Written Answers. - School Supervision.

Paul Connaughton

Question:

673 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for Education and Science the procedures which are in place at primary school level for the supervision of children arriving at school before the official opening times, particularly in relation to children arriving by school bus when times of arrival are determined by bus timetables; the person who can assume responsibility for such supervision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8107/01]

In the organisation of the school transport system, buses are normally required to operate a number of runs. This is to provide a basic level of service, while achieving optimum value from resources available. To facilitate the operation of these services, children may be required to wait some time, both morning and evening, for their service. This is a feature of the school transport scheme, as operated throughout the country.

Essentially, it is a matter for the managerial authorities of primary schools to arrange adequate supervision and insurance cover for children while they are on the school premises. Subject to the authority of the board of management, it is the responsibility of the principal teacher to organise and participate in the effective supervision of pupils during breaks, lunch periods, assembly and dismissal.