Code of Behaviour

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, Ráthpéacáin.

 Code of Behaviour

 

(Updated and ratified October 2016)

Introductory Statement

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire is a community of children, teachers, ancillary staff and parents. Each member of that community must be treated with respect and tolerance. The dignity and individuality of each member must be respected. A high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and also between staff pupils, parents and Board of Management.

The purpose of this code is to achieve a safe, secure and well-ordered environment in which children can develop to their full potential. To achieve this aim, it is necessary to provide a framework, which promotes constructive behaviour and discourages unacceptable behaviour. Every reasonable effort is made by staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. The code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement can be utilised by teachers. This in the long run gives the best results.

The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences. School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard to the health, welfare and safety of all members of the school community.

In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made to ensure that parents are well informed; that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are told not only when their child has misbehaved but when they have behaved particularly well.

The Code of Behaviour will be implemented in such a manner as to reward good behaviour. As our school motto says- “Spreag an Óige” (Encourage the young).

Formulation of the Code

Our Code of Behaviour was reviewed and updated during the 2013/2014 school year in line with NEWB Guidelines. The Board of Management, principal, teachers, other school staff, parents’ representatives and pupils were consulted.

A committee of five staff members was set up in September 2016 to conduct a further review. These staff members were members of the In School Management Team: Principal – Susanna O’Neill, Deputy Principal – Mary O’Brien and B Post Holders – Niamh Brennan, Fia O’Farrell and Jennifer Killeen.

Consideration was given to the particular needs and circumstances of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.  The rules were kept to a minimum and are mostly stated in positive terms of what pupils should do as opposed to what they should not do.

Key policies that currently operate in Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire and that support the Code of Behaviour are the Child Protection Policy, the Anti-Bullying Policy, the Acceptable Use Policy and the Safety Statement. These policies are available in the school office and also on our school website.

These policies are regularly discussed at our staff meetings and meetings of the Board of Manageent to see how they impact on student behaviour. There are sometimes occasions where the Code of Behaviour and practices arising from the Code may be brought to the attention of the Board of Management to be reviewed and updated as a result of observations made at these discussions.

Rationale 

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire decided to review its Code of Behaviour because

  • The existing policy was due for review.
  • It was identified as a priority area by the staff.
  • It is a requirement under DES Circular 20/09 on school discipline.

Aims of the Code

  • To ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated.
  • To acknowledge the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.
  • To develop self-discipline, respect and tolerance for others.
  • To aid the efficient operation of the school and the structuring of in-class discipline.
  • To maintain good order throughout the school and respect for the environment.
  • To encourage good home/school communication.
  • To foster a positive atmosphere in the school.

 

A Whole School Approach to the Code of Behaviour.

Staff of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.

Our staff work together, as a team, with a whole school approach to behaviour. They apply their professional expertise in understanding the links between behaviour and learning, their experience of what works to help pupils to behave well and their knowledge of the school and of the school community.

On Monday mornings at assembly, staff address the issue of behaviour as a team. At staff meetings the issue of behaviour is discussed and reflected on together.  At I.S.M. meetings behaviour is looked at and dealt with from a whole school point of view.

The principal often calls individually to the classes to speak to the children directly about discipline issues and also makes use of the school intercom facility.

Parents of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire

Copies of a draft of the Code of Behaviour were circulated among parents via the Parents’ Association and an invitation was given to parents to submit suggestions, based on the draft policy. It should be noted however that the final authority rested with the Board of Management in accepting or rejecting any suggestions or amendments.

Parents’ Nominees contribute to school policy at Board of Management Meetings.

Parents are referred to the school’s website to access the Code of Behaviour. Parents of all incoming pupils are requested to read the Code in full and sign their acceptance of it, as a condition of enrolment in our school. Each September, pupils from 1st to 6th Class and their parents sign up to their continued acceptance of the code via their school journal. Hard copies of the Code of Behaviour are available from the school office on request.

Pupils of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire

The pupils are frequently made aware of what is expected of them in terms of behaviour and also what they can expect in terms of support and guidance from their teacher and the staff.

Existing ‘Rules for Good Behaviour’ are discussed regularly by pupils with their Class Teacher and parents. These rules are printed in the Pupils School Journal for reference.

