Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Ceisteanna (559)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

559. Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Education if school transport will be provided to two siblings (details supplied) in County Mayo in view of the fact that this family applied and paid on time for school transport. [13551/21]

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.

Bus Éireann has confirmed that the children to whom the Deputy refers are eligible for School Transport. Payment details for this family were submitted on 7th September 2020 and as such were submitted late. Late applicants and/or families who pay late are not guaranteed a seat and will only be allocated a seat if capacity is available once seats are allocated to those families who applied and paid on time for transport services for the 2020/2021 school year. In addition, payments or submission of medical card details for Post-Primary seats completed or made after 4th August 2020 will be only considered when 50% capacity, required by Covid19 public health guidelines, is achieved on each route.

However, Bus Éireann has confirmed that due to additional capacity created arising from social distancing being implemented on a school transport service, tickets will issue to the family to whom the Deputy refers. Bus Éireann will be in contact with the family in this regard.