KATHERINE DONNELLY EDUCATION EDITOR – 17 DECEMBER 2013
CHILDREN in primary schools in disadvantaged areas are performing better in maths and reading than they did six years ago, but they still lag behind other pupils of their age.
There has been a significant improvement in their achievement levels in these core skills since 2007, although it varies between schools, according to a new report.
The positive findings are being linked to the Department of Education’s DEIS support programme for schools in disadvantaged areas, but further analysis is needed to confirm that.
DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) was introduced in 2006-07 and last year spent almost €100m in providing extra supports, including teachers and grants, to schools.
The new report, by the Educational Research Centre (ERC), also found that absenteeism in DEIS schools fell over the same period, which is likely to be a factor in the improved educational performances.
The evaluation by the ERC covered 17,000 pupils in 119 urban primary schools in the DEIS School Support Programme (SSP).