Code of Behaviour

Contents of Policy Document
  1. Mission Statement
  2. General principles underpinning the Code
  3. The scope of the Code
  4. General principles
  5. Reinforcing Positive Behaviour
  6. Behaviour: Expectations
  7. Expectations: Respect/Attendance and Punctuality
  8. Care of school property and surroundings
  9. Health and Safety Expectations
  10. Internet Usage
  11. Classroom Behaviour
  12. School Uniform
  13. Health
  14. Behaviour Management Structure
  15. Suspension Procedures
  16. Expulsion Procedures
  17. Review and Evaluation

 

1.  MISSION  STATEMENT

Presentation School is a girls’ secondary school, which is based on Nano Nagle’s vision of bringing God’s love to all people and is dedicated to an all round Christian education based on gospel values.

To further these aims we envisage the development of a community wherein-

  • Student and staff members are valued, and their talents and abilities recognised and developed to prepare for changes in society.
  • Each person recognises his/her own responsibility in implementing agreed positive standards of behaviour.
  • Good communication is maintained between all members and where liaison with parents and local community involvement is encouraged.

Inspired by this vision we dedicate ourselves to the continued growth of this school.

2.  General Principles underpinning the Code

This Code of Behaviour has been developed by staff, students, parents and the Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School in
consultation with the National Education Psychological Service , the Education Welfare Officer and the National Behaviour Support Service,  to
support a positive, expectations-led, teaching and learning environment for all members of the school community. The document is developed under the guidance of the Mission Statement of the School.

It also complies with the legislative framework in relation to the framework of-

  • The Education Act 1998
  • The Education Welfare act 2000
  • The Equal Status Act 2000
  • The Health and Safety Act
  • Education for Persons with Special Education Needs 2004

This Behaviour Code is also guided by ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools’ published by the National Education Welfare Board.

In accordance with Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, responsibility for this Behaviour Code rests with the Board of Management.

In accordance with Section 23.2 of the Education (Welfare) Act, this code will specify the standard of behaviour that shall be observed by each
student attending Presentation Secondary School, the reward systems to promote and reinforce the positive the measures that may be taken when a student fails to observe those standards, the procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school, the grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student and the procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school.

A positive partnership between all members of the school community is essential to the operation of the code and the full support of parents is required in upholding the code.

In accordance with Section 23.4 of the Education (Welfare) Act and the Admissions Policy of Presentation Secondary School, parents or guardians of students and/or students who have reached their majority(18 years of age) must accept the Behaviour Code as a condition of enrolment in the school.  The appropriate form must be signed and returned to the school authorities as directed.

3.  The scope of this code

The rules set out below apply when the students are on the school premises, while on trips or outings, when engaged in extra-curricular activities or when attending functions organised by the school.

In circumstances other than the above, if school management is made aware of student behaviour which does not adhere to the expectations
outlined in this code, management may consult with the parent/guardians of the student.

4.  General Principles

The basic principles underpinning the school’s Code of Behaviour are:

    1. The Duty of Care to each student is central to ensuring an effective Code of Behaviour. This Duty of Care is child-centred and is in keeping with the philosophy of Presentation Secondary School .
    2. It is important that all processes and procedures are transparent and fair. This Code of Behaviour reflects the philosophy of positive behaviour as outlined in the NEWB publication: Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools (2008).
    3. The School endeavours to ensure that all interpretations of rules are consistent with the Code of Behaviour. Every effort is made to ensure that all partners are aware of and understand the basic philosophy of the Code of Behaviour. Good communication and collaboration between all partners are vital to the effective implementation of the Code of Behaviour.
    4. The Code of Behaviour is for everyone and a whole-school approach is central to its success. The school endeavours to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is in keeping with the school’s Ethos and Mission Statement.

The procedures outlined in the Code of Behaviour are set out to be fair and are based on the principles of Natural Justice. Fair procedures have two essential parts:

  • The right to be heard.
  • The right to impartiality
5.   REINFORCING POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR

The Behaviour Code has been developed at Presentation Secondary School to promote and support positive behaviour in the school community. Positive behaviour is defined as behaviour which supports the teaching and learning environment, which adds to a sense of community and/or
emphasises the sense of respect at the heart of the Mission Statement. In accordance with the NEWB Guidelines this document seeks to emphasise building upon a culture of positive expectation, devising systems of praise and reward to inculcate the positive.

