The procedures apply to primary and post primary recognised schools.

The circular and the procedures provide guidance on preventing and tackling school based bullying behaviour. Bullying is defined in the circular “as unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time”. Bullying includes cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying (such as homophobic bullying and racist bullying). According to the circular the next steps are: “

All Boards of Management are now required to immediately commence the necessary arrangements for developing and formally adopting an anti-bullying policy which fully complies with the requirements of these procedures.

It is expected that this will be completed by each school as early as possible in the 2013/14 school year but in any event by no later than the end of the second term of the 2013/14 school year.” The school’s anti-bullying policy must “be made available to school personnel, published on the school website (or where none exists, be otherwise readily accessible to parents and pupils on request) and provided to the Parents’ Association (where one exists).

A copy of the school’s anti-bullying policy shall be provided to the Department and the patron if requested.”