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Foclóir Béarla-Gaeilge nua seolta

January 31, 2013

New national Guidelines on promoting positive mental health and suicide prevention in post-primary schools published

January 31, 2013

“Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools” important tool for schools

The Minister for Education and Skills, the Minister of State for Disability, Older People, Equality & Mental Health and the Director of the National Office of Suicide Prevention launched new guidelines for mental health and suicide prevention for post-primary schools today (31st January).
Post-primary schools have a unique role to play in supporting the positive mental health and well-being of young people. They do this by creating caring environments, by educating young people about their health, and by providing support for those experiencing difficulty.
The Guidelines provide a clear framework, with information for schools and agencies supporting schools, on how to address issues of mental health promotion and suicide prevention. The Guidelines are for all members of the school community, boards of management and in-school management teams who play a central leadership role in mental health promotion. They will also be useful for the statutory and non-statutory partners, parents, parents’ associations, students, student councils, health and other personnel who are seeking an understanding of how to best work in and with schools.
It is estimated that one in ten children and teenagers experience mental health disorders which impact on their relationships and day-to-day coping skills. Many mental health problems emerge in childhood and early adolescence.

Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn T.D. said, “Young people learn more effectively if they are happy and feel supported in school. Building resilience and emotional well-being is crucial to their school progress and their success in life.
“The promotion of well-being and the prevention of suicidal behaviour among young people in Ireland is a major public health concern for the Government and these Guidelines will be an important tool is assisting schools to support our teenagers.”

Minister of State for Disability, Older People, Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch T.D. commented, “Youth suicides and youth mental health are serious issues that need to be addressed urgently. It is vital that we support our young people in their social, emotional and mental health needs in order to ensure that they reach their potential and develop into happy well adjusted adults.
“We must ensure early detection of problems and timely intervention for any young person experiencing mental health difficulties, because we know that early intervention leads to the best health outcomes and reduces the likelihood of long term disability. I very much welcome the publication of these important guidelines which will be an important resource for schools in supporting the positive mental health of young people.”

Schools play a vital role in the promotion of positive mental health in young people. The “Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools: Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention” outline a whole-school model which was informed by the completion of an extensive literature review and consultation process.
A whole-school approach refers to an approach which goes beyond the learning and teaching in the classroom to pervade all aspects of school life. This includes involvement by students, teachers, principals, all other school staff, health personnel, school managers, school visitors and the wider school community who interact with the school.
The initial consultation process involved stakeholders from the voluntary and statutory sectors including teachers, principals, parents’ councils, school support services, young people and health professionals.

The Guidelines are divided into three main sections:

  • School Support for ALL provides a whole-school approach to mental health and suicide prevention.
  • School Support for Some specifically focuses on the early identification of a small number of young people or groups who are at risk of developing unhealthy patterns of behaviour or who are already showing early signs of mental health difficulties.
  • School Support for A Few outlines how schools can support young people with more complex or enduring needs relating to their mental and emotional well-being.

Schools are in a unique position to identify and support those who are experiencing distress and to provide an environment which encourages young people to bring to attention any incidents or issues of concern.
It is important to recognise that mental health and well-being are not the sole responsibility of schools. Parents and the wider school community also have complementary roles, each supporting the other.

Gerry Raleigh, the Director of the HSE’s National Office for Suicide Prevention, who co-funded the development of the Guidelines, commented, “I welcome the publication of the guidelines. The documents provide advice and information for all external agencies including the HSE, on how we can all work with schools in a safe and evidence-based way to support and develop the mental health and well-being of all young people.

He added “The fact that the guidelines were developed in partnership between the DES, the HSE and the DOH shows how no single agency alone can promote mental health and prevent suicide. We need to develop effective inter-agency relationships if we are to make a difference to suicide rates among young people in Ireland.”
It is important for schools to be aware of available services and supports in their communities. Young people with good school connectedness are less likely to experience subsequent mental health problems and are more likely to have good educational outcomes. School connectedness includes relationships with peers, adults, and learning.

The Guidelines present in an integrated way the existing elements of good practice, which schools should have in place. These include whole- school implementation of SPHE, a whole school guidance plan, which includes planning to deal with critical incidents. The HSE’s Health Promoting School Process (HSP) is also outlined and the Guidelines show how the HSP can be introduced to schools to complement existing good practice.
Copies of the Guidelines will be distributed to schools in the coming weeks.

