Over 100 disadvantaged schools to receive more support

A Book Rental Scheme is to become mandatory

Over 100 disadvantaged schools to receive more support

Education Minister Richard Bruton speaks to the Media at the Department of Education, as he announced new plans to accelerate the provision of multi-denominational schools | Image: RollingNews.ie

A new plan for DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) schools will see more funding provided to those in disadvantaged areas.

The Education Minister Richard Bruton will launch the 2017 document for tackling educational disadvantage.

"Every child has to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances", his department says in a statement.

"Education has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage.

"Our overall goal is to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe within a decade."

The new plan sets out new targets to further improve literacy and numeracy, improve school completion rates, and to improve progression to further and higher education.

It is identifying more than 100 actions in support of tackling educational disadvantage with approximately 110 schools to receive additional supports. This will see some 20,000 pupils benefiting.

Those actions are to include:

  • A new model of identifying schools in a fair and objective way to deliver additional resources
  • The operation of a Book Rental Scheme, will become a mandatory requirement for schools participating in the School Support Programme by September 2017
  • A series of pilot schemes will aim is to encourage innovation and creativity in schools and the development of these initiatives will be supported by a School Excellence Fund
  • Target supports for school leaders and teachers to equip them to support children
  • Give all post-primary schools participating in the School Support Programme access to a dedicated career guidance counsellor
  • Improve the transition for children from pre-schools to primary schools in communities
  • Schools will set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time specific targets - including targets for literacy and numeracy, CPD and leadership and to evaluate these annually

Minister Bruton said: "Education has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage. The basic aim of this Government is to sustain our economic progress and use it to build a fair and compassionate society. No area is more important to this vision than education.

"We are lucky in Ireland to have such a dedicated and committed teaching profession. Our teachers and schools leaders will continue to play a pivotal role in helping children to achieve their potential.

"We have to support our teachers and schools leaders, through up-skilling, mentoring and coaching, so they can plan, deploy and to support."

The new DEIS school support programme will be implemented from September 2017, with ongoing work with education partners and other stakeholders to ensure successful delivery.

A list of schools which will receive additional benefits is being finalised and will be published shortly, the department says.