Copyright 2008 by the American Psychological Association 2008, Vol. 22, No. 5, 563–570 Intact Implicit Learning of Spatial Context and Temporal Sequences in Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorder Kelly Anne Barnes James H. Howard Jr. Georgetown University Catholic University of America and Georgetown University Darlene V. Howard Lisa Gilotty and Lauren Kenworthy Georgetown University
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Failure to invest in education
deprives children oF their potential
table of contents
International Research on Educational Inequality Social Inequality in Irish Education Consequences and Costs of Early School Leaving Educational Policy in the Irish Context; DEIS Conclusions and Recommendations Education is a right, not a privilege. It is a right that can education is a false economy that deprives children of make all the difference to a child: the difference between their potential and leads to higher costs for the State in believing in their own future and despairing of it; the difference between living in poverty and forging their own path out of it. Education can give children the best start It is not acceptable that so many of Ireland's children are possible in life and set them on a path to opportunity and written off before they begin. hope for a bright future.
Investment in measures tackling educational disadvantage Director of Advocacy is crucial to ensuring that all children are given the tools and Central Services they need to create the opportunities they deserve.
And yet in Ireland in 2009, one in three children living in disadvantaged areas continues to leave school with serious literacy and numeracy difficulties. We are failing our most vulnerable children; those who most need the best possible education they can get. Through our experience of working with children and families, Barnardos sees the daily lived experience of educational disadvantage on children and how it can impact on their future lives.
In 2006, Barnardos ran the Make the Grade campaign, which looked at Government's progress in tackling educational disadvantage and made key recommendations to improve the educational outcomes for children living in disadvantage. At that time, the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) strategy had just been recently introduced and was held up as an answer to many of the challenges Barnardos outlined. Three years later, we now need to look again at how our children are faring in the education system and consider whether or not the DEIS programme is serving the needs of the most disadvantaged children. As in 2006, Barnardos has drawn on the real life experience of the children and families we work with and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that their voices are heard. The economic situation has changed dramatically over the last year and we have all been asked to take our share of the burden to ensure the country can weather the storm. Barnardos does not accept that this includes children for whom education is already a struggle and who need the highest levels of supports to ensure they can stay in school and get the education they deserve. Failure to invest in Education is crucial for children's self-esteem and This report highlights the social inequalities that still exist development. It is a proven route out of poverty; a path in the Irish education system, the consequences of early through which children can see what is possible for them school leaving and provides an insight into the progress of and that can help them to reach their full potential. the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) strategy and the likely impact of the cutbacks within the Education matters because it is intrinsically valuable, education budget that have been made in response to the allowing children and young people to develop intellectually current economic recession. and socially. It also matters because, in Ireland, as in many other countries, education is a powerful predictor of adult life chances. Inequality in education means that some children do not reach their potential because their opportunities are limited before they begin. This report was compiled using the following research the following agencies: Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland (ASTI), Irish National Teachers' 1 Organisation (INTO), National Association of Barnardos commissioned Dr. Emer Smyth and Principals & Deputy Principals (NAPD), National Dr. Selina McCoy of the Economic and Social Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), Youthreach, Research Institute (ESRI) to undertake a literature School Completion Programme, Department of review exploring different aspects of educational Education and Science and five principals of disadvantage in Ireland and abroad and measures DEIS schools. Barnardos interviewed a selection to combat it. This review also aimed to provide of parents and children working with Barnardos a snapshot of how the current educational as well as a DEIS school principal. disadvantage strategy Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) is working and Barnardos created an online survey inviting to assess the likely impact of the cutbacks within interested parties to give their feedback on the the education sector announced in Budget 2009 current cutbacks being phased into the education and since. Extracts from the report are used in system. Over 300 respondents from a range of this publication; their full report is available on backgrounds completed the survey. www.esri.ie or www.barnardos.ie.
This report combines facts from a comprehensive breadth Qualitative interviews were conducted with of international and national literature examining various a selection of key stakeholders, principals of aspects of educational and related material, supplemented DEIS schools, parents and children to gain their by the on-the-ground experience of a non-representative opinions on how the educational system is working sample of stakeholders in the education system including and recommendations to improve it. The ESRI parents. It aims to provide an overview of the current conducted interviews with representatives from developments in the education system in Ireland and the implications of these for children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH ON EDUCATIONAL INEQUALITY Many comprehensively evaluated programmes have outcomes, the evaluation of Project STAR in Tennessee, been carried out internationally, providing crucial learning US yields some insights into the potential effects of this on the interventions that best support children living intervention. In this study, children were randomly allocated with disadvantage to get the most from their education. to significantly smaller classes (13-17pupils) compared While some of these models have been adapted into Irish with their peers who were in classes of 22-25 pupils. Being education policy, more can be done to ensure optimum in a small class was found to have a positive effect on benefit from proven programmes. The work of Barnardos academic achievement and participants were significantly has also been influenced by these successful external more likely to graduate from high school than their peers initiatives including the use of the High/Scope curriculum (Finn et al., 2001; 2005). Effects were more marked for in early years services and the roll out of the Wizards of disadvantaged groups and for those who remained in small Words1 intensive literacy support project. classes for a more extended period; those in classes with fewer than seventeen students for a period of three years were almost six months ahead of their peers in reading Early Childhood Education achievement (Finn et al., 2001). Evaluations of the High/Scope Perry Pre-School Program Other studies have focused on the provision and for 3-4-year-old children in the US found both short-term effectiveness of intensive literacy and numeracy and long-term positive effects on the children taking part programmes to improve academic achievement. Intensive in them. Participants had higher achievement levels over Reading Recovery programmes in the US have generally the course of their schooling year. The benefits from yielded improvements in educational performance participation persisted into adulthood, with a higher rate of (D'Agostino and Murphy, 2004) as has the literacy hour high school graduation, higher earnings, a lower take-up of intervention in the UK (Machin and McNally, 2007). welfare and a lower crime rate (Wortman, 1995; Weikart, Reading programmes with cooperative learning at their 1996; Gomby 1995). Economically this programme core tend to be more successful in yielding positive found that the rate of return to society was $17 for every outcomes for children (Slavin et al., 2008). The Success $1 spent on each participant attending the programme for All programme in the US involves intensive reading (Schweinhart, 2005). activities and close liaison with parents in the early years within schools serving disadvantaged communities. Similarly, participants in the Child-Parent Centers in Participation significantly boosted reading performance Chicago had lower rates of early school leaving along and resulted in lower incidence of children being ‘kept with lower juvenile crime rates (Reynolds, Wolfe, 1997; back' a year because of educational failure as well as Bryant and Maxwell, 1996; Reynolds et al., 2001). These higher achievement levels at age 14 (Slavin and Madden, systematic evaluations indicate that the benefits of high 1999; Borman et al., 2002).
