The School Completion Programme (SCP) was set up as part of Department of Education and Skills (DES) DEIS Strategy – Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools.
Its aim is to increase the numbers of young people staying in primary and second level school and in doing so improve the numbers of pupils who successfully complete the Senior Cycle, or the equivalent.
The SCP operates in 470 primary schools and 224 post-primary schools. There are 124 local SCP projects employing 248 full-time, 627 part-time and 2,211 sessional and other staff. Each of the 124 local SCP projects is led by a management committee comprising school principals, HSCL co-ordinators, parents and voluntary and statutory agencies. At a national level, SCP is supported by a national leadership team within the Senior Management Team of the Educational Welfare Services of the Child and Family Agency, with responsibility for overseeing the operation and work of the local projects.
SCP work focuses on targeting and providing supports to young people identified to be most at risk of early school leaving and includes:
Identifying and supporting children at risk of not reaching their potential in the educational system because of poor attendance, participation and retention via initiatives such as breakfast clubs; homework clubs; afterschool supports; mentoring programmes; and therapeutic interventions;
Ensuring that schools have in place the appropriate procedures to monitor, identify and respond to attendance, participation and retention issue;
Implementing transfer programmes to support young people transitioning from primary to post-primary school.