Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Status.

Brian O'Shea

Question:

955 Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for Education and Science the proposals, if any, he has to extend disadvantaged status to Scoil Lorcain, Waterford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1453/99]

A study of educational disadvantage conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency and the Education Research Centre in 1996 concluded that disadvantaged status should be confined to 16 per cent of the school-going population. The study noted that such status has 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 at 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 assure the Deputy that the needs of the school to which he refers will be considered in the context of any additional resource allocations which may be undertaken to address educational disadvantage.