Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (29)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Question:

29. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the school completion programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22243/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Children)

I am very conscious that the School Completion Programme (SCP) continues to deliver a valuable service for some of our most vulnerable young people. Currently, the SCP receives annual funding of 24.7million.

My Department works with the Educational Welfare Service (EWS) to ensure that necessary resources are available to support this programme and to ensure staffing levels are sufficient to deliver a high quality service for those young people most at risk of early school leaving. However a number of long term complex issues continue to exist in relation to both the governance and the staffing of the programme.

In this regard and in recognition of the need for a strong policy platform for educational welfare services, including the SCP, I requested my officials establish a Task Group to support the further development and integration of these services. The work of this group is near completion and I am eager to ensure that output will result in a clear blueprint for the development of the three strands of the EWS, including the SCP.

A consultation event on the blueprint will be held on June 10th where those working with vulnerable young people as part of the EWS will have an opportunity to express their views and help shape the policy blueprint prior to its publication.

As part of the implementation of the actions contained in the blueprint I have requested that a new SCP scheme be scoped out and developed to ensure that its reach, resources and impact are maximised in supporting young people and I will also continue to examine options in relation to the employment status of SCP Coordinators and Project workers.