Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 15 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Educational Disadvantage.
Mr. S. Ryan Mr. S. Ryan
132. Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for Education and Science the amount of extra money that will be spent to address educational disadvantage in 2006; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5746/06]
Ms Hanafin Ms Hanafin
Ms Hanafin: The total provision for educational inclusion programmes in 2006 is more than €640 million across all levels of education, as compared with almost €600 million in 2005. This includes additional funding for the implementation of measures under the DEIS action plan at pre-school, primary and second-level, additional funding of €7 million for further education programmes and a €20 million increase in provision for third level student support schemes.
The DEIS — delivering equality of opportunity in schools- action plan for educational inclusion, addresses the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities, from pre-school to completion of upper second level education, that is, three to 18 years. Its core elements comprise: a standardised system for identifying, and regularly reviewing, levels of disadvantage; a new integrated school support programme, SSP, which will bring together, and build upon, some ten existing educational inclusion measures across pre-school primary and second level education.
The new action plan represents a shift in emphasis away from individual initiatives, each addressing a particular aspect of the problem, with the new plan adopting a multi-faceted and more integrated approach. This is the first time that an integrated educational inclusion strategy has been developed for three to 18 year olds in this country. About 600 primary and 150 second level schools will be included in the new school support programme.
Supports will also continue to be provided for schools where the level of disadvantage is more dispersed. The action plan will be implemented on a phased basis over the next five years, starting in the current school year, and will involve an additional annual investment of some €40 million on full implementation. It will also involve the creation of about 300 additional posts across the education system generally. The identification process is being finalised at present and my Department will shortly be in a position to issue an invitation to selected schools to participate in the new school support programme.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Educational Disadvantage.