Launch of new schools ‘Lifeskills’ survey

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The Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan T.D., and the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar, T.D., today launched the third schools’ Lifeskills survey.

This survey provides data on  a number of important ‘lifeskills’ related issues within schools, including physical activity and healthy eating, aspects of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE), as well as anti-bullying, substance use, and road safety.

In launching the third Lifeskills survey, Minister O’Sullivan encouraged all primary and post primary principals to complete the survey:

“This survey provides valuable evidence about the very important work that our schools are doing in a range of areas to promote students’ overall wellbeing. I would like to commend schools for all of their efforts in this regard, particularly in relation to their promotion of extra-curricular sports activities. The survey also highlights those areas where we all need to focus our efforts, such as supporting the implementation of P.E. in post primary schools.”

The survey has been streamlined and made more user friendly for 2015, while ensuring that the data will be comparable to the key data trends from the previous surveys.

Minister Varadkar said: “As Minister for Health and a former Minister for Sport, I want to see more schools spending more time on physical activity. Sport and physical activity have so many benefits for physical and mental health and wellbeing. The earlier we can get young people to be active, the better. The information from this 2015 survey will be fed into key Healthy Ireland initiatives like the National Physical Activity Plan and the Healthy Ireland Strategy.”

The 2015 survey also includes questions for the first time on the links between primary schools and early years settings, schools’ engagement with Education for Sustainable Development, and their links with local enterprise. At post primary level, the survey is also being used in 2015 to support an evaluation of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) by the Crisis Pregnancy Programme/HSE.

Minister O’Sullivan indicated that the Lifeskills survey is only one issue on which her Department and the Department of Health are cooperating closely in relation to the overall ‘Healthy Ireland’ agenda:

“I am cooperating closely with Minister Varadkar on a range of ‘Healthy Ireland’ issues including the forthcoming National Physical Activity Plan, the National Sexual Health Strategy, as well as the ongoing implementation of Social Personal Health Education in schools”.

In an effort to promote schools’ participation in the 2015 survey, the Department of Health will award two prizes to randomly selected schools who complete the survey, one at primary and one at post primary level.

The ‘Lifeskills’ survey is completed online by the school principal. The survey can be accessed HERE

The deadline for completion of the 2015 survey is Friday 1st. May 2015

Date: 1. 4. 2015