Dáil Éireann - Volume 471 - 14 November, 1996

Written Answers. - Stay Safe Programme.

17. Mr. O'Malley asked the Minister for Education the percentage of primary schools currently using the Stay Safe Programme; the monitoring procedures, if any, which are in place to assess the progress of the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21181/96]

24. Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Education the number of primary schools currently teaching the Stay Safe Programme; the plans, if any, for the further development and uptake of the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21307/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): I propose to take Question Nos. 17 and 24 together. Some 72 per cent of all primary schools, or 2,386 schools, are currently teaching the Stay Safe Programme.

[1195] An evaluation of the programme was carried out by my Department's inspectorate in 1995. Copies of the evaluation report have been circulated to all schools and are available on request. In addition, the inspectors continue to monitor the programme on an ongoing basis. My Department also holds regular meetings with the Department of Health and the child abuse prevention programme team to discuss and evaluate the programme.

A nationwide network of 40 teachers, capable of supporting the programme on a part-time basis, has been put in place. The network is targeting, in particular, those schools which currently are not teaching the programme. Parent education continues to be a primary focus together with meeting the continuing in-service needs of teachers.

A modified version of the Stay Safe Programme has been prepared for use in special schools and a programme of training for teachers in these schools is now under way. The development of a programme at second level is being actively considered by my Department, in the context of the programme of relationships and sexuality education. In this connection, I have sought the advice of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment.

I remain firmly committed to improving the coverage of the programme within the education system and to ensuring that adequate training is provided for teachers, parents and members of school boards.