The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD today encouraged all pupils and students, parents, school staff members, Education Partners and those involved in school communities to ‘have their say’ on a consultation process on preventing and tackling bullying in schools. This consultation forms part of the review of the Department’s Action Plan on Bullying, which will inform the development of a new Action Plan. The Anti-bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-primary Schools are also being reviewed.
The review will take account of the significant developments and relevant research since the Action Plan and Anti-bullying Procedures were published in 2013. It will specifically consider cyber bullying, identity bullying and sexual harassment, among other areas.
The review will also give detailed consideration to the recommendations contained in the Oireachtas Joint Committee Report on School Bullying and the Impact on Mental Health which was published last August.
The public consultation process has now begun and the views of pupils and students, parents, school staff members, education partners and all those involved in school communities are being sought.
These submissions will help ensure that work underway to prevent and tackle bullying in schools will be informed by the views of as many pupils, students, parents, school staff, Education Partners and individual members of the public as possible.
An online questionnaire can be completed at https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/483de-consultation-on-the-review-of-the-action-plan-on-bullying-and-the-review-of-the-anti-bullying-procedures-for-primary-and-post-primary-schools/
Written submissions can also be made at https://www.gov.ie/en/consultation/483de-consultation-on-the-review-of-the-action-plan-on-bullying-and-the-review-of-the-anti-bullying-procedures-for-primary-and-post-primary-schools/
This consultation process will remain open until Tuesday 21 June 2022.
Minister Foley said: “We want to hear from as wide a range of voices as possible during this review process and I would encourage all those in the education sector to either complete this survey online or make an online written submission. We know that we must continue to improve our processes in schools if we are to tackle and prevent bullying.
“The results of this consultation will help to shape and inform our new Action Plan on Bullying and I want to thank the members of the Steering Committee who have brought this consultation to fruition in such timely fashion.”
The Department has held focus groups with children and young people and will be holding focus groups with school communities to further enhance the consultation process.
The terms of reference for the Steering Committee are as follows:
- to review the actions and progress under the current Action Plan on Bullying (published in 2013);
- to develop a new Action Plan with any new priority areas that need to be addressed to help prevent and tackle bullying in schools;
- to identify the actions which need to be taken to address these areas.
The Steering Committee is comprised of the following members:
- Aileen Hickie, CEO, Parentline
- Áine Lynch, CEO, National Parents’ Council Primary.
- Deirdre Shanley, Schools Division, Department of Education.
- Emer Neville, President, Irish Second-Level Students’ Union
- Emer O’Neill, Anti-racism Activist, Teacher, Presenter
- Prof. James O’Higgins-Norman, Director, DCU Anti-Bullying Centre.
- Jane McGarrigle, Project Officer, Webwise.
- Judith Lyons, Parents and Learners Unit, Department of Education.
- Mai Fanning, President, National Parents Council Post-Primary.
- Majella O’Dea, Teacher Education Section (ITE & Professional Development), Department of Education.
- Maria Bracken, Teacher Education Section (Digital, Teacher Supply), Department of Education.
- Maria Joyce, Coordinator, National Traveller Women’s Forum.
- Moninne Griffith, CEO, BelongTo.
- Niamh Molloy, Parents and Learners Unit, Department of Education.
- Dr. Noel Purdy, Director, Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement (CREU) Stranmillis University College, Chair of Committee.
- Rebecca Galligan, Inspectorate, Department of Education.
- Ronan Kielt, Curriculum and Assessment Policy Unit, Department of Education.
- Sarah Benson, CEO, Women’s Aid.
- Seònaid ÓMurchadha, Director, Independent Living Movement Ireland.
- Sharon Eustace, National Educational Psychological Service, Department of Education.
- Bridget Wilson, Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration, and Youth.
- Yvonne Keating, Inspectorate, Department of Education.
- Zak Moradi, Anti-racism Activist.