Written answers

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Disadvantaged Status

Photo of Paul McAuliffePaul McAuliffe (Dublin North West, Fianna Fail)
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236. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the status of the DEIS review for a school (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46645/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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In March I was glad to be able to announce a major expansion of the DEIS – Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools programme which means that, for the first time since 2017, the programme is being significantly expanded and eligible schools will now gain access to targeted supports to address educational disadvantage. This will add an additional €32million to my Department’s expenditure on the DEIS programme from 2023, bringing the 2023 allocation to in the region of €180million.

Schools were identified for inclusion in the programme through the refined DEIS identification model which is an objective, statistics based model. Schools were not required to apply for inclusion in the DEIS programme and the model has been applied fairly and equally to all schools.

The DEIS identification process aims to identify those schools with the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage or the highest proportion of students from disadvantaged backgrounds within a school. The model uses information from the school’s individual enrolment database and 2016 national census data as represented by the Pobal HP Deprivation index. The model takes into account the student cohort and the relative disadvantage within a given school. The DEIS identification model takes into consideration the significant educational disadvantage experienced by Traveller and Roma learners and by students residing in direct provision or emergency homeless accommodation.

A detailed paper on the refined DEIS identification model is available on gov.ie at www.gov.ie/en/publication/a3c9e-extension-of-deis-to-further-schools/#how-schools-were-selected-for-inclusion-in-deis

Schools that were not satisfied with the outcome following the application of the DEIS identification model to their school enrolment data were provided with the opportunity to have that outcome reviewed. The details of the Appeals process is outlined in Circular 0019/2022 which can be found on the gov.ie website. All appeals submitted have now been processed by my Department and schools have been notified of the outcome. The DEIS appeals process was applied fairly across all appellants and the results are final. My Department will continue to support schools to deliver high quality, inclusive teaching and learning to students and young learners.

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. While the DEIS programme supports those schools with the highest levels of concentrated educational disadvantage, I recognise that there are students at risk of educational disadvantage in all schools. Conscious of this, and recognising the need to target resources to those schools that 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.

In addition to this, following the National Census 2022 held on the 3rd 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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