Thursday, 21 January 2021

Questions (191)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

191. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education if school bus contractors who were recently contracted to provide the 50% capacity on school transport routes will continue to be paid for the duration of level 5 restrictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3144/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the current school year over 113,100 children, including more than 14,500 children with special educational needs, are transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €224.7m in 2020.

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.

As recently outlined to the Deputy in the reply to PQ No. 505 on 13 January, in line with previous practice for Covid-related closures the Department has advised Bus Éireann that contractors operating on the school transport scheme should be paid at 50% of their normal rate while schools remain closed.