DEIS: Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools

DEIS was launched in May 2005 as the Department of Education and Skills policy instrument to address the educational needs of young people.

The DEIS Plan 2017,  which replaced the 2005 Plan, sets out the Department’s vision for education to more fully become a proven pathway to better opportunities and to give tailored support to schools. The Plan sets out goals to be achieved in terms of improved outcomes for students. The aim is to narrow the gaps and develop better pathways for all.

Our DEIS Plan 2021 is our three-year School Improvement Plan and it will be monitored each year and evaluated at the end of the three years.

Our DEIS Plan 2021 addresses the current needs in Finn Valley College and focuses on the following 8 DEIS Themes :

  1. Attendance
  2. Retention
  3. Transitions (formerly Progression)
  4. Attainment
  5. Literacy
  6. Numeracy
  7. Partnership with Parents
  8. Partnership with Others

In our DEIS Plan 2021 the areas of Leadership, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Wellbeing are threaded through the main 8 strands.

Planning for DEIS within the school involves a six-step process, as outlined below. 


Attendance is fundamental to students’ progress and attainment in school. Patterns of full-day absences, part-day absences, late arrival at school, and the rate of suspensions are considered here.


The theme of retention focuses on the importance of keeping children in school, identifying those at risk of early leaving, and taking action to reduce or eliminate factors that cause students to drop out.


Transitions are very closely linked to attendance and retention. It puts a spotlight on the key moves from one stage of education to the next: from primary to post-primary; from junior cycle to senior cycle; and from post-primary to continuing education and the world of work.


Examination attainment focuses on attainment in the certificate examinations and also includes target-setting, strategies, and monitoring of progress about students’ outcomes in school-based assessments and examinations.


Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand, and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media, and digital media.


Numeracy encompasses the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and to meet the demands of day-to-day living in complex social settings.

It means being able to:

estimate, predict, and calculate

identify patterns, trends, and relationships

gather, interpret, and represent data and express ideas mathematically

engage in problem solving, using investigation and reasoning skills

use digital technology to develop numeracy skills and understanding

Partnership with Parents and Others

The DEIS Action Plan supports schools to develop partnerships with parents and with the community. Schools are also expected to develop links with other schools and colleges, for example in transfer programmes from post-primary school to third-level colleges.

Involvement of parents / families is crucial, supporting and engaging parents and developing their confidence in helping their children’s education, identifying their needs, and facilitating these needs.