Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Education and Skills
179. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when a person (details supplied) will be reimbursed for their school travel allowance for the 2018-19 academic year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10593/20]
School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. The purpose of the 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.
In the current school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, are transported in over 5,000 vehicles on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country covering over 100 million kilometres at a cost of over €219m in 2019.
I am pleased to advise that the child referred to by the Deputy is eligible for school transport under the terms of the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs. Bus Éireann has confirmed that transport commenced for this pupil on 23 October 2018 for the 2018/19 school year.
In the circumstances, the Department is prepared to offer a ‘Special Transport Grant’ towards the cost of making private transport arrangements until the commencement of the school transport service on 23 October 2018 and in this regard, School Transport Section will liaise directly with the family regarding this arrangement.