'Insane' rule leaves mum with 240km school run

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
'Insane' rule leaves mum with 240km school run - National News, Frontpage - Independent.ie

EACH day a children's bus travelling to a special needs school passes by Annagh Minchin as she begins her daily 240km journey to bring her daughter Aife to the same school -- because the six-year-old girl is not allowed on the same bus as her classmates
The ruling by the Department of Education has forced Ms Minchin to drive 1,200km each week on school trips.

----------------------------------

"The SENO (special education needs officer) said she could not go on the minibus as Aife is not going to the nearest school that can accommodate her -- St Vincent's in Lisnagry, Co Limerick," her mother said.
0 cost to the exchequer.

God i am starting to hate this country.
 


PollPot

Active member
Joined
Feb 18, 2009
Messages
189
hang your heads in shame Dept of Education, if that story has all the facts, then that is the most ridiculous thing, a classic irish utter utter stupidity
 

Nemi_

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Messages
252
if that story has all the facts
The point is very frequently these stories don't have all the facts.

The Department have an independent appeals process where people feel aggrieved over any decision about school transport.

http://www.education.ie/servlet/blobservlet/st_appeals_board_2010.pdf

The story is silent on whether this free appeals process has been availed of, and what the outcome is.

So I'm actually angrier about the Irish media, once again, giving over space to incompletely researched sensationalist stories, that distract from real issues and real problems.
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,880
IIRC one of the protocols is that she can't be on the same bus as kids going to other schools. Now that's for very good, very obvious reasons.

She needs a special bus, which is usually run by the school. In St Vincent's case, I know they run their own bus which takes about 10 kids from their homes to the school and back each day.

Balina to Roscrea is 50 km, so that's 500km a week. Not sure where they're coming up with the 1200km stuff. It's either miscalculation or they're being disingenuous and adding in the other daughter's route and work route as well. Vincents is 15 min drive from Balina.

That being said, if she needs to go to St Annes then she needs to go to St Annes, and it certainly seems (If the story is fully accurate, which it doesn't seem to be) that the experts have recommended she go there. It's a great school. I think the cost of the bus should be absorbed by the taxpayer, but there will be cost. The Bus driver's going to have to drive an extra 2 hours a day to pick the child up and drop her off. That has to be paid for, as does the fuel, more than likely the insurance of the bus will need to be adjusted, and the schedule of the other kids may need to be adjusted. But it's a very minor cost that would, to me, be offset by the potential improvement in the child.

Ultimately though, Ms Minchin needs to think about relocating in the medium to long term to Roscrea. St Anne's takes kids up to 18, and still do a little respite after that, so this isn't a case that her daughter will be there through primary, it's more than likely a long term attendance.

Typical of Mr Duggan's writing though, there's no mention of efforts to contact St Annes or St Vincents, or any of the experts to verify their stated opinions. It's very easy to dress up "There's a number of excellent schools in the area, St Annes is one of them" as "An expert said my daughter should go to St Anne's to the exclusion of any other school".
 
Last edited:

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
IIRC one of the protocols is that she can't be on the same bus as kids going to other schools. Now that's for very good, very obvious reasons.

She needs a special bus, which is usually run by the school. In St Vincent's case, I know they run their own bus which takes about 10 kids from their homes to the school and back each day.

Balina to Roscrea is 50 km, so that's 500km a week. Not sure where they're coming up with the 1200km stuff. It's either miscalculation or they're being disingenuous and adding in the other daughter's route and work route as well. Vincents is 15 min drive from Balina.

That being said, if she needs to go to St Annes then she needs to go to St Annes, and it certainly seems (If the story is fully accurate, which it doesn't seem to be) that the experts have recommended she go there. It's a great school. I think the cost of the bus should be absorbed by the taxpayer, but there will be cost. The Bus driver's going to have to drive an extra 2 hours a day to pick the child up and drop her off. That has to be paid for, as does the fuel, more than likely the insurance of the bus will need to be adjusted, and the schedule of the other kids may need to be adjusted. But it's a very minor cost that would, to me, be offset by the potential improvement in the child.

Ultimately though, Ms Minchin needs to think about relocating in the medium to long term to Roscrea. St Anne's takes kids up to 18, and still do a little respite after that, so this isn't a case that her daughter will be there through primary, it's more than likely a long term attendance.

Typical of Mr Duggan's writing though, there's no mention of efforts to contact St Annes or St Vincents, or any of the experts to verify their stated opinions. It's very easy to dress up "There's a number of excellent schools in the area, St Annes is one of them" as "An expert said my daughter should go to St Anne's to the exclusion of any other school".
Its around 57KM point to point.

Two return trips per day = 4*57 = 228 Km per day.

But hey maybe she should bring her child to school and wait in the car for 6 hours to bring her home.
Maybe she and all the other parents with special needs should shut up and stop complaining. Who so they think they are? wanting the best for their kids.

Freeloading scumbags.
:rolleyes:
 

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,880
Its around 57KM point to point.

Two return trips per day = 4*57 = 228 Km per day.

