,” Mr Brock said.
There are more than 430 school bus routes for students throughout regional South Australia which are used by about 14.600 students.