Wednesday 16 October 2019

Principals deal with nine cases of bullying each term

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

Sarah Slater

School principals nationwide are dealing with nine cases of bullying every academic term, resulting in some students wanting to leave the classroom, a report has found.

The report also shows the overwhelming majority (96pc) of primary and secondary school principals who took part in the survey believe bullying can have a negative impact on a child's attendance.

Up to 97pc of principals also believe bullying affects the academic performance of children - and point to a direct link between bullying and a heightened risk of a child leaving school early.

Even more worrying are findings that show principals believe children in their schools cannot easily access qualified counsellors when they experienced bullying.

Only 39pc agreed they had adequate access.

The report was carried out by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) at Dublin City University.

It aimed to discover whether the implementation of Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools, published by the Department of Education in September 2013, was working.

The survey was distributed online to all school principals in Ireland, which totalled 4,028 in October last year.

Up to 918 principals, or 23pc, responded, broadly representing most types of schools in Ireland.


ABC director Dr James O'Higgins Norman said the procedures were developed to give guidance to school authorities and personnel.

"While there are worrying findings in the report, we found that schools are working hard to follow these procedures and develop them even further," he said.

"The procedures are working and schools are recording what is happening when it comes to bullying.

"What is needed to help this is that more resources are needed for schools from the Government," he added.

Irish Independent

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