Thursday, 23 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I absolutely appreciate the conviction with which the Deputy poses these questions. She has recognised that it is very important that there is a body of work that can be used as an appropriate framework for DEIS. It is at a very advanced stage - it is at consultation stage with stakeholders, which is important. We are in the final stages of it but it is an enormous body of work. There is an enormous number of schools within the remit of the Department. Conscious of that and recognising the needs of all schools, there have been significant other offerings for schools within DEIS and those outside it, some of which I have referenced, such as the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio and the enhanced summer provision programme.
The increased investment in the school completion programme is another most important aspect. Equally important, as I previously stated, are the additional resources that are now going directly into schools via the class programme, meaning that an 800-pupil school will have 51 additional weeks of teaching, which amounts to 1.5 additional teaching posts for a school year. Therefore, significant resources are being employed in advance of the completion of the DEIS programme.