New €40,000 training plan to help parents combat bullying
PARENTS are set to receive training as part of the Government's Action Plan on Bullying, Education Minister Ruairi Quinn has announced.
A total of €40,000 has been earmarked for 70 two-and-a-half-hour training sessions for parents by the end of the year.
The cash allocation comes as a conference on childhood bullying in Dublin was last week told that almost 40pc of nine-year-olds are being bullied.
However, while the initiative has been welcomed by parents' representatives, the Irish National Teachers' Organisation dismissed the sum as "a drop in the ocean".
Mr Quinn published new anti-bullying procedures for schools on Friday. Key elements include a strong emphasis on prevention of bullying behaviour and defining bullying to include cyber, homophobic and racist bullying.
The anti-bullying training programme is being run jointly by the National Parents' Councils for Primary and Post Primary Schools.
Announcing the funding, Mr Quinn said: "Bullying is not a problem schools can or should be left to tackle alone. Parents, families and the wider community have an important role to play in tackling . . . bullying."
The purpose of the training sessions are to help parents support their children.
Aine Lynch, chief executive of the National Parents' Council Primary, said: "Parents play a key role in supporting their children and the local school, and this investment in parents will allow them to fulfil that role in a more informed way."
Her counterpart for secondary schools, Don Myers, said: "Parents will be better equipped with knowledge for themselves and for the support of their children in any issues in relation to bullying."