Minister for Education Norma Foley today announced a major expansion of the DEIS – Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools programme that will see the programme extended to an additional 310 schools.
For the first time since 2017, the DEIS programme is being significantly expanded and eligible schools will now gain access to targeted supports to address educational disadvantages. In addition, 37 existing DEIS schools are being reclassified and eligible for increased support.
Currently, 884 schools and over 180,000 students benefit from the DEIS programme. As a result of this announcement from September 2022, this will increase to 1,194 schools and over 240,000 students.
Schools in the DEIS programme avail of a range of targeted supports aimed at tackling educational disadvantage, including additional classroom teaching posts, home school community liaison coordinator posts, DEIS grant funding and access to the School Completion Programme.
Schools have been identified for inclusion in the programme through the refined DEIS identification model which is an objective, statistics-based model which uses information from the Department of Education enrolment databases and the Pobal HP Deprivation index. Schools were not required to apply for inclusion in the DEIS programme and the model has been applied fairly and equally to all schools.
Minister Foley said, “I am delighted to announce today the largest-ever single investment in the DEIS programme and the addition of 310 new schools. The DEIS programme is an internationally recognised, proven programme that provides targeted resources to schools with the highest levels of concentrated educational disadvantage to support their students to have an equal opportunity to achieve their potential in education. This investment will provide for in the region of 160 additional primary teaching posts, approximately 100 additional home school community liaison posts, additional guidance and leadership posts as well as DEIS grants and enhanced book grant funding.
The Department of Education 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. Materials are in development to inform parents and students of the benefits of inclusion in the DEIS programme.
From September 2022, these schools will access all supports under the programme to match their respective band. Schools are assigned to the DEIS bands based on the location of the school and their level of concentrated educational disadvantage.