Thursday, 15 October 2020
Department of Education and Skills
179. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the date on which a reply will issue to correspondence (details supplied); the reason for the delay in same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [30720/20]
School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department.
In the 2019/2020 school year over 120,000 children, including over 14,200 children with special educational needs, were 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.
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 correspondence to which the Deputy refers required consultation between my Department, the School Principal, the Special Educational Needs Organiser and the parents. Following this consultation the case has recently been resolved and the parent has been contacted with details relating on how to claim the Special Transport Grant.