The School Completion Programme
The School Completion Programme (SCP) in Ireland delivers a range of local interventions in disadvantaged communities which support the retention of young people in education. The programme enables local communities to develop tailored strategies to maximise participation levels of those at risk of early school leaving in the education process. It entails targeting individual young people of school-going age , both in and out of school, and arranging supports to address inequalities in education access, participation and outcomes. The SCP is a central element of the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) plan, which is a policy instrument for educational inclusion.
The School Completion Programme (SCP) is based on local projects, which operate under the management and direction of a Local Management Committee (LMC). The LMC is comprised of representatives of the schools involved and may include representatives from parents and other local voluntary and statutory services. The LMC is responsible for the governance of the project, including the use of project resources and accountability for public funds made available by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs through the Child and Family Agency (Tusla). Local decision making is a key feature of the project model approach.
Each year projects assess the needs of local young people at risk of early school leaving to devise a costed and targeted proposal of interventions (known as the Retention Plan). The School Retention Plans typically contain a range of initiatives and supports which are delivered at a targeted, whole school / whole class level, where appropriate, in-school, after-school, out-of-school and during holiday periods.
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