Dáil debates

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Education Schemes

11:20 am

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

A key part of the DEIS plan was the introduction of a new DEIS identification process based on an objective and statistics-based model to determine which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS programme. An extensive body of work has been undertaken in terms of the refinement of this model based on the latest school enrolment data and data available from the 2016 census under the HP deprivation index. A detailed quality analysis of the data has been carried out by members of the DEIS technical group, which contains representatives of the Department’s statistics and social inclusion units, the inspectorate and the educational research centre. My Department has commenced a consultation process with education partners on the technical aspects of this model and work is ongoing on its final elements. It is envisaged that it will provide the basis for the development and application of a refined DEIS resource allocation model to ultimately match resources to identified need.

All schools will be considered for inclusion under the refined DEIS model. Until this work is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools. Nonetheless, additional resources have been made available to DEIS schools in order to address educational disadvantage, such as an increase in the budget for the school completion programme, the expanded summer programme which ran this year and which, incidentally, was open to all schools at primary and post-primary levels for the first time, and the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio for DEIS band 1 schools, as well as for all other schools. As noted earlier, it is at a historic low of 25:1. While this work continues, there have been significant other resources put in place for schools that do not currently have DEIS status. That said, the work will be expedited as quickly as possible. Stakeholders are currently being consulted on it.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.