Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (218)

Willie O'Dea

Question:

218. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Education and Skills the criteria used to establish if a school can be resourced to meet the special educational needs of a child in view of the fact that, under the eligibility criteria for school transport with special needs, a child is eligible for transport in circumstances in which he or she is attending the nearest school that can be resourced to meet the child's special educational needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44493/19]

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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 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 through its network of Special Education Needs Organisers.