quality preschool education are particularly evident for disadvantaged and minority groups and that they are the most cost-effective way of reducing educational inequality T argeting Additional Resources on (Levin, 2009; Temple and Reynolds, 2007; Heckman et Disadvantaged Schools and / or A number of different examples of targeting additional Measures Designed to Boost resources on schools serving disadvantaged and/or Academic Achievement immigrant communities or schools located in disadvantaged areas were examined and the evaluations indicate varied Although it can be difficult to separate out the effects successes. The implementation of educational priority of class size from other factors affecting educational policies in the Netherlands and Belgium (Flanders) has had 1This innovative initiative pairs 1st and 2nd class students who are nominated by classroom teachers for extra reading support with an appropriate older volunteer (55 years+) with the purpose to improve children's overall reading achievement. It presently operates in some schools in Dublin and Limerick.
mixed results, with variable effects on student outcomes (Bernardo and Nicaise, 2000; Mulder and van der Werf, 1997). International research suggests that a number of interventions combating specific aspects of educational In Britain, Educational Maintenance Allowances, means- disadvantage can have positive outcomes for disadvantaged tested weekly payments to 16-18 year olds in post- children and young people. Research suggests that compulsory education in selected areas, were found to interventions work best when they are introduced early increase the likelihood of remaining in education by 4-6 on in a child's development and when they are sustained per cent, with the strongest effects found for those from the over time. Such interventions can have a marked impact lower income groups (Dearden et al., 2005). An overview on children's lives, levelling the playing field for children of interventions designed to reduce early school leaving from disadvantaged backgrounds and providing the in the Australian context indicates that a strong supportive opportunities that enable all children to get the most from school culture is key to the success of any programmes adopted (Lamb and Rice, 2008).
SOCIAL INEQUALITY IN IRISH EDUCATION In Ireland, a child's life chances are still disproportionately Exam Performance and School affected by their family's social and economic position in Irish society, limiting their potential and their ability to find their way out of poverty. As a result, disadvantaged children Social inequality is similarly prominent in performance in still face stark inequalities of opportunities and outcomes the Junior Certificate. Students from higher professional in education. They are more likely to have difficulties in backgrounds achieve grade point average scores of 7.9, areas such as literacy and numeracy, to leave school early relative to just 6.7 for young people from skilled manual and they are far less likely to progress to university or backgrounds, 6.2 among the semi- and unskilled manual other higher education options. In fact, almost one in six class and just 5.9 for the non-employed group. Therefore, young people continues to leave school every year without young people from higher professional backgrounds completing the Leaving Certificate. achieve, on average, two grades higher per subject taken in the Junior Certificate exam compared to those from non-employed backgrounds (Post Primary Longitudinal Unfortunately, literacy levels have remained largely Performance in the Leaving Certificate is also strongly unchanged since 1980 with one in three pupils from patterned across social class lines. While 58 per cent of disadvantaged areas continuing to have severe literacy students from higher professional backgrounds achieve difficulties (DES, 2006). Interestingly, when assessing four or more honours grades in the Leaving Certificate, reading scores between first and fifth class both the students from manual backgrounds are much less likely mother's educational attainment level and social class to achieve any honours with just 16 per cent achieving are important determinants in how pupils score. The four or more honours (School Leavers Survey 2006 and gap between reading scores for those whose mother left school with no qualifications and those whose mother achieved post-graduate level increases between first and Wide social class differences in second-level retention fifth class indicating that disadvantage in literacy increases are also apparent (Fig 4.2). While over 90 per cent of as children progress through school (Fig 4.1). Reading young people with parent(s) in professional occupations tests on first year students also found that those from complete the Leaving Certificate, just two-thirds of their higher professional backgrounds recorded a mean score counterparts from unskilled manual backgrounds do so. of 43, in comparison to a score of 28 among those from semi- and unskilled manual backgrounds and 25 among those where neither parent is in employment.
Figure 4.1: Primary Reading Scores and Mother's Educational Attainment Source: 2004 National Assessment of Reading.
Note: ‘NQ' No qualifications (pre-Junior Cert); ‘JC' Junior Certificate; ‘LC' Leaving Certificate.
Figure 4.2: Leaving Certificate Completion by Social Class Background2 Higher Prof.
Skilled manual Semi-skilled Source: School Leavers' Surveys 2006 and 2007.
Progression to Higher Education semi- and unskilled manual backgrounds. This clearly impacts on young people's labour market opportunities as Over 70 per cent of young people from higher professional they progress into adulthood and can have a significant backgrounds progress to Higher Education within the first impact on their future prospects, recreating cycles of low two years of leaving school (Fig 4.3). This compares to educational attainment in further generations.
less than half of those from intermediate and other non-manual backgrounds and just 30 per cent of those from Figure 4.3: Entry to Full-Time Higher Education among All School Leavers Higher Prof.
Skilled manual Semi-skilled Source: School Leavers' Surveys 2006 and 2007.