They can be downloaded from: http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/Well_Being_PP_Schools_Guidelines.pdf
The Summary is available at: http://www.education.ie/en/Publications/Education-Reports/Well_Being_PP_Schools_Guidelines_Summary.pdf

In response to Action 2.1 of Reach Out: National Strategy for Action on Suicide Prevention 2005-2014 (HSE, 2005), the Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) interdepartmental committee established a sub-committee on mental health in 2009 to develop a mental health framework taking into account the views of stakeholders and relevant research. This subcommittee included representatives from the Department of Health and Children (DoHC), the Department of Education and Skills (DES) and the Health Service Executive (HSE). Funding was provided by the National Office for Suicide Prevention (NOSP) and the Department of Education and Skills (DES) to support the development of this work.

These are the key strategic actions for positive mental health promotion that school personnel can undertake to promote well-being in post-primary schools:

  • Developing and maintaining a safe and caring environment within the school where a sense of belonging and connectedness is fostered
  • Building positive teacher-student and student-student relationships to promote participation, social interaction and pro-social behaviour
  • Actively involving young people and their parents/guardians in developing and implementing school policies to support mental health and health promotion
  • Adopting a whole-school approach to health promotion, where health is promoted by all and not just a few members of staff
  • Supporting and implementing a well planned, consistent and integrated SPHE/RSE curriculum to enable young people enhance their coping, resilience, communication, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills
  • Developing a whole-school systems and structures to support the early identification of young people experiencing social, emotional, behavioural or learning difficulties
  • Actively involving, supporting and encouraging young people’s participation in extra-curricular activities
  • Fostering a whole-school ethos that accepts and values diversity within the student and staff population
  • Providing easy access to information for students and staff on supports available to them within the school and wider community
  • Facilitating access to continuing professional development for school staff on the promotion of the mental health and well-being of young people.

Ministers Quinn and Fitzgerald launch Action Plan on Bullying

January 30, 2013

A new Action Plan on Bullying is being launched today by the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. and the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald T.D.

The Plan sets out twelve actions to help prevent and tackle bullying in primary and second level schools. These proposed actions build on the excellent work that is already underway in many schools to prevent and tackle bullying.

The report makes it clear that preventing and tackling bullying requires support from parents and wider society and is not a problem schools can solve alone.

At the launch of the Action Plan in Dublin, Minister Quinn said he broadly accepted the proposed actions in the report and has requested his officials to ensure that work on implementation begins immediately in consultation with teachers, parents and management bodies at first and second-level.

He has ring-fenced €500,000 to support the implementation of the Action Plan on Bullying in 2013.

Among the twelve actions recommended by the working group are proposals to:

  • Support a media campaign focused on cyber bullying specifically targeted at young people as part of Safer Internet Day 2013;
  • Establish a new national anti-bullying website;
  • Begin development immediately of new national anti-bullying procedures for all schools. These will include an anti-bullying policy template and a template for recording incidents of bullying in schools. These should be in place by the start of the next school year;
  • Devise a co-ordinated plan of training for parents and for school boards of management;
  • Provide Department of Education and Skills support for the Stand Up! Awareness Week Against Homophobic Bullying organised by BeLonG To Youth Services;
  • Review current Teacher Education Support Service provision to identify what training and Continuous Professional Development teachers may need to help them effectively tackle bullying;

As well as implementing the Action Plan, Minister Quinn announced that the Department of Education & Skills will be supporting a revision of the Stay Safe Programme for primary schools. The revised programme will address new forms of risk, including cyber bullying, and incorporate new research and best practice in the area of safeguarding children as well as changes and developments in the educational context in terms of policies, provision and curriculum.

The Action Plan on Bullying contains a number of other recommendations for further consideration by Ministers, agencies and other bodies. These include:

  • A proposal to establish an Anti-Bullying Implementation Group;
  • The Department of Education and Skills to engage with book publishers who produce materials for schools to address the issue of stereotyping;
  • Development of a new National Framework for Anti-Bullying which would set out the Government’s commitment to preventing and tackling bullying for children and young people from early childhood through to adulthood;
  • Research into how other countries investigate procedures in other jurisdictions to see if these could be used to improve the Irish system;
  • Encourage social media and telecommunications companies and internet service providers to continue to work with State Agencies, NGOs, parents and young people to raise awareness of cyber bullying and how it can be dealt with.

The Action Plan follows the Anti-Bullying Forum jointly held by Ministers Quinn and Fitzgerald in May 2012. As part of that Forum Minister Quinn sought submissions from interested parties and established a working group to prepare an action plan on preventing and tackling bullying in schools.

