Thursday, 8 October 2020

Ceisteanna (200)

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

200. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Education the supports provided by her Department to support homework clubs for children at a particular disadvantage. [29428/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

My Department provides a number of policies and programmes which are supportive of homework clubs for children at a particular disadvantage.

My Department administers the Delivering Equality of Opportunity (DEIS) scheme which provides additional support to schools catering for high numbers of pupils from a disadvantaged background.

The School Completion Programme (SCP) is a key support under DEIS and is one of three strands of Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) which also includes the Home School Community Liaison Scheme and the statutory Educational Welfare Service.

SCP work focuses on targeting and providing supports to young people identified to be most at risk of early school leaving and includes:

- Identifying and supporting children at risk of not reaching their potential in the educational system because of poor attendance, participation and retention via initiatives such as breakfast clubs, homework clubs, afterschool supports, mentoring programmes and therapeutic interventions

- Ensuring that schools have in place the appropriate procedures to monitor, identify and respond to attendance, participation and retention issues.

There are 122 SCP projects covering 467 primary and 222 post-primary schools. Annual programme funding is €24.7m.

My Department also encourages schools to facilitate the opening of after-school facilities, wherever possible, for activities such as homework clubs. Decisions on the use of school facilities lies with the relevant school authority in consultation with the property owner.

Guidelines on the use of school property outside of school hours is available on my Department's website at:

https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/guidelines-on-the-use-of-school-buildings-outside-of-school-hours.pdf