Dáil Éireann - Volume 475 - 25 February, 1997
Written Answers. - Disadvantaged Schools.
Éamon Ó Cuív Éamon Ó Cuív
209. Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Education whether any further urban schools will be designated as disadvantaged in 1997; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4986/97]
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach) Niamh Bhreathnach
Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I have no plans at present to extend disadvantaged area status to additional primary or second level schools.
A detailed study of educational disadvantage conducted by the Combat Poverty Agency and the Education Research Centre has recommended that disadvantaged area status be confined to 16 per cent of the school going population. The report noted that the current coverage of the scheme is already in excess of this level.
In line with the findings of this study, I recently launched the breaking the cycle initiative in an effort to target resources on selected urban and rural primary schools which have been identified as being particularly disadvantaged. The urban element of this initiative was focused on schools which already had disadvantaged status and were located in the urban areas of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford. A total of 33 urban schools were selected for a special package of supports under this element of the initiative. The rural element of the initiative was targeted on schools nationwide with fewer than five teachers. A total of 123 schools were selected for a special package of supports under this element of the initiative.
 Each of the selected schools is preparing a five year development plan identifying the measures being taken to combat educational disadvantage in its area over the period of the plan.
The operation and effectiveness of this initiative will be closely monitored over the plan period and the outcome will inform future developments in supports for disadvantaged areas.
Dáil Éireann 475 Written Answers. Disadvantaged Schools.