Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Joint Oireachtas Committee On Key Issues Affecting The Traveller Community

Review of Traveller Inclusion Policy, Education and Health: Discussion

Photo of Éamon Ó CuívÉamon Ó Cuív (Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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I have a number of questions. Ms Cregg stated that 90% of Travellers progress to third year in post-primary schools but the number who actually do the junior certificate is under 70%. My understanding is that students do their junior certificate after three years. This means that between going into third year of secondary school and actually completing it, we are losing 20%. Then percentage sitting the leaving certificate is 22%, which is down another 48%. My question is twofold. First, can the witness confirm that those figures are correct? Does the percentage drop to 22%, from 68% or 70% and 90% in under four years? The second part of that question is about how that compares with the settled community or society at large. What retention rates from junior certificate to leaving certificate have we got in that regard?

Ms Cregg also mentioned the additional allocation of €18 million to DEIS schools in 2022 and €32 million in 2023. However, that is not really Traveller-specific. Have we any measure of how much of that funding actually goes to Travellers, or is it just a global figure? There were cutbacks in Traveller-specific education provision back in 2011 and 2012. Does the Department have any idea how much money was there in that period? There was a specific allocation that disappeared out of the education system.

Some €500,000 has been provided by the dormant accounts fund to oversee projects tackling educational disadvantage for Travellers and Roma. Exactly how will that €500,000 be used to tackle that?