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Special Educational Needs

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (385, 410)

Pauline Tully

Ceist:

385. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Education the number of transport places that were made available for children to take part in the summer education programme for children with complex needs in 2020; the number of children to avail of transport during the programme for children with complex needs in 2020; the cost of transport for the programme for children with complex needs in 2020; the proportion of this which was spent on direct transport; the proportion of this which was spent on transport grants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29477/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pauline Tully

Ceist:

410. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Education the number of transport places that were made available for children to take part in the Summer Education Programme 2020; the number of children to avail of transport during the programme; the cost of transport for same; the proportion of this which was spent on direct transport; the proportion of this which was spent on transport grants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29476/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 385 and 410 together.

School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the current school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 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. 

With regard to transport arrangements for the Summer Programme 2020, as the provision of transport was not possible due to Covid 19 restrictions at that time, my Department committed to providing grant funding to support families with the cost of transport arrangements for those children who were eligible for school transport and who were approved to participate in the school based Summer Programme.

School Transport Section has processed payment of these grants to all eligible families for which all required details have been received. To date, payment has been made to over 900 families at a cost of over €400,000.  School Transport Section is continuing to process payments of these grants to families who are eligible as information is received. 

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