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.