Monday, 26 April 2021
Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters
I thank the Senator. I understand her concerns in the context of supports. It is important to stress that there is a range of resources available from the Department to support schools in dealing with their needs. Those are schools outside of DEIS and they can still avail of supports including special education resource teachers, special needs assistants, SNAs, and supports from the National Educational Psychological Service also.
With regard to hot school meals, I will bring that to the attention of the Minister for Education, Deputy Foley, to see if there is scope around that. There may well be resources available of which I am unaware but I will certainly speak to the Minister about the matter.
I do not yet have a timeline for the end of the consultation from the DEIS technical group. I do not see any expansion in respect of any other school being eligible for DEIS until that is refined and completed. The Department has commenced the consultation with educational stakeholder representatives on the technical aspects and the implementation of this model. Work is ongoing on the final elements of the model.