Anti-bullying procedures to be introduced to Irish schools
Schools required to have education and prevention strategies for cyberbullying
Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D., publishes new anti-bullying procedures for all primary and post primary schools.
Schools will be required to have education and prevention strategies for cyberbullying
The Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D., has today published new anti-bullying procedures to be adopted and implemented by all 4,000 primary and post primary schools. The new procedures and the associated Department Circular 0045/13 are now published on the Department’s website at www.education.ie.
These procedures have been developed following consultation with the relevant education partners and replace guidelines that were issued to schools in 1993. These procedures have resulted from a review of the 1993 guidelines and the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying that was published in January 2013.
The new procedures require that the prevention of bullying must be an integral part of a school’s anti-bullying policy. Minister Quinn said “he was pleased to note the strong focus in the procedures on education and prevention strategies to deal with bullying behaviour including, in particular, cyberbullying and identity based bullying such as homophobic and transphobic bullying.”
Each school must now develop its anti-bullying policy in accordance with the procedures. The policy must be developed in consultation with parents, students, and all school staff, and aim to create a positive school culture and climate that is inclusive and welcoming of difference.
Key elements of the procedures are:
- A strong emphasis on prevention of bullying behaviour through the fostering and
development of a positive school culture and climate that is based on inclusivity and respect
- A school-wide approach to preventing and tackling bullying behaviour
- A requirement that all schools must adhere to the standardised policy template for
developing their anti-bullying policy
- Greater transparency for parents and pupils through the requirement for schools to publish their anti-bullying policy on the school’s website and give it to the parents association
- Making clear that the definition of bullying includes cyber-bullying and identity based bullying (such as homophobic and racist bullying)
- Practical tips for building a positive school culture and climate that is based on inclusivity and respect
- Clear procedures for investigating, recording and dealing with bullying. The procedures emphasise that the primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and restore as far as practicable the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame)
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