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Written Answers. - Stay Safe Programme Numbers.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 12. Ms O'Donnell Information on Liz O'Donnell Zoom on Liz O'Donnell  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  the number of primary schools and special schools currently teaching the stay safe programme; and the steps, if any, she intends to take to increase the number of schools participating in this programme. [6677/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach The latest report available to my Department for the Child Abuse Prevention Programme (CAPP) team indicates that some 2,300 or 70 per cent of primary schools are teaching the programme. This represents an increase of 10 per cent in the number of schools [1390] participating in the programme in the current school year.

About 2,800 schools (85 per cent of the total) have held parent meetings with a view to introducing the programme. I expect that most, if not all, these schools will teach the programme in the relatively near future. Virtually all the primary schools in the country have participated in the teacher training programme.

Special schools are included in the overall figures in relation to teaching of the standard programme and have not been categorised separately by CAPP in their reports. The indications are that 50 per cent of special schools have used the standard programme to some degree.

CAPP personnel have been engaged in adapting the programme for use in special schools. Work on this project is at a very advanced stage. The adapted programme has been piloted in a number of special schools. Teachers in special schools were trained to deliver the standard programme when it was launched. Arrangements are now being made to provide these teachers with appropriate in-service training on the specially adapted programme with a view to having it available in all special schools in the autumn. I have provided funding to CAPP to support a nationwide network of teachers. These teachers conduct the programme of parent education which is crucial to having the programme introduced in schools. In particular they target those schools which currently are not teaching the programme.

I am confident that progress can be maintained on having this important programme taught in all primary schools.

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