Written answers

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport

Photo of Pa DalyPa Daly (Kerry, Sinn Fein)
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47. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on whether students who are forced to apply for a concessionary place on school transportation should have to pay for these places; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [32413/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The School Transport Scheme is a significant operation managed by Bus Éireann on behalf of the Department. 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.

All children who are eligible for school transport and who complete the application and payment process on time are accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation. Children who are not eligible for school transport may apply for transport on a concessionary basis only and are offered seats where capacity exists after all eligible children have been catered for. The provision of concessionary transport is subject to a number of conditions including that the appropriate annual charge is paid.

My Department recently commenced a review of the School Transport Scheme. The review is being conducted to ensure that the school transport is fit for purpose and that it serves students and their families adequately. The Steering Group will report to me on an interim basis as the review progresses, with a view to presenting a final report with recommendations on the future operation of the Department’s School Transport Scheme.


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