Oireachtas Committee report on how to tackle school bullying recommends FUSE programme to be rolled out to schools nationwide

Oireachtas Committee recommends FUSE anti-bullying programme is rolled out to schools nationwide

Researchers at the National Anti-Bullying Centre in DCU Institute of Education have welcomed a Joint Oireachtas Committee report published today on school bullying and the impact on mental health. 

The report makes a number of key recommendations on how best to tackle the issue of bullying in schools, which members believe can be implemented without delay and could have a transformative impact.

A key recommendation highlighted by the group includes the immediate roll out of the FUSE anti-bullying and online safety programme led by the National Anti-Bullying Centre at DCU as a model of best practice to both primary and post-primary schools nationwide.

Welcoming this, Prof James O’Higgins Norman, Director of the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU said: 

“We now know from research that tackling bullying requires a sustained commitment not just within a school but across the whole education system and in partnership with technology and social media companies. 

We have already been working to deliver the FUSE programme through a partnership between DCU, Department of Education, Facebook, and Rethink Ireland. We now have a unique opportunity to take what we have learned so far and make safe and respectful schools a reality by ensuring that sufficient resources are available to deliver the FUSE programme across all of Ireland’s schools.”

Among other recommendations in the report, the provision of emotional counselling and therapeutic support, on site, in all primary and secondary schools is also welcomed by Dr Paul Downes, Associate Professor in Psychology of Education and an associate researcher in the National Anti-Bullying Centre.

About FUSE:

The FUSE programme was designed and developed by researchers in the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU, with financial support from Facebook, Rethink Ireland and the Department of Education. 

The programme is designed to support the wider SPHE/ RSE/ Wellbeing curricula in schools and involves teacher training, parental support, students, and a suite of resources aimed at tackling bullying and online safety. 

Established just three years ago, the Centre is currently working with over 120 post-primary schools (over 12,000 students) across the country who have signed up. Evaluations show that the majority of those who completed it have increased their self-efficacy in noticing, responding and reporting bullying and online safety issues.

Registration is now open for any primary or post-primary schools interested in taking part in the programme for 2021/2022. For more information visit antibullyingcentre.ie/fuse or email abcfuse@dcu.ie