Dáil Éireann - Volume 473 - 23 January, 1997

Written Answers. - Stay Safe Programme.

41. Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Education the percentage of primary schools teaching the Stay Safe Programme at 31 December 1996; the proposals, if any, she has to target those schools which are currently reluctant to use the programme; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1747/97]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): The latest report to my Department from the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (CAPP) team regarding participation in the Stay Safe programme indicates that 85 per cent of schools have held information meetings for parents; 72 per cent of schools are already teaching the programme and 99.7 per cent of schools have availed of in-service training for teachers.

In addition, 79 schools have held parent meetings since September 1996 with a view to introducing [1462] the programme. This is an encouraging and significant factor as the experience has been that the number of schools which have held parent meetings will closely mirror the number of schools that eventually teach the programme. As can be appreciated there is often an interval between the holding of a parent meeting and the introduction of the programme into a school.

A nationwide network of 40 teachers, capable of supporting the programme on a part-time basis, remains in place. The network is targeting, in particular, those schools which currently are not teaching the programme.

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 schools boards.