The Department of Education is to revise and strengthen anti-bullying guidelines for schools by next September.

A new "Action Plan on Bullying", published today, says the new guidelines should aim to prevent and tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying in particular.

It says anti-bullying policies should define what bullying is, and should include cyber bullying in that definition.

The Action Plan recommends that schools should create a system for recording bullying incidents.

It also recommends that boards of management should play a more active role in reviewing policy and its implementation.

The plan says school policies should list all nine grounds of harassment outlined in equality legislation.

They include sexual orientation, religion, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

Minister for Education Ruairi Quinn said he broadly accepted the recommendations of the working group on bullying.

Wider recommendations include the establishment of an anti-bullying website and a media campaign focusing specifically on the issue of cyber bullying.

The report also recommends training for boards of management and parents.

It says more evidence should be gathered and research done on the prevalence and impact of bullying, as well as the effectiveness of anti-bullying measures.