Junior classes are instructed in the “Incredible Years” programme.

Pupils in Senior Classes, under the direction of the Class Teacher, compile their own class rules, sanctions and reward systems. Where incidents of misbehaviour arise, the particular incident may be discussed sensitively with the pupils to see how things might have been diffused earlier and how pupils should act should a similar incident occur in the future. 

Strategies for Understanding Behaviour and Promoting Positive Behaviour Throughout the School and Classrooms

Staff (teachers, special needs assistants, secretary, caretaker, visiting teachers/instructors and any other staff working in the school)

The staff of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire has many opportunities to discuss and share understandings about behaviour. Behaviour, and policies and practices associated with the Code, always has a slot for discussion at staff meetings, Haddington Road hours and at meetings of the In School Management Team (I.S.M.).

Staff frequently discuss behavioural issues with colleagues in a professional and confidential manner, where deemed appropriate. Serious or repeated instances of misbehaviour are brought to the immediate attention of the Principal for discussion.

New members of staff are made aware of our Code of Behaviour by the Principal and a copy of the Code is available both in the school office and on our website for any staff to refer to.

A variety of lessons within the S.P.H.E curriculum is used by teachers to help the children to understand and gain the skills and knowledge that are necessary to ensure good behaviour. They are found under the Strand: Myself and the Strand Units: Making decisions; Safety and Protection

The following resources may be used by staff when discussing the need for rules and regulations:

  • The Walk Tall programme (Juniors- 6th class)
  • The 3rd/4th class North Western Health Board textbook
  • The 3rd- 6th class R.S.E book.

Parents

Parents are encouraged to help students to understand the importance of good behaviour and to support teachers in helping their child to behave well at our school. A copy of our Code of Behaviour is distributed to all parents to read and discuss with their child on enrolment into Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire. It is a condition of our Enrolment Policy that parents sign up to this Code of Behaviour. Our Code of Behaviour and our Enrolment Policy are available on our school website.

Our Rules for Good Behaviour (an extract from the Code of Behaviour) are printed in our School Journal which is used by all students from First to Sixth Class. These rules are discussed in class with the Class Teacher each September and are then sent home to be read and agreed in signature by both parent and child.

In Infant classes, staff use the behavioural management strategies from the Incredible Years Programme.

All parents are made aware that a full copy of the Code of Behaviour is available on request at the School Office. Parents and teachers discuss behaviour formally at formal Parent/Teachers meetings and also if invited in to discuss more serious incidents of misbehaviour should they arise.

The school Mission Statement and Ethos of the school are clearly displayed at entrances to the school for the attention of parents and all visitors to the school.

Pupils

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire helps pupils to take responsibility for their behaviour and relationships. They are encouraged to be responsible for observing expected standards of behaviour and showing respect for themselves and others in the school. Teachers ensure that the pupils understand and are frequently reminded of how they are expected to behave. A clear system of acknowledging good behaviour and sanctions for misbehaviour is communicated to pupils by the class teacher and other school staff.

Each child from First to Sixth Class must read and sign the extract from the Code of Behaviour as printed in the front of their School Journal.

The subject of behaviour is discussed at Assembly every Monday morning. “Yard Stars” are awarded to each class that has behaved well in the yard (or classroom on rainy days) the previous week. Collecting four stars results in a reward deemed appropriate by the Class Teacher.

Good behaviour and a good standard of class work and homework are rewarded to a pupil from each class with the “Student of the Week Award”, also presented at our Monday morning assembly

Each month, one student from the school is chosen by the staff for the “Sunflower Award”. This is a student who emulates the sunflower – our school emblem – as a bright upright and unique influence. The student is chosen as someone who can be an inspiration to others.

The Student Behaviour Reflection Form was introduced in September 2010. It encourages the child, with the help of his parent and teacher to reflect and see how they might have handled better an incident of misbehaviour. (See  Appendix)

Classroom rules are drawn up in consultation with the pupils of each individual class each September, at an age appropriate level. They are consistent with the ethos expressed in the Code of Behaviour and set a positive atmosphere for learning. They are displayed in written form in each classroom.

