Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Ceisteanna (107)

Joan Collins

Ceist:

107. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason a school (details supplied) was not allocated DEIS 1 status; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10332/18]

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 methodology adopted to assess levels of disadvantage in schools is based on centrally held data with a uniform application across the entire school system to assess levels of disadvantage in Primary and Post-Primary schools. A detailed document explaining the methodology used in the Identification process is available on the Department’s website at https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/DEIS-Identification-Process.pdf

The initial application of the model assessed all schools and found that most schools had pupils from disadvantaged areas but that the concentration of disadvantage varied significantly. It is important to note that the Department's assessment is not based on the location of the school but on the CSO small areas statistics from which a school derives its pupil cohort. Accordingly, the demographics of neighboring schools can differ in terms of assessed levels of need which are based on the pupil cohort within each school.

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 CSO Small Area Population statistics derived from the 2016 National Census. It is envisaged that this process will be completed by the end of Quarter 1 this year.

Should this exercise reveal that any school, including the school referred to by the Deputy, 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.