DEIS: Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools

DEIS Plan 2017

The DEIS Plan 2017 sets out the Department’s vision for education to more fully become a proven pathway to better opportunities for those in communities at risk of disadvantage and social exclusion. 

The Plan is based on the recent Review of the DEIS Programme (see Review Report attached below) and commitments in the Programme for a Partnership Government and the Action Plan for Education.

The Plan presents an ambitious set of objectives and actions to support children who are at greatest risk of Educational disadvantage and introduces the actions required to support them based on 5 key goals;

  1. To implement a more robust and responsive Assessment 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

Related Documents

Any queries in relation to these documents, or the operation of the DEIS programme generally should be addressed to


Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) the Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, was launched in May 2005. The DEIS Plan 2017, which replaced this, sets out our vision for future intervention in the critical area of social inclusion in education policy and remains the Department of Education and Skills policy instrument to address educational disadvantage. The action plan focuses on addressing and prioritising the educational needs of children and young people from disadvantaged communities, from pre-school through second-level education (3 to 18 years).

887 schools are included in the programme in the 2020/21 school year. These compromise 689 primary schools (333 urban and 356 rural) and 198 post primary schools.

DEIS Review Process

Resources for DEIS Schools