Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (292)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

292. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter (details supplied) regarding the remote area boarding grant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18814/19]

View answer

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.

In general, children are eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school having regard to ethos and language.

An eligible child for whom no transport service is available may, following an application for transport within the prescribed time limits, receive a Remote Area Grant towards the cost of private transport arrangements.

The grant is calculated on the distance that children reside from their school and the number of days attended in the school year. The rate of grant varies from about €200 to €900 per annum.

This grant is payable annually at a fixed daily rate regardless of the number of children from the same family travelling to a particular school.