Ryan calls for DEIS school capacity review

11 February 2015

Brendan Ryan TD, has called for a review of the classification for schools with a view to expanding the DEIS scheme. The DEIS scheme provides additional supports for schools with above average levels of economic hardship and deprivation.

Deputy Ryan commented: “Unfortunately we are not able to deliver the opportunity for a child to reach his or her full potential at this time as currently there is no capacity to expand the DEIS programme. The economic climate of the past few years impacted on the DEIS scheme and caused it to remain largely static. DEIS schools deliver results in terms of improved attendance, retention, progression and examination attainment. As we saw last week, completion rates in disadvantaged areas rose by 14 points in seven years to 82%. In recent weeks we saw reports detailing improvements in vocabulary, comprehension, algebra and data analysis. More needs to be done but with DEIS, we have a framework to assist and achieve progress.

“I was encouraged by Minister Jan O’Sullivan’s response to my Topical issue debate today, in which she agreed that now was the time to begin the re-examination of the capacity within the Department of Education to deliver further DEIS supports to schools. She did say she was awaiting data from the ESRI and that we are at the very early stages of any progress but I am encouraged that Minister O’Sullivan wants to ensure that as the economy recovers, the most disadvantaged in our education system will not be left behind.

“There are eight DEIS schools in North County Dublin and I believe that should a reclassification take place of the DEIS scheme further schools in the North County should qualify. In the Dáil today I asked the Minister to consider different criteria than was used in 2005 when the scheme first began. I said that criteria such as the prevalence of families in receipt of Rent Supplement for example should be included. The top priority is to ensure that the disadvantaged are identified and adequately resourced in terms of education as we move into real recovery."