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DEIS 2017 Plan 13/02/17

Long overdue DEIS plan is heavy on bureaucracy but light on resources

Monday, 13 February 2017

Press Release
Irish National Teachers’ Organisation
on DEIS 2017 plan

INTO: Long overdue DEIS plan is heavy on bureaucracy but light on resources

The INTO has criticised the government’s plan for DEIS schools as heavy on bureaucracy but light on resources.

The union says it lacks any commitment to reduce class sizes and to provide the additional teaching staff required by disadvantaged schools to meet their pupils’ needs. “There was no reduction to disadvantaged schools’ class sizes in the last two budgets when non-disadvantaged schools got a decrease in Budget 2016,” said INTO general secretary Sheila Nunan.

“The government needs to spell out an improved staffing plan for these schools to underpin the plan,” said Ms Nunan. “An action plan cannot be actioned without the necessary personnel and support for those on the frontline,” she said.

Ms Nunan said talk of no school being immediately affected by cutbacks was unacceptable and translated into “we’ll cutback down the line when no one is looking.”

There is no provision for substitute cover for teachers to support the Incredible Years and Friends for Life training to be rolled out to teachers. Similarly, liaison with the community and networking with other schools takes time and substitute cover.

The INTO is of the view that panels of supply teachers are needed nationwide and these should be rolled out to support DEIS schools.

The union described the plan as heavy on monitoring and evaluation which means additional paperwork, reporting, documenting and gathering data. Yet there is no provision for additional administrative support for schools to get this done.

The INTO will insist on representation on the planned programme committee for this plan in order to monitor progress and report to teachers. However, the union will insist that scarce resources must not be diverted into the monitoring and administration of the plan.

The INTO said it was too early to judge some of the other proposals.

“In the main, the success or otherwise of the plan will depend on resources provided and whether commitments will be followed through. The 15 per cent increase in funding to tackle disadvantage is an improvement yet it goes nowhere near restoring the cutbacks imposed on disadvantaged schools in recent years."