The status of the new build for the school referred to by the Deputy is at an advanced stage of Architectural Planning (Stage 2(b) - Detailed Design), which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents.
The design team is currently working on the Stage 2(b) Report which on completion will be submitted to my Department for review. In completing the Stage 2(b) Report the Design Team is required to upgrade the current design to ensure that the new school building is a Near Zero Energy Building (NZEB) in compliance with the 2017 amendment to Part L of the current Building Regulations.
Upon receipt and review of the Stage 2(b) Report my Department will revert to the school with regard to the further progression of this project at that time.
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.
My Department is currently undertaking data analysis in the context of resource allocation to match identified need, including the examination of variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage. All schools, Primary and Post Primary, are being considered using the new identification model. However, until this analysis is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.