Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Education Minister Richard Bruton and the Department of Education to clarify how schools who were not awarded DEIS status in the recent review of the scheme can appeal the decision.

Deputy McConalogue’s call comes following a statement from Minister of State Joe McHugh today which claims the Department of Education will be contacting schools which have already lodged an appeal after they were excluded from the DEIS scheme.  However, according to correspondence received by me from Minister Bruton, there is currently no appeals mechanism in place.

“There has been serious confusion over the past number of weeks about the DEIS selection process, with Department of Education officials admitting that significant errors were made.  Minister McHugh has now added to the confusion with his remarks about an existing appeals system.  There is no appeals mechanism at present, despite calls from TDs from right across the country for one to be established”, explained Deputy McConalogue.

“When Fianna Fáil introduced the DEIS scheme in 2006, it established an independent review mechanism which allowed schools which did not qualify for the scheme to put forward a case for their inclusion.  I and my party colleagues have consistently argued for the Education Minister to reintroduce this appeals process, but to date, this has not been forthcoming.

“The Minister for Education now needs to urgently clarify the situation and clearly outline to schools the details of any appeals process so that affected schools can put forward their cases”.