Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (133)

Charlie McConalogue

Question:

133 Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason children in junior and senior infants who are entitled to school transport are only able to avail of transport to school and are not able to avail of the return journey as they finish school earlier than the other pupils and they still have to pay the full rate of €100; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34422/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

One of the main objectives of the School Transport Scheme is to ensure that, as far as possible, eligible children have a reasonable level of service while at the same time, ensuring that school transport vehicles are fully utilised in an efficient and cost effective manner. In this regard, Bus Éireann generally plan and timetable school transport services for children who are in attendance for the full school day.

Children in infant classes may have a school day that is one hour shorter than the length of the normal school day. This is a concession in the interests of young children and allows for a perceived inability on their part to sustain the work of the full day. It is a matter for the Board of Management of a particular school to decide whether the concession should be applied in the case of the school or not. It is also a matter for the managerial authorities to arrange adequate supervision for children while they are on the school premises. The annual charge for school transport is a contribution towards the overall cost and does not reflect the true cost of providing these services.