Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Department of Education and Skills
School Transport is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department of Education. In the current school year over 113,100 children, including over 14,500 children with special educational needs, are transported on a daily basis to primary and post-primary schools throughout the country at a cost of over €224.7m in 2020.
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. Under the terms of the Post-Primary School Transport Scheme, children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 4.8kms from and are attending their nearest Post-Primary School/Education Centre as determined by the Department/Bus Éireann, having regard to ethos and language.
All children who are eligible for school transport and who completed the application and payment process on time have been accommodated on school transport services for the 2020/21 school year where such services are in operation.
Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only. Concessionary transport is subject to a number of terms and conditions including the availability of spare seats on an existing service and payment of the annual charge. The availability of concessionary transport may vary from year to year and cannot be guaranteed for the duration of a child's education cycle. Where the number of applications for transport on a concessionary basis exceeds the number of seats available, Bus Éireann will determine the allocation of the tickets.
Bus Éireann has advised that the pupil referred to by the Deputy is not eligible for school transport as they are not attending their nearest post-primary school. A refund of the school transport charge was processed on 10th September 2020.