Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to conduct an immediate review of the criteria under which schools are included in the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) Plan. Deputy McGrath was speaking after 5 schools in Tipperary Town were controversially excluded from the new DEIS school support programme which will be implemented from September 2017:
“I think yesterday’s announcement by the Minister was the clearest indication yet that the criteria used to select schools for DEIS status are bordering on useless.
The Department of Education itself acknowledges that the methodology used to assess the schools is flawed and incomplete and does not accurately represent the level of need that exists in certain educational communities.
The five schools in Tipperary Town that were desperately hoping for the increased resource allocations are left completely distraught at this decision not to included them.
We know that areas of North Tipperary and indeed South Tipperary suffer from severe levels of deprivation. This decision by the Department and the Minister will do absolutely nothing to try and reverse that situation.
I can understand the enormous frustration that is being felt but I want to assure all the schools who were excluded that I will work, in conjunction with all my Tipperary colleagues to ensure that this situation is remedied at the earliest opportunity,” concluded Deputy McGrath.