I propose to take Questions Nos. 173 to 176, inclusive, together.
My Department’s position, taking into account the current DEIS status of the individual schools, is that on amalgamation, the newly amalgamated school will be granted DEIS Band 1 status.
In terms of future DEIS designation, the amalgamated school will be assessed on the same basis as every other school in the country with resources being allocated accordingly. Any changes in identification methodology applied to DEIS schools nationally will apply to the amalgamated school.
Officials from my Department have been in correspondence with the relevant stakeholders and have met with the person appointed by the Patron to co-ordinate the amalgamation process along with other representatives of the Diocese, to confirm the position in relation to DEIS status.
If for some reason the amalgamation does not proceed, it is important that the schools contact my Department to reverse the process.