Written answers

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Department of Education and Skills

Departmental Correspondence

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry, Fine Gael)
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210. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills her views on a matter (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [57118/22]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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The process to identify schools for inclusion in the DEIS programme is based on the principle of concentrated disadvantage. It aimed to identify those schools with the highest proportion of students from areas designated as disadvantaged. 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

My Department provides a wide range of supports to all schools, including those outside of the DEIS programme, to support the inclusion of all students and address barriers to students achieving their potential.

My Department provides funding to all recognised schools in the Free Education Scheme by way of per capita grants. The two main grants are the Capitation grant to cater for day-to-day running costs including heating, lighting and water charges and the Ancillary grant to cater for the cost of employing ancillary services staff. These grants may be regarded as common grants that the Board of Management can allocate according to its own priorities.

All recognised primary and post-primary schools in the Free Education Scheme will benefit from additional capitation funding in 2022 - an increase of circa 40% of current standard and enhanced capitation rates. The additional grant will be paid at the rate of €75 per pupil at primary level and €113 at post-primary level. Enhanced rates will also be paid in respect of pupils with special educational needs (SEN).

Arrangements are being made to issue this payment as soon as possible and schools can use this to cover additional energy costs and other increased day-to-day operating costs. In the context of the current cost of living crisis, my Department expects that this very significant additional funding being made available to schools will be sufficient to meet increased running costs.

I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge how our school communities have gone above and beyond to welcome into our schools the many children and young people fleeing war in Ukraine.

My Department has established the Regional Education and Language Teams (REALT) to support the needs of children arriving in Ireland from Ukraine.

These Education and Language Teams are hosted by the 16 regional education and training boards (ETBs) and are staffed by existing regionally-based education support personnel.

The primary role of the REALT is to assist children in finding school places and to support schools in the area to meet the needs of these children as they emerge, to advise and support my Department in developing new capacity where required, and to co-ordinate the provision of education services to children and families across their defined area. These teams are ensuring that clear, accessible information flows are in place between schools, local education support services and national support structures in relation to arrivals from Ukraine.

The REALT teams lead a network of other key agencies, including Tusla Education Support Service (TESS), NEPS regional personnel, NCSE regional personnel and Management body local nominees working together with local schools.

The REALT are supporting existing services and co-ordinating the following work areas:

- Aligning current school capacity with the placement of Ukrainian families, as much as possible.

- Identifying additional capacity within their geographic areas to prepare for situations where demand may exceed available school capacity, and working with my Department and other organisations with a view to making this additional capacity available.

- Assisting families and schools with accessing information on school places for children and young people from Ukraine who have moved into the area.

- Assisting families and schools with accessing resources and supports for additional capacity, wellbeing, language and educational needs.

- Assisting with engaging resources for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutors who would assist with the English language needs of children and young people from Ukraine, and their parents / guardians.

- Liaising with other local co-ordinating structures that may be established to coordinate the delivery of public services for families from Ukraine.

Contact details for the REALT are available on gov.ie - Information for schools – Ukraine (www.gov.ie).


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