Equality in the provision of social, personal and health education in the Republic of Ireland: the case of homophobic bullying?

Case Studies & Research
13 p.
Periodical title
Pastoral Care in Education, 26(2), 69-81

In 2000, the Government of the Republic of Ireland introduced a syllabus for second-level schools (12-15 years) in Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE). Within this SPHE syllabus there is a significant component on Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE). In terms of diversity and equality it is questionable to what extent this newly introduced syllabus meets the needs of all students who attend second-level schools in the Republic of Ireland. Furthermore, the research that is reported in this paper will reveal that not only does the new SPHE syllabus not meet the needs of a diverse student population but that through silence on certain behaviours the absence of any teaching about sexual orientation by teachers contributes to homophobic bullying among students in Irish schools.

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