Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Status.

John Moloney

Question:

913 Mr. Moloney asked the Minister for Education and Science if disadvantage status will be granted to the Sacred Heart national school, Portlaoise, County Laois. [1119/99]

A study of educational disadvantage conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency and the Education Research Centre in 1996 concluded that disadvantage status should be confined to 16 per cent of the school going population. The study noted that such status had already been granted to 17 per cent of pupils. As an alternative to extending the disadvantaged areas scheme to additional schools, the study recommended that available resources should be targeted on the most disadvantaged schools already in the scheme.

The Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage scheme was subsequently introduced to deliver the sort of targeted support recommended in the study.

I am currently reviewing my Department's overall response to the problem of educational disadvantage. My objective is to ensure that all available resources are properly targeted so that children who are educationally disadvantaged receive the support they need to maximise their potential in the education system.

I can assure the Deputy that the needs of the school to which he refers will be cosidered in the context of any additional resource allocations which may be undertaken to address educational disadvantage.