Written answers

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport Eligibility

Photo of Áine CollinsÁine Collins (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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176. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school (details supplied) in County Cork. [3459/16]

Photo of Damien EnglishDamien English (Meath West, Fine Gael)
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Changes to my Department's Primary School Transport Scheme were announced in December 2010 by the then Government as part of measures contained in Budget 2011 and derived from recommendations contained in the Value for Money review of the scheme.

The changes announced covered the uniform application of the distance eligibility criterion, the cessation of the Closed/Central School Rule (CSR), an increase from seven to ten in the minimum number of eligible children required to establish or retain a service and the introduction of charges for eligible primary children.

Children who had an eligibility for school transport prior to the introduction of the changes retained this eligibility for the duration of their education at that school provided there was no change in their circumstances.

Siblings of these children and other children who are not eligible for school transport, may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only in accordance with the terms of the School Transport Scheme.

The changes to school transport provision are applied uniformly and equitably on a national basis.

Children who applied for enrolment in their nearest school but who did not secure a place may have their school transport eligibility considered by reference to the distance they reside from their next nearest school. This consideration will only apply where the Department is satisfied that the child's nearest school does not have the capacity to enrol additional children.

While it is the prerogative of parents to send their children to the school of their choice, eligibility for school transport is to the nearest school.


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