2The School Leavers' Survey analysis is based on the Census 1986 Classification of Occupations. Here are some examples of each group: Higher Professional: medical practitioners, judges/barristers/solicitors, business consultantsLower Professional: pharmacists, opticians, teachers, social workersIntermediate Non-Manual: clerical supervisors, Garda sergeants and lower ranks, publicans, government executive officialsOther Non-Manual: bus drivers, waiters, chefs, hairdressers, air stewardsSkilled Manual: electricians, plumbers, carpenters, printersSemi-Skilled Manual: milk processors, packers and bottlers, laundry and dry cleaning workersUnskilled Manual: porters, labourers As can be seen there are clear differences in educational outcomes according to social class. Succeeding in education is the key to providing children with the tools they need to break intergenerational cycles of poverty and to create positive futures for themselves. However, without the proper supports many children living in disadvantage simply don't have the resources they need to get an adequate education. Early intervention is crucial to supporting these children and their families to give them the best hope of learning and staying in school, which is vitally important for both children and society.
CONSEQUENCES AND COSTS OF EARLY SCHOOL LEAVING When the education system fails a child and they leave of unemployment (Fig. 5.1). Although more boys than school early it affects all aspects of their future life – girls leave school early, it is girls who have a higher risk including employment opportunities, health and risk of unemployment with nearly 40 per cent of boys and 53 of involvement in crime. There is a significant cost to per cent of girls with no qualifications being unemployed society through the provision of services and remedial one year after leaving school compared with only 7 per interventions. Barnardos firmly believes, therefore, that cent of boys and 12 per cent of women with a Leaving early intervention in education to support vulnerable children can make a huge difference and circumvent many potential problems bringing significant benefits to both Early school leavers continue to have a significantly individuals and society. higher risk of unemployment throughout their adult lives (Fig. 5.2) – with early leavers three to four times more likely to be unemployed than their more highly Labour Market Outcomes educated peers.
In Ireland as with the international experience, young people leaving school early experience a much higher risk Figure 5.1: Unemployment Rate One Year After Leaving School By Educational level Source: School Leavers' Surveys 2007.
Note: ‘NQ' No qualifications (pre-Junior Cert); ‘JC' Junior Certificate; ‘LC' Leaving Certificate.
Figure 5.2: Unemployment Rate By Education And Age-Group Source: Quarterly National Household Survey, 2008.
Even examining trends over time it is apparent that during the Celtic Tiger era, those with low levels of education continued to experience significant difficulties in accessing Education influences health both directly and indirectly. It paid employment relative to their more highly qualified influences health directly by influencing knowledge about counterparts (Fig. 5.3). healthy behaviour and diet, and indirectly as education influences material circumstances in later life. Education influences not only the likelihood of obtaining employment but also the quality of that employment, US and European studies indicate that people with lower with those having lower levels of education found levels of education have higher mortality rates, lower levels disproportionately in less skilled and lower paid work. of general health and a higher incidence of particular Hourly pay rates (Fig. 5.4) increase with level of education conditions (Higgins et al., 2008). In the Irish context, data for both women and men. While there is a pay return from EUSILC 2004 indicate that less than good health to completing second-level education, the main pay is more frequently reported by those with lower levels of difference is between graduates and others. Net returns education, especially those with primary education only to educational qualifications are evident even taking into (Layte et al., 2007). The differential is found to be greater account number of years in employment and the hours for men than for women. Those who have a primary worked (McGuinness et al., 2009).
education only also have the greatest frequency of visiting a GP with the lowest average number of visits found among the third-level education group (Layte et al., 2007).
Figure 5.3: Unemployment Rates Among School Leavers By Education Over Time 1980 1982 1984 1986 1988 1990 1992 1994 1996 1998 2003 2006 Source: School Leavers' Survey, various years. Figure 5.4: Hourly Pay By Education And Gender, 2001 Source: Living in Ireland Survey data, presented in McGuinness et al. (2009).
Note: ‘NQ' No qualifications (pre-Junior Cert); ‘JC' Junior Certificate; ‘LC' Leaving Certificate.
Using the SLAN 2002 survey data, a number of Overall Cost Benefit Analysis of differences are identified when comparing the health of early school leavers with more educated respondents. Early leavers are: A number of studies internationally have looked at the costs associated with early school leaving from the individual 2.4 times more likely to describe their general and/or societal perspective. For instance, in the UK, health as ‘poor' or ‘fair' Chevalier and Feinstein (2006) estimate that an increase 1.8 times more likely to report restrictions in in the proportion of women taking A levels would yield their daily activity or work as a result of long term STG£200 million per year by reducing the lost output illness or disability associated with higher rates of depression among early 1.4 times more likely to report moderate or school leavers. In the Netherlands, increasing average extreme anxiety or depression education by one year is estimated to save €623 million 1.2 times more likely to report having six or more per year because of reductions in shoplifting, vandalism alcoholic drinks more than once a week and violent crime. However, higher tax fraud rates among 4.5 times more likely to be in receipt of a medical the more highly educated group reduce the net gain to €578 million per annum (Groot and van den Brink, 2007). In the US, Levin (2009) estimates the total public savings arising from a student completing high school to be $209,100, being made up of benefits from additional tax revenue ($139,100), and savings in health expenditure Early school leavers have a higher risk of committing or ($40,500), crime ($26,600) and welfare ($3,000). being convicted of a crime. American research, for example, Even Levin's thorough analysis is likely to represent an indicates higher incarceration rates among high school underestimate of these costs and savings since it excludes dropout males than among other groups (Lockner et al., wider impacts, such as life expectancy, health status, social 2004; Arum and Beattie, 1999). In Ireland, there is little cohesion and intergenerational effects.
