Schoolbooks to carry messages on how to beat bullies

Ads should reach 830,000 students

The Irish Educational Publishers’ Association will print age-appropriate adverts in mainstream school books, giving students advice on what to do if they are bullied and providing contacts for support agencies.

The Irish Educational Publishers’ Association will print age-appropriate adverts in mainstream school books, giving students advice on what to do if they are bullied and providing contacts for support agencies.

Tue, Aug 20, 2013, 01:00


Messages on how to cope with bullying are to feature in Irish schoolbooks as part of a collaboration between the Department of Education and the umbrella body for Irish schoolbook manufacturers.

The Irish Educational Publishers’ Association (IEPA) will print age-appropriate adverts in mainstream school books, giving students advice on what to do if they are bullied and providing contacts for support agencies. The ads are expected to reach 830,000 Irish primary and post-primary students by the time the campaign is fully rolled out.

The association plans to place the adverts, designed under the direction of the department, in up to 1,000 mainstream primary and post-primary print and digital publications by the end of next year. The first ads will appear in 95 reprinted titles next month.

The most recent comprehensive data available on bullying in Irish schools, published by Trinity College Dublin in 1997, suggests that 31 per cent of primary students and 16 per cent of secondary school students experience bullying.

The adverts cover cyberbullying, homophobic bullying and wellbeing in schools.

Cliodhna O’Donoghue, general secretary of the IEPA, said that ads had the potential to reach a very wide audience.

“These textbooks are studied by almost 800,000 primary and post-primary students between 170 and 180 days a year. This represents about 20 views per day of these anti-bullying messages. Books also have a minimum six-year life span and extensive readership, aside from the book owner.”

The IEPA made a commitment to the department last year that its members would limit the number of reprints of Irish schoolbooks, to lower costs for parents.