Major role for health and safety in curriculum – NCCA

10th October

There are significant opportunities for the teaching and learning of health and safety in the school curriculum, according to a major new study launched by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) and the Health and Safety Authority, today (Wednesday) 10th October.

The report entitled, “Mapping health and safety in the curriculum”, was undertaken by the NCCA and commissioned by the Health and Safety Authority. It examines existing and future opportunities within early childhood education, primary and post-primary education, for teaching and learning related to health and safety.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Executive of the NCCA, Dr. Anne Looney said, “There is clearly a strong role for safety education right across the curriculum and not just in the traditional ‘activity-based’ subjects such as the technologies.  Children’s understanding of health and safety can be nurtured and enhanced throughout their early years and on through primary education".

“At post-primary level, as students move closer to the workplace, an even sharper focus is required. There is an opportunity to promote safety messages in subjects and programmes currently being revised as well as those being developed for the future. The Authority is also well-placed to support teachers in delivering safety knowledge to students and helping to change attitudes and behaviour through its own programmes targeted directly at schools.”

Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, Martin O’Halloran said, “Young workers, between 18 and 24 are 50% more likely to have an accident at work than their older counterparts. We need to address this and counteract it through our education system. Formal safety education is so important from an early age because it is the earliest influences of school, home and community that will shape how we think and develop as adults".

“I firmly believe that introducing safety and health education into schools could make the single biggest difference to keeping the next generation safe at work. And with 300,000 15 to 24 year olds now at work in this country, it was never more important.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact: Joanne Harmon, Education Strategy Manager on 087-2366638