When DEIS was first introduced in 2006 and the identification of primary schools for inclusion was based on a survey of school principals using a selection of socio-economic variables. Following the review of DEIS and an extensive consultation process, my Department introduced a new objective, statistics based identification model for assessing schools levels of concentrated disadvantage.
My Department is now in the final stages of a refinement of the DEIS identification model, based on school enrolment data and the latest data available from Census 2016 using the HP Deprivation Index. A detailed analysis of the data has been carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group which contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. The work of this group is at an advanced stage and a consultation process with education stakeholder representatives on the technical aspect and implementation of this model has commenced. It is envisaged that this 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 programme to any further schools.