Dáil Éireann - Volume 435 - 02 November, 1993

Written Answers. - Stay Safe Campaign.

129. Mr. Lawlor asked the Minister for Education the provenance of the Stay Safe campaign; if there are any available overseas data on the effectiveness of the campaign; if, in view of the disquiet in certain professional quarters; she intends initiating an independent review of the campaign; and if she will make a statement on the matter.

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Stay Safe is an Irish programme which was developed by Irish health professionals and was designed to be culturally appropriate and easily implementable within Irish schools. The [659] programme was originally introduced into twelve schools on a pilot basis in the 1989/90 school year. Following the success of the pilot project the programme was extended to all primary schools in the Eastern Health Board region and, subsequently, was extended nationwide.

The programme is designed for use in primary schools and covers all forms of child abuse including bullying. Its aim is to prevent child abuse by equipping parents and teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to protect the children in their care. Children are taught safety skills in the normal classroom context and these skills are reinforced through discussion with their parents.

I am not aware of any overseas data on the effectiveness of this particular programme.

Early indications suggest that the vast majority of people, both professional and lay, including the Education Partners support this programme and consider that it can have a positive influence in this difficult area.

In light of the commitment of resources for the training of teachers to ensure correct implementation of the programme at classroom level, my Department will be carrying out a review of the impact of this programme on Irish primary schools.