Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Education and Skills

DEIS Scheme

Francis Noel Duffy (Dublin South West, Green Party)
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383. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the way the planned investment of €5 million in DEIS schools will be allocated in 2022; if additional resources including staffing will be provided to DEIS band one schools; her views on class size reductions in DEIS band 1 junior and vertical schools; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44251/20]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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I am pleased to advise the Deputy that under Budget 2021 I have announced a general reduction in the mainstream staffing schedule to 25:1. While there has been a reduction in mainstream class size in recent years, there has not been a corresponding reduction for those Urban Band 1 DEIS schools who are already allocated a preferential staffing schedule of 20:1 for schools catering for junior classes only and 24:1 for schools catering for senior classes only. Most DEIS Urban Band 1 schools operate vertical schools with a ratio of 22:1.

As an initial step in addressing this, I have focused on a reduction in the Senior DEIS Urban Band 1 primary schools and therefore there will be a one point reduction in their staffing schedule from 24:1 to 23:1.

The total Budget allocation of additional funding of €2million in 2021, with a full year allocation of €5million in 2022 provides for further supports to be allocated as part of the DEIS programme to those schools catering for the highest concentrations of educational disadvantage. My Department continues to support those schools most in need and I am considering options on how best to achieve this. I expect to be in a position to announce details of this imminently.

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