School bus policy is absolute nonsense, says MP

Buses coming to St Benet Biscop Catholic School.
Buses coming to St Benet Biscop Catholic School.
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AN MP has branded a council decision to segregate pupils according to their religious beliefs as “absolute nonsense”.

Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said an urgent review of the system was needed immediately at Northumberland County Council, and he has threatened to take the issue to Parliament.

“The parents have very valid grievances,” he said.

“It is not acceptable for two children to walk to the bus stop, one being a Catholic and one a non-Catholic, and they have to get on different buses.

“It is absolute nonsense in 2012 that we have a situation like that.

“I have spoken to the county council, and I believe it needs a complete review as a matter of urgency.

“Children should be able to travel on the same bus regardless of what religion or religious beliefs they have.

“The county council has said it will look at it, and I hope that it will come to the conclusion that this has caused unnecessary problems within the community.

“I understand the anxieties of these parents, and I will not let this slip.

“If this isn’t changed, I will look at other ways of dealing with this issue as it is not acceptable.

“I was minded to take it to Parliament, and I will raise it with the appropriate ministerial department to see if they will intervene, but I am hoping that the council will see sense and that won’t need to happen.

“It is extremely important that that happens.

“If it is taken on at a national level, then so be it.”