Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Education and Skills
90. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if her Department has considered and adopted a reasonable or acceptable distance for a child to travel to another secondary school given that a place may not be available to them at their local secondary school; if her Department’s modelling has considered the need for the provision of school transport for students in order to avail of such a place; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [59646/21]
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, 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.
In cases where the Department is satisfied that the nearest school is full, eligibility for school transport will be determined based on the distance the pupil resides from their next nearest school having regard to ethos and language.
Such requests are considered on a case by case basis following documentary evidence being submitted by the family, including but not limited to:
- The detailed steps taken to enrol the pupil in the nearest and next nearest schools.
- Evidence that an application for enrolment was made within the deadline dates specified by the school.
- A letter from the School Authorities confirming that the school was full at time of enrolment.
If a family has further information in regard to the closest school being full they should contact School Transport Section of my Department. Further information in this regard is available on gov.ie/school transport.