Thursday, 1 February 2018

Ceisteanna (104)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

104. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Education and Skills the status of a DEIS application by a school (details supplied) in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5003/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

We have, for the first time, introduced an objective, statistics based model for deciding which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS programme, so that all stakeholders can have confidence that we are targeting extra resources at those schools with the highest concentrated levels of disadvantage.

The key data sources used in the DEIS identification process are the DES primary online database, POD, and post-primary online database, PPOD, and CSO data from the National Census of Population as represented in the Pobal HP index for small areas which is a method of measuring the relative affluence or disadvantage of a particular geographical area. Variables used in the compilation of the HP index include those related to demographic growth, dependency ratios, education levels, single parent rate, overcrowding, social class, occupation and unemployment rates. This data is combined with pupil data, anonymised and aggregated to small area, to provide information on the relative level of concentrated disadvantage present in the pupil cohort of individual schools.

A detailed document explaining the methodology used in the Identification process is available on the Department’s website at

www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Identification-Process.pdf.

Just to be clear, schools are not required to make an application for DEIS as all schools are assessed using the new uniform identification model.

It is important to note that schools included in DEIS with effect from September 2017 are those whose level of disadvantage has been identified as those schools serving the highest concentrations of disadvantage among their pupil cohort. Schools which have not been included at this stage are those which have not been identified as having the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage amongst their pupil cohort, under the new identification model.

It is also important to note that this is the first step in a process and the fact that a school has not been included now does not preclude its inclusion at a later date, should the assessment indicate a level of disadvantage that warrants additional supports.

An update of the identification model is currently underway. This will take account of updated school data as provided by schools for the current school year combined with the Pobal HP index of deprivation, based on small area population statistics derived from the 2016 National Census. It is envisaged that this process will be completed by the end of March this year.

Should this exercise reveal that any school, which did not qualify for DEIS in 2017, meets the criteria applicable to schools with the highest concentration of disadvantage based on the updated information then additional schools may be included subject to available resources.