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Written Answers - School Transport

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 234.  Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will grant an exemption to proposed changes in school transport rules in relation to students (details supplied) if it can be demonstrated that there will not be a cost saving to enforcing the proposed changes and that doing so would lead to overcrowding issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16826/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills (Deputy Ciarán Cannon): Information on Ciaran Cannon Zoom on Ciaran Cannon From the commencement of the 2012/13 school year, the use of the Catchment Boundary Area (CB) System as a means of determining eligibility will cease for all pupils newly entering post primary school. This means that from the 2012/13 school year, school transport eligibility for all pupils [793]newly entering a post primary school will be determined by reference to the distance they reside from their nearest post-primary education centre having regard to ethos and language. This change was announced as part of Budget 2011 but is not being introduced until the 2012/13 school year in order to allow parents of children newly entering post primary school ample time to consider their school choice options, taking account of the revised school transport eligibility arrangements.

At post primary level, the evidence is, as set out in the Value for Money Review of the School Transport Schemes, that the majority of children are attending their nearest post primary school/centre.

The changes to the Post Primary School Transport Scheme will be applied equitably on a national basis.

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