McConalogue confirms announcement of major expansion of the DEIS programme including 32 new schools in County Donegal

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Donegal TD, Charlie McConalogue, welcomed the announcement by his colleague Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today of a major expansion of the DEIS – Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools – programme that will see the programme extended to an additional 32 (six post-primary and 26 primary) schools in Donegal. 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 disadvantage.

Currently nationwide 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.

Commenting on the announcement, Minister McConalogue said “The DEIS programme is crucially important to many schools and many communities right throughout Donegal. It is essential that there is equity in opportunity in our education system and the DEIS programme helps to deliver that for Donegal students. I welcome the enhancement of the scheme and the addition of 32 new Donegal schools in the programme and I thank the school communities for all their hard work and Minister Foley for making this expansion happen.”

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.

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.

The full list of schools that will be joining the DEIS programme in Donegal from September 2022 is attached.