Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (590)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

590. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if school transport will be arranged for a child (details supplied) who has special educational needs and who requires to attend a special school as opposed to a mainstream school with a special needs class; and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the special school the child has registered with is the only school able to offer the placement and that they are being unfairly deprived of school transport. [33719/19]

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.

Under the terms of my Department’s School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs, children are generally eligible for school transport where they are attending the nearest school that is resourced to meet their special educational needs.

Eligibility for school transport is determined following consultation with the National Council for Special Education through its network of Special Education Needs Organisers; decisions regarding transport eligibility are based on the prevailing circumstances at the time of a child's enrolment. 

Officials in School Transport Section of my Department are liaising with the NCSE in regard to the application for transport for the child referred to by the Deputy,

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