Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Education and Skills

School Transport

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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306. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the number of those eligible for school transport applicants that had or have not yet secured a place on a bus due to late payment of fees by county and month from September 2021 to date in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [49743/21]

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.

All children who are eligible for school transport and who completed the application and payment process on time for the 2021/22 school year will be accommodated on school transport services where such services are in operation. In addition, all post-primary pupils who are otherwise eligible for school transport but are attending their second nearest school and who have applied and paid on time will be accommodated on school transport services. This arrangement is in place for current school year pending completion of the full review of the School Transport Scheme.

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.

Late applicants and/or families who pay late are not guaranteed a seat and will only be allocated a seat if capacity is available once seats are allocated to those families who applied and paid on time for transport services for the 2021/2022 school year.

Bus Éireann has provided the information the Deputy requires in the two tables which are attached - details of mainstream eligible pupils who paid late where no ticket has been issued and mainstream eligible pupils who paid late where a ticket has been issued.

Mainstream Eligible Paid Late by County & Month Where No Ticket has been issued – 2021/22 School Year
County August September October Grand Total
Carlow
11
3
0
14
Cavan
54
13
2
69
Clare
12
12
2
26
Cork
82
29
5
116
Donegal
80
51
4
135
Dublin
12
22
5
39
Galway
164
43
3
210
Kerry
58
12
3
73
Kildare
36
16
2
54
Kilkenny
1
0
1
2
Laois
12
3
0
15
Leitrim
12
19
0
31
Limerick
2
5
2
9
Longford
22
7
0
29
Louth
43
20
2
65
Mayo
41
15
3
59
Meath
36
22
4
62
Monaghan
28
10
0
38
Offaly
21
1
0
22
Roscommon
15
4
2
21
Sligo
19
13
0
32
Tipperary
11
12
2
25
Waterford
1
1
2
4
Westmeath
9
7
1
17
Wexford
3
0
3
6
Wicklow
28
8
2
38
Grand Total
813
348
50
1211

Mainstream Eligible Paid Late by County & Month Where a Ticket Has Been Issued – 2021/22 School Year
County August September October Grand Total
Carlow
75
10
1
86
Cavan
78
25
2
105
Clare
94
22
1
117
Cork
210
65
8
283
Donegal
339
151
54
544
Dublin
69
21
0
90
Galway
193
63
17
273
Kerry
173
42
2
217
Kildare
83
41
4
128
Kilkenny
96
38
4
138
Laois
40
7
0
47
Leitrim
41
14
0
55
Limerick
169
66
1
236
Longford
34
16
1
51
Louth
91
35
1
127
Mayo
163
75
0
238
Meath
60
37
1
98
Monaghan
87
26
0
113
Offaly
46
18
0
64
Roscommon
33
11
3
47
Sligo
50
21
0
71
Tipperary
187
42
4
233
Waterford
91
36
0
127
Westmeath
49
30
0
79
Wexford
193
99
5
297
Wicklow
43
31
3
77
Grand Total
2787
1042
112
3941

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