Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Department of Education and Science
Question 241: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the reason a person (details supplied) in County Galway is not entitled to free school transport even from a pick up point within the catchment area of Castleblayney; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there are difficult problems in this family; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16954/09]
Seán Haughey (Minister of State, Department of Education and Science; Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin North Central, Fianna Fail)
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School transport has been requested for the pupil referred to by the Deputy in the details supplied under the terms of my Department Post-Primary School Transport Scheme and also under the terms of the Transport Scheme for Children with Special Needs.
The Transport Liaison Officer for Co. Galway has advised my Department that this pupil is not eligible for transport under the terms of the Post-Primary Scheme as he resides less than 4.8 kilometres from the nearest school in the catchment area in which he resides.
The National Council for Special Education has responsibility, through its network of Special Educational Needs Organisers (SENOs), for the establishment of special education facilities and for allocating resource teachers and special needs assistants to schools to support children with special needs.
School transport for children with special needs is generally provided to the nearest recognised mainstream school, special class/special school or unit that is, or can be resourced to meet the child's special educational needs under my Department's criteria.
The SENO has advised my Department that this pupil is not attending the nearest mainstream school, special class/special school or unit that is, or can be resourced to meet the child's special educational needs under my Department's criteria. Therefore, the question of providing school transport for this pupil does not arise under the terms of both schemes.