Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (501)

Róisín Shortall


501. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education and Skills if his attention has been drawn to the challenges faced by principals in large second-level DEIS schools as a result of the high level of social problems facing students in such schools; if he will consider enhancing the leadership staffing levels as requested by organisations (details supplied) to extend the additional deputy principal provision to all DEIS schools over 500 from 2019-2020 in view of the fact that DEIS schools between 600 and 699 students receive such provision immediately and that DEIS schools be prioritised in the allocation of outstanding posts of responsibility from 2019-2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36763/19]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department’s overall annual spend on the DEIS Programme is approximately €125 million. Additional funding is provided by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for the School Meals Programme and by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for the School Completion Programme.  As the Deputy may be aware, my Department is currently undertaking data analysis with the ultimate aim of facilitating the matching of resources to identified need and to allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need.

A list of the various supports and resources available to DEIS schools is available on my Department's website at the following link:

The Centre for School Leadership, established in 2015, is charged with the development of a coherent continuum of professional development supports for school leaders. The Centre gives priority to leaders from DEIS schools who apply for the various programmes offered by the Centre including the Excellence through Collaborative Leadership and Management Clustering Initiative and the Principal Coaching Service.

I am aware of the request raised by the organisations referred to by the Deputy. The circulars on leadership and management in both primary and post schools for the 2019/20 school year are currently being finalised and will be available on my Department's website in due course.  My Department has committed to revising the Posts of Responsibility table in the leadership and management circulars to take into account retirements during the school year.  This ensures that the current level of Posts of Responsibilities are maintained in the school system. The extension of an additional deputy principal in large DEIS schools will be considered as part of my Department's overall Budget process.