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Written Answers - Disadvantaged Status

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 214.  Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith  asked the Minister for Education and Skills Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn  if he will consider a review of schools concerning DEIS status and the mechanisms he has in place for schools to qualify for DEIS; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23830/12]

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Ruairí Quinn): Information on Ruairí Quinn Zoom on Ruairí Quinn A key priority for my Department is to prioritise and target resources in schools with the most concentrated levels of educational disadvantage. That challenge is significant, given the current economic climate and the target to reduce public expenditure. This limits the capacity for any additionality in the DEIS programme. In this context, I have no immediate plans to undertake the type of review to which the Deputy refers.

The process of identifying primary and second-level schools for participation in DEIS was managed by the Educational Research Centre (ERC) on behalf of my Department and supported by quality assurance work co-ordinated through the Department’s regional offices and the Inspectorate in 2005.

Furthermore a review mechanism was put in place in 2005 to address the concerns of those schools that did not qualify for inclusion in the School Support Programme under DEIS but regarded themselves as having a level of disadvantage which is of a scale sufficient to warrant their inclusion in the programme.

A Report on the First Phase of the Evaluation of DEIS was published by the Education Research Centre, on behalf of my Department, in January 2012. In addition, a national composite report on the effectiveness of DEIS planning in primary and post-primary schools was also published by the Inspectorate of my Department in January 2012. These evaluations demonstrated positive outcomes for both schools and children participating in the DEIS programme.


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