Pupils with Special Needs

Special needs children are made aware of the standard of behaviour that is expected of them. Specific behavioural targets are set out in their IEP’s and are developed collaboratively among pupil, parents and teachers.

The Resource Teachers use a system of incentives and rewards for good behaviour as well as those laid out by the class teacher. Some children have a simplified version of the school rules clearly displayed on their desks. Children have special rules when using the Sensory Room.

It is acknowledged that a certain degree of flexibility is necessary when dealing with pupils with special needs. However, where serious incidences of misbehaviour occur and where the safety of other children or staff is at risk, this Code of Behaviour takes precedence.

School Rules for Good Behaviour

The following rules apply to behaviour on the school premises, on school transport, and at extra- curricular activities, both in school and outside of school.

  • Pupils must at all times obey the teachers and show courtesy, consideration, respect and tolerance to each member of staff, their peers and all visitors to the school.
  • Pupils must not engage in any behaviour, which interferes with the rights of others or endangers others.
  • Bullying in any of its forms is absolutely forbidden. It is considered a serious breach of this code.
  • Pupils must cease all play on hearing the bell/siren and line up in the yard in orderly manner in the morning, at lunchtimes and for fire drills.=
  • Pupils must stay within the yard area at break-time.
  • Pupils must respect school property and keep the school environment clean and litter free at all times.
  • Each pupil is required to adhere to the Healthy Eating Policy of our school.
  • Pupils are expected to use polite language at all times. Bad language and swearing are forbidden.
  • Pupils must not enter the school or school grounds before or after school hours unless accompanied by a teacher or other adults approved by the Board of Management.
  • The use of mobile phones within the school grounds is not allowed. (Please see important note below in relation to pupils use of their own technology.)
  • Pupils are expected to work to the best of their ability. Homework assignments must be completed by each pupil and their journal (or homework itself in the case of infants) signed by a parent or guardian.
  • Pupils must have all their books, copies and other school requisites in class at all times.
  • Ball-playing is prohibited in the school yard, unless supervised by a teacher.
  • Pupils must enter and leave the school in an orderly fashion.
  • No pupil may leave the school premises without the permission of the Class Teacher or Principal. To leave the school, a note, appointment card or personal call from the pupil’s parent or guardian must be provided. Parents must sign their child in or out on collection or returning of a child outside of normal school hours.
  • Alcohol, solvents, smoking and drugs are strictly prohibited. (Prescribed medication required by pupils will be administered strictly subject to school policy and only on the written request of parents).
  • Each pupil must wear the school uniform or tracksuit every day.

The uniform comprises of a navy trousers/skirt/pinafore, a navy crested v-neck jumper over a light blue shirt with a navy tie. Dark footwear should be worn.

The tracksuit consists of a crested light blue t-shirt, navy crested tracksuit top, navy tracksuit pants with runners. Pupils may wear the navy crested school shorts in warm weather.

  • For health and safety reasons the wearing of jewellery is strongly discouraged. A student may be asked to remove jewellery that may pose a risk to the safety of themselves or others.
  • We discourage unusual hairstyles. Hair should be neat and tidy. Long hair must be kept tied back off the face.
  • Pupils must not wear make-up to school.

 

For pupils in Junior Classes, these rules are simplified into the following five from the Incredible Years Programme.

  1. Looking eyes
  2. Listening ears
  3. Walking feet
  4. Hands to yourself
  5. Inside voice

Important Note: Below is an extract from our Acceptable Use Policy in relation to pupils own technology. The full policy is available on the school website or on request from the school office.

Personal Devices

Pupils are forbidden to use their own technology (mobile phones, game consoles, tablets etc) in school. Bringing such devices to school and engaging in activities such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in school, sending text messages, or the unauthorized taking of images (still or moving) with a mobile phone camera or other device, is in every circumstance a serious direct breach of the school’s Acceptable Use Policy, Code of Behaviour and Anti Bullying Policy.

Sanctions

Misuse of the Acceptable Use Policy may result in disciplinary action under the school’s Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policies.  These may include written warnings, withdrawal of access privileges and, in extreme cases, suspension or expulsion.

The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities.

School Expectations

What is expected of pupils at Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.

