Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart has today demanded the Education Secretary take urgent action to cut the "unreasonable" distances between classes, after new research by the Liberal Democrats revealed pupils have been forced to travel 40 mile trips to study basic core subjects.
Freedom of information requests submitted by the Scottish Liberal Democrats revealed pupils had travelled:
- 40 miles round trip by taxi to study Physics in 2018-19 in Aberdeenshire
- 36 miles round trip by taxi to study Physics in 2017-18 in Aberdeenshire
- 34 miles round trip twice per week to study Advanced Higher Physics and Maths in Dumfries and Galloway in 2018-19
- 22 miles by car to study Advanced Higher Geography in 2016-17 in Moray
- 21 miles by own arrangements to study Higher Music in 2018-19 in Moray
- 16 miles by parent driving to study Higher Psychology in Dumfries and Galloway in 2016-17
Beatrice Wishart commented:
"People will be gobsmacked to discover young people being forced to take round trips of up to 40 miles to get lessons.
"In a number of these cases pupils are being forced to travel distances for physics, history, geography and other core subjects.
"You can only imagine how many hours these journeys take out of the school day. That's precious time that could be better spent learning or engaging in extra-curricular activities.
"This isn’t the fault of councils, many of which have worked tirelessly to find the staff they need but with little luck. There are recruitment problems in every corner of the country.
"The Education Secretary must admit these commutes are completely unreasonable and take urgent action on staff shortages and timetabling pressures to ensure pupils don't have to trek miles between classes."