Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (520)

Michael McNamara


520. Deputy Michael McNamara asked the Minister for Education if school transport will be provided to persons (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27353/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education.  In the 2019/20 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 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 €219m in 2019.  

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 Department's Post Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8 kilometres from and are attending their nearest school as determined by my Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language. 

Bus Éireann is responsible for the planning and timetabling of school transport routes. Bus Éireann endeavours, within available resources, to ensure that each eligible child has a reasonable level of school transport service in the context of the Scheme nationally.   

Where practicable, and subject to considerations of cost and logistics, routes are planned to avoid an eligible child having to travel more than 3.2 kms to or from a pick up/set down point or to have travel and waiting times in excess of 2.5 hours per day. Routes are planned on the basis of the locations of children who are eligible for school transport only.

Bus Éireann have advised that the pupils in question reside 1.448 km from their existing pickup and as such are within the distance guidelines outlined above.