Thursday, 23 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I appreciate the Minister outlining the extra supports for schools, but the question is not about that. The question is about the DEIS programme. For as long as the DEIS programme has been in place, schools have been excluded from it by very strict criteria that are difficult to understand by principals, teachers and politicians. I accept there have to be objective criteria, but it is those criteria that we drew to the attention of the former Minister some years ago. By any stretch of the imagination, it was very difficult to see how the school in question was excluded. I am not just speaking for one school; other schools are in the same position. There has to be fairness in the scheme.
The Minister spoke about the enormous body of work to be done; I appreciate that. When did the process start and when will it be finished? We must appreciate the enormous work facing principals, teachers and schools that are not given DEIS recognition. They face enormous challenges.