Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (261)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

261. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the decision to have an age limit of 70 years of age for taxi drivers transporting special needs children to school under the school transport scheme was arrived at; and the Department responsible for the decision (details supplied). [18477/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.

It is Bus Éireann policy that the normal retirement age for all staff is currently 66 years. Bus Éireann part-time school bus drivers and drivers nominated by private operators as school bus drivers may continue to perform this role, subject to completing an annual medical examination up to the retirement age of 70 years.

This criteria is applied to all drivers who provide services as part of the School transport scheme that is operated by Bus Éireann, on behalf of the Department of Education and skills. As this age limit has been examined previously and the retirement age extended to 70 years, there are no plans to extend this limit further at this point in time.