Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (222)

James Browne

Question:

222. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding school transport for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29268/19]

View answer

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 “School Transport Scheme for children with Special Educational Needs is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children with special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability.

Children are eligible for transport where they  have special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability and are attending the nearest recognised mainstream school, special class/special school or a unit, that is or can be resourced, to meet their special educational needs.

Eligibility is determined following consultation with the National Council for Special Education (NCSE) through its network of Special Education Needs Organisers (SENO). Decisions regarding transport eligibility are based on the prevailing circumstances at the time of first enrolment.

The child referred to by the Deputy is eligible for school transport under the terms of my Department's School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs.

Bus Éireann is currently assessing school transport arrangements for the coming school year and will liaise directly with the family in this regard.