Posted by Schooldays Nwshound, on 17/02/2022. Tags: Parenting Education And Politics
The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has today announced the Steering Committee established to review the Department of Education’s Action Plan on Bullying which was published in 2013 and develop a new Action Plan. Both Minister Foley and Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan TD attended the committee’s inaugural meeting today.
The review will take account of the significant developments and relevant research since the action plan was published in 2013. It will specifically consider cyber bullying, gender identity bullying and sexual harassment, among other areas.
The review will 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 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 consists of senior officials from the Department of Education, including the Inspectorate and the National Educational Psychological Service, representatives of the National Parents’ Council Primary, National Parents’ Council Post-Primary, Irish Second Level Students’ Union (ISSU), the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, the National Anti-bullying Research Centre in DCU and other external experts and representatives of advocacy organisations which include BelongTo, Webwise, Parentline National Traveller Women’s Forum, Women’s Aid and the Independent Living Movement Ireland.
The Steering Committee will be chaired by Dr. Noel Purdy, Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Underachievement (CREU), Stranmillis University College in Antrim.
The anti-bullying procedures for primary and post-primary schools will also be reviewed and updated in parallel with this work.
The Department’s Wellbeing Policy Statement and Framework for Practice 2019 sets out the ambition and vision of the Department that the promotion of wellbeing will be at the core of the ethos of every school and centre for education in Ireland. The Wellbeing Policy and Framework for Practice provides an overarching framework for schools to support a comprehensive, multi-component approach to bullying.Minister Foley said:“I am delighted to announce this new Steering Committee to review the Department’s Action Plan on Bullying. I recognise the serious impact that bullying can have on young people’s lives and their wellbeing. Although a lot of resources and supports currently exist to support schools in promoting wellbeing and in preventing and tackling bullying we need to constantly review this area to take account of technological and societal developments and relevant research.”
“I would like to thank the Chair of the Steering Committee, Dr. Noel Purdy, and all the members of the Steering Committee who have agreed to be involved in such an important piece of work. Dr. Purdy has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the area of preventing and tackling bullying in schools and his guidance and leadership will be invaluable to the Steering Committee.”
“We are fortunate that such a broad range of members has agreed to participate in this vital work. These members have vast experience and will each bring their own knowledge and perspectives to the work of the committee. Their contributions should help ensure that in preparing new action plan we adopt a holistic, whole of education response, so that we can cooperatively and cohesively tackle the problem of bullying in all its forms.”Minister Madigan said:“I welcome this review, which is essential to ensuring that we have a strong framework in place to ensure robust anti-bullying measures in all of our education settings. It is essential that we are fully aware of the needs of children and young people with special educational needs in this vital work. We will be specifically seeking the views of children with special educational needs and their parents during this review, and I know that will bring great insights and value to this important work.
“The Steering Committee which is meeting for the first time today will also be looking at a number of other important areas including cyber bullying, gender-based bullying, and gender identity bullying. It is important that our anti-bullying policies are fully up-to-date and reflective of modern society so that every child can feel safe and secure at school. Schools already do hugely important work in tackling bullying behaviour among students and it is important that policies are in place that support and inform school authorities in their role. I want to pay tribute to the Steering Committee and wish them well in their work.”