06 May, 2020 - Minister McHugh announces early payment of DEIS grants to support students at risk of educational disadvantage

The Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh TD has today (Wednesday 6 May 2020) announced the early payment of the €16million DEIS grant for the 2020/21 school year.

The funding is being paid ahead of schedule to all schools in the DEIS programme to help support students who are most at risk of educational disadvantage during the Covid-19 school closures.

There are 890 schools with more than 180,000 students in the DEIS programme.

The grants, normally paid in June and September, are worth €12m to the 692 primary schools and €4m to the 198 post-primary schools.

Minister McHugh said: “We thought it best to bring forward the date of the payment as another element of our efforts to help support students and schools during this challenging time.

“We have issued the €50m in ICT grants, including the additional fund of €10m which was announced last month, and I hope these DEIS funds will be another timely boost for schools trying to support students at risk of being disadvantaged.”

Minister McHugh added: “Schools will now be able to use this grant funding, if required, to support existing programmes to ensure continuity of learning, particularly for those most at risk.

“It is particularly important for students at risk of educational disadvantage to have regular, ongoing schooling.

“Schools around the country are providing invaluable supports for young people in the most trying of circumstances. These DEIS grants being released early should go some way to help ensure that funding is available to meet some of pupils’ additional needs arising from Covid-19 school closures.”


Notes for Editors

DEIS is the Government’s main policy initiative aimed at tackling educational disadvantage. Its core objective is the aim of education becoming a proven pathway to better opportunities for those in communities at risk of disadvantage and social exclusion. Schools in DEIS have access to a suite of supports, including the DEIS grant, an enhanced book grant, access to Home School Community Liaison Scheme, School Meals Programme, enhanced NEPS provision, access to literacy and numeracy programme, reduced class size in Urban Band 1 schools. 

Full list of supports is available at https://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Policy-Reports/DEIS-Plan-2017.pdf

There are currently 890 schools in DEIS (692 primary and 198 post primary).

Urban Band 1 - 230

Urban Band 2 - 104

Rural - 358

What can the DEIS grant be spent on?

All DEIS schools receive a letter outlining DEIS grant guidelines and the relevant public expenditure guidelines. A key focus is to ensure that DEIS supports, including the DEIS grant, are targeted at those pupils most at risk of educational disadvantage. Schools in the DEIS Programme are required to develop and implement three year improvement plans as a condition of their participation in DEIS. Schools should use the DEIS grant to implement measures to support their targets in the various themes as set out under DEIS Plan. In addition within the context of the school’s DEIS plan, schools are asked to prioritise specific issues which have arisen in the context of Covid 19 school closures.

Themes to be addressed are:

  • Attendance
  • Retention
  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Supporting Educational Transitions
  • Partnership with parents and others
  • Leadership
  • Wellbeing
  • CPD
  • Educational attainment (post primary only)

Further guidelines are available for schools at https://www.education.ie/en/Schools-Colleges/Services/DEIS-Delivering-Equality-of-Opportunity-in-Schools-/deis_funding_guidelines.pdf