Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (209)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

209. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a bus pass to a school will be restored in the case of a child (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22263/14]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

From the commencement of the 2012/13 school year, school transport eligibility for post primary pupils is determined by reference to the distance they reside from their nearest post-primary education centre having regard to ethos and language. Pupils who were eligible for school transport prior to the introduction of the above change 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 pupils and other pupils, who are not eligible for school transport, may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only in accordance with the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme. Only children who are eligible for school transport and who hold valid medical cards (GMS Scheme) are exempt from paying the annual charge. The terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme are being applied equitably on a national basis.

Children with special educational needs are eligible for school transport if they are attending the nearest recognised: mainstream school, special class / special school or a unit, that is or can be resourced, to meet their special educational needs under Department of Education and Skills' criteria. It is open to the family to liaise with the National Council for Special Education should they wish to consider applying for school transport under the terms of my Department's School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs.