Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (152)

Niall Collins


155 Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Bus Éireann has issued letters withdrawing school transport services previously enjoyed by people across the country including Bruff, County Limerick; if he will reverse this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34772/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Education and Skills)

Changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme were announced in Budget 2011 and derive from recommendations in the Value for Money Review of the School Transport Scheme.

The main change to the current scheme means that from the 2012/13 school year, school transport eligibility for all pupils newly entering a post primary school will be determined by reference to the distance they reside from their nearest Post-Primary Education Centre having regard, as heretofore, to ethos and language.

In general, existing eligible and catchment boundary children including those who are not attending their nearest post primary centre will retain their transport eligibility for the duration of their post primary education cycle provided there is no change to their current circumstances. Siblings of these children and other children who are not attending their nearest school may apply for school transport on a concessionary basis only in accordance with the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme.

The school transport charge for children who are eligible for school transport and for children who are availing of school transport on a concessionary basis remains at €350 for the next school year. This charge is subject to a family maximum of €650 per annum. This charge can be paid in two instalments in July and December.

The changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme will be applied equitably on a national basis.