At the launch of the Action Plan, Minister Quinn said, “Bullying can have a devastating effect on our children and young people that can sometimes end in tragedy. That is why this Action Plan is so important. I broadly accept the proposed actions and now want to see implementation begin immediately, alongside other related initiatives, including the new Well-Being in Post-Primary Schools: Guidelines for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention (2013) which I will launch later this week.”

Minister Fitzgerald said, “Today is a significant step in the Government’s absolute commitment to address the serious impact which bullying continues to have on our children. This Action Plan on Bullying is the first of its kind in Ireland and highlights the critical role of schools in dealing with bullying. Bullying is not limited to classrooms, so we must have a broader approach. That means making sure that wherever young people are, they are protected by strong anti-bullying guidelines and strong practice.
“Bullying must be named and it must and will be challenged, and when it expresses itself in newer forms, it must and will be challenged there, too.”

The Plan is available to download at www.education.ie

The twelve actions proposed by the working group in the Action Plan on Bullying are:

  • Immediately begin development of new national anti-bullying procedures for primary and post-primary schools to include an anti-bullying policy template and a template for recording incidents of bullying in schools. The working group have suggested that these new procedures be developed in consultation with the Education Partners and be ready by September 2013. These would replace the existing 1993 guidelines and 2006 policy template issued by the Department of Education and Skills;
  • A review of Teacher Education Support Service provision to identify training needs and to support the provision of an appropriate Continuous Professional Development (CPD) response;
  • Coordinated training and resource development for boards of management and parents;
  • Existing models for evaluating SPHE and for whole school evaluations (WSEs) should be adapted by amending questionnaires and by other means to include more evidence gathering concerning the effectiveness of the school’s actions to create a positive school culture and to prevent and tackle bullying;
  • A thematic Evaluation of Bullying in Schools to be carried out by the Schools Inspectorate;
  • As part of School Self Evaluation, schools should be supported in self-evaluating their effectiveness in creating a positive school culture and in preventing and tackling bullying;
  • Establishment of a new national anti-bullying website;
  • Department of Education and Skills to support the BeLong To Stand Up Awareness Week Against Homophobic Bullying;
  • Support for a media campaign focused on cyber bullying and specifically targeted at young people as part of Safer Internet Day 2013;
  • Research on effective supports for children with special educational needs to be conducted by the National Disability Authority;
  • Research on prevalence and impact of bullying linked to social media on the mental health and suicidal behaviour among young people to be facilitated by the National Suicide Prevention Office;
  • Awareness raising measures, including guidelines on all types and forms of bullying, for policy makers and other staff in state agencies who work in the schools sector.
  • The working group also outlines a number of recommendations for further consideration:
  • The establishment of an Anti-Bullying Implementation Group;
  • A review of protocols between state agencies providing services to schools for the sharing of information about schools and the children and young people in those schools;
  • The inclusion of a reference to bullying in the Criteria and Guidelines for Programme Providers which set out the mandatory elements to be contained in programmes of Initial Teacher Education and the learning outcomes;
  • The DES, NCCA and other bodies involved in curriculum development and implementation should consider the findings and recommendations particularly in the context of the development of new curricula;
  • Consideration should be given to placing a requirement on schools to provide SPHE at senior cycle;
  • DES to engage with book publishers who produce materials for schools in relation to stereotyping;
  • Development of a new National Framework for Anti-Bullying which would set out the Government’s commitment to preventing and tackling bullying for children and young people from early childhood through to adulthood;
  • Research into investigative procedures in other jurisdictions and development of proposals for change to the Irish system if real value can be added;
  • Further research, monitoring and evaluation on bullying issues including monitoring and evaluation of initiatives in schools and other sectors in order to support the dissemination of good practice and provide evidence for further policy development and decision making;
  • It is recommended that more detailed guidance should be provided by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs for schools and others as to what constitutes “serious bullying” under Children First and when referrals to the HSE should be made;
  • Within the context of the findings and recommendations in the action plan, consideration could be given to reviewing Principle 9 in the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines which relates to Children and specifically consider adding a reference to the handling of media stories relating to bullying and suicide;
  • The group recommends that schools should continue to strengthen collaboration and interaction with youth services and promote the active participation by pupils in youth focused services within their local communities;
  • The group strongly encourages youth services, groups and organisations to develop and implement anti-bullying policies in the context of their work with young people and to avail of the range of training and supports available through the NYCI, BeLonGTo Youth Services and other national youth organisations in this regard.
  • The working group acknowledges the intention of the GAA to roll out a series of workshops for clubs entitled GAA Tackling Bullying from March 2013. The working group recommends that GAA clubs, along with other sporting organisations, work with schools to ensure a shared understanding of bullying in our communities, along with shared approaches to tackling bullying.

