DEIS Plan 2017 Aims To Tackle Educational Disadvantage

The Delivery Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Plan 2017 has been launched by the Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton.

The Minister said that the new strategy aims to tackle educational disadvantage.

Announcing the Plan, the Minister said that every child has to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances and that education has a unique capacity to break down the cycles of disadvantage.

The proposed Plan builds on the experiences of existing DEIS schools and draws on international best practice. It sets out new targets to:

• Further improve literacy and numeracy

• Improve school completion rates

• Improve progression to further and higher education

The Plan identifies more than 100 actions in support of tackling educational distanvatgae to ensure that everyone can achieve their potential. Those actions include the following:

• A new model of identifying schools in a fair and objective way to deliver additional resources to benefit approximately 20,000 children and approximately 110 schools

• 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; encouraging innovation through school clustering

• Target supports for School leaders and teachers to equip them to support children to achieve their full potential (e.g professional leadership training, preparation courses for newly appointed principals, mentoring and coaching courses)

• 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, building on the strength of programmes like ABC

• 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

• Establish a DEIS Development Unit within the Department of Education and Skills to support the implementation of new interventions and help broker the necessary resources from the various support agencies

• Appointment of an additional 10 NEPS psychologists to improve supports to DEIS schools

• Education and Training Boards will establish formal outreach arrangements with DEIS schools to encourage access through its existing education pathways

• The Schools Business Partnership will be expanded to cater for new schools included in the School Support Programme

Minister Bruton said: "Every child has to have the opportunity to fulfil their potential, regardless of their circumstances. 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 school leaders will continue to play a pivotal role in helping children to achieve their potential. We have to support our teachers and school leaders, through up-skilling, mentoring and coaching, so they can plan, deploy and to support. 

"Our plan develops best practice so that schools can be identified for extra support in a fair and objective manner. We will pilot new approaches to encourage innovation and better outcomes for children. This can be mainstreamed over time.

"Extra supports, like additional NEPS provision, priority professional development provision and book rental schemes, will be put in place. 

"Our plan provides supports for learners of all ages. I want to see more students continuing into further and higher education. We must develop better pathways for them.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the development of this Plan and look forward to working with and supporting schools to achieve its goals."

"I was very pleased to visit Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School in Darndale today to launch our new plan to tackle educational disadvantage."

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 of its objectives.


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