Schools Faced At Least 900 Critical Incidents In Less Than A Decade – Mattie McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has called on the Minister for Education Richard Bruton to guarantee all necessary funding that Primary and Post –Primary Schools may require for the implementation of the Critical Incident Policy (CIP) mechanism. Deputy McGrath was speaking after figures provided to him following a Parliamentary Question to the Minister showed that since 2009 schools have implemented the CIP 899 times excluding 2016, figures for which are not yet available:

“A Critical Incident is defined as an incident, or series of events, that overwhelms the normal coping mechanism of the school.

The kinds of critical incidents experienced by schools includes suicide or suspected suicide, death due to violence, accidental death including road traffic accidents and drowning, and death through illness.  

The ultimate aim of the process is to return the school to normality.

What I want to ensure that is the Minister will respond positively to any request from schools seeking to develop strategies relating to positive mental health for children and young adults and suicide prevention approaches.

We know that some of the recent very high profile cases involving the tragic deaths of children by murder-suicide have triggered the Critical Incident Policy.

What is less appreciated is that schools have been facing over a hundred very traumatic events every year since 2010/11.

I would like further guarantees that any costs incurred by implementing the CIP will not fall back on already over-stretched schools.

In the meantime I can only salute the absolute professionalism and compassion of the Department’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)and those teachers who respond to these events right across the country,” concluded Deputy McGrath.

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