The Department of Education has confirmed that families will receive refunds for school transport fees for periods of school closures this year.
Payments to families for school transport fees will issue at the end of the school year once the exact period of closures is confirmed.
Minister for Education Joe McHugh also confirmed this week that bus operators will continue receive a 50% payment while schools are closed.
When the initial decision was made to close schools until March 29 it was agrees that bus operators would be paid at the full rate for that period in light of the “exceptional circumstances” in the pandemic.
From the period after that, from March 30 until now, it was agreed that half of the full rate would continue to be paid.
That 50% payment will be extended while schools are closed for this academic year in light of ongoing public health restrictions.
Minister McHugh said “We know that parents, particularly in rural areas, were seeking clarity in relation to refunds while schools were closed.”
“I am happy to confirm refunds will issue later this year when we know the precise amount of time lost in schools.”
Minister of State John Halligan added that this “brings certainty to parents and to operators of the school transport scheme.
“It is only right that parents and contractors are compensated due to this unprecedented chain of events.”