Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (243)

John McGuinness


243. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education and Skills further to Parliamentary Question No. 333 of 8 May 2019, if a transport solution will be provided for pupils based on the fact that there is no room in the local schools and the nearest schools are in Kilkenny city; if he will provide a report on the findings of his Department relative to the matter and the dilemma being faced by parents; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21454/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of my 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. The purpose of the scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school. 

In general children are eligible for school transport if they meet the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school. 

In cases where the Department is satisfied that the nearest school is full, eligibility for school transport will be determined based on the distance that children reside from their next nearest school having regard to ethos and language.  Further information in this regard is available on my Department's website www.education.ie.

The terms of the School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.