New travel allowance: Parents can claim up to €25.50 a week to drive their kids to school and back
Primary- and secondary school students across Ireland are getting ready to return to school for the first time since they closed back in March.
But, because of the strict social distancing restrictions in place for post-primary pupils on school buses, the buses will have to operate at less than full capacity.
What this means, is that many parents will have to drive their children to and from school this school year.
Yesterday, Minister for Education, Norma Foley, announced that parents of second-level pupils who can’t take up their place on the school bus because of social distancing rules will get up to 25.50 a week to pay for alternative travel arrangements.
The new concession extends to driving their children to school themselves and claiming a petrol allowance, and the payment will apply only to students who are eligible for a seat on school transport and not those who get a concessionary place if there is spare capacity.
According to Foley, the grant is based on the distance a family resides from their school of eligibility with a maximum daily allowance of €5.10. Parents will have to pay upfront and will be reimbursed at the end of the school year following receipt of relevant documentation confirming the number of days of school attended in the 2020/2021 year.
Currently, as many as 68,000 second-level students in Ireland travel on school transport every day, but many of those would be concessionary bus passengers and some are special needs pupils who may already travel by taxi.
It was only earlier this week that Nphet announced that there should be strict social distancing for post-primary pupils on school buses, and for primary pupils, Nphet said distancing should be maintained “where possible.”