Thursday, 18 November 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 2020/21 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 the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs 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.
Under the terms of the Department’s School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs, children are eligible for school transport where they have special educational needs arising from a diagnosed disability and are attending the nearest recognised school/class that is resourced to meet their special educational needs. Eligibility is determined following consultation with the National Council for Special Education through its network of Special Education Needs Organisers.
In certain cases, the Department also provides funding to schools for the employment of escorts to accompany children whose care and safety needs require this level of support while they travel to and from school.
The pupil referred to by the Deputy is eligible under the terms of the School Transport Scheme for Children with Special Educational Needs and has been accommodated on a service since the 2018/19 school year. This service is still in operation for the current year and there is also an escort on board. As there is a reasonable level of service in place, the Special Transport Grant would not be offered to the family. However, if the family wish to provide further information to outline reasons why this pupil cannot avail of the service, they may submit same to School Transport Section for consideration.