Tuesday, 7 February 2006
Dáil Eireann Debate
487. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the primary and second level schools in County Westmeath that are classified as disadvantaged; and the additional benefits available to these schools by way of this classification. [3926/06]
488. Mr. P. McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Science the primary and second level schools in County Longford that are classified as disadvantaged; and the additional benefits available to these schools by way of this classification. [3927/06]
Five post-primary and four primary schools in County Westmeath and two post-primary and three primary schools in County Longford are currently designated as disadvantaged under the disadvantaged areas scheme. Under this scheme, schools are in receipt of such supports as additional supplementary capitation, 95% building grant for building projects, additional teaching assistance as well as participation in the home-school-community liaison scheme, etc.
A key element of delivering equality of opportunity in schools, DEIS, the new action plan for educational inclusion is the putting in place of a standardised system for identifying levels of disadvantage in our primary and second level schools for the purposes of qualifying for resources, both human and financial, according to the degree of disadvantaged experienced. This standardised system will replace all of the existing arrangements for targeting schools for participation in initiatives to address disadvantage. A new integrated school support programme will bring together, and build upon, a number of existing interventions for schools and school clusters-communities with a concentrated level of educational disadvantage. Existing schemes and programmes will be integrated into the school support programme on a phased basis over the implementation period. The identification process is being finalised and we anticipate being in a position to issue an invitation to selected schools to participate in the new school support programme shortly.
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