“I oversaw an expanded summer programme in 2020 and introduced the first-ever inclusion summer programme in 2021 which has meant that all schools, could for the first time, offer a summer programme in primary, post-primary and special schools. That programme has gone from strength to strength, with 2022 seeing more schools and more students participate than ever before.
“I am aware, however, that parents want this to be available in more schools in 2023 so I am very pleased to be able to announce the funding for a summer programme for 2023 at the earliest possible opportunity. This will allow schools the certainty they require to let them plan for a summer programme in their school next year. In recent years the department has made a range of additional resources and supports available to schools to encourage participation in this essential programme and I hope this announcement today means that schools will commit to running a programme next year.
“The department is also currently undertaking a review of the programme with a view to improving it for next year and with a committed focus on increasing the number of schools participating, particularly special schools and examining the resources being supplied under the programme.”