Education Act, 1998

Educational disadvantage.

32.—(1) The Minister shall by order, following consultation with patrons, national associations of parents, recognised school management organisations, recognised trade unions and staff associations representing teachers and such other persons as the Minister considers appropriate, establish a committee, hereinafter referred to as the “educational disadvantage committee”, to advise him or her on policies and strategies to be adopted to identify and correct educational disadvantage.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Minister shall appoint persons to be members of an educational disadvantage committee for such period not exceeding three years as he or she thinks fit and may renew such appointments as he or she thinks fit.

(3) Up to half of the membership of the educational disadvantage committee shall be appointed from nominees of such voluntary and other bodies which have objects which the Minister considers relevant to the work of the committee.

(4) The Minister may by order amend or revoke any order made under this section, including an order made under this subsection.

(5) The educational disadvantage committee may, as soon as is practicable after it has been established and, thereafter, from time to time as it considers appropriate, prepare and submit to the Minister a statement containing—

(a) proposed policies and strategies for the identification and correction of educational disadvantage, relating to such period as it considers appropriate, and

(b) the areas of activity to which the committee accords priority.

(6) In preparing a statement as provided for in subsection (5), the educational disadvantage committee shall have regard to—

(a) the resources, including the financial resources, available, and

(b) the public interest in ensuring that the resources available are applied in an effective and efficient manner.

(7) In each financial year the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, out of monies provided by the Oireachtas, may make to the educational disadvantage committee a grant or grants for the purposes of expenditure by that committee in the performance of its functions.

(8) The Minister may provide such secretarial and administrative support to the educational disadvantage committee as the Minister considers necessary.

(9) In this section “educational disadvantage” means the impediments to education arising from social or economic disadvantage which prevent students from deriving appropriate benefit from education in schools.