Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (459)

Michael Healy-Rae


459. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education and Skills the steps that can be taken to assist a student (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36473/19]

View answer

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.

Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only and will be facilitated where spare seats are available after eligible children have been accommodated. Where the number of ineligible children exceeds the number of spare seats available Bus Éireann will allocate tickets for the spare seats using an agreed selection process.

Bus Eireann have advised that the pupil referred to by the Deputy is concessionary. Their application had been registered as 6th year for the 2018/19 school year and therefore their application did not roll forward to the 2019/20 school year.  

Following a reorganisation of services, this pupil has been accommodated on a service and Bus Éireann have been in contact with the family to inform them of same.

Question No. 460 answered with Question No. 451.