My Department launched the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) initiative which brought together a range of programmes and supports aimed at tackling educational disadvantage in some 876 schools throughout the country. Through DEIS an additional€40 million was provided bringing the allocation for disadvantage in schools to in excess of €200 million. In light of this additional investment, a decision was taken in Budget 2009 to discontinue the Children at Risk Fund.
The project to which the Deputy refers was among a number of projects evaluated by the Evaluation, Support and Research Unit in conjunction with the Inspectorate of the Regional Directorate of this Department in 2009, to assist in determining future funding arrangements and possible mainstreaming of appropriate projects or models of intervention.
A final allocation of €133,000 was made to this Project in December 2010 to support the project through 2011. A process has commenced to integrate the project with the Kilkenny City School Completion Programme Project. It is expected that the integration of the projects will ensure the efficient delivery of services to children most at risk in Kilkenny. The integration process will also identify any potential overlap or duplication of service.
The School Completion Programme is a major component of DEIS, the Department's Action Plan for Educational Inclusion. The Programme identifies and supports children who are at risk of early school leaving. The supports are provided through 124 local projects and include interventions on school attendance, literacy/numeracy, after school, homework, holiday time supports as well as social and sporting interventions.
The National Coordination Team for the School Completion Programme has commenced work on the integration of both projects and a meeting with the project to which the Deputy has referred refers will be arranged shortly.