Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (190)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

190. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to review the school transport scheme which has been in place since 2012; the timelines for a review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26306/19]

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 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.

Changes to the eligibility criteria for my Department's School Transport Scheme were announced in Budget 2011 and derived from recommendations contained in the Value for Money review of the scheme.

In addition and arising from commitments in the Programme for Government, a review of the Concessionary Charges and Rules element of the School Transport Scheme was undertaken.

The review was published in December 2016 and made recommendations on both the charges and the rules element of concessionary school transport.

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