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.
Changes to the School Transport Scheme introduced in Budget 2011, derived from recommendations in the Value for Money Review of the Scheme and encompassed a number of elements such as an increase from seven to 10 eligible children residing in a distinct locality to retain or establish a school transport service, provided this can be done within reasonable cost limits.
The terms of the School Transport Schemes are applied equitably on a national basis.