Reference Group On Special Education School Transport
Hon Nikki Kaye
Associate Minister of Education
11 March 2013 Media Statement
Reference Group To Advise On Special Education School Transport Services
Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye said today she will set up a reference group to strengthen special education school transport assistance (SESTA) services and improve tender and contract processes.
“My goal is to ensure that government provides safe and reliable services for families and children who use special education transport services,” Ms Kaye says.
“I believe it is important that these children and young people, particularly those with very high needs, have reliable services designed and delivered for their needs.
“SESTA has been through a standard tender process recently. As has happened in past tender processes, changes to contracts have resulted in disruption for some families and issues with some operators. It is my understanding that most of these issues are being resolved.
“However, I believe a reference group with representatives from the education sector, families who use the service and transport operators could help improve services and reduce disruption in future when transport operators change.
“Specifically, the group will be asked to work through any outstanding issues with operators; provide advice on better monitoring and contract provisions and possible changes to tender processes; and recommend any possible improvements to the services. I expect the reference group will be established within the next few weeks.
“The reference group will advise both me and the Ministry of Education.
“It is also important that a holistic approach is taken to meet the needs of children and young people with special needs. Therefore, I will ensure that this reference group is properly integrated with and complements the forums that already exist within the education sector for children and young people with special needs.”