5.1       Merit Cards

The Merit Card provides a method whereby staff  can validate the good behaviour of students. This policy suggests the following reasons for
awarding a Merit Card to a student.

    • Considerable voluntary effort outside of class time.
    • Students who show exceptional concern for other students and teachers.
    • Students who demonstrate a high degree of co-operation, responsibility and school spirit.

5.2       Improvement Cards

Progress Cards may be awarded to students who show a marked improvement in work, attendance and/or behaviour in order to reinforce and
promote continued improvement.

5.3       Positive Student System- School Journal Achievement Page

A Record of Achievement page is included in the Student Journal which can be accessed by all staff. A Positive Student Award may be recorded therein

5.6       Hidden Heroes System

The Hidden Heroes Awards are letters and certificates of commendation issued to students by their Year Head, who work quietly and effectively, without seeking reward or attention, in their engagement with their education.

5.7       Reflection Sheets and follow up

Reflection Sheets may be used by teachers to encourage students to reflect on their behaviour, enabling them to participate actively in the process of modifying their own behaviour. The intention is to encourage students to evaluate the behaviour engaged in and to understand why they are
using such behaviour.

5.8       Referral to pastoral care system

Where it is requested by parents, teachers and students, and deemed suitable and necessary to students, the school offers pastoral support.

5.9       Mentoring programmes (teacher/community/peer)

The school operates various mentoring programmes, supporting student academic, emotional or behavioural needs as identified.

5.11     Behaviour Report Cards

The Behaviour Report Card is designed to cultivate and reinforce good classroom behaviour.  A student, returning from a Suspension or whose
behaviour has been significantly out of step with behaviour expectations as outlined in this Code, may be put on report by a Year Head or by the Deputy Principal or Principal.   The student presents the card to each teacher at the end of each class period and is then given immediate feedback on her behaviour for that class.  The student’s progress can then be evaluated by the Year Head. The report card should also be signed by the
parents or guardians in order to reinforce its significance.

5.12     Attendance Reports

Attendance Report Forms can be issued by Year Head or Deputy Principal to students who have absented themselves from class on previous
occasions.

Regular attendance is a vital component of good academic performance.

5.13     Individual Behaviour Support Planning

When required, an IBP will be put in place to support the behaviour of a particular student.

5.14     Induction Days

Induction into First Year, (which will begin following the enrolment process in the Spring preceding the beginning of 1st year) Transition Year and
Senior Cycle will focus on developing student awareness of the practical requirements and the relevant supports pertinent to the particular year. It will focus on easing and reassuring the students in the transition into the new programme.

5.15     Year Group Behaviour Charter

In conjunction with the RE Teacher in Senior Cycle and the SPHE Teacher in Junior Cycle,  a year group Behaviour charter will be drawn up and adopted by all students in the year group.  This will be set out in sign-format and displayed in the classrooms.  The agreed charter will be written into the students journals and signed by the students.

5.16     Teaching Positive Behaviour

While each member of staff has a role in this task, specific emphasis is placed on positive and appropriate behaviour in SPHE classes.

5.17     Voucher Reward System

Management, in conjunction with the Parents’ Association will develop a bank of appropriate vouchers/tickets/tokens for distribution as concrete rewards for use by Year Heads and Class Teachers. This system is used to emphasise positive behaviour concerning uniform, attendance, base class tidiness, class behaviour and particularly in the context of an Individual Behaviour Plan.  The Positive Student system in the journal will serve as a concrete means by which the Reward system is applied therein.

