Parents have expressed anger at “ludicrous” changes to a bus pick-up service for pupils with special needs who attend Warringa Park School, which has campuses in Hoppers Crossing and Werribee South.

Mother Naomi Reiber said parents were not consulted about the changes, which they were informed about by letter a few days before the school term began.

Mrs Reiber said that up until last year, the bus would usually pick up pupils from their homes or close by.

But under changes implemented by the Department of Education and Training, families now had to take children to designated pick-up points, some up to two kilometres from their houses.

Mrs Reiber said some parents – including herself – did not own cars. She said other parents had children with physical disabilities, while some youngsters had autism and found it difficult to stand for long periods while waiting for a bus.

“It just seems ludicrous – they have forced the burden on to carers and parents, who already face service cuts in other areas,” she said.

A department spokesperson said the bus pick-up changes were introduced so “Warringa Park School students can spend less time on buses and more time in class learning vital life and academic skills”.

“Under previous arrangements, students caught a bus to the school’s main campus in Hoppers Crossing and were then transported on shuttle bus services to their assigned campus, often resulting in students missing important classroom time,” the spokesperson said. The bus now takes students directly to their assigned campus.