For the first time ever the extent of bullying in schools will be measured under a new action plan devised by the Department of Education. A national database is to be developed which will allow for the collection of data to form an annual report which will indicate the scale of the issue.
Bullying in schools is a widespread problem which has been exasperated by social media which allows bullies around the clock access to their targets.Very often even if the bullying does not happen within the school day the schools are often called upon to deal with the consequences.
This latest action plan on bullying, Cinealtas, will include training for school staff to be able to recognise bullying, counselling supports and a dedicated “Cinealtas” unit within the Dept. of Education.
The four main principles of Cinealtas are prevention, support, oversight and community and the Government is behind this plan with a €6 million budget.
Norma Foley hopes the implementation of this Action Plan will “greatly enhance and compliment the work that schools already do to ensure that all the children and young people are kept safe from harm and that the wellbeing of children and young people is at the forefront of everything.”