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School Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 21 September 2021

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Questions (358)

Michael McNamara


358. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Education the status of an appeal by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44569/21]

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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 2020/21 school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 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.

Under the terms of the Department's Post-Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest school/education centre as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. Bus Éireann endeavours, within available resources, to ensure that each eligible child has a reasonable level of school transport service in the context of the Scheme nationally.

Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible child having to travel more than 3.2 kms to or from a pick up/set down point. Routes are planned on the basis of the locations of children who are eligible for school transport only.

Bus Éireann has advised that the families referred to by the Deputy are eligible for school transport. Bus Éireann has further advised all eligible families who reside in area referred to and who attend the school in question have been facilitated with school transport for the 2021/22 school year.

Bus Éireann also advises that the service has been reviewed and changes have been implemented taking all pupils on the route into consideration. To extend or alternate the route as requested would inconvenience other pupils on the service.

In regard to the status of the appeal as requested, the School Transport Appeals Board have contacted this family directly.