Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Questions (170)

Catherine Martin


170. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Education and Skills the consideration that has been given to expanding the entitlement of a home school liaison officer to schools which are disadvantaged but have not yet been designated DEIS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10535/20]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme is a school-based intervention provided to DEIS schools to address the needs of all pupils/families at risk of educational disadvantage through acknowledging and developing the role of the parent as prime educator.

Currently, all DEIS Urban Primary and DEIS Post Primary schools are included in the Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme. The scheme is delivered by 415 full-time HSCL Coordinators who are teachers in these schools and assigned to HSCL duties either in individual schools or clusters of schools, catering for approximately 160,000 pupils. 

In addition, and responding to specific actions in the National Traveller and Roma Inclusion Strategy  (NTRIS) and DEIS Plan 2017,  my Department has committed to the assignment of 4 HSCLs,  as part of a 2 Year Pilot Programme which commenced in the 2019/20 school year in 4 areas to target attendance, participation and retention/school completion for Traveller and Roma pupils.

My Department is in the final stages of refinement of the DEIS identification model, based on school enrolment data and the latest data available from Census 2016 using the HP Deprivation Index.

This work is at an advanced stage and the initial phase of the consultation process with education stakeholder representatives on the technical aspects of the refined DEIS ID model has commenced. It is envisaged that this model will then provide the basis for development of a DEIS resource allocation system to match resources to identified need.

I am confident that the culmination of this work will facilitate the ultimate aim of matching resources to identified need and will allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need. Until this work is complete, it is not intended to extend the DEIS scheme to any additional schools.