Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Status.

Denis Naughten

Question:

230 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Education and Science further to the reply to Parliamentary Question No. 297 of 11 March 2003, the reason children must suffer due to a minor error; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11018/03]

As the Deputy may be aware, Giving Children an Even Break subsumes the previous process of the designation of schools that serve areas of educational disadvantage. My Department's approach is now refined to ensure that the individual ‘at risk' pupils are targeted. Rather than the old method of designating additional schools, my Department now provides support that is commensurate with the levels of concentration in schools of pupils with characteristics that are associated with educational disadvantage and early school leaving.

It is regrettable that the school to which the Deputy refers will lose a teaching post at the end of this school year and receive reduced funding due to the misinterpretation of the questionnaire and the miscalculation of points in relation to the school. However, following this correction and having regard to the funding available to this scheme, another school may fall into the category of schools considered for additional teaching staff, thereby ensuring that resources are targeted towards the most marginalised children in areas of greatest need.