But hey maybe she should bring her child to school and wait in the car for 6 hours to bring her home.
Maybe she and all the other parents with special needs should shut up and stop complaining. Who so they think they are? wanting the best for their kids.
You're quite right. Got the math utterly wrong. The 1200 round trip looks right. The point remains though that someone has to make that round trip, and that's going to have to be paid for. So saying there's no cost isn't accurate.

I'm not saying she should shut up. If she's accurate though and St Annes is the best place, then the solution is you move. If your child's affected in such a rare way, then the mountain's not coming to you. If something happens, you're an hour away right now, which means a 2 hour trip to bring her home in the event of a fall or illness. It makes far more sense for her to move to Roscrea or a midway point and travel to work each day that way, and the govt should assist her in that process if required.
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
You're quite right. Got the math utterly wrong. The 1200 round trip looks right. The point remains though that someone has to make that round trip, and that's going to have to be paid for. So saying there's no cost isn't accurate.

I'm not saying she should shut up. If she's accurate though and St Annes is the best place, then the solution is you move. If your child's affected in such a rare way, then the mountain's not coming to you. If something happens, you're an hour away right now, which means a 2 hour trip to bring her home in the event of a fall or illness. It makes far more sense for her to move to Roscrea or a midway point and travel to work each day that way, and the govt should assist her in that process if required.

Sync - you are being a little obtuse - you don't know the circumstances - she is a lone parent, she may have a home steeped in negative equity.
She may have a job 50KM the other way.

The state shouldn't bend over backwards for everyone but neither should it bend over backwards to obstruct them either.

The facts as presented are:

  • Her old school reccomended St Anne's
    Psychologists Reccomended St Anne's

    a SENO (AKA Say No) said No
No matter how you slice it or dice it, even if the facts are wildly different from those presented - it simply isn't a big imposition to the state to stop a bus that passes by anyway and give a child a lift to school.
 

The Caped Cod

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
3,527

Sync

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,880
If the facts are as presented, I agree. It's not "zero cost" though. The bus bit is misleading. I don't believe there's a special needs bus going from Balina to Roscrea every day, for the reasons outlined in the report: You've to go to your nearest school. So if you've autism in Balina, you're going to St Vincents.

If it's a case that St Anne's handle an area Vincent's don't (I don't belive that's the case) and you've got a bus passing by anyway, then I'd be outraged too as it would appear to be utterly mean spirited. As Nemi mentioned though, the article's poorly constructed and researched so you can't tell.

She can't go on a regular school bus. So that means St Annes need to go roughly an extra 2 hours a day (if we assume 30 minutes is the outer area of their regular driving radius). But that's just logistics that can be solved for minimum cost.

Again though: Medium to Long term plan has got to be move close to Roscrea, get a job closer to there if required. This isn't a temporary deal we're talking about, her daughter will be taking a 2 hour bus/car trip every day for the next 12 years.
 

adrem

Well-known member
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
924
If the best place for her was in London should we fly her over every day or should they move to London?

Ok - if Dublin was deemed the most appropriate - should we drive her up every day or should they move to Dublin?

There is a place nearby which provides care for her given her condition(s) - she has taken advice that there is a better place further afield. Decision time - move (or put up with the lengthy travel) or use the nearby facility.
 

Nemi_

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Messages
252
The state shouldn't bend over backwards for everyone but neither should it bend over backwards to obstruct them either.
I think we all agree on that, and that seems to be how the scheme works. Even the facts as presented don't amount to a denial of service.

But I expect, probably right now and certainly in the coming years, we are going to have cases where a service someone vitally needs is simply unobtainable. Hence, my reluctance to be so terribly impressed at this story.
The facts as presented are:

  • Her old school reccomended St Anne's
    Psychologists Reccomended St Anne's

    a SENO (AKA Say No) said No
No matter how you slice it or dice it, even if the facts are wildly different from those presented - it simply isn't a big imposition to the state to stop a bus that passes by anyway and give a child a lift to school.
But the missing element (as I linked earlier to this thread) is that a right of appeal exists to an appeals board. The article is silent on this; I suspect the article does not fully present the facts of the matter.

Because if it was as simple as you say, I expect it would just happen. It is a matter of certainty that this child is entitled to transport to the nearest centre that can deal with her needs.
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
If the facts are as presented, I agree. It's not "zero cost" though. The bus bit is misleading. I don't believe there's a special needs bus going from Balina to Roscrea every day, for the reasons outlined in the report: You've to go to your nearest school. So if you've autism in Balina, you're going to St Vincents.

If it's a case that St Anne's handle an area Vincent's don't (I don't belive that's the case) and you've got a bus passing by anyway, then I'd be outraged too as it would appear to be utterly mean spirited. As Nemi mentioned though, the article's poorly constructed and researched so you can't tell.

She can't go on a regular school bus. So that means St Annes need to go roughly an extra 2 hours a day (if we assume 30 minutes is the outer area of their regular driving radius). But that's just logistics that can be solved for minimum cost.

