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Disadvantaged Status

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 12 May 2022

Thursday, 12 May 2022

Ceisteanna (92)

Jennifer Murnane O'Connor

Ceist:

92. Deputy Jennifer Murnane O'Connor asked the Minister for Education the status of the roll-out of the expansion of delivering equality of opportunity in schools, DEIS, as committed to in Budget 2022 particularly in view of recent new allocations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23545/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools is the main policy initiative of my Department to address educational disadvantage at school level. In the 2021/22 academic year there are 884 schools in the DEIS Programme - 687 Primary and 197 Post Primary, serving over 180,000 pupils. This represents approximately 20% of the overall school population.

On the 9th March, I announced the expansion of the DEIS programme. This will see the programme extended to an additional 310 schools. In addition, 37 existing primary DEIS schools are being reclassified and eligible for increased supports. These schools were identified as having the highest levels of educational disadvantage. This now means that in the 2022/23 academic year there will be 1,194 schools in the DEIS Programme and it will support some 240,000 students or nearly 1 in 4 students will be supported in the programme.

My Department will work with the schools that will benefit from the programme to support them to make the transition. Information sessions will be held for schools in the coming weeks on the DEIS programme, what supports will be available to schools and to support them in planning for improvement.

My Department is committed to ensuring that all schools are treated equally and fairly in the manner in which they have been identified for inclusion in the DEIS programme. Schools who were not satisfied with the outcome following the application of the DEIS identification model to their school enrolment data have been provided with the opportunity to make an appeal.

Circular 0019/2022 outlining the details of this appeals process was published on the 30th March by my Department and is available at www.gov.ie/en/circular/7e7ca-deis-identification-2022-appeals-process-for-schools/. Schools had until 5pm on Friday April 29th to submit an appeal. It is my Department’s intention to provide schools with the outcome of their appeal in the coming weeks to allow time for schools to plan for the 2022/23 school year.

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