Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (316)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

316. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Education and Skills the options in terms of school transport that are open to atheist families where the only secondary school in their catchment area is Roman Catholic where their children will be excluded from some religious school activities; if children from these families can avail of the nearest school transport to a secondary school that respects their value system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31719/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The purpose of my Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest education centre. From the commencement of the 2012/13 school year, catchment areas are no longer a factor in determining eligibility for school transport. Children are now eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kms from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language. In relation to school transport provision, ethos relates to religious ethos and is in the context of provision for minority religions. Families should liaise with their local Bus Éireann office to establish their school of eligibility for school transport purposes.

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 313.