Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Ceisteanna (54)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

54. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will consider re-opening applications for schools to apply for DEIS band 2; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47491/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

In the 2019/20 school year there are 891 schools in the DEIS Programme serving 185,000 pupils. This represents approx. 20% of the overall school population.  (691 primary (231 Urban Band 1; 104 Urban Band 2; 358 Rural) and 198 post primary. My Department will spend in the region of €125 million in 2019 on the DEIS programme. 

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has introduced an objective, statistics based model, for assessing which schools merit inclusion in the DEIS programme . This model does not require schools to apply for inclusion.

All schools at both Primary and Post Primary level are being assessed using this new methodology based on their enrolments from 2018/19 and the latest data available from Census 2016 under the HP Deprivation Index.  The accuracy of address data is vital to this process and an Eircode lookup function was added to the Primary and Post Primary Online Databases earlier this year to facilitate this.

Following a detailed analysis of the quality of the address data, my Department is now in the final stages of further data analysis on the new identification model to allow for the development of a resource allocation model to match resources to identified need.  The work 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. 

Until this analysis is complete it is not intended to extend the DEIS programme to any further schools.