Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has opened a consultation process with stakeholders, as part of the review of the school transport scheme.
The review currently being conducted by the Department of Education encompasses the school transport scheme for children with special educational needs and the primary and post-primary school transport schemes.
The review will examine the current scheme, its broader effectiveness and sustainability, with a view to ensuring that it serves students and their families appropriately. Other issues under consideration include the efficiency of the service and to also examine potential scope for a more co-ordinated approach with other Government departments involved in transport services.
Minister Foley said, “as part of the review of school transport, we will be listening to the views of parents and guardians, students, the education partners and other relevant stakeholders. We will use surveys, focus groups and meetings, as well as inviting written submissions.”
“We are inviting these stakeholders to share their views and opinions so that we may consider them in our assessment and in informing policy on the future operation of the scheme.”
The closing date for completing these surveys is Thursday 10th February.
The Department is working with the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in order to listen to the views of children in primary schools and children with special educational needs.
The Department will shortly contact the education partners and other relevant stakeholders to invite written submissions and to make arrangements to meet as appropriate.
It is planned that the Steering Group on School Transport Scheme Review will report to the Minister on an interim basis as the review progresses, with a view to presenting a final report with recommendations on the future operation of the Department’s School Transport Scheme.