Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Questions (116)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

116. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the provision of school transport for a child (details supplied) who is in an ASD unit in school will be expedited; and if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the paperwork is in place. [50534/19]

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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.

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

An application under this scheme was received by the School Transport Section on the 13th November 2019 and the pupil referred to by the Deputy has been deemed eligible for transport under the scheme. An upgrade to a vehicle on an existing service is required to accommodate them. My Department has sanctioned this upgrade and Bus Éireann will liase with the family and school authorities regarding the arrangements.