Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (203)

Denis Naughten


203. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied) which issued to his office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44241/19]

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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.

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

Children who are eligible for school transport and who have completed the application process on time have been accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation for the 2019/20 school year.

Bus Éireann has confirmed that while the pupil referred to by the Deputy did apply to Moore National School which is now deemed to be their closest school, the application was made after the deadline and as such the pupil was not allocated a ticket for the 2019/20 school year. Bus Éireann has also confirmed that the service in question is currently operating to capacity.