Educate Together welcomes today’s announcement of increased supports for DEIS schools. Such supports are needed more than ever now, as we know that school closures have particularly negative impacts for children living in or at risk of poverty. Class-size reductions and additional School Completion Programme & deputy principal resourcing will contribute towards tackling educational inequalities and supporting those students with the highest levels of need in schools categorised as disadvantaged under DEIS.
Educate Together is also calling for an extension of DEIS supports to disadvantaged students who cannot currently access them. There are many thousands of students in need of DEIS-type supports who are attending schools outside the DEIS scheme. None of the 40 new schools opened since 2017– many of which are in disadvantaged areas – have yet had the opportunity to be included in the scheme, for example. Annual reviews of DEIS categorisation and additional supports for children in non-DEIS schools are necessary so that students do not fall through the cracks.