Trevor Lunn MLA said: “There are massive opportunities which exist to help reform home to school transport arrangements that would help us deliver more value for money. It is crucial that there is progress to deliver more sharing within education.
“It is a fact that across all boards, transport costs have been rising while pupil numbers have steadily fallen over a number of years. This has produced a unit cost increase of up to 9%. We are also all familiar with the increasing figure of 85,000 empty desks. The solution is the same as the one which could help us address so many other challenges regarding education spending. We need to see education sectors working together to deliver more sharing arrangements. Why should there be two half empty buses going to two half empty schools, when one bus and one school would work more effectively for everyone?
“We need to see a root and branch review of our schools estate, which would deliver meaningful post-primary review across all sectors, with each sector working together to deliver creative and shared solutions.”