Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (252)

Peadar Tóibín


252. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Education and Skills if there is funding available to assist with the transportation of children from economically disadvantaged areas with low school completion levels who live just under the necessary distance for regular bus transportation. [21635/19]

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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.

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Schemes 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 where they meet the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school. 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 School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.