Written answers

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Department of Education and Skills

DEIS Eligibility

Photo of John BrassilJohn Brassil (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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95. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if he will address the lack of DEIS status for a school (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44417/17]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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We have, for the first time, introduced an objective, statistics based model for deciding which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS Programme, so that all stakeholders can have confidence that we are targeting extra resources at those schools with the highest concentrated levels of disadvantage.

The key data sources used in the DEIS identification process are the DES Primary Online Database (POD) and Post-Primary Online (PPOD) Databases, and CSO data from the National Census of Population as represented in the Pobal HP Index for Small Areas which is a method of measuring the relative affluence or disadvantage of a particular geographical area. Variables used in the compilation of the HP Index include those related to demographic growth, dependency ratios, education levels, single parent rate, overcrowding, social class, occupation and unemployment rates. This data is combined with pupil data, anonymised and aggregated to small area, to provide information on the relative level of concentrated disadvantage present in the pupil cohort of individual schools.

In June, a communication issued to every school in the country explaining the Identification Methodology by way of a detailed 22-page document which is available on the Department’s website at

Schools included in the list published by my Department on 13th February are those whose level of disadvantage has been identified as being at the same level as the current DEIS category for schools serving the highest concentrations of disadvantage.  Schools which have not been included at this stage, including the one referred to by the Deputy, are those which have not been identified as having the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage amongst their pupil cohort, under the new model.

It is important to note that this is a first step in a process and the fact that a school has not been included now does not preclude its inclusion at a later date, should the assessment indicate a level of disadvantage that warrants additional supports.  I am fully aware that there are further schools whose concentrated level of disadvantage may not be at the highest level, but may nevertheless be at a level which warrants additional supports for pupils under DEIS. 

A further process will take account of updated data as it becomes available. Schools are being advised to ensure that their POD/PPOD data is fully correct and up to date, including Eircode. Schools can now record Eircode on both the POD and PPOD databases. The HP Index, based on the 2016 National Census data is being updated, and will be available to the Department in the coming weeks. A further exercise will be conducted using the updated datasets in due course. If this exercise reveals that any school which did not qualify for DEIS in the February 2017 round actually meets the criteria applicable to schools with the highest concentration of disadvantage based on the fully up-to-date information then it will be included, subject to resources.


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