Tusla - Ireland's Child & Family Agency

Home School Community Liaison Scheme

The Home School Community Liaison (HSCL) Scheme is a central component of the Department of Education and Skill’s DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools), An Action Plan for Educational Inclusion, which aims to combat educational disadvantage, through a range of interventions and strategies, designed to improve educational outcomes for children.  The underlying vision and thrust of the HSCL Scheme is preventative; therefore, it seeks to promote and develop real partnership between parents, teachers and communities, in order to enhance pupils’ outcomes and learning opportunities, through improved attendance, participation and retention in the education system.

Responsibility for the services formerly provided by NEWB (National Educational Welfare Board) now rests with the Educational Welfare Services (EWS) of Tusla, the Child and Family Agency. This includes the HSCL Scheme, which is a core element of the integrated EWS of Tusla, serving DEIS schools.

All DEIS Urban Primary and DEIS Post Primary schools are currently included in the HSCL Scheme, which serves 528 schools. The 400 full-time HSCL Coordinators are teachers in these schools, assigned to HSCL, to work primarily with the salient adults in the child’s life, in order to empower them, so that they can better support their children to attend school, participate in education and develop positive attitudes to life-long learning.   Central to the HSCL initiative, is the identification of needs and the provision of a tailored and proportionate response to those needs, through a range of interventions, which are evidence-based, focused and structured.

HSCL Coordinators, as agents of change in schools, work in an integrated way with all other support services, particularly School Completion Programme staff and Educational Welfare Officers, to implement a whole-school approach to improving attendance, participation and retention in education for the most marginalised and educationally disadvantaged pupils. They also have a critical role in supporting the development, implementation, evaluation and review of the school’s DEIS Action Plan, particularly through parental involvement in education and relevant initiatives and interventions that are designed to improve literacy, numeracy and positive engagement. 

The HSCL Scheme is managed and coordinated by a national leadership team within the Senior Management Team of the Educational Welfare Services of TUSLA, The Child and Family Agency.

Contact details for the Senior Management Team are:

Name E-mail
Fionnuala Mac Aonghusa Fionnuala.macaonghusa@tusla.ie
Maria Tobin maria.tobin@tusla.ie
Marian Heeney marian.heeney@tusla.ie

The Department of Education and Skills remains responsible for the allocation of HSCL posts in the participating DEIS schools under the HSCL Scheme .Further information on the HSCL Scheme and DEIS can be obtained on the DES website www.education.gov.ie

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