It is clear that social media and telecommunications companies and internet service providers have an important role to play in developing measures to prevent cyber bullying and to provide reporting mechanisms for those affected by cyber bullying. The working group encourages industry to continue to work with Irish State agencies and services, NGOs, parents and young people to raise awareness of cyber bullying and how it can be dealt with.

Anti-Bullying Working Group
The Anti-Bullying Working Group was tasked with developing a plan to identify the priorities that need to be addressed to combat bullying in schools. In accordance with the Programme for Government, the group was specifically tasked to “identify priority actions that can encourage schools to develop anti bullying policies and in particular strategies to combat homophobic bullying to support students”

The Anti-Bullying Working Group considered 68 submissions and consultation with government departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), academics and researchers, colleagues from England and Scotland and individuals who had experience of bullying. The Working Group also considered national and international literature on the topic including research on approaches and interventions that have been tried over recent decades. The impact of bullying and the very serious consequences for individuals and families was also considered.

The Working Group was also conscious of the need to hear what children and young people had to say about bullying and how it impacts on their lives. The Ombudsman for Children’s Report which was produced during the course of the work of the Group was very helpful as were the various recent surveys and reports which consulted young people.

While the Working Group’s terms of reference specifically related to bullying in schools, we recognise that here is potential for bullying wherever children, young people and adults gather. We were also crucially aware of the role of parents and the wider community in creating a climate that does not tolerate or foster bullying and in helping young people to build resilience. The group have highlighted the role of parents and the wider community in the report and have made a number of recommendations for consideration which go further than the school environment.

Stay Safe Programme
The Stay Safe programme was introduced to primary schools in 1991 with the aim of providing a comprehensive school-based child protection programme, which focused on (a) providing teachers and parents with the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to help protect children in their care, and (b) equipping children with practical knowledge and skills to keep safe and seek help from a trusted adult about any worries they might have. While these same aims remain relevant, the changing risks that children face require changes in the Stay Safe programme to ensure its continued relevance and efficacy.

Folúntas: Feidhmeannach Oifige/Airgeadais le GAELSCOILEANNA TEO.

January 30, 2013

Gradam idirnáisiúnta aistriúcháin buaite ag bean Bhaile Átha Cliath

January 30, 2013

‘Beart de réir briathair

January 30, 2013

Feighlí le Gaeilge á lorg, Raghnallach

January 30, 2013

Minutes of Foras na Gaeilge Board Meetings Published

January 29, 2013

Only seven of Foras na Gaeilge’s sixteen board members were present when decisions concerning funding for the Irish Language Voluntary Sector were taken in 2012.

Foras na Gaeilge recently published the latest series of minutes from board meetings held in 2012 which show that less than 50% of board members were present when issues relating to funding of voluntary organisation such as Gael Linn, Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge and Conradh na Gaeilge were examined.

An Foras Teanga (the North South Language Body) was founded on 2 December 1999 under the British-Irish Agreement Act 1999. An Foras Teanga comprises two separate Agencies, Foras na Gaeilge and Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch (The Ulster-Scots Agency). The primary responsibility of Foras na Gaeilge is the promotion of the Irish Language throughout the island of Ireland and Foras is also responsible for funding organisations working in the Irish language voluntary sector.

Minutes of a board meeting held on 20th April 2012, at which 9 members were present, state two members left the meeting due to potential conflict of interest before decisions relating to projects such as Seachtain na Gaeilge, The Preschool Fund, Clár na Leabhar Gaeilge and corefunding for Gael Linn and Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge were decided upon.

A board meeting on 29th June 2012 saw a total of 5 board members leave the meeting, including the vice-chairperson, to avoid any potential conflict of interest. With five members having left the meeting, this left only seven members remaining to decide upon corefunding, with a total value of €5.68 million, for voluntary organisation primarily located in the Republic of Ireland and funding valued close to £1 million to organisations located in Northern Ireland for 2012/13.
Review of Corefunding
Certain information in relation to the review of the Irish Language Voluntary Sector is not disclosed in the recently published minutes due to it being exempt information under the Code of Practice for Freedom of Information.

Not disclosing such information gives little confidence to the voluntary organisations who have already expressed their dissatisfaction to Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Dinny Mc Ginley TD and Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland Carál Ní Chuilín MLA at the manner in which Foras na Gaeilge has undertaken the preparation of its alternative funding proposals. The voluntary organisation stated in a letter to the ministers that they have no knowledge of any proposal/proposals presented by Foras na Gaeilge to the North South Ministerial Council.

