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Update: Monitoring Bullying Outside of School, 4th August 2015

4th August 2015 - Bernard Durkan TD


Ceist Pharlaiminte

Chun an Aire Oideachais agus Eolaíoctha
To the Minister for Education and Science

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills the extent to which her Department
continues to monitor bullying amongst children or teenagers while out of school
or on school holidays; if evaluation has been completed to determine the extent
to which incidents are on the increase; and if she will make a statement on the
– Bernard J. Durkan.

* For WRITTEN answer on Wednesday, 8th July, 2015.
Reference Number: 27969/15


Minister Jan O’Sullivan

There is no requirement that schools report incidents of bullying behaviour to
my Department.

However, the Deputy may be aware that my Department published new anti-bullying
procedures for all primary and post primary schools at the beginning of the
2013/14 school year.

The procedures are designed to give direction and guidance to school
authorities and school personnel in preventing and tackling school-based
bullying behaviour amongst its pupils. They include specific requirements in
relation to the use of prevention and education strategies and the consistent
investigation, follow up and recording of bullying behaviour.

The procedures also recognise that parents and pupils have a role and
responsibility in helping the school to prevent and address school-based
bullying behaviour and to deal with any negative impact within school of
bullying behaviour that occurs elsewhere.

The procedures include important new oversight arrangements that involve the
school Principal reporting regularly to the Board of Management and a
requirement for the Board to undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-
bullying policy and its implementation. Confirmation that the annual review has
been completed must be provided to the Parents’ Association and published on
the school website.

Arising from commitments made in the Action Plan on Bullying, my Department’s
Inspectorate is placing a stronger focus on the actions schools take to create
a positive school culture and to prevent and tackle bullying. For example,
parent and student questionnaires issued as part of whole school evaluations,
include, since January 2014, additional questions to get a clearer picture of
how the school deals with bullying.

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