Written Answers. - School Transport.

Michael Ring

Question:

176 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education the body responsible for the safety of the children of a national school (details supplied) in County Mayo while they are waiting for the school bus. [1777/96]

Michael Ring

Question:

177 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Education when a proper school transport service will be provided for the children of a national school (details supplied) in County Mayo in view of the fact that the children have to wait unsupervised for the school bus each evening. [1778/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 and 177 together. As I informed the Deputy in reply to his parliamentary question of Tuesday last, 23 January, the transport service to this school involves a double trip arrangement. In order to ensure a cost-effective service, pupils are often required to make an early start in the mornings and to wait for some time in the evenings. The standard of service available here is considered reasonable and adequate in the context of the general operation of the scheme. In addition, "a first in to school, first home" service is being operated. I do not propose to alter these arrangements.

Supervision of pupils waiting for the school bus is a matter for the board of management as the body charged with the direct government of the school. It is the responsibility of the board through the principal teacher to organise and participate in the effective supervision of pupils during breaks, lunch periods, assembly and dismissal.