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School Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 21 January 2021

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Ceisteanna (222)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

222. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Education if the school bus service can be extended to children from Kilteel, Naas, County Kildare, who wish to attend second level schools in Naas due to the lack of available school places adjacent to their homes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3528/21]

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 current school year over 113,100 children, including over 14,500 children with special educational needs, are transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €224.7m in 2020.

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.

Bus Éireann has advised that pupils residing in the Kilteel area and who are attending the Naas Post Primary Centre are generally not eligible for transport as it is not their nearest post primary centre. There is currently no service available from Kilteel to Naas Post Primary Centre. The nearest pickup point to a school transport service operating to Naas Post Primary Centre is in Kill, Co. Kildare, 7.3 km from Kilteel Village. These pupils are closer to Holy Family Community School, Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, their nearest school.

However, pupils who reside in Kilteel and who are attending Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara, Naas, Co. Kildare may be eligible for transport as this is their nearest Gaelcholáiste. There is currently no service from Kilteel to Gaelcholáiste Chill Dara, Co. Kildare as no applications for transport to this school have been received for pupils residing in the Kilteel area.

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