School transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.
There are currently over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres annually.
The child in question submitted two applications for school transport for the 2018/19 school year; one application under the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs and a second application under the Post Primary School Transport Scheme.
Under the terms of my Department’s School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs, children are eligible for school transport where they have special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability and are attending the nearest recognised 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.
The child in question is not eligible for school transport under the terms of this scheme as he is not attending the nearest school that is resourced to meet his special educational needs.
Bus Éireann has advised that this child was given eligibility in error under the terms of the Post Primary School Transport Scheme and a ticket was issued for a public scheduled service; the child may continue to avail of this public scheduled service.
Given that this child is not eligible for school transport under the terms of the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs it is not possible to consider an alternative transport arrangement.
The terms of the School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.