Dáil Éireann - Volume 393 - 23 November, 1989
Written Answers. - County Sligo School Bus Service.
Mr. Nealon Mr. Nealon
95. Mr. Nealon asked the Minister for Education if her attention has been drawn to the unsatisfactory nature of the bus service provided to take mentally handicapped children from the south Sligo area to special schools and other training facilities; to the fact that one bus has been recently withdrawn; that, as a result, some of the children have to spend a total of four hours a day as their bus covers its circuitous route, morning and evening and as a result their training and general education is suffering; whether it is unreasonable of her Department to ask a driver of a bus to supervise on his own,  18 mentally handicapped students in addition to the demanding job of driving the bus; and if she will review the position of the withdrawal of the bus and immediately add another bus.
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke) Mary O'Rourke
Minister for Education (Mrs. O'Rourke): Special national schools have, unavoidably, lengthy school transport journeys due to the geographical dispersion of relatively small numbers of pupils over large areas; this is reflected in this case in that some of the pupils are 25 to 30 miles from the special schools.
The reorganisation of the transport service to these schools was caused by a reduction in the number of pupils to be catered for and did not result in significant increases in journey times for pupils. The longest journey time involved is one hour thirty five minutes, but this pupil lives 30 miles from the special school.
Dáil Éireann 393 Written Answers. County Sligo School Bus Service.