Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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300. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will amend the concessionary scheme for a family (details supplied). [49700/21]

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 2020/2021 school year over 114,100 children, including over 14,700 children with special educational needs, were 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 Department's Primary School Transport Scheme children are eligible for school transport where they reside not less than 3.2 kilometres from and are attending their nearest primary school as determined by my 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 will be accommodated on school transport services for the 2021/22 school year where such services are in operation.

Children who are not eligible for school transport and who apply for school transport are considered for spare seats that may exist after eligible children have been facilitated; such seats are referred to as concessionary seats.

Bus Éireann has advised that their service supervisor recently checked the distance from home to school for the family in question and has confirmed that the family to whom the Deputy refers resides 2.6kms from the school that they are attending and therefore they are not eligible for school transport. The pupils in question were unsuccessful in obtaining seats under the selection process for concessionary pupils for the 21/22 school year.

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