Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (221)

Pat Deering

Question:

221. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Education and Skills if special supports will be provided to a child (details supplied). [29263/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

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

The purpose of my Department's School Transport Scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

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.

Under the terms of my Department's Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kilometres from and are attending their nearest school as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Special transport arrangements on medical grounds may be considered by the Department where a pupil has a medical condition, and the condition is such that it would prevent the child from making his/her own way to the school, or the pick-up point, as appropriate.

Where such applications are made, the Department requests that the pupil's GP complete an Application for School Transport on Medical Grounds, which outlines the nature and severity of the medical condition. The form is then forwarded to the Medical Advisor, who, on the basis of the medical evidence submitted, determines whether the above conditions apply.  This form is available on my Department’s website at https://www.education.ie/en/Circulars-and-Forms/Popular-forms/st_medical_grounds_application.pdf.