Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (98, 99)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

98 Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills if extra bus services will be provided to facilitate persons who wish to attend a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32681/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

Under the terms of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kms from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined my the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann, which operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of my Department, determine eligibility by measuring the shortest traversable route from a child's home to the relevant education centre. Bus Éireann are currently processing applications for school transport for the 2012/13 school year. The number and size of vehicles required will be determined by the number of eligible pupils whose applications are finalised by the deadline date at the end of July.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport to a particular school on a concessionary basis. However, in accordance with the terms of the scheme, additional or larger vehicles will not be provided to cater for children travelling on a concessionary basis.

Brendan Smith

Question:

99 Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Education and Skills if consideration will be given to resolve serious difficulties that have now arisen for many families with new charges for post-primary school transport, changes to school catchment area — nearest school requirement where there has been a pattern of attendance at different post-primary centres from a town and its immediate area where there is no second level school (details supplied) in County Cavan, and where those post-primary centres are roughly the same distance from this town; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that most pupils have already been enrolled at second level and in most instances enrolled in the same school as older siblings; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that these new charges will impose an additional burden on many families on low income; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32721/12]

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Under the terms of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kms from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann, which operates the School Transport Scheme on behalf of my Department, determine eligibility by measuring the shortest traversable route from a child's home to the relevant education centre.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport to a particular school on a concessionary basis in accordance with the terms of the scheme.

The school transport charge for eligible and concessionary post primary children remains at €350 per annum subject to a family maximum of €650. This charge can be paid in two instalments in July and December. Eligible children who hold valid medical cards (GMS Scheme) are exempt from these charges.