Know your rights: School Transport Scheme

My daughter is starting secondary school in September and we live 5 kilometres from her school. Am I eligible for the School Transport Scheme?

You may qualify for the School Transport Scheme. The scheme provides subsidised school transport for both post-primary and primary pupils. Bus Éireann runs the school bus service and the Department of Education decides the annual fares.

The service is only provided where there are at least 10 eligible pupils in a distinct locality that can be economically serviced by a bus route. Even when a pupil meets the age and distance criteria for school transport, there is no legal entitlement to it.

Your daughter is eligible for the Post-Primary School Transport Scheme if she is attending her nearest school and lives 4.8 kilometres or more from the school. The Department and Bus Éireann determine the appropriate nearest school with regard to ethos and language.

Parents must arrange to bring their child to the nearest pick-up point on the bus route. Generally, bus routes are organised so that no pupil has more than 3.2 kilometres to travel to a pick-up point.

There is a single annual charge of €350 per pupil. However, a family does not pay more than €650 per year. In 2021, the charge is due to be paid in full by the end of July or else in 2 instalments: by the end of July and by 26 November. Pupils who are eligible for school transport and who hold a valid medical card are entitled to free school transport to the nearest school.

Since your child is enrolling in post-primary school for the first time, you should either apply for school transport online or download the form on Bus Éireann’s website. Applications are now being accepted for the 2021-2022 school year. Applications for the school transport scheme 2021-2022 close on Friday, 30 April 2021.

You can read more about the School Transport Scheme on citizensinformation.ie.


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