€5 million allocated for educationally disadvantaged learners


It has been announced today that €5M in funding is being allocated to support the ‘most educationally disadvantaged in Ireland’.

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris has revealed that over €5 million in funding will go to support educationally disadvantaged learners. The money will help the learners with accessing and participating in community education.

This funding is issued under the Reach Fund to ETBs and is designed to support and engage with disadvantaged learners who have the highest level of need.

The funding can be used to assist learners with transport or education costs, funding on access to technology and devices, or expanding community access to Wi‐Fi and broadband resources.

Minister Harris released a statement following the news of the financial support, stating, “The success of the Reach Fund over the past three years has been so important. Originally introduced in 2020 to support the most disadvantaged learners throughout the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was critical in reconnecting with the most disadvantaged learners around the country”.

“It continues to support community education partners make sure that these learners are not left behind. As we launch the Year of Skills, it is vital every adult has the necessary literacy, numeracy and digital literacy to engage in society and realise their potential”.

“The Reach Fund has achieved so much, and I am excited to see what important and valuable projects it supports this year”.

The Reach Fund helps to support online learning, connects communities and provides social support to the most vulnerable groups around the country.

The priority groups of people include the long-term unemployed people, young people, people with disabilities, members of the Traveller and Roma communities, migrants and refugees, women wishing to return to the labour market and lone parents.

Tanya Jones, the Director of Further Education and Training, Education and Training Boards Ireland (ETBI) also shared a statement on the work being carried out with the help of financial support. 

“Since its launch in 2020 Reach Fund continues to support the participation of disadvantaged learners in education”.

“ETBI welcomes the continuation of the Reach Fund which is administered by the national network of Education and Training Boards, and I encourage all community education providers to engage with their local ETB to access this fund to further support the complex needs of a diverse range of learners across our communities”.