Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Questions (146)

Tom Neville


146. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will address a matter regarding the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52088/19]

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 the Department's 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.

In general, children with special educational needs are eligible for school transport if they are attending the nearest school that is 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 (SENO).

The pupil in question was deemed ineligible for school transport under the terms of the above scheme as, per the information provided in the application, he is not attending the nearest school that is resourced to meet his special educational needs.

The decision was referred to the School Transport Appeal Board and the appeal was disallowed by the Board.

The attachments in the email referred to by the Deputy were originally submitted to the School Transport section in October 2019 and forwarded to the SENO for review. Following review of this information, the SENO advised that the position remains unchanged.

The terms of the school transport scheme are applied equitably on a national basis.