It is vital that the DEIS identification model is completed urgently so that funding can be allocated to support more schools address educational disadvantage, a Fine Gael Senator has said.
Aisling Dolan, Fine Gael Seanad’s spokesperson for Education, said: “The Programme for Government contains a commitment to complete the new DEIS identification model, ensuring the extension of Deis status to schools serving the highest numbers of pupils at risk of educational disadvantage.
“Budget 2022 included an €18 million expansion of the Deis scheme, which is expected to rise to €32m the following year.
“The €18 million will allow the Deis model to be completed and I know that extensive work is underway on this, as hundreds of schools could benefit from support under the programme.
“It will also give the relevant schools adequate notice and time to prepare so they can join the programme in September 2022.
“This is the largest increase in funding to the Deis programme since its inception in 2005 and is a testament to the ongoing work and commitment by Government to ensure all children have the support they need to learn and grow in order to reach their full potential.
“This measure will result in an increase of over 20 per cent in funding for the DEIS programme, which provides additional teaching and other support resources to schools, aimed at tackling educational disadvantage.
“There was also an improvement in the staffing schedule for DEIS Urban Band 1 schools, which will bring the total allocation for tackling educational disadvantage in 2023 to €180 million.
“Continuing to deliver on the Commitment in the Programme for Government, funding will be provided for an additional 350 teachers (inclusive of DEIS staffing improvement), to reduce school staffing schedules by 1 point for all primary schools.
“There are currently 884 schools benefitting from the DEIS programme, and we must ensure that no primary school or secondary school which meets the criteria of the scheme is left behind when it comes to getting the support they need.