Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (203)

Michael Healy-Rae


203. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Education if she will address the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29460/20]

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 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 my Department’s School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for transport where they reside not less than 3.2kms at primary and 4.8kms at post-primary and are attending their nearest School/Education Centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.

Bus Éireann has confirmed that the pupil to which the Deputy refers resides 16.7 km from home to the school of attendance, which is their closest school, and that the pupil is therefore eligible for transport under the terms of the scheme.

The pupil was issued with a ticket at the start of the school year for a service which linked to a feeder service to the school they are attending. Due to this service running at capacity, the pupil was subsequently accommodated on an alternative service. The pupil resides 2.7km from home to the nearest pick up point for this alternative service and can travel on this service for the duration of the 2020/2021 school year.