systematic information available on the educational profile of offenders or prisoners but smaller studies reveal similar In Ireland there is a lack of studies estimating the individual results. A sample of prisoners in Mountjoy (O'Mahony, and societal costs of early school leaving due to an absence 2002) indicated that 80 per cent had left school before of systematic data on unit costs and benefits. However, the the age of 16, 50 per cent had left before the age of 15, OECD (2008) using 2004 data provides estimates of the while 75 per cent had never sat a State examination. Over individual rate of return and the societal rate of return from a quarter (29 per cent) of the prisoners had difficulties in educational investment for Ireland and other countries. The relation to literacy. The costs associated with each prison individual rate of return is based on gains associated with place are €97,700 per year (2007 figures). higher education levels in the form of employment chances and higher earnings, minus the costs (the expenditure on education, the income foregone by staying in education and the additional tax associated with higher earnings). On this basis, in Ireland there is a return of 7.9 per cent for As indicated previously there is a strong relationship men and 8.8 per cent for women associated with staying between the levels of parental education and their in education to Leaving Certificate or PLC level relative to children's educational level and academic achievement Junior Certificate level (OECD, 2008). Societal returns (Shavit and Blossfeld, 1993; Gamoran, 2001), with the are calculated based on additional tax revenue minus mother's education having a stronger effect on a child's expenditure on education and the tax foregone while the educational outcomes than that of the father. Children person is in education. This yields returns of 7 per cent for whose mothers have higher levels of education are more men and 5.1 per cent for women who have completed the likely to reach Leaving Certificate level (School Leaver's Leaving Certificate (OECD, 2008). More specifically, Barnardos estimates that the current costs to the exchequer in terms of claimants of Jobseekers Allowance who are early school leavers could be as high as As described, early school leaving affects all aspects of an €19m per week or €9.87billion per year. This is based on individual's life – their employment chances, health and the fact that according to the Quarterly National Household risk to crime, and has subsequent societal costs. While it Survey 2008, nearly a quarter of unemployed people are is difficult to actually quantify these costs because of lack early school leavers. Applying this to the Live Register of available data on unit costs of public expenditure and figure for March 2009 (372,800) implies over 93,000 the absence of longitudinal research tracking early school people currently looking for work are early school leavers. leavers over adulthood, investing in education has proven Barnardos believes this is a conservative cost estimate to be cost effective for both children and society. Education as it does not take into account the dependants of these helps children to reach their potential during childhood and individuals who may also be eligible for a social welfare become the adults they can be tomorrow.
payment and the wider costs associated with income tax foregone, health and crime. However, the estimated figures "Education is a key revenue generator for the society outlined strongly indicate the high level of cost to the state and a proven cost eliminator. Strategic investment of early school leaving. It is clear that supporting children in education especially in the early years is vital to to stay in school has serious cost saving implications for drive Ireland's future prosperity." online survey
both individuals and society.
EDUCATIONAL POLICY IN THE IRISH CONTEXT; DEIS The persistence of educational inequalities and the 6.2 Educational Policy consequences and costs of early school leaving on the individual and society are clear. Efforts to address In addition to increasing overall levels of participation, these inequalities and provide supports have shaped educational policy has focused on addressing educational educational policy in Ireland in recent years. However, in inequalities through curriculum reform and the provision the current economic climate cutbacks have been made of additional funding for schools serving disadvantaged to these supports that Barnardos believe will undo some areas. Curricular reform has included introducing the of the positive work addressing educational disadvantage, Junior Certificate School Programme and the Leaving which will have significant short-term impact on children, Certificate Applied Programme targeted at at-risk students. particularly disadvantaged children, and long-term affects These programmes are now taken by 3 per cent and 7 per on both individuals and society. cent of the school population respectively. "The children today are tomorrow's adults. It is The additional funding to specific schools has enabled the wise to invest in children's education as it saves roll out of a number of initiatives such as Breaking the Cycle, money in the long term- it lessens other difficulties." Early Start, Home School Community Liaison Scheme online survey respondent
and the School Completion Programme. Independent evaluations of these initiatives indicated some positive Educational Expenditure in Ireland results including improved school readiness and enhanced parental involvement. However, criticisms remain including Over the period 1992-2007 (Fig. 6.1), expenditure per the fragmented nature of the supports, the criteria used student increased at all levels. While there has been a shift for targeting schools and too few students benefiting from towards reducing the gap spent on each student in third the supports. These, coupled with the fact that literacy level in comparison to each student in primary school, levels have not improved and overall ‘rates of educational in 2007 expenditure on each third-level student still underachievement and early school leaving remain much amounted to 1.8 times that for a primary student. By EU higher for pupils from disadvantaged communities than standards, Ireland spent 4.6% of Gross Domestic Product for other pupils' (DES, 2005, p. 8), was the rationale for (GDP) on the entire education system in 2005 compared subsuming existing schemes for disadvantaged primary with 5.5% spent in the EU 19 countries (OECD, 2008). and second-level schools into the DEIS Programme. In fact Ireland's GDP percentage investment in education decreased from 5.5% in 1995 to 4.6% in 2005.
Figure 6.1: Expenditure Per Student (Adjusted For 2007 Prices), 1992-2007 Euro (2007 prices) 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 Source: DES Statistics database.
Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Profile of DEIS schools Schools 2006 – 2010 (DEIS) The differences between DEIS and non-DEIS schools The DEIS action plan was devised using a new procedure can be quite stark and imply an increasing ghettoisation of for identifying disadvantaged schools and has a number those schools designated as disadvantaged. Not only do of components to it which are rolled out in schools these schools have a higher prevalence of students from according to their level of disadvantage. The primary socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds but also schools identified for inclusion in DEIS were based on report a greater concentration of: information reported by principals as to the prevalence of disadvantage in their schools. This led to three categories of schools being identified: urban band 1 schools, urban band 2 schools and rural schools. Additional schools with Pupils with serious literacy and numeracy ‘dispersed disadvantage' were to continue to receive some funding under the scheme. At second level, the use of Pupils with emotional / behavioural difficulties socio-economic indicators (e.g. medical card ownership) Pupils with learning disabilities (more so in along with measures of educational outcomes (junior cycle second level than primary level) drop-out and Junior Certificate performance) were used Contact with external agencies; not only education to identify schools (Weir, 2006). related services such as National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), National In 2008, there were 199 urban band 1 primary schools, Educational Welfare Board (NEWB), School 141 urban band 2 primary schools, 333 rural primary Development Primary Initiative (SDPI), Primary schools and 203 second-level schools in the DEIS Curriculum Support Programme (PCSP), programme. In terms of funding, in 2008 the overall budget Special Education Needs Officer (SENO) but to the Department of Education and Science was €9.3 also broader social work and voluntary services billion and the allocation for DEIS within this consisted of grants of €10 million for primary schools and almost €5 million to second-level schools. In addition, almost €4 million in grant assistance went to primary schools with ‘dispersed disadvantage'. In the 2007/8 school year, almost €5 million went to primary and second-level schools who had been receiving grants under pre-existing schemes but were not included in DEIS; these grants are being discontinued from the next school year (see below). Figure 6.2: Contact With External Services (‘To A Great Extent'), Reported By Primary Principals Source: Survey of Diversity, 2007.
The ESRI Post Primary Longitudinal Study also found "I think it's come a long way to have that DEIS strategy, that disadvantaged secondary schools were more likely to because it does focus on the main areas, it focuses offer the Leaving Certificate Applied programme (60 per on literacy and numeracy, it focuses on attendance, it cent v. 27 per cent) but less likely to offer Transition Year focuses on retention, it's putting in targeted resources, (67 per cent v. 81 per cent). Principals of disadvantaged its trying to be more robust in terms of the methodology schools reported more settling-in difficulties among of identifying schools." education stakeholder
first year students in relation to academic progress, behaviour in class, absenteeism and interaction with "Those [Reading and Maths Recovery] are really, really peers. Designated disadvantaged schools were much vital for disadvantaged schools, giving the children that more likely to use streaming (that is, allocating students little bit of a leg up." deis school principal
to base classes according to their assessed ability) than non-disadvantaged schools (47 per cent v. 15 per cent). "Our homework club was a proven initiative to tackle This is despite research showing that the use of streaming educational disadvantage. The children felt great as their contributes to an achievement gap and greater likelihood homework was done and they could get help if needed, of dropping out of school for those allocated to lower it took pressure off the parents especially if they weren't stream classes (Smyth et al., 2007). able to help them and for the teachers it meant no-one
was falling behind in the class. The costs were minimal
given the returns to the individual and school." deis
6.3.2 Benefits of DEIS programme This report does not purport to be a full assessment of the "We notice the difference with the kids in the lunches effectiveness of the DEIS programme as a comprehensive because everybody is getting two decent snacks every evaluation is ongoing through the Educational Research single day and it is nourishing food." Centre. However, what is presented here is valuable in deis school principal
that it provides a snapshot of feelings and concerns from a non-representative sample of stakeholders and individuals "The budget for the School Completion Fund is small 13 (comprised from interviews and Barnardos online survey) but unlike other aspects of the school system it is as the DEIS programme is being rolled out.
flexible and practical and can be spent on meeting the different needs of the young mothers enabling them to While recognising what DEIS is trying to achieve, it was stay in school and be successful role models for their uniformly emphasised that children in these schools are own children." Barnardos project leader
already disadvantaged relative to their peers when starting school and not on an ‘equal playing field' and that DEIS "The availability of the Junior Certificate School could not solve all these problems. Programme as an alternative to the Junior Cert is great as it monitors their progress over the three years and "These children who present at school are significantly then they are given credits for that at the end. The very behind their peers and that's mainly because of poverty, existence of the programme is helping to retain those poor expectations at home, and the social milieu where very vulnerable young people in the system" they live. Basically they're playing catch-up from then on." deis school principal
Notwithstanding these ongoing difficulties, components 6.3.3 Concerns about DEIS of DEIS and the School Completion Programme were praised for providing additional funding which is being Again drawing on the feedback from the interviews and used to subsidise a range of activities for children and their online survey, a number of recurring themes emerged parents including enabling smaller class sizes, placing regarding experiences of educational disadvantage emphasis on literacy, providing school meals and offering generally and the roll out of the DEIS programme more vocationally oriented alternatives in the curriculum. It was seen that the small investment yielded significant returns to both children and society. issue of Funding
The lack of funding to effectively address educational
disadvantage was repeatedly mentioned and, given the
current economic climate, fears over further cutbacks "It's not easy to assess the level of disadvantage to education services were highlighted. The issue of because you're going into very private areas of insufficient funding for education was seen as short- people's lives. … A lot of the time you're only sighted and cutbacks made were viewed purely as being guessing or assuming from what you heard." in the interest of exchequer savings rather than focusing deis school principal
on the benefits of education for children. It was generally held that the consequences of such cuts would exacerbate "A primary pupil database is necessary as the lack of the already fragmented nature of public services and have data generally is very significant as we are unable to long-term societal implications given the costs associated track pupils' transfer to secondary school. When DEIS with early school leaving as shown above. was being organised, secondary schools just pushed a button and they were able to tell the number of "There is huge uncertainty regarding funding and families with medical cards, unemployment etc. But continuation of support services – it causes anxiety at primary level you had principals trying to guess for both parents and teachers. The Government must without being invasive to the families they are serving." realise that the education of our children is so important. By cutting back on our education programme we are cutting back on the future of our country." "Our school would really benefit from initiatives such as online survey respondent
Reading Recovery and Ready Steady Go but we can't as we are not classed disadvantaged enough. It seems "How can we give children the best start in life if there to presume that in a rural setting all the children would are no supports available!" be from a farming background but this is not the case. online survey respondent
Our children's needs are no less than any urban-based
disadvantaged child." deis school principal
"By about eight or nine, if the children have not tuned into school and seen it as valuable, they are going to The present method of identifying schools for inclusion have difficulties with secondary schooling, are likely to in DEIS was seen to penalise schools which, despite drop out, are likely to get in trouble with drugs, crime." having pupils from socio-economically disadvantaged deis school principal
backgrounds, had been successful in addressing low retention rates and poor performance in the past. These "There are already discontinuities between primary schools are largely left to their own devices and while some and post-primary and between post-primary and may have received some additional statutory funding in further education. If they drop out of school and enter recognition of dispersed disadvantage, this funding is now Youthreach, even if only 16 or 17, resources from school being phased out. In reality while the DEIS programme do not follow through, they can't access the resources of is targeted at schools with high level of disadvantage, 61 NEPS and also there is no formal contact with NEWB." per cent of young people from semi/unskilled manual backgrounds and 56 per cent of those from non-employed households attend non-DEIS schools (School Leavers classification of schools within deis
Survey, 2007). This raises the question of the adequacy For those within the DEIS programme, it was highlighted that of supports for those pupils in non-DEIS schools.
