Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Ceisteanna (181)

Pearse Doherty


181. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Education and Skills when a decision will be made on a remote area grant for a child (details supplied) in County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48620/19]

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 my Department's 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.

Under the terms of the Post-Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest education centre as determined by the Department of Education/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.  

Children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application process on time are accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation. Children who are eligible for school transport but for whom no service is available may be offered the Remote Area Grant towards the cost of making private transport arrangements.  The  Remote Area Grant is also payable for eligible chidlren who may have to travel 3.2kms or more to or from a designated pick up/set down point.

The child referred to by the Deputy is eligible for transport and is also eligible for the Remote Area Grant to a designated pick up/set down point.  Thr grant is payable annually following receipt of the pupils statement of attendnace at the end of the school year.