Action plan to prevent bullying – resources, education and legislative amendments at the centre
The Ministry of Education and Culture has prepared a comprehensive action plan to prevent bullying, teasing, violence and harassment in schools and educational institutions. The Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health formulated the measures for the action plan.
The programme is based on the entries in the Government Programme on non-discrimination, on the right of every child and young person to physical integrity and on zero tolerance for bullying at school. All measures under the action plan will be implemented during this government term.
Promoting wellbeing, fostering a peaceful working environment, and endorsing pedagogical competence related to preventing loneliness and bullying are the priorities in the action plan over the next three years for further training of staff and management in early childhood education and care and in schools.
“We also need to clarify the law to fight against bullying and harassment, so that we can tackle bullying in a timely manner and ensure a safe learning environment for all schoolchildren. We will amend the regulations related to banning students from attending instruction so that the safety of students and people working in the educational space are better guaranteed,” says Minister of Education Jussi Saramo.
Equally, the provisions on bullying and harassment in the Act on General Upper Secondary Education and in the Act on Vocational Education and Training should be made more specific.
The measures to prevent bullying and teasing must also tie in with municipal youth services. The core competence of youth work involves encountering young people. Bullying and teasing takes place outside school time, too (leisure time, recreational activities, etc.). Youth workers encounter students and young people outside school, which is why it is important to introduce the methods and practices used by youth workers into schools and educational institutions.
It is proposed that the action to tackle bullying be started already in early childhood education and care. According to the action plan, a separate programme will be needed to strengthen emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills in early childhood education and care. The programme would focus on strengthening these skills in children as a means of preventing bullying and teasing in early childhood education care and in pre-primary education.
Eeva-Riitta Pirhonen, Director-General, tel. +358 2953 30258
Heli Nederström, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2953 30122
Touko Sipiläinen, Special Adviser, requests for interviews, tel. +358 40 196 2292
This is a summary of the original press release.