Speaking before the Stormont Assembly lately, Minister Ní Chuilín MLA said it would be foolhardy by the The Ulster-Scots Agency to ignore not only the views but their experience and opinions of all stakeholders in decisions relating to projects undertaken to the promotion of the language.

It is clear from the letter sent by the voluntary Irish language organisations to both Ministers that they believe their experience and expertise is being ignored by Foras na Gaeilge as they prepare a new funding model for the sector.

The review of corefunding for the Voluntary Irish Language Sector will be the focus of the next Language Sector Meeting of the North South Ministerial Council in 2013.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport

New Irish Certification for Public Service launched by Gaelchultúr

January 29, 2013

Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs Dinny McGinley TD will officially open the new premises of Irish language training company Gaelchultúr later today, 29 January 2013 at 11 Clare Street, Dublin 2.
The new space is two and half times bigger than Gaelchultúr’s former venue in Filmbase, Temple Bar and symbolises the significant developments in the company’s work over the past few years.

As well as the new venue, Minister McGinley will also launch the next term of the company’s new FETAC course – Certificate in Professional Irish (Levels 3–6).

Gaelchultúr ’s first specialised FETAC accredited course for public sector bodies, Teastas sa Ghaeilge Ghairmiúil/Certificate in Professional Irish, began in October.

The next Teastas sa Ghaeilge Ghairmiúil course commences ag the beginning of February and will be available at two levels: level 3 (Beginner/Elementary) and level 4 (Lower Intermediate) on the National Framework of Qualifications.

The course is aimed at public sector employees who wish to improve their spoken and written Irish; staff members in public bodies which come under the aegis of the Official Languages Act 2003 and staff members in the above organisations who are required to provide a service through Irish to the public.

All information on course can be found at www.gaelchultúr.com or by contacting (01) 484 5220 / eolas@gaelchultur.com.

Conference programme for Tóstal na Gaeilge announced

January 29, 2013

“The Irish language as the national language is the first official language” – so states Article 8 of the Irish constitution, but is that status being upheld by policy makers in 2013?

State responsibilities for the Irish language is just one topic to be discussed by a panel of expert speakers at Tóstal na Gaeilge 2013.

Under the astute chairmanship of Eimear Ní Chonaola, Nuacht TG4, current Government policy will be explored, and the panel will analyse how the Government are upholding their legislative responsibilities in relation to the Irish language. The panel includes recently appointed Chairperson of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Anna Ní Ghallachair. Under the Gaeltacht Act 2012, Údarás na Gaeltachta now have a linguistic function, and have therefore inherited responsibility for language planning in Gaeltacht areas.

One of the most vocal public representatives in their opposition to the Gaeltacht Act 2012 was Senator Seán Barrett, who will speak on issues relating to democracy and the Irish language. Kevin De Barra, Director of Comhdháil Náisiúnta na Gaeilge will discuss the challenges Irish speakers face in achieving their rights when dealing with the public service. Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh will discuss the deficiencies he sees in the current approach by Government to the promotion of the Irish language.

The one day conference, Tóstal na Gaeilge, will host three separate discussion panels. As well as discussing the State’s responsibilities for the future of the Irish language, panels will also discuss the challenges faced in raising a family through Irish in 2013, and issues relating to language planning in Gaeltacht areas.

Political correspondent for the Irish Times, Harry McGee will open the conference on Saturday, 16th February 2013 at 10:30am, and the conference will continue with the sessions below, under the general theme of “Beart de réir Briathair” [practice as you preach] until 5pm, at the Hilton Hotel, Charlemont Place, Dublin 2.

Session 1: Raising a family through Irish in 2013

Session 2: An Ghaeltacht in 2013

Session 3: State Responsibility for the future of the Irish langugae.

The full conference programme can be downloaded at the following link: Clár Thóstal na Gaeilge 2013 – Beart de réir Briathair.pdf

If you yourself have any questions for any of the panellists, you can submit your question in advance by sending it to maire@comhdhail.ie and the session Chair will direct your question to the panel on the day.

Attendance of Tóstal na Gaeilge will cost €15, which includes lunch which will be provided in the hotel. Your place at Tóstal na Gaeilge should be reserved in advance by contact Máire Ní Phuirséil 01 6794780 / maire@comhdhail.ie. The Hilton Hotel is located in Dublin city centre, and is adjacent to the Charlemont Luas stop on the green line.

Further discussion of Tóstal na Gaeilge can be followed on social networks using the hashtag #tnag13.

Foilsithe ar Gaelport

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