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Programmes for vulnerable young people
In 2005 the Department of Education introduced DEIS - Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools: an action plan for educational inclusion. The plan brought together several programmes which targeted educational disadvantage throughout the public schools’ system under the framework of Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS).
DEIS Plan 2017 Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools is the government’s main policy initiative aimed at tackling educational disadvantage. DEIS Plan 2017 is discussed in further detail in Chapter 6.1 General Context, under Social Inclusion.
DEIS is an integrated approach to the issue of educational inclusion which provides for a standardised system for identifying and regularly reviewing levels of disadvantage and a new integrated School Support Programme (SSP) to bring together and build upon previous schemes and programmes.
The School Support Programme, managed by Tusla Education Support Services (tess), includes the Home School Community Liaison Scheme (HSCL) and the School Completion Programme (SCP). The School Completion Programme aims to help students from disadvantaged areas stay in school to complete their Leaving Certificate (final year exams).
The Home-School Community Liaison Scheme aims to improve cooperation between home, schools and communities to advance the educational interests of disadvantaged children. Further details about The School Support Programme are available in Chapter 6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET).
A number of third level institutes of education have education access programmes. These programmes support people from areas with low progression rates to higher education to reach their full educational potential. They also work in partnership with the local community to engage with local schools and communities to raise awareness of higher education opportunities.
DEIS is part of the School Excellence Fund. School Excellence Fund DEIS 2020 expenditure is estimated to be in the region of €450,000.
The process of identifying schools for participation in DEIS is managed by the Educational Research Centre (ERC) on behalf of the Department of Education and supported by quality assurance work co-ordinated through the Department's regional offices and the Inspectorate.