Thursday, 30 September 1999
Dáil Éireann Debate
136. Mr. Aylward asked the Minister for Education and Science if his Department has granted approval for school transport from a person's home (details supplied) in County Carlow to a school which is the only one in her area which has wheelchair facilities and which transport has been recommended by Bus Éireann officials and where a grant towards the cost of private transport would be of no benefit to her parents. [18431/99]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I am pleased to advise the Deputy that my Department has sanctioned transport, on medical grounds, from the person's home to her primary school. Bus Éireann has already been asked to make the necessary arrangements.
137. Mr. Hogan asked the Minister for Education and Science if he will review the catchment area for second level students attending Callan secondary schools with a view to extending this boundary to allow students from Dunamaggin, County Kilkenny to be facilitated with this school transport service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18432/99]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): For the purposes of post-primary education the country is divided into catchment areas, each of which has its own post-primary centre. Catchment boundaries are determined on educational rather than transport grounds and the transport regulations, which operate in accordance with these boundaries, are not, therefore, intended to provide pupils with a choice of school.
I understand that the pupils in question do not attend the second level school in their own post-primary centre and avail of catchment boundary transport to schools in Callan, which is outside of their immediate catchment area. Under the terms of the school transport scheme, a catchment boundary service is the most that may be offered to these pupils.
It would not be feasible to alter the catchment boundaries in such a way as to facilitate pupils seeking full transport to Callan from other catchment areas. In the circumstances, I have no plans to change the catchment boundaries in this case.
138. Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for Education and Science the reason he has not responded to representations made on behalf of a person (details supplied) in County Meath who requires special education and transport to a facility in Navan; and if he will deal with the case. [18433/99]
Minister for Education and Science (Mr. Martin): I am pleased to inform the Deputy that my Department has sanctioned 35 hours tuition per week to the Meath training and education centre from 1 September 1999 for pupils enrolled in the centre, including the pupil to whom the Deputy refers.
School transport for pupils attending the centre is arranged by the North-Eastern Health Board. I understand that the pupil in question has been  availing of a transport service to the centre since 21 September 1999.
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