Written answers

Tuesday, 4 April 2006

Department of Education and Science

Educational Disadvantage

9:00 pm

Photo of John McGuinnessJohn McGuinness (Carlow-Kilkenny, Fianna Fail)
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Question 511: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the timeframe for consideration of the appeals relative to the DEIS initiative; if a school (details supplied) in County Kilkenny will be given positive consideration in view of the high level of disadvantage being experienced by families in its catchment area. [13219/06]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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DEIS, delivering equality of opportunity in schools, the new action plan for educational inclusion, provides for a standardised system for identifying levels of disadvantage and a new integrated school support programme, SSP. The process of identifying primary and second level schools for participation in the new school support programme has been completed.

As a result of the identification process, 840 schools have been invited to participate in the new school support programme, which comprise 640 primary schools — 320 urban-town schools and 320 rural schools — and 200 second level schools. Letters of invitation were issued to all 840 schools in late February with a request to complete and return an acceptance form by 10 March 2006.

Schools not selected to participate in the school support programme but receiving additional resources under pre-existing schemes and programmes for addressing concentrated disadvantage will retain these supports for 2006-07. The efficacy of these supports will be kept under review. As well as the provision being made under the new school support programme for schools with a concentrated level of disadvantage, financial support will be provided for other primary schools where the level of disadvantage is more dispersed. This support will be based on the results of the new identification process and the arrangements which will apply in this regard will be notified to schools early in the autumn.

A review mechanism has been put in place to address the concerns of schools that did not qualify for inclusion in the school support programme but regard themselves as having a level of disadvantage which is of a scale sufficient to warrant their inclusion in the programme. The review process will operate under the direction of an independent person, charged with ensuring that all relevant identification processes and procedures were properly followed in the case of schools applying for a review. The closing date for receipt of completed review applications was 31 March 2006. A review application has been received by my Department from the school to which the Deputy refers. It is intended that the review process will be completed by the end of the current school year.

Photo of Enda KennyEnda Kenny (Leader of the Opposition; Opposition Spokesperson on Northern Ireland; Mayo, Fine Gael)
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Question 512: To ask the Minister for Education and Science the name and location of each primary and post primary school in County Mayo currently availing of assistance under the disadvantaged programme; and if following the assessment under new criteria the name and location of each primary and post-primary school to be excluded from the DEIS programme from June 2007; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13239/06]

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Education and Science; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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Four urban-town primary schools, 59 rural primary schools and six post-primary schools in County Mayo have been invited to participate in the new school support programme, SSP, under DEIS, delivering equality of opportunity in schools, the new action plan for educational inclusion.

Schools invited to participate in the school support programme were required to complete and return an acceptance form by 10 March 2006, accepting the invitation to participate in the school support programme, SSP, and giving an undertaking to take all necessary steps to use resources that may be allocated under the SSP in accordance with the key provisions, requirements and aims of the action plan and to support the Department and all relevant bodies and agencies in seeking to achieve the objectives of the action plan in so far as they relate to the school.

Schools not selected to participate in the school support programme but receiving additional resources under pre-existing schemes and programmes for addressing concentrated disadvantage will retain these supports for 2006-07. The efficacy of these supports will be kept under review. As well as the provision being made under the new school support programme for schools with a concentrated level of disadvantage, financial support will be provided for other primary schools where the level of disadvantage is more dispersed. This support will be based on the results of the new identification process and the arrangements that will apply in this regard will be notified to schools early in the autumn.

A review mechanism has been put in place to address the concerns of schools that did not qualify for inclusion in the school support programme but regard themselves as having a level of disadvantage which is of a scale sufficient to warrant their inclusion in the programme. This mechanism will operate under the direction of an independent person, charged with ensuring that all relevant identification processes and procedures were properly followed in the case of schools applying for a review. The closing date for receipt of review applications was Friday, 31 March 2006. The complete list of schools participating in SSP will be published on my Department's website shortly.

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