The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD and UK Secretary of State for Education Rt Hon Gavin Williamson, CBE, MP visited Drimnagh Castle Primary School to observe the school’s Summer Provision programme at first-hand.
The Minister and Secretary of State Williamson were welcomed to the school by Principal Eugene Duffy and Shane Briody, overseer of the Summer Provision programme in the school. on Wednesday 14 July.
Drimnagh Castle Primary School is running the school based inclusion programme for a period of three weeks, benefitting up to 36 children in the school.
Minister Foley said: “I am delighted to see the 2021 Summer Provision programme in action and witness the benefits the children are getting from these programmes.
“Under this year’s expanded programme, more students than ever before have access to the summer programme and supports. We have also committed additional funding to this year’s programme with €40 million available, a one hundred per cent increase on the allocation for summer provision in 2020.
“So far we are seeing a big increase in the numbers benefitting from school-based programmes in 2021 and I would like to thank all those who have been involved in getting these programmes up and running and also ensuring that students have access to all the resources and supports necessary.
“It was an enormously proud occasion for me to be able to showcase our schools’ innovative, creative and exciting approach to Summer Provision to Secretary of State Williamson.”
For the first time ever, all schools (primary and-post primary) are encouraged to provide summer programmes and the eligibility criteria have been extended to include post-primary children with complex needs and children at risk of educational disadvantage. Prior to this expansion summer programmes were only available to special schools and pupils in special classes in primary schools and in DEIS schools.
Enhanced measures have been put in place to encourage participation of schools in this process, including reducing the administrative process, provision of funding to schools towards preparation and overseeing of the programmes, earlier payment of school staff and provision to recruit final year student teachers graduating this summer. In particular, the Department has put in place procedures to issue prompt payments for staff undertaking summer provision and as claims are received they will be processed and paid as quickly as possible.