Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Ceisteanna (79, 80)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

79. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter regarding a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5789/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

80. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Education and Skills his views on a matter regarding a school (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5788/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 79 and 80 together.

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has introduced an objective, statistics based model for assessing 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 levels of concentrated disadvantage.

The calculation of the level of disadvantage in each school is based on the socio-economic background of their pupil cohort using centrally held data as previously outlined and is not based on the location of the school but on the geographical CSO Small Areas where the pupil cohort resides.

A detailed document explaining the methodology used in the Identification process under DEIS plan 2017 is available on my Department’s website at

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

Some schools, including the one referred to by the Deputy, availed of a verification process which was provided for under DEIS Plan 2017. The verification process involved checking the school’s data as used in the Identification process, in terms of the quality and accuracy of the data supplied and the match rate to CSO small area. This process confirmed no change in the level of disadvantage identified for this school and correspondence was issued in September 2017 notifying them of the outcome.

DEIS Plan 2017 states that the improved data on the socio-demographic of schools resulting from the new identification model will have an impact not only on the assessment of schools for inclusion in the programme but also on the scaling of resources to allow for more graduated levels of support. This is turn allows for the ultimate objective of allocating resources to best meet the identified need of individual schools.

In order to achieve this, the current identification model needs to be as accurate as possible and this requires the use of Eircode to ensure correct inputting of addresses. Further analysis is also required to examine other variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage in the context of resource allocation.

Therefore, in order to ensure the quality of the address data and conduct further analysis it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools until this work is complete.