Cllr Brendan Fay (Ind).

DEIS decision system ‘far from open and transparent’

A local councillor has hit out at the decision making mechanism behind awarding schools DEIS status, claiming the process is “far from open and transparent”.

Independent Councillor Brendan Fay made the remarks in response to correspondence from officials at the Department of Education, which claimed that the “model” for identifying schools has been “applied fairly and equally” in the case of St Bricin's College in Belturbet.

The letter also stated that schools “not satisfied” with the outcome of their application can enter an appeal process.

“I don't know how they can say it's fair and transparent. We didn't even get a reason why the appeal was refused,” said Cllr Fay in respect of an application and subsequent appeal made on behalf of students attending St Bricin's.

Earlier this year, the Director of Schools with CMETB expressed his disappointment that none of its schools were included in the expanded DEIS programme.

The Department of Education announced 310 schools across the country would be included in an updated list, with seven primary schools in Cavan included, but no secondary.

Being included in the DEIS scheme means schools gain access to targeted supports to address educational disadvantage.

These include additional teachers, home school community liaison coordinators, grant funding and access to the School Completion Programme.

“I’m not going to name it here but there is one school I’m particularly disappointed it was not included,” said the CMETB's Paddy Flood.

In a different debate at the same meeting Cllr Fay stated that St Bricin's had been “given the run around” in applying for DEIS status, and used the opportunity also to highlight how some teachers were buying lunch for impoverished pupils.