13 February, 2017 - Minister Bruton Publishes Plan to Tackle Educational Disadvantage

108 Actions to Help Everyone Achieve Their Potential 

Approximately 110 Schools to Receive Additional Supports; some 20,000 Pupils to Benefit  

The Minister for Education & Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton, TD, today launched the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) Plan 2017, his plan to tackle educational disadvantage.

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.

Our overall goal is to make Ireland’s education and training system the best in Europe within a decade. Today’s Plan is about being the best at using the potential of the education system to break down those cycles of disadvantage through improved educational outcomes.

The 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.

Minister Bruton today visited Our Lady Immaculate Junior National School in Darndale, a primary school in north Dublin, to lay out his plans to improve opportunities for children from disadvantaged areas.  

A list of schools which will receive additional benefits is available here - DEIS Schools List.

ENDS

Notes to Editor

DEIS Action Plan 2017 is available at:

DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) Plan 2017

Plean DEIS (Comhionannas Deiseanna a Sholáthar i Scoileanna) 2017

DEIS Action Plan 2017

Our goals Under this Plan

In order to achieve the targets we have set, and building on the five key goals set out in the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019, the Key Goals we have set ourselves in this DEIS Plan are:

1.   To implement more robust and responsive assesment framework for identification of schools and effective resource allocation

2.   To improve the learning experience and outcomes of pupils in DEIS schools

3.   To improve the capacity of school leaders and teachers to engage, plan and deploy resources to their best advantage

4.   To support and foster best practice in schools through inter-agency collaboration

5.   To support the work of schools by providing the research, information, evaluation and feedback to achieve the goals of the plan

The DEIS Plan, which replaces the current Action Plan launched in 2005, sets out our vision for future intervention in the critical area of social inclusion in education policy.

A key element of the Plan is the development and application of a more responsive and flexible method of identifying schools for inclusion in the SSP which relies on centrally held DES and CSO data.  The new model will allow for an accurate identification of schools in terms of the socio-economic background of their pupil cohort, and the achievement of a better match between resources and educational need. This new process will also eliminate the need for an application process thereby reducing the administrative burden on schools.

Another important element is the introduction of a series of pilot projects aimed at introducing measures shown to work well in improving results for disadvantaged students. The aim is to encourage innovation and creativity in schools and the development of these initiatives will be supported by a School Excellence Fund. Targeted measures to be included are School Leadership, School networking/clustering, teaching methodologies, integration of all supports within communities, greater use of HSCL services.

Inter-agency collaboration and working will be key to the success of this Plan and it contains a number of key actions to ensure that this happens.

This Plan is the outcome of a comprehensive review of the current DEIS Programme, best international practice, and input from Government Departments and Agencies, education partners and other stakeholders, including students. 

Schools to be Included:

Approximately 110 schools will receive additional supports. Details of the schools which will receive extra supports is being finalised and will be announced shortly.

Our Vision

For Education to more fully become a proven pathway to better opportunities for those in communities at risk of disadvantage and social exclusion.

Our Ambition

To become the best in Europe at harnessing education to break down barriers and stem the cycle of inter-generational disadvantage by equipping learners to participate, succeed and contribute effectively to society in a changing world.

Our Targets

To realise our vision we have devised an ambitious set of targets.

MeasureTarget

DEIS literacy rates[1]

[Relevant indicators: National Assessments of English Reading and Mathematics (NAERM); Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)]

Increase the percentage of pupils in Second and Sixth class in DEIS Band 1 schools performing at Level 3 or higher in reading literacy from 18% and 21% to 25% and 27% respectively by 2020

Increase the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or above Level 4 in reading literacy from 28% to above 33% by 2020

Increase the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or above Level 5 in reading literacy from 7% to above 10% by 2021

Reduce the percentage of pupils in Second and Sixth class in DEIS Band 1 schools performing at or below Level 1 in reading literacy from 44% and 47% respectively to 40% by 2020

Reduce the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or below Level 1 in reading literacy from 16% to below 12% by 2020

DEIS numeracy rates[2]

Increase the percentage of pupils in Second and Sixth class in DEIS Band 1 schools performing at Level 3 or higher in mathematics from 21% and 19% to 30% and 27% respectively by 2020

Increase the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or above Level 4 in mathematics from 23% to above 29% by 2020

Increase the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or above Level 5 in mathematics from 6% to above 10% by 2020

Reduce the percentage of pupils in Second and Sixth class in DEIS Band 1 schools performing at or below Level 1 in mathematics from 52% and 50% to 45% and 42% respectively by 2020

Reduce the percentage of 15 year old students in DEIS schools performing at or below Level 1 in mathematics from 22% to below 16% by 2020

DEIS Pupil Retention RatesContinue to improve retention rates at second-level in DEIS schools, from their current rate of 82.7% to the national norm, currently 90.2%, by 2025
Student Wellbeing

Extend the Incredible Years Teacher Programme in DEIS Primary Schools to increase reach from c. 20,000 learners in 130 schools to 104,000 learners in 646 schools by 2019

Extend Friends Programme in DEIS Schools to increase reach from c. 25,000 learners in 275 schools to 172,000 learners in 831 schools by 2019

Progression to Further and Higher Education

Increase the percentage of people from the non-manual worker group in Higher Education to 30% by 2019

Increase the percentage of people from the semi/unskilled manual worker group in higher education by to 35% by 2019

Increase the percentage of first-time mature students in Higher Education to 16% in the case of full-time mature students and 24% in the case of full and part-time/flexible mature students by 2019

Increase the percentage of students studying on a part-time/flexible basis in Higher Education to 22% by 2019

Increase the percentage of new entrants to higher education whose basis for admission to Higher Education is a Further Education qualification to 10% by 2019

Increase the number of Irish travellers in Higher Education to 80 by 2019

Teacher education

Increase access by students from target groups to initial teacher education by 2018

Enhance teacher education and professional development programmes to support the raising of expectations among students in relation to their higher education potential

Parental EngagementImprove the level of parental engagement in their school communities through better school planning and Tusla service planning
Community linksImprove linkages that help students engage in community activities through better school planning and improved engagement with Local Community Development Committees, and Children and Young People’s Services Committees

These targets are set based on available metrics but we aim to continue to refine our capacity to measure programmes with new indicators.

[1] Target developed as part of the Interim Review of the National Strategy on Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life 2011-2020.

[2] Target developed as part of the Interim Review of the National Strategy on Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life 2011-2020.

 

What Being the Best in Europe Means:

  • Delivering a learning experience to highest international standards
  • Harnessing education to break down barriers for groups at risk of exclusion and setting the benchmark for social inclusion
  • Equipping learners of all ages and capacities to participate and succeed in a changing world
  • Leading in innovation and a broad range of endeavours, scientific, cultural, enterprise and public service
  • Fostering strong relationships between enterprise and education and building strong bridges with the wider community

ENDS

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