In a joint statement, the Leader of the Comhairle and the Chair of Education and Children’s Services stated that they would be suggesting at the next meeting of Education and Children’s Services on 28th August that the changes be deferred The new scheme was scheduled to be implemented on 3rd September.
Comhairle Leader Angus Campbell said: “Whilst I am firmly of the view that this policy is the right way ahead, I fully accept that parents should have had more time to make arrangements for the new system. Parents have expressed reasonable concerns and I believe it is right that we listen to those concerns and take a pragmatic course of action. In discussions with the Chair of Education and Children’s Services we have agreed that the reasonable course of action is to defer implementation until after the October holidays and we will be proposing at the next meeting of Education and Children’s Services that we fund the status quo in terms of Home to School Transport provision until October.”
Catriona Stewart, Chair of Education and Children’s Services, said: “Although we did make efforts to publicise the new scheme and make parents aware, I understand that many parents were not familiar with the changes to the policy and that is a matter of regret. It is also regrettable that the impression was given that the new policy would be implemented from the beginning of the new session. That was incorrect-the implementation date was actually the 3rd September. However, given the current situation, the sensible course of action is to delay implementation which will give parents the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments as required.
“For the sake of clarity, the current position is that the provision of Home to School Transport for children will remain as it was at the end of last session. This will remain the case until the Committee and the Comhairle have had an opportunity to discuss the financial implications of any alternative decisions.”
Letters updating the situation will be sent to all affected parents.
If parents have any queries about the provision of transport for their children they should contact the Education and Children’s Services Department on 01851 822734.
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