Written answers

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Department of Education and Skills

Education Policy

Photo of Seán SherlockSeán Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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146. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills if she will address a matter raised in correspondence (details supplied). [27051/21]

Photo of Norma FoleyNorma Foley (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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It is the policy of my Department not to endorse or promote any external product or service, publication, professional consultant or company. In this case the endorsement might be seen as advice to parents/schools in what is a complex and sensitive area i.e. children’s use of the internet.

There are extensive training and curricular supports, including through the Social Personal Health Education (SPHE) curriculum, to assist schools in the development of policies and practices on the safe use of the internet and on the prevention of bullying and harassment in the online environment. If external input is required for the development of supports/resources, a procurement process would be necessary. Schools, given their autonomous nature, are free however to supplement their curriculum delivery with external supports if they so wish and the book in question might be something that schools would welcome.

Thewww.webwise.iewebsite is an important educational resource in the area of online safety. It promotes the autonomous, effective and safer use of the internet by young people through a sustained information and awareness strategy targeting school leaders, teachers, parents and children themselves with consistent and relevant messages. The Webwise team, managed by the Professional Development Support Service for Teachers, have developed a dedicated School/Teachers Hub; Parents Hub and a Youth Hub for this specific purpose and which contain a wealth of resources, information and practical advice on how to stay safe on line and addresses a range of issues such as respectful communication, digital footprint, privacy and parental controls, having that conversation, cyberbullying, sexting, image sharing, technology in the home, social media, popular apps and emerging technologies.


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