Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle claims new DEIS assessment process unfairly affecting Donegal Schools

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Press Release – March 13th, 2017

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Deputy Pringle says the new process lacks transparency and has questioned Government claims that the new DEIS assessment is fair and objective.

“I believe the new assessment process is anything but fair and objective as schools across Donegal are outraged they were not included in the recent round of DEIS allocation, despite clear evidence of concentrated disadvantage present in the pupil cohort of those schools.

“Minister Bruton claims the new affluence and deprivation model is a more accurate way to determine disadvantage but he has failed time and time again to explain just exactly how his Department uses the information to come to the conclusion that a school deserves a DEIS status.

“Schools can’t afford to miss out on this funding opportunity if they need it. We’re talking about substantial extra funding that could drastically affect a student’s educational outcome. So why the secrecy? I believe it’s a way for the Minister to arbitrarily allocate resources to schools as well as take resources away during future allocations of funding.

“After putting in a series of Parliamentary Questions to the Minister and receiving absolutely no clarification whatsoever, I’ve sent a request to the Ceann Comhairle seeking the Minister to answer my questions directly in relation to the number of schools in Donegal that missed out on DEIS despite their disadvantage.

“It’s not good enough for the Minister to say the data is ‘anonymised and aggregated’. That means nothing except to say the Department are moving numbers around on a page until it looks favourable.

“Furthermore, no consultation was carried out with the schools directly, no application process was in place and therefore no appeals process was made available to schools questioning the Department’s decision.

“It is my fear that decisions are being made behind the scenes with no transparency as to how conclusions are arrived at, and for that reasons I’m calling on the Minister to halt the current process, until he has consulted with schools and carried out a wider consultative process that clearly states the manner in which DEIS is to be allocated into the future” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

 

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