Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Ceisteanna (177)

Niamh Smyth


177. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding a Bus Éireann appeal (details supplied); if he will review the response from the transport provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38739/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. In the 2018/2019 school year over 117,500 children, including over 13,000 children with special educational needs, were transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €200m in 2018.

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. Children are generally eligible for school transport if they satisfy the distance criteria and are attending their nearest school as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

The School Transport Appeals Board, which is independent of my Department, determines appeals against decisions made by, or on behalf of, the Department of Education and Skills regarding the provision of school transport services and/or grant-aid under the terms of the School Transport Schemes.

An appeal was lodged with the School Transport Appeals Board on the 28th August 2019 in relation to the case referred to by the Deputy. The Board has requested School Transport Section to provide a report in accordance with the terms of the Board’s Operating Procedures. When received, the Board will liaise directly with the family regarding the appeal date and their subsequent deliberations.