5.18     Assemblies

Assemblies are held at the beginning of each term with each year group. School expectations will be
reinforced and positive behaviours will be rewarded. In particular Year Heads and school management utilise Assemblies as an opportunity to reiterate  an aspect of the School Mission
Statement or the Year Theme. Year group or Senior students may also engage in promoting positive initiatives at Assemblies

Ladder of Reward

The Teaching Community in Presentation Secondary School seeks to actively reward students. Positive behaviour is reinforced through the
application of a series of rewards. In the delivery of such rewards a teacher employs his/her professional discretion in deciding the most appropriate method to be used. Staff  are encouraged to utilise the full range of rewards available in supporting positive behaviour in school:

  • Verbal praise
  • Use of journal note
  • Merit Card/Improvement Card
  • Voucher Reward System
  • Hidden Heroes citation:  Letter from Year Head
  • Notification to Year Head

Ladder of Sanction

SANCTIONS

  • Extra work may be given.
  • Carrying out a useful task within the school.
  • Invite parent(s)/guardian(s) to school.
  • Record and file breaches of discipline.
  • Note in Student Journal to be signed by parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • Withdrawal of privileges e.g. not allowed on school outings, tours, extra-curricular activities.
  • Student engagement with Behaviour Management Team. (Deputy Principal and Year Head)
  • Detention may be imposed
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
6.  Restorative Practices

In accordance with the anti-bullying policy, where the Year Heads deem it appropriate, they will utilise Restorative Practices to help students who engage in negative, hurtful and/or offensive behaviour take responsibility for their actions, understand the consequences of their behaviour and
restore a positive relationship with those affected by their actions.

Mediation between pupils, giving opportunity for reflection, acknowledging what has happened, what harm has been done and what can be done to put it right, apologising and finally agreeing a way forward is at the heart of this practice.

7.  BEHAVIOUR EXPECTATIONS

While teaching and learning occurs throughout a students’ school day, primary learning takes place in the classroom in a partnership between staff and students.  By taking personal responsibility for behaviour, students commit to a positive teaching and learning environment in each classroom. It is our expectation that students will be positive and task oriented in class, promoting the student’s own learning and the learning of others and also serving to assist the teacher in his or her role.  In relation to assigned work, it is our expectation that students understand the importance of homework as a critical reinforcement of classroom learning.

Therefore it is our expectation as a school community that:

7.1       Students will be on time for class

 Sanction if late for class

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal

7.2       Students will take responsibility for their own learning by bringing the correct text books and materials, endeavouring to complete all tasks and home work to the best of their ability.

 Sanction    Not having materials for class

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal.

7.3       Students will have their School Journal with them at all times. In order to support organised learning, students must record all homework, written and oral, in the Journal.

Sanction    Not having the journal in class

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal.

7.4       Students will participate and engage with the activities of the class, cooperating fully with the teacher’s directions

Sanction    Uncooperative in class

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal

Serious levels of disruption may warrant suspension

7.5       Students will be respectful of the rights of other students, especially the right of the students to learn and the teacher’s right to teach in an environment free from distraction.

Sanction   

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal

Serious levels of disruption may warrant suspension

7.6       Students will endeavour to complete homework tasks, assigned in class, to the best of their ability, and will be supported by parents in
facilitating this important work.

Sanction

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Standard letter from Homework Policy posted home: 4th time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal)

Use of Academic Tracking Forms/Consultation with parents

Refer to Principal

7.7              Students may only eat at break or lunch-time

Sanction

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal

8.  Expectations:Respect

Attendance and Punctuality

The purpose of this Code of Conduct and of the School Rules outlined in it is to provide, promote and maintain a safe, pleasant and positive
learning environment.  We want our school to be a place where both students and staff will be able to achieve their full potential. The Code is a live and positive set of beliefs and actions that helps to ensure that the school and classroom are effective settings for learning and teaching.

The Code of Behaviour encourages and promotes good behaviour by ensuring that the students understand why the code is important. It stresses their part, as students, in making the code work. It is important that students can see that the code is implemented in a fair and just manner. The code establishes clear boundaries and rules for students while at the same time being inclusive.

Students are encouraged to make a worthwhile contribution to the school community through positive behaviour.  The school places a strong
emphasis on recognising and commending good behaviour.

This Code of Behaviour is firmly based on the need to have self-respect and respect for all other members of the school community. This respect fosters a positive attitude in all aspects of school life. Therefore:

(a)     It  is our expectation that students show respect to fellow pupils, teachers, parents, secretaries, caretakers and visitors.

