Action Plan on Bullying

The Action Plan on Bullying, which was published in January 2013, sets out the Department of Education and Skills approach to tackling bullying and promoting an anti-bullying culture in schools. It recommended 12 actions that focus on support for schools, teacher training, research and awareness raising and aim to ensure that all forms of bullying are addressed. A number of these actions have been implemented in full while others, which by their nature involve continuous action, are the subject of ongoing implementation.

As part of the implementation of the Action Plan, National Anti-Bullying Procedures for schools, which were published in September 2013, are currently being implemented by all 4,000 primary and post primary schools in the country.

Other actions include support for anti-bullying awareness raising initiatives and the development and roll out of anti-bullying training materials for parents, teachers and Boards of Management.

The Department of Education and Skills is committed to continuing implementation of the Anti-Bullying Action Plan through continued support for the development of anti-bullying training materials and awareness-raising initiatives, which include support for schools, teacher training, research and awareness raising and aims to ensure that all forms of bullying are addressed.

Anti-Bullying Procedures in Schools

Who is responsible for dealing with bullying in schools?

Responsibility for tackling bullying in schools falls to the level of the individual school.

New Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools were published in September 2013. The New Procedures and the associated Department Circular 0045/2013 apply to all recognised primary and post-primary schools and to centres for education (as defined in the Education Act 1998) which are attended by pupils under the age of 18 years.

School authorities and school personnel are required to adhere to these procedures in dealing with allegations and incidents of bullying.

The purpose of these procedures is to give direction and guidance to school authorities and school personnel in preventing and tackling school-based bullying behaviour amongst its pupils and in dealing with any negative impact within school of bullying behaviour that occurs elsewhere.

The new procedures require all schools to formally adopt and implement an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the procedures.

All Boards of Management are now required to immediately commence the necessary arrangements for developing and formally adopting an anti-bullying policy which fully complies with the requirements of these procedures.The school’s anti-bullying policy must then be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists).

The Board of Management of each school in developing its anti-bullying policy must formulate the policy in co-operation with both teaching and non-teaching school staff under the leadership of the Principal and in consultation with parents and pupils.

Word versions of the templates which must be used by all schools are provided via the following links:

The Anti-Bullying Procedures set out the requirements on schools in relation to preventing and dealing with bullying behaviour. There are also a number of bodies/groups that provide information and assistance on the topic of bullying including the Anti-Bullying Centre at Dublin City University and the National Parents Council.

*Information from the Department of Education and Skills website