Agreement reached between government and school transport operators

The government has reportedly reached an agreement with school transport operators to offer free school transport to all church and private school students 

An agreement has been reached between the government and school transport operators, according to media reports.

National broadcaster TVM, citing government sources, reported on Wednesday that through the agreement, all school children, including those attending independent and church schools, would be able to benefit from free school transport during the upcoming scholastic year.

Back in February the government had pledged to introduce free, supervised transport for all primary and secondary schools, including church and independent schools.

TVM said that an agreement is to be signed in the coming days and that the contract will be valid for five years.

The scholastic year is expected to start at the end of September.

To date, 12,000 students from state schools have benefited from free school transport.

The exact nature of the agreement is reached is as yet unclear, however in comments to ONE news, Education minister Evarist Bartolo said that the newly agreed upon arrangement would see the government entering paying van operators, rather than refunding parents for fees paid.

The system would see parents gaining an average saving of approximately €500 for the service they currently pay for.

READ MORE: Free school transportation to cost government €18.1 million a year

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