Thursday, 5 March 2020

Questions (187)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

187. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision will issue from the school transport appeals office in relation to an appeal issued on 7 October 2019 (details supplied); if the report which was requested from his Department is causing the delay, and if so, when the report will issue to the school transport appeals section for completion of the appeal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2672/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.

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.

In the current school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, are 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 €219m in 2019.

An appeal was lodged with the School Transport Appeals Board on the 7th October 2019 in relation to the child referred to by the Deputy.

The Board has requested the School Transport Section of the Department of Education and Skills to provide a report in accordance with the terms of the Board’s Operating Procedures.  In this regard, my officials have asked Bus Éireann to report on issues raised by the Board.  This report is due to be received before the next Board meeting on 16th March 2020 and the appellant will be advised in advance of this meeting.

When received, the Board will advise the family with regard to the appeal date and their subsequent deliberations.