A new Action Plan on Bullying has been launched by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.
The Action Plan hopes to provide continuous education for those who deal with bullying, so that organisations can work more coherently to achieve their goals, to set up a national database to record all acts of bullying, so they may target the types of bullying and the areas in which they occur.
The plan sets out twelve actions to help prevent and tackle bullying in primary and second level schools. The report makes it clear that preventing and tackling bullying requires support from parents and wider society and is not a problem schools can solve alone.
Among the twelve actions recommended by the working group are proposals to:
• Support a media campaign focused on cyber bullying specifically targeted at young people as part of Safer Internet Day 2013;
• Establish a new national anti-bullying website;
• Begin development immediately of new national anti-bullying procedures for all schools. These will include an anti-bullying policy template and a template for recording incidents of bullying in schools. These should be in place by the start of the next school year;
• Devise a co-ordinated plan of training for parents and for school boards of management;
• Provide Department of Education and Skills support for the Stand Up! Awareness Week Against Homophobic Bullying organised by BeLonG To Youth Services;
• Review current Teacher Education Support Service provision to identify what training and Continuous Professional Development teachers may need to help them effectively tackle bullying;
Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.