Anti-bullying and online safety training is to be offered to every post primary school in Ireland under a new partnership between the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre (ABC) in DCU and Facebook.

Under the initiative experts from the ABC will provide training to teachers and parents of young people aged between 12 and 17 in 800 schools across Ireland.

The students will be shown the skills necessary to identify and understand bullying.

They will also be taught how they can support other students when it comes to remaining safe online.

Research by the ABC has found that 22% of 12 to 15-year-olds have been a victim of bullying, with 11% being targeted through cyber-bullying.

The training, due to begin in January, will be provided through in-school workshops as well as via online courses.

ABS said the three-year long initiative is a direct response to school principals saying they do not have enough time or resources to teach teachers how to handle the issue.

"Through this partnership we are aiming to deliver much-needed training in tackling bullying and online safety for both teachers and parents in schools nationwide," said Professor James O'Higgins Norman, ABC Director and UNESCO Chair on Tackling Bullying in Schools and Cyberspace.

"By adopting a train-the-trainer approach this programme will empower teachers and parents to further educate whole-school communities in bullying, cyberbullying and online safety issues."

The initiative will be funded by Facebook which, like other social networks, has been heavily criticised over a many years for not doing enough to stamp out bullying and harassment on its platform.

The ABC says the idea for the partnership was its own and it approached Facebook for the financial support needed to implement it, understood to be worth around €330,000.

"Over the last 14 years, we have built and continued to improve our safety policies and reporting processes and we want everybody who uses Facebook to feel safe and supported when they connect online with their friends and family," said Julie de Bailliencourt, Facebook Global Safety Policy Manager.

"Over the three years of this initiative, we aim to help teachers and parents understand the complexities of bullying and develop the skills to support students when it comes to online safety."

Among the skills that the training will equip teachers and parents with, is the ability to define and identify bullying and cyber bullying.

They will also be taught how to engage empathetically with young people and investigate and resolve incidents reported to them.

They will also learn how to support other teachers and parents to deal with the problem and to teach children about building respectful relationships.