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Bullying Information for Parents and Students

What is bullying?

Bullying is defined in the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools as “unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time”.   More information on the definition of bullying, types of bullying and the impact and indicators of bullying is available in Sections 2 and 3 of the procedures for schools.  

Who is responsible for dealing with bullying in schools?

The individual school is responsible for tackling bullying in schools.

New Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools were published in September 2013.  These procedures 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.

For more information see Anti-Bullying Procedures in Schools

Where can I get information about bullying in schools?

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 in the area of bullying including the Anti-Bullying Centre at Dublin City University or the National Parents Council.

Watch Your Space is a website devoted to empowering and supporting young people as they take action to address bullying, in particular cyber bullying, in their local communities.

The tacklebullying.ie website, which was developed by the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) at Dublin City University, provides information, support and advice for students, teachers and parents on how to recognise and deal with bullying behaviour and allows teenagers to share experiences with their peers online.

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. The twelve actions in the plan focus on support for schools, teacher training, research and awareness raising and aim to ensure that all forms of bullying are addressed. Implementation of the actions in the Plan is ongoing and good progress has been made in all areas:

  • New Anti-Bullying Procedures, which were published in September 2013, are currently being implemented by all 4,000 primary and post primary schools in the country. Training materials for parents, teachers and Boards of Management are being developed and rolled out. More information about free anti-bullying training for parents can be at www.npc.ie - National Parents Council Primary.
  • The Department supports a number of anti-bullying awareness raising initiatives including the Europe-wide Safer-Internet day and the Stand Up! Against Homophobic and Transphobic bullying campaign, organised by BeLonG To Youth Services. Funding is also provided to the internet safety initiative, Webwise, which has launched a number of resources aimed at tackling cyberbullying.
  • "Being LGBT in School" A Resource for Post-Primary Schools to Prevent homophobic and Transphobic Bullying and Support LGBT Students was developed by the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (GLEN) as part of the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying. It will support schools in the implementation of the Department’s Anti-Bullying Procedures.
  • A new national anti-bullying website, www.tacklebullying.ie, was launched in November 2015. The website will provide a single point of information and support for young people, parents and teachers affected by bullying.
  • In addition, two pieces of research suggested in the Plan around children with special needs and social media have been published.