Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Areas Scheme.

Tony Gregory

Ceist:

395 Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Education the reason national schools in the south inner city area of Dublin 8, which is a most disadvantaged area, have not been included in several special educational schemes to the same degree as other equally disadvantaged areas of Dublin. [16282/96]

Traditionally, schools have been selected for support in the disadvantaged areas scheme by reference to a range of socio-economic criteria which were agreed some years ago between my Department, school management authorities and the INTO. Based on these criteria, 16 of the primary schools in the area referred to by the Deputy are included in the disadvantaged areas scheme. In addition, 14 of these schools have the services of a home-school-community liaison co-ordinator and two of the schools have early start classes. Also, 15 of the schools have the services of a remedial teacher.

Arising from studies carried out by the Combat Poverty Agency and the Education Research Centre, I recently launched an important new initiative which seeks to break the cycle of educational disadvantage in selected urban and rural areas.

All of the schools which fell within the scope of the new initiative were invited by the Education Research Centre to apply for inclusion in the scheme. Schools have been selected for support under "Breaking the Cycle" initiative by reference to new selection criteria, developed by the Education Research Centre, and based on the data submitted by the schools.

I recently announced the names of the 25 schools which have been selected for inclusion in the urban phase of the initiative. I also announced the names of a further eight associated schools which serve the same general populations and have been included to ensure consistency and continuity of support for the families in question.
Three of the primary schools located in the area referred to by the Deputy have been included in the urban phase of this initiative on the basis of the newly revised criteria.