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Home School Community Liaison Scheme

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 March 2021

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Questions (139)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

139. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Education if she will allocate a dedicated home school community liaison coordinator to a school (details supplied). [12307/21]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

I understand from my officials that the school in question has the services of a Home School Community Liaison Coordinator (HSCL) post shared with another school.

Work by my Department on the refinement of the new DEIS identification model is nearing completion. A detailed analysis of school enrolment data and the latest data available from Census 2016, using the HP Deprivation Index, was carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group. This group contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. This group commenced a consultation process with education stakeholder representatives on the technical aspects and implementation of the model and are concluding work on some final elements of the model. It is envisaged that this will then provide the basis for development of a DEIS resource allocation system to match resources to identified need. Until this work is complete, I do not envisage that there will be any changes to the HSCL allocation to DEIS schools.

However, in light of the need to support students who have missed on learning opportunities as a result of Covid-19 school closures, it is vital that DEIS schools catering for those students from poorer socio-economic backgrounds receive continued support. Hence I have targeted the funding available where it can best support those in need.

As part of the Budget 2021 measures to tackle educational disadvantage, on 1st March 2021 I announced a one-point reduction in the staffing schedule to reduce class-size in all DEIS Urban Band 1 primary schools. Additionally to support attendance and participation of vulnerable learners and those at risk of education disadvantage in DEIS schools, I provided a 5% increase in funding for the School Completion Programme.

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