26 January 2017

Labour member of the Joint Committee on Children and Youth Affairs, Jan O’Sullivan TD,  says the issue of the weight of schoolbags should be included in the Parents and Students Charter, which is due to be established in legislation this year.

It follows a meeting of the Committee and the National Parents Council Primary, Post Primary and TCD Assistant Professor Dr Sara Dockrell yesterday on the matter.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“Parents are rightly shocked at the weight their children have to lug around in their backpacks.

“According to the National Parents’ Council, the weight of schoolbags is the biggest single issue they’re contacted about, with many children, who could walk to school, instead being driven by their parents over concerns the damage a heavy bag could cause.

“This is totally counterproductive to the aim to have children physically active.

“The Department of Education and Skills has issued guidelines to schools but the reality is that many of these have done little or nothing to lighten the load of their students.

“This is why I’ve proposed to include the thorny issue of schoolbag weight in the Parent and Student Charter, as a vehicle to put power back into the hands of parents and students to insist on action, and look forward to our next Committee meeting on the matter next month.”






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