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Urban DEIS students not as good at reading and maths as rural students


Posted by Schooldays Newshound, on 09/04/2015. Urban DEIS students not as good at reading and maths as rural studentsTags: Parenting Education


Research carried out by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has found that pupils in urban areas in DEIS schools have lower performance in english and maths compared to rural pupils.

The findings which are based on the report, 'Learning from the Evaluation of DEIS' by Emer Smyth, Selina McCoy and Gillian Kingston, found that schools in ‘urban band 1’ were found to have ‘high concentration of disadvantage’. The reasons, according to the report were,

“Urban Band 1 schools are catering for more complex needs among their student population, with a greater concentration of students with special educational needs, Traveller students and non-English speaking students in these school settings.”

“The most disadvantaged schools, urban band 1 primary schools, have the lowest reading and maths scores. Students in rural DEIS schools have higher test scores than those in urban DEIS schools.”

According to the report DEIS schools are more likely to have students:


  • Who come from unskilled manual or non-employed households;
  • Who have parents with lower levels of education;
  • Whose families have lower household income;
  • Who are more likely to come from lone parent families;
Urban Band 1 primary schools have the highest concentration of socio-economic disadvantage;

These schools are also more likely to cater for students from Traveller backgrounds, students from non-English-speaking backgrounds and students with special educational needs.

Although improvements have been made in DEIS schools in recent years concerning reading and maths, there is still a gap between DEIS schools and non-DEIS schools.

The report concludes that more awareness and funding is needed for the different student requirements in DEIS schools:

Report author, Selina McCoy, commented: “The findings point to high levels of disadvantage and greater complexity of need in urban band 1 DEIS schools. We need further debate on the levels of funding required to meet the needs of students in these schools.”

Commenting on the report, the Minister for Education said “I see the publication of this Report as the starting point for a new discussion on the future of the DEIS programme. Over the next few weeks I will seek submissions from all educational stakeholders on what our options for future interventions to tackle educational disadvantage should look like.  I will establish an inter-Departmental group to consider the roles of different Government Departments in delivering DEIS in a joined up way.  I will also put together a technical group to establish what eligibility criteria are now appropriate to re-identify the level of need in schools.  

During the next school year, I will complete a revised identification process for schools participating in DEIS.  
The outcome of this process will form part of an overall proposal which I will produce for the delivery of future interventions to tackle educational disadvantage.”


For more on ESRI report please click here.


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