The Centre has been involved in assessing levels of disadvantage in schools on behalf of the DES for many years. In 1995, the Centre reviewed the criteria that had been used to identify primary and second-level schools for inclusion in the Disadvantaged Areas Scheme (DAS) (Kellaghan, Weir, Ó hÚllacháin, & Morgan, 1995). Further work involved assessing levels of disadvantage in primary schools applying to participate in the Breaking the Cycle scheme introduced in 1996 (Weir, 1999) and for the Giving Children an Even Break programme introduced at primary level in 2001 (Weir, 2004). More recently, an assessment of disadvantage at both primary and second level was completed for the School Support Programme (SSP) element of the Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools (DEIS) programme. The assessment involved a survey of primary schools (Archer & Sofroniou, 2008) in 2005 and an analysis of centrally-held data on educational and socioeconomic variables in post-primary schools in 2005 and 2006 (Weir, 2006). Subsequent to the initial assessment of disadvantage, surveys of new and amalgamated primary schools were carried out in 2007 and 2008 with modified versions of the questionnaire that was used in the 2005 survey. Results of these surveys were used to allocate resources where indicated under DEIS. More recently, the Centre was asked by the Special Education section of the DES to conduct a survey to assess the socioeconomic characteristics of students attending all primary and post-primary schools nationwide (see also the section concerning A survey of the social contexts of primary and second-level schools in Centre’s programme of work). While the Centre is currently not formally engaged in the assessment of disadvantage, the issue of identification remains part of the Centre’s programme of work. An exploration of the ways in which identification methods might be improved – particularly in light of new data sources and of changing economic conditions – is the subject of ongoing investigation. A technical group, established by the DES and comprised of some members of Centre staff and officials from the DES, has been working on using other data sources to help in the identification of schools that serve disadvantaged families. One specific method being explored involves using the ‘HP index’, which uses census data to provide profiles of small areas in terms of their relative disadvantage and affluence.