The Board of Management and Staff of Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire expect that each pupil will:

  • Have a copy of our school’s Homework Journal (1st to 6th Class)
  • Read, accept and sign the acceptance of ‘Rules for Good Behaviour’ in his/her journal
  • Attend school regularly and not miss days without good reason
  • Be punctual. Supervision begins at 9:00 am. School begins at 9:10 am
  • Not leave during the day without permission. A note must be provided if a child needs to leave early. They will remain in their classroom with their teacher until a parent/guardian/other appointed person comes to the school office to sign them out of the school.
  • Treat with due care and respect all school property
  • Wear the school uniform and on PE days, the school tracksuit.
  • Show respect for themselves and others
  • Avoid swearing, fighting or name calling.
  • Listen to messages and instructions given and do as requested.
  • Participate in school activities
  • Move quietly and with care in the classroom, corridors and on entry and exit from school around the school and avoid causing disturbance.
  • Keep the school tidy and litter-free in line with the school’s Green Flag Policy.
  • Respect private property adjacent to the school entrances at all times. Entering onto private property adjacent to the school is strictly forbidden

 

Each teacher expects that pupils will:

  • Show him/her courtesy and respect
  • Accept his/her authority and responsibility and his/her right to teach and impose sanctions on those who behave badly.
  • Come to school on time and have all the necessary materials.
  • Do his/her homework carefully and completely and have the journal signed every night.
  • Listen when others are talking.
  • Avoid distracting behaviour.
  • Participate in all class activities.
  • Follow the rules drawn up by their

 

Your fellow students expect that you will:

  • Not bully them
  • Show acceptance and respect their differing personalities
  • Never insult or belittle them because of differences.
  • Respect their property
  • Listen to them and acknowledge them
  • Share equipment and resources with them
  • Allow them to be part of the group
  • Speak to them with courtesy and respect

 

What pupils, parents and staff expect while at Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.

Pupils expect that school will be:

  • Safe
  • Happy
  • Suited to their learning style
  • Encouraging and supportive.
  • Affirming of children of all abilities
  • Able to deal with bullying and supportive of victims. Lessons on bullying will be taught as part of the SPHE programme here in the school.

 

Parents expect that there will be:

  • Adequate supervision of their child at all times during school hours.
  • A safe and happy environment for their child.
  • Recognition and provision for the individual differences of pupils
  • Support for children who need it.
  • Fairness and consistency in the way children are dealt with.
  • No labelling of their child.
  • An atmosphere of support and inclusion rather than criticism.
  • Contact at an early stage to inform them of any problems
  • A willingness to listen to their viewpoint.
  • Suggestions and support about problems in school.

Teachers expect that there will be:

  • Mutual support and encouragement.
  • Co-operation to achieve the schools aims and objectives.
  • A fair and consistent implementation of the school discipline policy
  • A consistent approach to handling troubled children.
  • An atmosphere that encourages professional development and a willingness to learn and change.

The Board, pupils and parents expect that teachers and staff will:

  • Support and uphold this Code of Behaviour.
  • Refer to it regularly.
  • Keep parents informed of behavioural issues.
  • Keep the principal informed of behavioural issues.
  • Remind children of the importance of adhering to this Code of Behaviour in the interest of the safety of all who attend our school.

 

What is expected of parents/guardians of pupils attending Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire.  The Board of Management and staff of Scoil Naisiúnta Mhuire expect that each parent/guardian will:

  • At all times be courteous and respectful towards the staff of the school.
  • Be familiar with the various policies and codes of the school and the expectation of pupils. These will be provided in the introductory pack received when your child enters Junior Infants.
  • Accept and sign the Code of Behaviour as a condition of Enrolment in our school.
  • Show support for teachers in their implementation of the schools behaviour policy.
  • Not drive onto the school property at drop-off or collection times in any circumstances without the expressed permission in writing of the Board of Management. This is in the interest of the health and safety of all pupils.
  • Always report to the school office and make an appointment when it is necessary to speak with your child’s teacher.
  • Respect private property adjacent to the school entrances at all times. Entering onto private property adjacent to the school is strictly forbidden
  • Support your child in his school work.
  • Ensure your child is on time for school. Supervision begins at 9:00 am. No responsibility is taken for children arriving before that time. School begins at 9:10 am.
  • Ensure regular attendance of your child.
  • Account for every absence of your child by forwarding a signed Absence Note in the pupil’s Homework Journal. In the case of Infant Classes a blank Absence Note will should be sent home to be completed by a parent/guardian on the child’s return to school. These notes are kept on the child’s school fi (Absences of 20 days are more are reported to the National Educational Welfare Board)
  • Ensure he/she has the necessary materials for schoolwork
  • Provide a nutritious lunch each day for your child keeping in line with our Healthy Eating Policy.
  • Attach name tags or labels to all items of school clothing, school books, copies etc. The school is not responsible for personal belongings lost or left behind.
  • Ensure your child has a positive attitude to and abides by the school and class rules. These rules can be seen in the school journal.
  • Never undermine the authority of the school or teachers.
  • Promote respect for teachers and other school personnel.
  • Give a contact number where you can be reached in an emergency. Fill in the pupil update form at the start of the school year and inform the school of any change in contact details.
  • Be available to discuss a problem if/when one arises.

Note: Infant Classes end each day at 1.50pm and will only be released to a parent or persons nominated by each child’s parent. 1st to 6th Classes end each day at 2.50 pm.

Children are supervised from their classroom to the school gates at home time. Parents who wish to have their children escorted home should make their own arrangements to have them met at the school gate and the person to escort them should be at the school not later than 2.50pm (1.50pm in the case of infant classes) as the school cannot accept responsibility for looking after the children after that time.

Your child expects that you will:

  • Look after his/her basic needs
  • Be interested in, support, praise and encourage his/her work in school.
  • Show fairness.

Other parents expect that you will:

  • Support the school in implementing its code of behaviour.

Exert firm discipline in cases where your child’s behaviour is having a negative impact on the behaviour of others.

Procedures for Notification of a Pupil’s Absence from School

By law, every child must attend school regularly up to sixteen years of age or complete at least three years post primary, whichever comes later. It is mandatory for the school to report all absences in excess of 20 days to the National Educational Welfare Board.

All absences from school must be explained in writing to the Class Teacher/Principal.

In Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire, all absences must be explained by way of written note after the child returns to school. Children in 1st – 6th Class have a section for explanation of absences at the back of their Homework Journal. Parents of children in Infant Classes will be given a form to fill in on the child’s return to school.

A phonecall to the school office explaining the child’s absence, while welcome, is not sufficient.

For significant absences (greater than ten school days) due to illness the school requires a doctor’s certificate.

When a child has reached in excess of 20 days absence the parent will be informed by way of a letter from the school Principal. It is mandatory for the school to report all absences in excess of 20 days to the NEWB in quarterly returns.

Where the school is concerned about excessive unexplained/not credible absences, the NEWB will be informed of its concern outside of quarterly return dates.

Parents are advised to avoid planning family holidays during school time.

Recording Incidents of Misbehaviour

Incidences are recorded in the child’s homework journal/on a ‘Yellow Card’ and sent home as a means of informing the parent/guardian of the incident. It is to be signed by the parent/guardian and returned to the school the following day. When returned, the note/card is photocopied and placed in the pupil’s file.

A phonecall to the pupil’s parents may be made, at the discretion of the teacher/principal, informing them of the facts of the incident/misdemeanour.

All meetings/phone conversations between parent/guardians and staff members are noted and these memos are kept on the pupil’s personal files.

Breach of School Rules / Sanctions

Each class teacher has responsibility for discipline within the classroom. They also share a common responsibility for good order within the school premises. If an S.N.A. is witness to a behaviour issue, he/she will report this to the class teacher or the teacher on supervision duty.

If further intervention is needed, the Principal is called upon.

The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal Teacher. Every other teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his or her classroom.

A pupil will be referred to the Principal Teacher, for serious breaches of discipline, and for repeat incidents of minor misbehaviour.

The following sanctions may be used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. They may be used in any order.

This is a suggested order of sanctions. Where there are repeated incidences of misbehaviour or a more serious breach of rules, the teacher may invoke a more appropriate sanction.