Sanction      

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal 

(b)       It is our expectation that pupils will behave responsibly in class, between classes, and while changing classes.  Use of foul or obscene language is forbidden.

Sanction      

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal.

(c)        Students are expected to behave in a manner which does not bring the school into disrepute.

Sanction      

Caution is given: 1st time

Note in journal to be signed by parents: 2nd time

Reflection sheet given: 3rd time

Refer to Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal): 4th time

Refer to Principal.

(d)       It is expected that students will not engage in bullying behaviour. Bullying is defined as repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or
physical conducted by an individual or group against others. Bullying thrives in a climate of fear and secrecy. We must not allow cases of bullying to go unreported. In reporting an incident of bullying you are not telling tales but behaving responsibly and positively in order to help foster positive behaviour. Parents and students should bring any information they may have about bullying behaviour to the attention of the school Principal or teachers as promptly as possible. The school always encourages parents to share information about anything that might affect a student’s behaviour in school. Any incidents of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with Anti-Bullying Policy of the school. The elimination of bullying is the responsibility of everyone. Together we can create a safe and respectful environment.

 Anti-social acts against any member of the school community such as bullying, intimidation, extortion,  harassment (because of gender, marital status, family status, religion, age, disability,  race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation) teasing and exclusion are not acceptable in the context of a school which promotes the dignity of each individual in our school.  Breach of this rule will be handled in accordance with the Anti-Bullying Policy in the school. 

Any act of assault or violence against any member of the school community will be considered a grave offence.

Sanction

The Behaviour Management Team will investigate any incident of assault or violence

Suspension or Expulsion may apply.

(e)        It is our expectation that students do not have electronic devices for example, mobile phones. ipods, camera’s in their procession in school.

Sanction

In the event that a student’s phone is confiscated by a staff member, the parent/guardian will have to collect it from the school office at the end of the day.

Repeated offences may merit suspension

Students who are ill, or in any other genuine/urgent situation, should come to the school office and the necessary contact with home will be made from there.

Student who bring their phone to school must sign it into the office at 9am. Phones can be signed out at 3.36pm

(f)        Students are expected to be responsible for the safety of their own valuables/money.  It is recommended that valuables /money should be kept in their own possession or locked in the student’s locker.  The school does not accept responsibility for articles lost, damaged or stolen.

It is our expectation that students do not deface the School journal in any way.  Any journal that is defaced may be confiscated and must be
replaced by the student at her own expense.

2.         REGULAR ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY ARE EXPECTED OF EACH PUPIL

It is our expectation that pupils make every effort to attend school on ALL days on when the school is in operation. Students are expected to make up for any work missed when absent from school

Absence from school without permission is a serious matter

Sanction

Detention will be given for the first offence

Repeated incidents of truancy will lead to suspension

 (d)      The Welfare Act 2002 places certain demands on parents and principals in the area of school records and attendance.  Section 18 of this act states that ‘the parents of an absent child shall … notify the Principal of the school of the reasons of the child’s absence’.  Section 21 states that ‘the
Principal shall cause to be maintained a record of non-attendance where a child fails to attend … and the reasons for failure’.
  All absences of more than 20 days must be reported by the School Principal to the Education Welfare Officer.

3.         PLEASE  PRESENT  A  PRE-PRINTED  SLIP  FROM  THE  SCHOOL  JOURNAL  IN  THE  FOLLOWING  CASES:

(a)        When requesting permission to leave school for any reason between 9.00 a.m. and 3.36 p.m.  There are pre-printed slips for this purpose in the School Journal. These should be brought to the school office at 9.40 a.m.

(b)       Explaining absences due to illness or other reasons.  These explanations should be detailed and signed by parent(s)/guardian(s) on the
“Absence Notes” which are provided for this purpose in the student’s School Journal.  These should be handed to the teacher of the first class period (9.00 a.m. – 9.40 a.m.).

(c)        It is our expectation that students will complete all Homework Exercises given to them.  If for some reason a student does not complete a Home Exercise, the reasons are to be outlined in the student’s School Journal in the section headed “Notes to/from teacher”

(d)       If a student is aware in advance that she will be absent please give details in the “Notes to/from teacher” in the School Journal.