the selection of schools at primary level was fairly arbitrary. A combination of the absence of a national database of Fears were expressed that, in the future, schools which are primary-level pupils and objective criteria meant ‘issues effective in using the additional resources in the current around the over- or under-reporting of data' were apparent. DEIS programme to address educational disadvantage This was felt to result in a further discrepancy between would be ‘thrown out' of the programme at the end of the rural and urban schools as the distinction seemed to be current phase, in the same way as former disadvantaged based largely on geography rather than the level of need schools were. They would become victims of their own among the children. The consequences of the classification success and have supports withdrawn, potentially resulting system meant that some schools were ineligible for in a reversal of fortune as new students in the school would additional supports because they were not deemed require the help and receive none. disadvantaged enough. lack of continuity of support
In theory there are a plethora of supports that complement
Lastly it was highlighted that while supports may be the work of schools such as allocation of resource teachers, offered to assist a child in improving their educational language support teachers, Special Needs Assistants, performance, often schools have difficulty in addressing NEWB and NEPS. However, in reality it was felt that the child's emotional and behavioural problems which are serious inadequacies in funding within these services also outside the remit of many education related support results in capping the availability of these services, lengthy services such as NEWB. As seen in the profile of DEIS waiting lists for assessments and little subsequent follow schools, such problems are prevalent but the supports are up. As a consequence these services are fragmented and inadequate emphasising the lack of a holistic view of the often only able to react to cases of highest concern rather child and their family. than being proactive to support all children at risk. For DEIS schools this lack of support presents real challenges "While resource teachers or Special Needs in their ability to enable all disadvantaged children to reach Assistants might be available to the child, they are their educational potential. not child psychologists or psychiatrists and can't sort out the emotional problems for the child." "Failure to provide support at the early stage in primary deis school principal
school will impact on [my son's] ability to get the most out of school. It will also impact on whether he will "My biggest concern has always been children with transfer onto secondary school. It is denying him the emotional or behavioural disturbance. And I think that opportunity of an equal start." Mother of two, dublin
their school life is very disrupted. And I can only hope that services would become more coordinated for those Furthermore, these supports, where available, to a child children." deis school principal
in primary school don't automatically follow the child into secondary school, often resulting in them having difficulty class size
settling into larger class sizes and coping with having The issue of class sizes emerged in different ways, more teachers and subjects. This lack of continuity poses including the perceived positive impact of reduced class 15 significant difficulty for children who have special needs sizes for schools within the DEIS programme (urban leading to a sense that the secondary school cannot band 1 schools); the need for reduced class sizes for all students during the early years of primary and post-primary education and for core subjects; and the challenges of "I found it hard changing from primary to secondary teaching in large class contexts. There was an overriding school. There was a homework club in primary sense that smaller class sizes benefit all children. that was good. You got help from the teacher and other people in the class. It helped me get through "I have 17 in my class, I like it being small because primary. They should have it in secondary school." the 3rd class has 25 children. We have two teachers, Boy aged 13
one who teaches us and the other who makes sure we do our work because she comes around to us "It's like the system helps them in primary school and often, without her the class would be a lot noisier." then leaves them to their own devices in secondary Girl aged 8
school but that's not right as the help should continue otherwise they will get nothing out of education." "He has 20 in his class and a support teacher to Mother of five, Waterford
help them out. Having her makes a big difference as it is hard for the class teacher to teach all those "Why accept a child with special needs into secondary children on her own especially when there are kids school if they can't facilitate him? I had all the required in the classroom who may have extra needs and proof of his condition but no supports were offered. the teacher wouldn't be able to support that child." He had a SNA in primary school but not available Mother of four, dublin
in secondary school. Without help of course he was going to fall behind and act out, but then he "The biggest single change that I would like to see was labelled bold and no-one wanted to help him." at primary level is early investment to keep class Mother of two, dublin
numbers low in the junior and senior infants."
early childhood education and care (ecec)
6.4 Effects of Budget 2009 A significant criticism of the DEIS programme and Government policy in general was the failure to improve In light of the worsening economic situation and in the the availability and accessibility of quality ECEC. interest of exchequer savings, numerous cutbacks to Unfortunately, while the benefits of participating in quality different aspects of educational provision were announced ECEC are significant both for the child in improving school in Budget 2009 and since. As some of these changes readiness, school performance and social skills and to have yet to take effect it is too early to determine the society in improving school retention rates and employment full implications of these cuts on children's educational opportunities, the evolution of a comprehensive experience and performance. However, Barnardos expects infrastructure in Ireland has been extremely slow. There are the impact to be very significant affecting all children but some state subsidised facilities but the majority of services particularly those least able to succeed within the education operating remain in the private market. At policy level, the issue of ECEC largely remains outside the remit of the Department of Education and Science and within the DEIS programme the extension of the early childhood education measures have been stalled. The announcement in April 2009 of the roll out of universal free half day pre-school place to all children the year prior to joining primary school is a welcome development and will improve children's educational experience and outcomes. It is estimated that the cost of implementing these places for all 3 to 4 year olds is €170m (Irish Times, 20th April 2009). "All my boys went to a pre-school, I think it should be compulsory as it helps them get ready for school. It is good for mixing them with other children the same age."