  • Verbal reminder of expected behaviour
  • Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  • Temporary separation from peers, friends and others and/or classroom activities i.e. Time Out
  • Loss of privileges to include yardtime. Pupil remains ‘off the yard’ and is supervised by teachers on duty
  • Supervised detention during break
  • Extra written work that may include writing out the relevant rule a number of times.
  • Communication with parents – either verbal, by note, (in the pupil’s journal in the case of Senior Classes), or on a yellow card (for more serious incidents of misbehaviour) to be signed by the child’s parent or guardian.
  • Referral to Principal Teacher
  • A Behaviour Reflection Form is completed by the pupil and discussed with parents and teacher.
  • Referral to the Board of Management
  • Temporary suspension (in serious circumstances).
  • Expulsion

Any aggressive, threatening behaviour or violent behaviour towards another pupil, teacher or other member of staff will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.

Teachers will keep a written record of incidents of serious misbehaviour, as well as a record of improvements in behaviour of disruptive pupils. Teachers will also record any communication with and a memo of the attendance of the child’s parent or guardian.

The support and co-operation of parents is essential to the effective operation of the Code of Behaviour. Parents will be involved at an early stage in the disciplinary process if a problem occurs. Communications with parents will be verbal, or by letter, depending on circumstances. The parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s misbehaviour.

It is the responsibility of parents to co-operate with teachers in solving disciplinary problems.

Parents are urged to take an interest in their child’s work. Parents are urged to work with – not against – the teachers. It is important not to be unwittingly critical of teachers in the home in the presence of children. Parents are also urged to assist with discipline in the school by insisting on good behaviour and by insisting on a high standard of punctuality, neatness and level of work and by ensuring that homework is duly completed and signed.

Parents are invited to keep close contact with the school regarding anything that might affect their child’s work or behaviour in school.

Every effort will be made to have an emotionally disturbed child referred for psychological assessment, without delay. Help will be sought from support services within the wider community such as the Community Care Services, provided by the Health Service Executive.

Serious Misbehaviour

Pupils.

Gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehavior by pupils, will be discussed with the parents of the child. The instances will be recorded and filed. The Chairperson of the Board of Management will be notified, as well as the other members of the Board in accordance with the Rules for National Schools. The Chairperson may convene an extraordinary meeting of the Board following consultation with the Principal or Acting Principal.

Such a meeting will review the circumstances of the case and shall take such steps as are necessary to address the situation. The Board may authorise the Chairperson, Principal or Acting Principal to sanction an immediate suspension. Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case.

Both the parent and the child must give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future. The child will be requested to apologise to those he or she may have caused offence to.

Parents.

Inappropriate or serious misbehaviour of parents/guardians or other adults is deemed unacceptable. Those engaging in such behavior will be asked to leave the premises and the incident reported to the Board and/or Gardaí as appropriate.

A formal written apology and an undertaking that such behavior will not reoccur is required before readmission to the school is granted.

Suspension

Definition:

Suspension is defined as requiring the student to absent himself/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days. During this period of suspension the pupil retains their place in the school.

The decision to suspend a student requires serious grounds such as that:

  • The student’s behaviour has had a detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.
  • A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

Please note that all investigations of alleged misbehaviour will be carried out in confidence, bearing in mind fair procedures based on the principles of natural justice.

NB:  Fair procedures have two essential parts: the right to be heard and the right to impartiality.

Where allegations of criminal behaviour are made about a student, these will usually be referred to the Gardaí, who have responsibility for investigating criminal matters.

Procedure for Suspension:

The student and parents will be informed about the complaint, how it will be investigated and that it could result in suspension

Parents and student will be given an opportunity to respond and be heard.

Parents will be invited to meet with the class teacher, Principal and/or Chairperson BOM to discuss the gross incident of misdemeanour or serious misdemeanour before any decision is made or any sanction is imposed

In the case of immediate suspension, parents will be notified, and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected.

The Board of Management has delegated authority to the Principal to suspend for up to three days, which can be extended to five days with the Chairperson’s approval. The Board of Management will normally place a ceiling of ten days on any one period of suspension imposed by it.

Communication to parents regarding the suspension of a pupil or the possibility of suspension will be in writing.

A written statement of the terms, date of commencement and termination of a suspension will be given to parents.

Parents will be advised of their right to appeal any decision to suspend under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998

The Principal is required to report suspensions in accordance with NEWB Reporting Guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, section 21 (4)(a))

Formal written records, in line with the school’s record keeping policy and data protection legislation, will be kept of the investigation and the decision-making process.

