School bus seat wait list causes chaos

Michael TraillNarrogin Observer
Two SBS buses depart Pingelly for NSHS.
Camera IconTwo SBS buses depart Pingelly for NSHS.

Thousands of students around the State started their first year of high school on Monday; however, some year 7s from Pingelly did not.

The Narrogin Observer understands that at least 13 Narrogin Senior High School students from Pingelly do not have a place on the Public Transport Authority’s School Bus Service from the town.

Some parents claim it was not until Saturday night that their children did not have a place on the SBS for Monday morning, forcing parents to organise carpools for the 204km daily round trip this week.

PTA spokesman David Hynes said the closest appropriate school for Pingelly students attending Year 7 to Year 10 is Brookton District High School, which has led to the students being snubbed a seat on the bus to NSHS.

“Narrogin Senior High School is the closest appropriate school only for those Pingelly students attending Year 11 and 12,” he said.

Pingelly parent Alyce Paterson said most parents did not feel BDHS offered the most appropriate pathway for their children.

“My son is currently on the wait list for a seat on the bus to NSHS, I have to carpool with others, which if I have to go to Narrogin and back and then Narrogin and back again is 240km for me each day — that’s a big ask for anyone,” she said.

“They’re (our children) not getting an education they deserve.

“The PTA is telling us we are not going to the nearest appropriate school, but I don’t think they have the wisdom to say what is an appropriate school for my child.”

Ms Paterson is not alone in believing BDHS does not offer the right educational pathway for their children — half a dozen parents spoke to the Observer on Tuesday morning.

They all cited the financial and time burden two trips to Narrogin each day would leave on them.

“My student that got approved for a complimentary spot on the bus got taken off on Saturday night via email,” Jess Collette said.

“He’s autistic, in Year 7. He needs to go to NSHS because BDHS don’t offer anything for him.”

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