Dáil Éireann - Volume 415 - 19 February, 1992

Written Answers. - School Transport.

100. Mr. Stagg asked the Minister for Education the reason his Department find it impossible to extend a school bus route by a mile and a half from Straffan to Ardclough in County Kildare, thus enabling 12 students to avail of school transport to Scoil Mhuire community school in Clane; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mr. S. Brennan): I understand that some parents in the general area in question propose to send their children to Clane post-primary centre which is not their appropriate centre for transport purposes. The most that can be offered to such children in respect of their attendance at Clane is concessionary transport from the catchment boundary of their appropriate school.

This concession would apply only to basically eligible pupils and is subject to spare seats being available on existing services and no extra cost.

If the Deputy would care to give the names and addresses of the children in question, their eligibility will be confirmed by the local transport liaison officer.

The rules for school transport preclude [2457] the extension of bus services into adjacent catchment areas. The reason for this is to avoid unnecessary duplication of services.

I might add that even where children are availing themselves of school transport to their local post-primary centre they may have farther to travel to a pickup point than the mile and a half mentioned by the Deputy.

101. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education the measures he proposes to take in relation to children attending special schools where children require supervision on the transport provided because they are a danger to themselves and others; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Mr. S. Brennan): My Department currently meet the return transport costs of escorts for visually impaired children attending St. Joseph's and St. Mary's special schools on a residential basis. This facility can be availed of on up to seven occasions during the year and covers journeys associated with holiday and mid-term breaks.