Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Ceisteanna (413)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

413. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the provision of a new school completion strategy. [41137/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

In recognition of the need for a strong policy platform for educational welfare services, including the School Completion Programme, my Department established a Task Group in late 2018 to support the further development and integration of these services. The work of this group has produced a draft Blueprint for the Development of Education and Welfare Services, which is now in the final phase of consultation. This policy document provides a clear blueprint for the development of the School Completion Programme, along with the other strands of the EWS, so that its reach, resources and impact are maximised in supporting young people at risk of early school leaving. The development of the SCP will ensure that the programme governance and practice will be strengthened into the future.

The implementation of this Blueprint will represent a comprehensive and coordinated approach to the strategic development of all our efforts and initiatives which support school engagement, retention and completion.

In parallel to this key development, it should be noted that the Department of Education and Skills is currently carrying out a review of Out of School and Second Chance Education Provision which are funded directly by that Department. My officials are represented on the steering group for this review and are working closely to strengthen in-school, out-of-school and alternative education supports in and across our respective policy areas.

I expect to introduce and implement the Blueprint for the Development of Educational Welfare Services in the coming months as I am eager to ensure greater policy direction is provided to this critical area for our children and young people who may be at risk of early school leaving.