Anti-bullying Training for Donegal schools.

Inishowen Labour councillor, Martin Farren, has welcomed the announcement by his party colleague, Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., confirming that additional funding of €55,000 is being provided to support the delivery of anti-bullying training sessions for parents in 2014. This is on top of the €60,000 announced earlier this year and brings the 2014 allocation to a total of €115,000.

The Anti-Bullying Parent Training Programme is being run jointly by the National Parents Council Primary (NPC-P) and the National Parents Council Post Primary (NPC-PP) to support the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying which called for training and resources for parents and boards of management.

In 2013, 105 anti-bullying parent training sessions were delivered to 3,279 parents nationwide. It is expected that the funding in 2014 will allow more than 200 sessions to be organised throughout the country.

Positive Feedback

Feedback from the sessions organised to date has been very positive. Parents who attended the training sessions said that they felt that the training had given them more confidence in supporting their child with a bullying issue and in engaging with their school if a bullying incident arose.

Minister O’Sullivan is encouraging all parents to avail of the training saying that, “Everyone in the wider community has an important role to play in tackling all forms of bullying and in teaching children how to manage relationships, be resilient and have empathy for others. Bullying is not a problem schools can or should be left to tackle alone.”

Supporting Children

Welcoming the additional courses the Labour councillor said, “Parents need the tools and know-how to support their children in preventing bullying from happening and in dealing with it when it does arise so I am very pleased that this Labour initiative will ensure that a greater number of parents can avail of these courses.”

“I am asking all school parents’ associations to make sure that their schools are well represented at these training sessions and it is equally important that parent and community representatives on the boards of management of the schools attend as well.

Next Training

The next training session for Donegal will be held in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny, on Thursday 16th October. Further information will be released later.

The Parents Councils have developed an information leaflet for parents who cannot attend the sessions and these can be downloaded from their websites but it is still essential that parents attend these training opportunities as feedback from parents to the Department is very important.”