Mother of three, dublin
"You can tell a child that's attended playschool
because they're more confident, their language
would be much better than a child who hasn't. The
place to make the difference is right back at the start."
deis school principal
"For those who have had a good foundation through
early education, facing challenges of drug use, poverty
etc in their teen years can be overcome far more
effectively." online survey respondent
Increase in pupil-teacher ratio at primary (from Implications for subject options and (vocational) programme 27-to-1 to 28-to-1) and post-primary (from provision, which is likely to have greater impact on less 18-to-1 to 19-to-1) levels academically oriented students.
Loss of posts such as Home-School Community Liaison Withdrawal of some capitation funding for and Guidance in schools which were formerly classified as former disadvantaged schools disadvantaged; impact on schools with some prevalence of disadvantage.
A change in the criteria for the allocation of Greater difficulties for larger schools with higher concentrations language support teachers, especially for of newcomer students; DEIS schools are over-represented in schools with a higher proportion of newcomers this category.
Non-implementation of the Education for Implications for students with a range of learning difficulties.
Persons with Special Needs Act It is estimated that 80 of these posts are located in Removal of 128 Mild General Learning disadvantaged areas – these students will now be placed in Disability Classes mainstream classes.
Likely to have a bigger impact in smaller schools. Will impact Changes to teacher substitution and supervision also on provision of sports and other extra-curricular activities, arrangements which have been found to be important for the engagement and retention of students at risk of early leaving.
Abolition of grants for cookery, resource grant Will impact on the nature of learning support for weaker for language support teachers and equipment grant for resource teachers at primary level Abolition of grants for choirs/orchestras, Home JSCP and LCA, in particular, play an important role for less Economics, Physics and Chemistry, JCSP, academically oriented students, these programmes may be LCA, LCVP, and Transition Year at post-primary phased out in some schools.
Already low levels of retention and performance among Reduction in capitation funding for Travellers students from Traveller Community may worsen.
10. Abolition of book grant scheme for non-DEIS Greater financial difficulty for the majority of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds attending non-DEIS schools.
11. Increase in charges for School Transport Likely to place greater financial pressure on families on low Scheme at post-primary level 12. Reduction in places on Back to Education Curtailing the opportunity for second-chance education and Initiative and in Senior Traveller Training Centres up-skilling.
Decline in the relative living standards and greater financial No increase in Student Maintenance Grants strain for third-level students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
"More worryingly in terms of disadvantage, the Leaving It was felt that overall these recent cuts in educational Cert Applied, Transition Year and Junior Cert Schools expenditure were short-sighted and would ultimately lead Programme are very much at risk. One of the things to longer term cost implications for society in general, we are so proud of is the Transition year with its wide placing further pressure on already tight resources across variety of subjects and experiences, when it's a good the public services and having an adverse impact on the programme it can have fantastic benefits for the children most marginalised children. and now suddenly schools are having to make choices
not to do it." education stakeholder
"It is very short-sighted, children's education is the last thing that should be cut especially in disadvantaged Having a varied extra curricular programme is very areas–research tells us that education is key to future beneficial to students and these cuts will see this aspect of employment." online survey respondent
school curtailed, e.g. music and dances classes, homework clubs, sports and afterschool clubs. "I firmly believe that cutbacks in education are a false economy. We do not wish to see children "My daughter misses the homework club big time, leaving school unable to read as was the situation it used to help her along and take pressure off me and still is in some cases. Education lifts the soul, as I didn't get much education myself when I was nourishes the mind and gives purpose and possibility." young. She is struggling more now as there are online survey respondent
some things I can help her with and others I can't."
Father of Four, offaly
"When you think of it proportionally, what they're saving is miniscule and the damage they're doing–dismantling "The funding for our homework club has ceased from the infrastructure that we have taken years to build up." December and it is a big loss. It was really successful deis school principal
targeting the children most at risk of falling behind. It had huge benefits in that the children were happy they had The Department has given some reassurances that their homework done and could get help if needed and cutbacks announced would not directly affect DEIS schools they wouldn't get into trouble the following day. For the but in reality these schools will suffer in a number of ways. parents it alleviated the pressure of doing homework at For instance they are affected by the reintroduction of the home especially for those whose own education is poor limit on English language support teachers despite having or if they had a large family." deis school principal
a higher concentration of newcomer children. "School has to be more than books, school has to be an "The loss of language support teachers in our school experience for children and the sports and the games will be a great loss. These students struggle as it is and the extra-curricular – that's what has made our and without this much needed extra support they will education system good." education stakeholder
be unable to keep up to the level in the classroom. It also puts huge pressure on the class teacher to assist The removal of 128 mild learning disability classes will these children while also trying to maintain a high affect all schools including DEIS. This is overall estimated standard of English language with the rest of the class." to affect 900 pupils who will now have to be taught largely online survey respondent
in the mainstream classroom. The likely impact of this on an individual and school is significant and is seen as a drastic The opportunity to offer the Junior Certificate School step backwards in the bid to help children with disabilities, Programme, the Leaving Certificate Applied Programme however mild, meet their full educational potential. and the Transition Year Programme is also restricted given the abolition of grants in this area. Availability of these "My son would emphatically not have made the progress programmes benefit disadvantaged students the most he has without the support he received – he successfully as they are at most risk of dropping out and tailoring the did the Junior Cert and is now heading for the Leaving. curriculum to offer a wide range of subjects is essential in His resource hours may be cut, which beggars belief keeping them in school. that all the effort to keep him in school may be at risk. A mild learning difficulty can translate into low self esteem, poor attainment and general disaffection in an
adult and we know where that can lead." online survey
While much effort towards tackling educational disadvantage in Ireland has been made at policy level there is a huge sense that these inroads wil be eroded fol owing the introduction The abolition of the book grant scheme for non-DEIS of cutbacks in the Budget. It is Barnardos view, shared by schools will put additional financial pressure on parents, others, that these cuts wil adversely affect those children especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The who need the best start and help in their education in order costs associated with returning to school are significant to break the cycle of poverty and disadvantage. with school books alone costing between €100 per child in primary school to €300 per child in secondary school. The absence of this scheme will result in some children not having the correct materials and being at risk of falling behind before starting the school year.
