Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 522 – Education policy [gambling] [54275/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 522 – Education policy [gambling] [54275/22]. (08 Nov 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

522. Deputy Emer Higgins asked the Minister for Education if gambling awareness workshops have been rolled-out in secondary schools in Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [54275/22]

Norma Foley Minister for Education: My Department is active in the area of promotion of health and wellbeing in schools. Schools have a role to play in supporting their students to develop the key skills and knowledge to enable them to make informed choices when faced with a range of difficult issues, including drugs, alcohol and gambling.

This is mainly done through the Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme. SPHE is currently mandatory in all primary schools and in Junior Cycle where it is part of the mandatory Wellbeing area. Schools are also encouraged to deliver the SPHE programme in senior cycle.

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment is currently redeveloping and updating the SPHE curriculum across Primary, Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle. In 2020, the NCCA established two development groups, one for primary and one for post-primary, to oversee this work and support the development of guidance material for schools.

The immediate focus of the work of the NCCA was on creating support materials for teachers for publication online as part of an Interim Guidance Toolkit to support effective teaching and learning of SPHE/RSE. In tandem, work on the broader redeveloping and updating of the SPHE curriculum is progressing.

In relation to Junior Cycle, following a period of consultation running from 18 July 2022 to 18 October 2022, it is expected that the specification will be finalised by the end of this year with the aim of having it implemented in schools in September 2023.

In relation to Senior Cycle, preparation to update the SPHE/RSE specification has commenced and a background paper was published earlier this month for public consultation on the NCCA website. It is anticipated that the Senior Cycle draft specification itself will be available for public consultation by next summer, with a view to being implemented in schools in September 2024.

Following publication of the new Primary Curriculum Framework, expected in early 2023, NCCA will establish a development group for the curricular area of Wellbeing in primary schools.

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