Written answers

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Department of Children and Youth Affairs

School Completion Programme

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
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11. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if expenditure for the school completion programme has been ring-fenced for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43981/14]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
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The School Completion Programme aims to retain young people in the formal education system to completion of senior cycle and to generally improve the school attendance, participation and retention of young people who are risk of educational disadvantage. The Programme is a targeted intervention aimed at those school communities identified through the Department of Education and Skills’ DEIS Action Plan for Educational Inclusion. It provides targeted supports to 36,000 children.

Since 1 January 2014, the Child and Family Agency has operational responsibility for the School Completion Programme, including the allocation of funds to local projects. In 2014, an allocation of €24.756 million has been provided for the School Completion Programme.

The estimate for the Agency for 2015 is €635 million, a 4.3% increase on its 2014 allocation. My Department will issue a Performance Statement under Section 45 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013 in December. This will include my priorities for consideration in the development of the 2015 Business Plan. The Business Plan will set out the Agency's proposed activities, programmes and priorities for 2015 in light of the monies available.

A review of the School Completion Programme has commenced. It is being carried out by the ESRI following a procurement process managed by the Agency. The review will examine the programme structures. It will analyse the interventions provided and make recommendations for evidence informed supports designed to secure the best educational outcomes for young people. The review is an important initiative to plan for the future development of this Programme. The programme has been in operation since 2002 and I believe that it is timely that a review be carried out. It is envisaged that the review will be completed during the 2014/2015 academic year.

Photo of Billy KelleherBilly Kelleher (Cork North Central, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

12. To ask the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the way the school completion programme will develop in 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [43980/14]

Photo of James ReillyJames Reilly (Minister, Department of Health; Dublin North, Fine Gael)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

The School Completion Programme aims to retain young people in the formal education system to completion of senior cycle and to generally improve the school attendance, participation and retention of young people who are risk of educational disadvantage. The Programme is a targeted intervention aimed at those school communities identified through the Department of Education and Skills’ DEIS Action Plan for Educational Inclusion. It provides targeted supports to 36,000 children.

Since 1 January 2014, the Child and Family Agency has operational responsibility for the School Completion Programme, including the allocation of funds to local projects. In 2014, an allocation of €24.756 million has been provided for the School Completion Programme.

The estimate for the Agency for 2015 is €635 million, a 4.3% increase on its 2014 allocation. My Department will issue a Performance Statement under Section 45 of the Child and Family Agency Act, 2013 in December. This will include my priorities for consideration in the development of the 2015 Business Plan. The Business Plan will set out the Agency's proposed activities, programmes and priorities for 2015 in light of the monies available.

A review of the School Completion Programme has commenced. It is being carried out by the ESRI following a procurement process managed by the Agency. The review will examine the programme structures. It will analyse the interventions provided and make recommendations for evidence informed supports designed to secure the best educational outcomes for young people. The review is an important initiative to plan for the future development of this Programme. The programme has been in operation since 2002 and I believe that it is timely that a review be carried out. It is envisaged that the review will be completed during the 2014/2015 academic year.

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