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 my Department's School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children who are eligible for school transport under the terms of this scheme.
My Department also provides funding to schools for the employment of escorts to accompany children, whose care and safety needs are such that they require this level of support, while they travel to and from school.
Contracts of employment for escorts are a matter between the relevant school authorities and the individuals they employ as escorts on school transport services.