Written answers

Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Disadvantaged Status

Photo of Francis Noel DuffyFrancis Noel Duffy (Dublin South West, Green Party)
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358. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will re-assess the needs of schools (detail supplied) that are recipients of the original DEIS Band 1 but require more resources; if her attention has been drawn to the fact that there is a need for additional bands to be added for these disadvantaged areas; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46011/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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My Department provides a wide range of supports to all schools, DEIS and non-DEIS, to support the inclusion of all students and address barriers to students achieving their potential. Supplementing these universal supports, the DEIS programme provides a targeted and equitable way to address concentrated educational disadvantage that promotes equity and has benefits for students.

In this regard the DEIS programme targets the highest levels of resources at those schools that have been identified for DEIS Urban Band 1 status. Schools in this band are those that have been identified as having the highest levels of concentrated educational disadvantage.

Schools in DEIS Urban band 1 receive a more beneficial staffing schedule allowing for the provision of smaller class sizes. They also receive priority access to the support of the National Educational Psychological Service, as well as access to the School Completion and School Meals programme. As with all urban schools, schools in this band receive home school community liaison support. Schools in Urban Band 1 receive a DEIS grant which reflects their high level of concentrated disadvantage.

It is important to note that the extension of the DEIS programme to new schools is just one phase of work in my vision for an inclusive education system which supports all learners to achieve their potential. I recognise the need to target resources to those schools who need them most, the next phase of work will explore the allocation of resources to schools to tackle educational disadvantage. Part of this programme of work will involve consultation with all relevant stakeholders and will consider information provided by schools in correspondence to my Department.

In addition to this, following the National Census 2022 held on 3 April last it is envisaged that an updated HP Deprivation Index will be generated by Pobal and will be available in Q3 of 2023. My Department will engage with Pobal in relation to this process. The updated HP Deprivation Index when available can be considered by my Department to inform future resource allocation to tackle educational disadvantage.


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