The principal will report all suspensions to the Board of Management, with the reasons for and the duration of each suspension.

Re-integrating the student

When a period of suspension ends, the pupil will be re-admitted formally to class by the Principal/Deputy Principal.

Where a satisfactory resolution of a problem is achieved, a pupil may be re-admitted to school within a suspension period at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Board and Principal.

Should a pupil report for school even though he/she has been suspended the parents/guardians will be contacted and asked to collect their child. The pupil will not be admitted to class but will remain in another room where supervision will be arranged. The pupil will be given school work to do while they wait to be collected.

Expulsion

A student is expelled from a school when the Board of Management makes a decision to permanently exclude him/her from the school, having complied with the provisions of Section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

The decision to expel a student requires serious grounds such as that:

  • The student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
  • The student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety.
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.
  • A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for expulsion.

The following is an example of such incidents but is not exhaustive:

A serious threat of violence against another student or staff member

Actual violence or physical assault

Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school

Sexual assault

Where expulsion is considered, school authorities will have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the student’s behaviour.

Please note that all investigations of alleged misbehaviour will be carried out in confidence, bearing in mind fair procedures based on the principles of natural justice.

NB: Fair procedures have two essential parts: the right to be heard and the right to impartiality.

Where allegations of criminal behaviour are made about a student, these will usually be referred to the Gardaí, who have responsibility for investigating criminal matters.

 

Procedure for Expulsion:

Where preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
  • A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal
  • Consideration by the Board of Management of the principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing
  • Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing
  • Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel
  • Prior to the expulsion of a pupil the Education Welfare Officer must be notified in writing of the school’s intention twenty days in advance.

The student and parents will be informed about the complaint, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion

Parents and student will be given an opportunity to respond and be heard

Parents will be invited to meet with class teacher, Principal, Deputy Principal and/or Chairperson to discuss the gross incident of misdemeanour or serious misdemeanour before any decision is made or any sanction is imposed

In the case of immediate expulsion, parents will be notified, and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected.

Formal written records, in line with the school’s record keeping policy and data protection legislation, will be kept of the investigation and the decision-making process.

Appeals

A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 section 29). An appeal may also be brought by the National Education Welfare Board on behalf of a student.

Bullying

Below is an extract from the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy. Bullying is dealt with in full in our Anti-Bullying Policy which is available on our school website or on request from the school office.

What is bullying?

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical deliberately conducted, by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

Types of Bullying Behaviour

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • cyber-bullying and
  • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.

Preventing bullying: Please refer to Anti-Bullying Policy.

Procedures should bullying occur: Please refer to Anti-Bullying Policy

Success Criteria on which this Policy will be Judged

  • Atmosphere of discipline and co-operation within the school
  • Children are aware of school rules
  • Staff applying the school rules effectively
  • Growth in self discipline
  • Co-operation between parents, teachers and pupils in maintaining the code.
  • Comments or compliments on behaviour.
  • Children working to the best of their ability
  • Classes working to the best of their ability
  • Improvements in behaviour

Review

Our Code of Behaviour will be fully reviewed every three years. However, the Board of Management may, at its discretion, review the Code at any time if necessary. This most recent review was completed throughout September/October 2016.

Endorsement

This Code of Behaviour was compiled with the co-operation and assistance of pupils, parents, teachers and members of the Board of Management. After careful consideration, it was approved, ratified and adopted by the Board of Management at its meeting held on 10th June 2002.  Reviews were ratified and adopted by the Board at meetings in March 2004, May 2006, February 2011 and March 2014.

This current Code of Behaviour was discussed, approved and ratified by the Board of Management at its meeting of 17th of October, 2016.

Signed:___________________________                          Date: ______________

 

Chairperson,

Board of Management,

Scoil Náisiúnta Mhuire,

Rathpeacon,

Mallow Road,

Cork.

IT IS A CONDITION OF ENROLMENT TO SCOIL NÁISIÚNTA MHUIRE, RATHPEACON THAT PARENTS ACCEPT THIS CODE OF BEHAVIOUR IN ITS TOTALITY.

 

 

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