"The school book grant scheme is a great help. I am
a lone parent and only earn so much. If that scheme
was cut in this school it would put huge pressure on me
and the children, if you haven't got it you haven't got it."
Father of Four, tipperary
"The costs of school are really expensive at the start and throughout the year. I have to buy all the books because they can't be handed down as they use workbooks that they all write in. I would like if a school book scheme was working in the school." Mother of Four, dublin
For the School Completion Programme, the cut in funding is seen to have implications for the types of activities the programme covers and the ‘innovative' element of the programme in meeting the diverse needs of recipients including teenage mothers. Its likely consequences would be higher early school leaving among this already at risk group resulting in entrapping them and their children into the cycle of poverty. "The School Completion Programme was my lifeline.
It helped fund practical things for me like uniforms and
books and enabled me to go back to school. Without
its help I would have had to drop out and now I am in
college studying nursing." Mother of two, dublin
CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The ability to participate and succeed within the educational International research has shown that there are proven ways system in Ireland greatly influences children's future life of supporting children into school and retaining them in full- chances and outcomes. One in six Irish young people still time education, namely early childhood education and care leave school without reaching Leaving Certificate level and (ECEC) and measures to boost academic achievement their likelihood of doing so is strongly influenced by their such as intensive literacy supports and reducing class social background. Those who leave school before the sizes. These activities verify that early interventions at pre- Leaving Certificate are more likely to be unemployed, earn school and primary level are more cost effective than later less if they have a job, have poorer health and higher crime remediation. Such interventions within ECEC must be of levels. This has substantial costs for the young people high quality in terms of curriculum offered, standards of themselves and for society as a whole. Higher rates of care and appropriate training of staff.
early school leaving mean higher exchequer expenditure on welfare, health and prisons and lower tax revenue. The percentage of Ireland's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on education decreased over the years of economic prosperity. As the country got wealthier, the At Departmental level, integrate the investment in education failed to increase proportionally. current childcare and early education Across the OECD countries, the average spend on policies to improve co-ordination education is 5.5%; in Ireland it is 4.6%. It is vital that across services. importance of education is prioritised by Government and that adequate resources are allocated accordingly.
Ensure the universal free half-day pre-school place to all children the year prior to joining primary school is of a high standard and compliant with the Framework for Quality Increase education spending to (SIOLTA) and the Framework of Early 5.5% of GDP in line with the OECD Learning (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment). Investment in education yields significant economic and social benefits for society at large and efforts to tackle Reverse decision to increase class some of the ongoing educational and social inequalities size and honour the commitments have been made through the DEIS programme. However, given in the Programme for the current economic crisis is already seeing cutbacks to vital supports within the education system which will make it more difficult for children to overcome adversity and reach their educational potential. It is for this reason that Barnardos is totally opposed to any further cuts being made to the education provision. No further cuts to education services. The availability and continuity of appropriate supports was a supports and a comprehensively recurring theme in all interviews conducted and responses to the Barnardos online survey. It is clear that a holistic, resourced Home School Liaison child-centred approach to the provision of supports is necessary to ensure that children are given the assistance they deserve to help them reach their educational potential. Provision of appropriate supports in a timely fashion has A child's ability to benefit from all the educational been shown to improve a child's experience of school and opportunities on offer is obviously affected by their family's their educational performance. household income. For parents on low income or reliant on social welfare the educational costs can be excessive. Although the costs of living are expected to decrease throughout 2009, the ongoing rise in unemployment will cause more families to feel the burden of these school Improve the accessibility and costs than ever before. The abolition of the school book availability of education related grant scheme in non-DEIS schools will further exacerbate services including NEWB and this situation resulting in some children not having the required materials or dropping out of school because their parents cannot afford to send them. Improve access to and collaboration with services such as child psychologists, psychiatrists and speech and language therapists.
Roll out national school book rental scheme.
Ensure continuity of services between primary and secondary As the DEIS pilot phase is to end in 2010, the development school, recognising the ongoing of further national education policy must ensure greater impact of difficulties on a child's collaboration between all stakeholders in the development of more holistic strategies that support children, particularly disadvantaged groups and those with special needs. Linked Introduce a comprehensive to this it is crucial to ensure that schools which manage to induction phase for children moving raise the educational outcomes of their students are not from primary to second level. For penalised for their success.
many the transition between primary and secondary schools is difficult and can influence their attendance and success at second level. An Ensure future educational appropriate induction involving the disadvantage policies builds on the secondary school is vital to helping progress of DEIS and guarantees children, especially those with greater collaboration between special needs, to cope with this Government Departments and Ensure the greater involvement of parents in the education of their children and communication with the school through improved literacy
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CPR-01005; No of Pages 12 Clinical Psychology Review xxx (2009) xxx–xxx Contents lists available at Clinical Psychology Review Emerging treatments for PTSD Judith Cukor Josh Spitalnick JoAnn Difede , Albert Rizzo Barbara O. Rothbaum a Weill Cornell Medical College, 525 East 68th Street, Box 200, New York, NY 10065, USAb Virtually Better, Inc., 2440 Lawrenceville Hwy, Suite 200, Decatur, GA 30033, USAc University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies, 13274 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey, CA. 90292, USAd Emory University School of Medicine, 1256 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, GA 30306, USA