Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Questions (179)

Michael Harty


179. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Education and Skills if the criteria for reclassification of DEIS schools are being reviewed; when the work will be completed and the results published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17338/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has introduced an objective, statistics based model for assessing which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS Programme, so that all stakeholders can have confidence that we are targeting extra resources at those schools with the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage. This new model involves a calculation of the level of disadvantage in each school, based on the socio-economic background of their pupil cohort using centrally held data as previously outlined and is based on the geographical CSO Small Areas where the pupil cohort resides.

A detailed document explaining the methodology used in the Identification process under DEIS plan 2017 is available on my Department’s website at: https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Identification-Process.pdf.

DEIS Plan 2017 states that the improved data on the socio-demographic of schools resulting from the new identification model will have an impact not only on the assessment of schools for inclusion in the programme but also on the scaling of resources to allow for more graduated levels of support.  This is turn allows for the ultimate objective of allocating resources to best meet the identified need of individual schools.

Further analysis is currently being undertaken to examine other variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage in the context of resource allocation.  An analysis is also underway on the quality of the address data of individual schools.  Until this analysis is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.