Cindy Hyland, president of the Elliot Heads Primary School P&F;, is hopeful school bus services will resume this year to pick up students (from left) Ben Davey, Alicia Lehmann, Sophie Davey, Danielle Lehmann, Brock Peter, Sharnee Fox, Lockie Peter and Keely Fox. Photos: Rob Barich ell0302c
Cindy Hyland, president of the Elliot Heads Primary School P&F;, is hopeful school bus services will resume this year to pick up students (from left) Ben Davey, Alicia Lehmann, Sophie Davey, Danielle Lehmann, Brock Peter, Sharnee Fox, Lockie Peter and Keely Fox. Photos: Rob Barich ell0302c

Students leaving due to bus issues

PARENTS are pulling their children out of Elliott Heads State School because they relied on a free bus service that was axed, according to the school’s Parents and Friends Association.

In December the Transport and Main Roads Department told the school it would pull funding for the free bus service because the number of children accessing it had dropped below the required number of six students.

Without the funding, the service became unviable for the owner and it was cancelled, despite other children paying for the bus and using it.

Since the December announcement, Parents and Friends president Cindy Hyland said one family had already left the school.

“We’ve lost one family. (The mother) was left with no alternative,” Ms Hyland said.

She said mums and dads were holding out hope the service would resume next year, but the government has refused to confirm its return.

Ms Hyland said she had been told by the department there would be a review into the service, which could lead to its return in 2011.

But she said to be without a bus for what could be the rest of the year was not ideal.

“Now we have more issues with parking. Having said that I’m happy we might have the service back,” Ms Hyland said.

But the department released a statement yesterday that did not answer questions about whether the bus service would be resumed in 2011, or if a review of the department’s bus routes for the school would take place.

“In accordance with the School Transport Assistance Scheme, under which school buses are provided, school bus services cease when there are less than six eligible students using the service,” a Main Roads and Transport Department spokesman said.

“If at any time there are sufficient eligible students, and the costing criteria for new services can be met, then a school bus service to Elliott Heads School will be considered.”



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