Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (379)

Michael Healy-Rae


379. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a child (details supplied) has been denied school transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35722/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

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

In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.  

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.

Under the terms of the Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann has confirmed that the child referred to by the Deputy is not attending their nearest school - the child resides 10.8km from his nearest post-primary centre and 11.4km from the post-primary centre where he attends school.  The child is therefore not eligible for school transport under the terms of the scheme.  My officials have asked Bus Éireann to conduct a calibrated in this instance.

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