Thursday, 11 April 2019

Ceisteanna (63)

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

63. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a child (details supplied) who lives within the school catchment area and attends a school is not being accommodated on a school bus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

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 purpose of the Primary 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 Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kilometres from and are attending their nearest national school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Children who are not eligible for school transport, but who complete the application process on time, are considered for spare seats that may exist after eligible children have been facilitated; such seats are referred to as concessionary seats.

Bus Éireann has advised that to date no application for school transport has been received for the child referred to by the Deputy.

Families wishing to avail of school transport services for the 2019/20 school year should ensure that their applications are submitted online at www.buseireann.ie. The closing date for receipt of applications for the 2019/20 school year is Friday 26th April 2019.

The terms of the School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.