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Written Answers. - Storage of School Bags.

Thursday, 28 March 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 463 No. 5

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 93. Mr. Callely Information on Ivor Callely Zoom on Ivor Callely  asked the Minister for Education Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach  if her attention has been drawn to the widespread concern regarding the possible detrimental effect on children of carrying heavy school bags; the measures, if any, she will take in this regard; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6783/96]

Minister for Education (Ms Bhreathnach): Information on Niamh Bhreathnach Zoom on Niamh Bhreathnach I am aware of considerable concern about the possible detrimental effect on children of carrying heavy school bags. My own view is that optimum solutions to this problem are most likely to be achieved at school level.

Teachers and parents working in partnership at the level of each individual school can make suitable practical arrangements for schoolwork and homework. These involve time-tabling and advance planning by teachers so that pupils know in advance what books are required on any particular day. Arrangements for storing books in schools where this is possible can also be helpful.

Parents can ensure that schoolbags themselves do not add to the problem by being excessively heavy and also by ensuring that pupils do not carry unnecessary material in their schoolbags.

In the case of primary schools the advisory committee on textbooks and materials which I established has been requested to take these concerns into account when new guidelines are being prepared for publishers. New guidelines will be required to cover any textbooks [1432] published as a result of the impending revision of the primary curriculum.


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