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School Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 4 November 2020

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

Ceisteanna (75)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

75. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Education if she will provide school transport for up to 30 students that attend secondary schools in Kilkenny city and require transport from Thomastown, County Kilkenny in view of the fact that they have no transport due to Covid-19 restrictions; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34020/20]

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

All children who are eligible for school transport and who completed the application and payment process on time have been accommodated on school transport services for the 2020/21 school year where such services are in operation.

Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only and will be facilitated where spare seats are available after eligible children have been accommodated. Where the number of ineligible children exceeds the number of spare seats available Bus Éireann allocates tickets for the spare seats using an agreed selection process.

In the event of not securing a ticket where no capacity exists, or on cancellation, a full refund will be issued.

Bus Éireann has advised that in general, pupils who reside in Thomastown, Kilkenny are not eligible for school transport to Kilkenny Post Primary Centre as it is not their closest Post Primary Centre.

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