Written answers

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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521. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a school bus transport refund for a family (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36775/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. The purpose of my 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 2019/20 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.

With regard to transport arrangements for the Summer Programme, my Department committed to providing grant funding to support families with the cost of transport arrangements for those children who were eligible for school transport and who were approved to participate in the school based Summer Programme.

Schools were required to identify children who availed of a School Transport service or who were in receipt of a grant. School Transport Section issued correspondance to schools outlining what was required in order to process such payments.

I wish to advise the Deputy that School Transport Section has commenced processing payment of these grants to families who are eligible and payments will continue to be processed in the coming weeks. 

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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522. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if a transport grant will be processed for a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [36818/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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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 my 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. 

An eligible child for whom no transport service is available may, following an application for transport within the prescribed time limits, receive a Remote Area Grant towards the cost of private transport arrangements. Bus Éireann has advised that no transport application has been made on behalf of pupil referred to by the Deputy.

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