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School Transport

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (434)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

434. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Education further to Parliamentary Question No. 994 of 21 April 2021, if the child (details supplied) is eligible for school transport. [29811/21]

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 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. 

The purpose of the Department's School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs is, having regard to available resources, to support the transport to and from school of children with special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability.

In general, children with special educational needs are eligible for school transport if they are attending the nearest school that is resourced to meet their special educational needs. Eligibility is determined following consultation with the National Council for Special Education through its network of Special Education Needs Organisers (SENO). 

The child referred to by the Deputy is eligible for tranport under the above scheme and was sanctioned to a bus service in April 2014. An additional pupil was sanctioned to the same service for the 2020/21 school year. A larger vehicle to accommodate both pupils and a Bus Escort was sanctioned by School Transport Section in November 2020. This larger vehicle commenced operation on 1st March 2021. The pupil's parent has been contacted and a grant payment has been processed for the period the larger bus service was not available to the parent.

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