Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (149)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

149. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Education and Skills if a review of the school transport system to a school (details supplied) in County Kildare will be carried out due to a number of concerns raised by parents of children attending the school; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11924/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme mean that from the 2012-13 school year, eligibility for all children newly entering a post primary school is determined by reference to the distance they reside from their nearest Post-Primary Education Centre having regard, as heretofore, to ethos and language. In general, existing eligible and catchment boundary children including those who are not attending their nearest post primary centre retain their transport eligibility for the duration of their post primary education cycle provided there is no change to their current circumstances. Siblings of these children and other children who are not eligible for school transport, may apply for transport on a concessionary basis in accordance with the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme. Only children who are eligible for school transport and who hold valid medical cards (GMS Scheme) are exempt from paying the annual charge.

The changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme are being applied equitably on a national basis. Bus Éireann which operates the school transport scheme on behalf of my Department is responsible for the planning and organising of school bus routes, including the designation of the pick-up and set down points. Safety of children travelling on school transport services is of paramount importance to my Department and to Bus Éireann. Bus Éireann reviews existing services over the summer months. Arising from this review, routes may be altered or extended depending on the number and location of eligible children who will be availing of school transport for the following school year.