As the Deputy is aware following the review of DEIS, my Department introduced an objective, statistics based model for assessing which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS Programme. As a first step, 79 new schools were brought into the DEIS programme in 2017 with a further 30 being upgraded from Band 2 to Band 1 status. These schools were assessed as having the highest levels of concentrated disadvantage. All schools at both Primary and Post Primary are currently being assessed using the new identification model.
My Department is currently undertaking data analysis in the context of resource allocation to match identified need, including the examination of variables known to be strong predictors of educational disadvantage. This analysis is being carried out by members of the DEIS Technical Group which contains representatives of the Department’s Statistics and Social Inclusion Units, the Inspectorate and the Educational Research Centre. The work of this group is at an advanced stage and a consultation process with the relevant stakeholders will follow.
I am confident that the culmination of this analysis will facilitate the ultimate aim of matching resources to identified need and will allow us to target extra resources at those schools most in need.