Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (74)

Kathleen Funchion


74. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to address school transport issues, particularly in counties Carlow and Kilkenny, regarding the nearest school rule; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26616/19]

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 scheme is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who reside remote from their nearest school.

Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school.

Children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time will be accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation for the 2019/20 school year.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only and will be facilitated where spare seats are available on existing services after eligible children have been accommodated.

Families wishing to avail of transport on a concessionary basis should, having completed the online application process, liaise with their local Bus Éireann office regarding the availability of such services for the 2019/20 school year.

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