I propose to take Questions Nos. 108 and 109 together.
Under Budget 2021 I have announced a general reduction in the mainstream staffing schedule to 25:1. While there has been a reduction in mainstream class size in recent years, there has not been a corresponding reduction for those Urban Band 1 DEIS schools who are already allocated a preferential staffing schedule of 20:1 for schools catering for junior classes only and 24:1 for schools catering for senior classes only. Most DEIS Urban Band 1 schools operate vertical schools with a ratio of 22:1.
As an initial step in addressing this, I have focused on a reduction in the Senior DEIS Urban Band 1 primary schools and therefore there will be a one point reduction in their staffing schedule from 24:1 to 23:1. The reason for this is due to the fact that the differential has narrowed further following the announcement of an overall reduction in the mainstream staffing schedule to 25:1.
The total Budget allocation of additional funding of €2milion in 2021, with a full year allocation of €5million in 2022 provides for further supports to be allocated as part of the DEIS programme to those schools catering for the highest concentrations of educational disadvantage. My Department continues to support those schools most in need and I intend to engage with the relevant stakeholders as to how best to achieve this.