Education news

Home to school transport applications now online

Pupils getting on school bus

PARENTS are to receive instant notification about whether their children are eligible for free home-to-school transport.

The Education Authority (EA) is to introduce a new, online process for those seeking to apply for transport assistance.

It is also launching a new app which will feature interactive view of bus routes and stops.

The new service will be live from May 2 on the EA website - www.eani.org.uk/transportapp.

Children are entitled to transport assistance if there is no suitable school within the statutory qualifying distance of their home, or if they have been refused a place in all suitable schools.

This is two miles for pupils under 11 years of age and three miles for those 11 or older.

In a letter to school principals, EA director of operations and estates, Sara Long, said there were benefits.

"The new online application process is simple and convenient and it enables the completion of applications for home to school transport assistance any time, anywhere via a range of devices," she said.

"On completion of an application, parents will now receive instant notification in relation to eligibility for transport assistance. This is a significant improvement.

"We have also created the `find my route' app, which I think parents should find very useful. The app uses technology to provide parents with an interactive view of bus routes and bus stops relating to their child's journey to school."

Ms Long also outlined the potential for further use of the technology.

"The innovative use of Geographical Information Systems technology provides a potential platform for the modernisation of other EA processes and services which can reduce costs and increase efficiencies in a time of significant financial challenge," she said.

"This is positive progress within the wider programme of transformation as we continue to develop regional services and structures for the Education Authority."

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