Written answers

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Educational Disadvantage

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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167. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when the new DEIS identification model will be finalised and implemented by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9012/21]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department is in the final stages of refinement of the new DEIS identification model, based on school enrolment data and the latest data available from Census 2016 using the HP Deprivation Index. The work of this group is at an advanced stage and a consultation process with education stakeholder representatives on the technical aspect and implementation of this model has commenced. It is envisaged that this will then provide the basis for development of a DEIS resource allocation system to match resources to identified need. Until this work is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.

Photo of Gary GannonGary Gannon (Dublin Central, Social Democrats)
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168. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the way in which the investment of €5 million for DEIS schools in budget 2021 will be allocated; if it will be committed to trauma informed practice; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [9013/21]

Norma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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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. As an initial step in addressing class size in DEIS Urban Band 1 schools, I also announced 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. I am currently considering options on how best to achieve this and I expect to be in a position to announce details of this shortly.

Additional funding was also included in Budget 2021 for the continuation of additional educational psychological services to provide for wellbeing supports for students. The National Educational Psychological Service is developing a range of workshops on the promotion of wellbeing and resilience in schools which includes trauma informed approaches. Furthermore, funding was provided for an additional 120 guidance posts for post-primary schools to support student wellbeing.

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