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Press Release

Minister Zappone announces funding provision of €1,514,000 under the What Works initiative | What Works initiative funding supports Tusla Education Support Service (TESS)

Published: 22 November 2019
From: Department of Children and Youth Affairs

Funding allocations in 2019 include the following:

  • iScoil provision in selected School Completion Programme sites - €100,000
  • Delivery of the TESS integrated CPD - €141,000
  • National conference for School Completion Programme practitioners in 2020 - €25,000
  • Establish Education Welfare Officer co-location in the Reception Integration Agency - €8,000
  • €1,240,000 is being provided to the School Completion Programme
  • Each School Completion Programme will receive an additional €8,000 in 2019

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone TD, is pleased to announce funding of €1,514,000 under the What Works initiative to support the Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) responses that align with intended actions contained in the draft policy Blueprint for the development of educational services.

The What Works initiative focuses on enhancing several key areas, one being quality in prevention and early intervention policy, service and practice. The approved measures will provide a platform for further development following the finalisation of the draft Blueprint.

Funding allocations in 2019 include the following:

  • Proof of concept – iScoil provision in selected School Completion Programme (SCP) sites: €100,000. iScoil is a non-profit online learning service that offers young people an alternative path to learning, accreditation and progression. It provides a safe learning environment where young people can re-engage with education, achieve recognised QQI certification and access further education, training and employment opportunities.
  • Delivery of the Tusla Education Support Service integrated CPD, based on the School Completion Programme CPD framework and agreed programmes/training supported where possible by ABC providers: €141,000
  • National conference for School Completion Programme (SCP) practitioners in 2020: €25,000
  • Establish Education Welfare Officer (EWO) co-location in the Reception Integration Agency, to support transition of refugee and migrant children into mainstream schools: €8,000

In addition, €1,240,000 is being provided to the School Completion Programme (SCP). This funding will afford the SCPs the capacity to carry out preparatory work and support organisational development within their respective programmes in advance of finalisation and implementation of the policy Blueprint.

Each School Completion Programme (SCP) will receive an additional €8,000 in 2019 with the balance to support up to 20 SCPs to deliver support to high priority students.

Minister Zappone said:

"I am delighted to secure additional resources for the Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) under the What Works Initiative. These resources will support its crucial work in providing all children the opportunity to fulfil their educational potential. This specific allocation will allow TESS to provide additional services for those children most at risk of early school leaving and commence many of the key actions outlined in our Blueprint for the Development of Services. I intend to finalise and publish the Blueprint shortly, which will provide a strong policy platform and pathway for the future development of the Educational Support Services."

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:

What Works Initiative: www.whatworks.gov.ie

What Works is an initiative designed by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to ensure those working with children, young people and their families build on the existing body of evidence demonstrating the impact of prevention and early intervention approaches, models and practices on outcomes for children.

What Works focuses on enhancing a number of key areas as they relate to the children’s and youth sectors:

  • Information & Knowledge
  • Capacity and
  • Quality in prevention and early intervention policy, service and practice.

The initiative seeks to secure a return on the investment and impact in the area of prevention and early intervention in Ireland over the past decade. It will do this through resourcing the above areas so that those working with and for children, young people and their families are supported in doing the right things, in the right way and at the right time.

Tusla Education Support Service (TESS): www.tusla.ie/tess/

Tusla Education Support Service (TESS) operates under the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, a piece of legislation that emphasises the promotion of school attendance, participation and retention. TESS has three strands namely the Statutory Educational Welfare Service (EWS) and the two school support services, the Home School Community Liaison Scheme (HSCL) and the School Completion Programme (SCP). The three TESS strands work together collaboratively with schools, families and other relevant services to achieve the best educational outcomes for children and young people.

Blueprint

The aim of this Blueprint is to provide a succinct road map for the development of Educational Support Services operationalised by Tusla – The Child and Family Agency. These services include the following suite of services and schemes: Educational Support Services (Educational Welfare Officers; Home School Community Liaison Scheme; and School Completion Programme) and services relating to the Assessment and Registration of Children in Receipt of an Education in a Place Other Than a Recognised School.

As in other areas of work under the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, the concept of a ‘Blueprint’ policy document is applied to areas of work that require the establishment of a policy platform and/or prompt action-oriented delivery in a short to medium timeframe. As such, the substantive aim of this Blueprint is to identify the most immediate actions which need to be addressed and advanced so that the full range of services can further develop in a strategic, integrated and sustainable manner; thereby being in the best position to provide the most efficient and effective responses for children and young people.