School Bus Transport – Responsibilities and Procedures
Bus or taxi transport is provided for the children to and from school by the Department of Education and Skills, through Bus Éireann.
When starting school, your child will be assigned to a bus route and will be given a bus ticket. The bus/ taxi contractor will contact you to arrange morning collection time. Please note, the bus or taxi can only collect and drop children to the address on the bus ticket. The driver is strictly not allowed to leave a child at a different address unless special arrangements are made in advance through Bus Éireann.
- submits applications for transport for each new entrant to the Special Educational Needs Officer (SENO), stating number of wheelchair users
- employs the bus escorts, as sanctioned by Department of Education
- informs Bus Éireann of a new home address or other changes
- pass on reports of any safety concerns to Bus Éireann Inspector
Bus Éireann Inspector:
- gives contracts to bus companies to provide school transport
- assigns children to bus routes and gives contact details to the contractors
- contacts parents if a child’s behaviour is causing ongoing danger to himself or others. In this case, parents will be asked to make their own arrangements for getting the child to and from school, until the situation is resolved.
The Bus Contractor:
- assigns a driver to the route
- informs parents of the time of morning collection
- safe transport of those on board the bus/ taxi, informing the school for any dangers due to behavior or for other reasons
- wheels wheelchairs/ buggies up the ramp and secures them safely
- time-keeping: a 5-minute wait period only is allowed at each house. If a child is not brought to the bus within the 5-minute period, the driver must drive on to collect the next child and parents/ guardians will need to make their own transport arrangements that day
- safe delivery home: if a parent/ guardian is not at home to receive the child in the afternoon, the driver is obliged to leave the child at the nearest Garda Station.
The Bus Escort:
- meets the parent and child at the bus entrance
- assists the child to board
- secures the child’s seatbelt
- watches over the safety and well-being of the children
- informs the school if aware of a child causing danger to themselves or others on the bus journey.
- provides a booster seat if required for a child’s safe travel
- brings the child to the bus each morning
- receives the child at the bus in the afternoon.
- informs the escort/ driver in advance if their child will not be attending school so the bus does not make a wasted journey
- informs the escort/ driver in advance if their child will not be returning home on the bus, i.e. when a child is collected from school.
NOTE: Please note that, for safety and insurance reasons, both driver and escort are not allowed to leave the bus to knock on your door or to deliver your child home.
Bus Transport: Changes or Concerns
- If you need to change transport arrangements for any day, please contact the school office well in advance and your request will be forwarded to Bus Éireann.
- If there is a family emergency, you must arrange with the school that a named adult will be at your home to meet your son or daughter when the bus arrives.
- If you are planning to move house, please let the school know as soon as possible and they will contact Bus Éireann. It can take Bus Éireann a few weeks to arrange transport to and from the new address.
- If you have any concerns about the safety of your child when on the bus/taxi, please speak first to the driver. If you are still unhappy, please contact the school. Pupils may use mobile phones in the bus/taxi to let you know if they are going to be late but phones must not be used in any threatening way. Taking photos on phones is not allowed.