Again though: Medium to Long term plan has got to be move close to Roscrea, get a job closer to there if required. This isn't a temporary deal we're talking about, her daughter will be taking a 2 hour bus/car trip every day for the next 12 years.
Medium to long term it may be moving is the only choice - of course given the right care her condition may improve to a point where the nearer school might be able to suit.

The problem here is not the child or the mother or the school or the geography.
The problem is, i suspect, an officious and unnecessary SENO who has the power to bypass an expert (Educational Psychologist) reccomendation in an effort to cut costs.

Tiny often necessary costs.

More on the role of the SENO
NEPS - Educational Psychologist

The NEPS Psychologist can only make a recommendation for extra resource hours for your child; the local SENO (Special Education Needs Organiser) actually makes the decision. If there is no documentary evidence of, for example, a physcial disability or a behavioural problem for which the child is receiving ongoing treatment then the resource hours request is rejected and the child and family are left back at square one.This is a ludicrous situation where the one professional who can make a proper educational plan for the child is ignored in what appears to be a cost cutting exercise. Despite the Department of Education recognising that gifted children are part of a special needs group (Education Act 1998), needing special intervention by schools, unless your child has a physical or emotional disability there is no funding for extra resource hours available from the Deparment, despite recommendations from its own NEPS Psychologist to the contrary. It's no surprise that for many the SENO is nicknamed the SAY NO!
 

cakeordeath

Active member
Joined
Nov 3, 2008
Messages
214
So the child was going to Boher which is just a couple of minutes from Ballina (same parish I think). Boher/Ballina are just a 10 to 15 minute drive from St, Vincent's Special School in Lisnagry. St, Vincent's Lisnagry has an excellent reputation.( Mind you,so does St. Anne's in Roscrea) How fortunate to be so close to a special school. Door to door in 15 minutes ... MAX.

Sounds ideal. Local community....great service...would make life very easy when it comes to OT, Physio, SLT, IEP meetings and all the other bits and bobs that parent/parents will HAVE to attend during the year.

I can't understand that everyone seems to have recommended a special school that is over 100 kilometers away?! It doesn't make sense. Surely everyone knew that there is a well established special school 10 or 15 minutes down the road.

If her daughters needs cannot be met in St. Vincent's then fair enough...absolutely go to Roscrea... but both schools appear to provide the same service and NEITHER school will offer expertise in the schooling of a child with such a rare underlying condition.

I don't get this one.
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
I think we all agree on that, and that seems to be how the scheme works. Even the facts as presented don't amount to a denial of service.

But I expect, probably right now and certainly in the coming years, we are going to have cases where a service someone vitally needs is simply unobtainable. Hence, my reluctance to be so terribly impressed at this story.But the missing element (as I linked earlier to this thread) is that a right of appeal exists to an appeals board. The article is silent on this; I suspect the article does not fully present the facts of the matter.

Because if it was as simple as you say, I expect it would just happen. It is a matter of certainty that this child is entitled to transport to the nearest centre that can deal with her needs.
A qualified and experienced Psychologist, examines a child and makes a recommendation.
A SENO who may be whatever - (According to their website maybe a a nurse, pyschologist (yeah right), teacher or manager )then examines a piece of paper containing the reccomendation. They then invariable deny the service and may suggest something cheaper or nothing at all.

Is that how the process should be? Would you be happy if your doctor reccomended a bypass but when you go to the hospital some random hospital employee with out examining you or even having the capability to examine you says no and says what you need is some aspirin and to go away.

Can you imagine what the appeal is like?
 

Nemi_

Active member
Joined
Aug 20, 2010
Messages
252
They then invariable deny the service and may suggest something cheaper or nothing at all.
I'm sorry, but this is just hyperbole that bears no relationship to the case.
Can you imagine what the appeal is like?
We have to imagine, because the article doesn't even mention that one is possible.

What we do know is that you cannot be arbitrarily denied access to school transport by a nameless bureaucrat.
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
I'm sorry, but this is just hyperbole that bears no relationship to the case.We have to imagine, because the article doesn't even mention that one is possible.

What we do know is that you cannot be arbitrarily denied access to school transport by a nameless bureaucrat.
Rubbish - that is this case in a nutshell.

Lone parent Annagh, of Ballina, Co Tipperary, said: "Aife had been attending the autism unit in Boher primary school near our home in Killaloe, but the teachers there recommended St Anne's as being best for her educational needs.

"She was also assessed by an early intervention team, speech therapist and psychologist who all recommended St Anne's," Ms Minchin said.
and

The SENO (special education needs officer) said she could not go on the minibus as Aife is not going to the nearest school that can accommodate her -- St Vincent's in Lisnagry, Co Limerick,"
 

Asparagus

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
4,823
It patently isn't, for the reasons already stated.
Only because you are trying to redirect us to another nutshell for some reason.

Maybe you could enlighten me with your take on the case.?
If you are talking about an appeals process then that is not the case - The SENO should not be allowed overrule a reccomendation of a real professional without specific clinical or educational evaluation.
You should only have to appeal a process that is not broken in the first place.
 


New Threads

Most Replies

Top