Written answers

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport

Photo of Marian HarkinMarian Harkin (Sligo-Leitrim, Independent)
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336. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if siblings of children with special needs that avail of school transport can also travel on the same bus to the same school provided that there is space available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34565/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma 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. In the current school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 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 the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) 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 certain circumstances siblings of children with special needs are allowed to travel on SEN services - in cases where the child availing of the SEN service is the only child on the service. Such cases are reviewed on an annual basis and should more children who are eligible for SEN transport apply to avail of the service, siblings of the child with special needs would no longer be allowed to travel on the service.


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