Life Skills Matter – Not Just Points

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Life Skills Matter – Not Just Points

Published in 03rd of May 2011


Author: OCO Youth Advisory Panel

Publisher: Office of the Minister For Children and Youth Affairs

Date: 2011

Geographic Coverage: Ireland

Type of Resource: Report

Sector/setting: Children & Youth Affairs

Vulnerable groups: Children, Young People

Developed with children and young people? Yes

Type of participation: Consultations With Children

Availability: Open Access

Keywords: Child, Participation, Life Skills, Voice, Young People, SPHE, RSE, Second-level Schools

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Life skills matter – not just points is an important milestone in children and young people having a voice on issues that affect their lives. The study originated from two of the key recommendations made at Dáil na nÓg 2009 relating to the implementation of Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) and Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) in second-level schools. The study was conducted by young people from the Dáil na nÓg Council, which is the body elected to follow up on recommendations from Dáil na nÓg and which tries to make changes for young people through engaging with appropriate Ministers and policy-makers.

The findings of their research indicate good implementation levels of SPHE at junior cycle level, but an unacceptably low level of implementation of RSE in senior cycle. This finding is a source of concern, given the challenges and risks that teenagers face in the 21st century. It also indicates that schools are failing to comply with the requirement of the Department of Education and Skills that obliges schools to provide RSE up to 6th year. The report identifies a number of key measures which young people believe will improve the implementation of SPHE and RSE.

This study highlights the importance and value of ensuring that young people’s voices are heard in relation to matters that affect their lives. I look forward to working with my Government colleagues in addressing the important issues highlighted in this study. Teenagers are entitled to a full and rounded education that prepares them for all aspects of life.