An Foras Pátrúnachta (AFP), the largest patron of Irish-medium schools in the country, has today (10.03.22) welcomed the announcement of the expansion of the DEIS programme. The newly identified schools were confirmed by Minister Foley yesterday following a review by the Department of Education.
9 gaelscoileanna under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta have been included on the announced list. The gaelscoileanna are located in 8 different counties in addition to one gaelscoil moving from DEIS Band 2 to DEIS Band 1. Under the new identification model, more objective information is used to assess a school community which has led to the increased provision.
Speaking on the announcement, General Secretary of An Foras Pátrúnachta, Caoimhín Ó hEaghra said: “We are delighted an additional 9 schools under our patronage have been awarded DEIS status. This is in addition to 3 gaelscoileanna under catholic patronage and a large number of gaeltacht schools. Equality of opportunity is at the core of our schools’ ethos and this expansion is a very positive step to ensure the continuity of provision for students who experience significant disadvantage. While we welcome the increased provision of targeted supports for these schools, there is an onus on education partners to work together to ensure that adequate resources will be in place in time for an immediate start in September.”
“A number of schools have expressed concern to us at the lack of communication regarding the identification model. In the coming weeks, we will support schools who wish to engage with the review process regarding their inclusion in the DEIS programme.”
Welcoming their inclusion on the announced list, Príomhoide of Gaelscoil Átha Í, Sorcha Ní Mhistéil said: “We are delighted to have been included in this announcement which will result in significant additional resources for our school community. This will enable us to support our students and their families as we work together to help every child reach their full potential.”
An Foras Pátrúnachta is currently the patron for 79 schools in 23 counties across Ireland and 14 of those schools now have DEIS status.
Notes to Editor:
About An Foras Pátrúnachta: An Foras Pátrúnachta is a national patron for both primary and second level schools, seeking to develop, strengthen and promote education through the medium of Irish throughout the country. It is a patron of 79 schools, with over 17,000 students attending those schools. Schools under the patronage of An Foras Pátrúnachta are located in 23 counties around Ireland.