Department of Education Backs Major Anti-Bullying Initiative.
Campaign to target over 800,000 Irish primary and post-primary students
In Ireland an estimated 31% of primary students and 16% of secondary school students experience bullying, putting over 200,000 children at risk from the damaging effects of this growing problem.*
In a move to help prevent bullying and promote improved mental health amongst Ireland’s school-going children, The Irish Educational Publishers’ Association (IEPA) will introduce age-appropriate adverts in mainstream school books to address the problem. The initiative will greatly improve information, support and advice dissemination to 830,000 Irish primary and post-primary students.
The IEPA plans to provide adverts featuring advice and help-lines to be placed in up to 1,000 mainstream primary and post primary print and digital publications by the end of next year. The adverts, which were designed under the direction of the Department of Education and Skills (DES), will prominently feature in IEPA member text books allowing the student to absorb the message and help on offer.
The DES campaigns within IEPA member school books include Cyber-bullying, Stand up to Homophobic Bullying as well as Well Being in schools "Take care of yourself adverts".
Students can have up to ten mainstream subjects and most mainstream publications are used at least twice daily - once in class, once with homework. These text books are studied by almost 800,000 primary and post-primary students between170 and 180 days a year. This represents about 20 views per day of these anti-bullying messages or 3,500 views every school year. Books also have a minimum six year life span and extensive readership, aside from the book owner.
“The IEPA is delighted that these crucial messages will be presented consistently, authoritatively and sensitively in a reader-friendly way. Importantly, these messages also come in a new advertising medium with an age-targeted captive audience” according to Cliodhna O’Donoghue, General Secretary of the IEPA.
Mainstream subjects include English, Irish, Maths, Geography, History, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Home Economics, CSPE, and Languages.
* Bullying Behaviour in Irish Schools – A Nationwide Study was conducted by Dr Mona O'Moore of the Anti-Bullying Centre in Trinity College Dublin and was published in 1997. The survey covered 531 primary and post-primary schools and some 20,442 students (9, 599 primary and 10, 843 post-primary) were questioned.