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21 July 2017 - Minister Bruton publishes the results of the 2015 Lifeskills Survey

The Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, today (Friday) published the results of the 2015 Lifeskills Survey.

This survey provides data on a number of important ‘lifeskills’ related issues within primary and post-primary schools, Youthreach Centres and Community Training Centres. It includes data on 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 publishing the Lifeskills survey, Minister Richard Bruton thanked those that participated in the online survey: “This survey provides valuable evidence about the very important work that our schools and centres are doing in a range of areas to promote students’ overall wellbeing. The survey also highlights those areas where there are challenges and we will work to meet those challenges”.

Some key findings include that 97% of primary schools address resisting peer pressure and developing resilience to make sound decisions. 92% have healthy eating policies in place. Only 4% of primary schools have a policy which prevents running in their schools. 93% of post-primary schools reported that they promote healthy school lunches with their students. This is a significant improvement from 66% of schools in 2012. 99% of post-primary schools also reported having student councils, giving a formal voice to their students.

The 2015 survey included 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 to support an evaluation of Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) by the HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Pregnancy Programme.

For the first time, Youthreach Centres and Community Training Centres (CTCs) were included in the 2015 survey. The inclusion of these centres yielded valuable information regarding practices in the centres that will inform the forthcoming evaluation of the Centres by SOLAS.

The Minister stated “Today in our schools, in our Youthreach Centres and in our Community Training Centres learners are gaining good habits, becoming informed decision makers and are given the opportunity to develop the resilience needed to live healthy, confident and happy lives. I would like to thank the Department of Health for their practical involvement in this initiative and also for sponsoring four raffle prizes of sport equipment vouchers for schools who participated in the 2015 survey.” 

Minister of State for Health Promotion Catherine Byrne stated “It is important for the present and future health of our population that our young people are equipped with the key skills and knowledge to confidently make healthier life choices.  Schools,  Youthreach  and Community Training Centres play a vital role in developing lifeskills which impact across our homes and wider communities. The Lifeskills survey results give us a valuable insight into a range of issues and the progress we are making, and my Department is delighted to support this initiative. The findings will help inform our ongoing implementation of Healthy Ireland in partnership with the Education sector”.

Notes for editors:

The 2015 survey allowed for measurement of progress in a range of policy areas since the last survey was conducted in 2012. The results will help to inform policy making in a range of areas including physical activity, healthy eating and aspects of the Social, Personal and Health Education Programme (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) Programme.

The response rate to the 2015 Lifeskills Survey was 53% at primary level and 33% at post primary level. In 2012 the response rate was 68% at primary level and 52% at post primary level. The survey results therefore have a margin of error of about 2% at primary level and 5% at post-primary level.

To encourage schools to complete the survey, all participating schools were entered in a draw for sports equipment vouchers. The following schools will receive vouchers:

Primary

SN Seachnaill Naofa, Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. 

St Mary’s Primary, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon.

Post Primary 

Ballymakenny College, Ballymakenny Road, Drogheda.

Muckross Park College, Donnybrook, Dublin 4.