The School Journal contains pre-printed slips with the following headings:

1.         Absence Notes

2.         Request for Permission to Leave School

3.         Notes to/from Teacher

            It is our expectation that all letters/slips are to be written, dated and signed by parent(s)/guardian(s)

            It is our expectation that students arriving late or leaving early must sign in / sign out at the school office.

9.   CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY SURROUNDINGS

HEALTH   AND  SAFETY  EXPECTATIONS

As a school which offers our students a broad range of healthy activities and options and seeks to educate our students towards making health-promoting life choices we seek to organise our school community in which health and safety is the concern of all. Through the curricular and
extracurricular programme, and in conjunction with parents, these options are presented to our community.  All members of our school community are entitled to teach and learn in an area devoid of unnecessary health and safety risk.

9.1 (a)  It is our expectation that the school building and the property of others are to be treated with care. It is our expectation that all students will be vigilant at all times so as to ensure their own health & safety, the safety of the other members of the school community or any visitors to the school and the safety of all property therein.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

Suspension

Exclusion

Defacing school property in any is a serious offence. Compensation must be made for any damage caused.

9.2  (b)       It is expected that students not use or interfere with any school equipment without prior permission. In the interest of the welfare of all, students must only use equipment and materials as directed, especially in the Specialist Rooms where Health and Safety of all is of particular
concern. This is particularly important in Science Labs, Home Economics Room, Computer Room and Art Room, where the health and safety of students/teachers are paramount.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

Suspension

Exclusion

9.3   9.2.(b) also applies to the use of notice boards and blinds. Students are expected to be conscious of the welfare of others while moving
between classes and at break times, and while on the school grounds. It is our expectation that students will in no way interfere with fire extinguishers or the fire alarm system

9.4   (c) Pupils are expected to keep classrooms tidy. In the interest of health, safety and hygiene, students must only eat in the designated areas.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

Suspension

Exclusion

9.5   In the interest of the school environment, students are expected to use the appropriate bins for all items of litter. Litter bins are provided and students are expected to dispose of all litter in these bins.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

9.6   It is our expectation that students not eat or drink during class. It is acceptable to drink water in class.  Students are expected to put left-over food in waste bins in the corridors.  Left-over food must not be placed in the waste paper bins in the classrooms.

Water or any other drink is not allowed in the Computer Room.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

 9.8      Chewing gum, laser pens, use of corrective fluids (e.g. Tipp-Ex) and aerosols are strictly forbidden.  Any such items will be confiscated.

9.9       Students are expected to be  responsible for any school equipment that they use and may be held responsible for any damage caused.
Interference with fire and safety equipment is strictly forbidden.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

Suspension

Exclusion

9.10     It is our expectation that students will not bring any potentially dangerous implements    or objects (as determined by the school authorities) onto the school grounds or with them while on extracurricular or representative activities.

Sanction

Journal note

Direct contact with parent

Reflection Sheet

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team

Meeting with Principal

Suspension

Exclusion

10. INTERNET USAGE

The school’s Acceptable Use Policy is explained to all. Students are expected to adhere to it. It is available by request at the school office.

Sanction 

Computer privileges will be removed from students ( At the discretion of the Principal)

11. CLASSROOM BEHAVIOUR

In order that students benefit from class work, full co-operation is required from every student. 

It is our expectation that students:

(1)        Be on time and fully prepared for class.

(2)        Move promptly between classrooms so as not to be late for next class.

(3)        Enter and exit classrooms in a quiet and orderly fashion.

(4)        Obtain permission from the teacher to leave a classroom or to enter a classroom other than one’s own.

(5)        Sit quietly at your designated seat with your books opened.

(6)        Move to different seat if requested to do so by the teacher.

(7)        Have your School Journal on your desk at all times.

(8)        Enter all homework in your Student Journal and complete as directed.

(9)        Be attentive and make a genuine effort at learning.

(10)      Raise your hand for teacher’s attention.

(11)      Be respectful to fellow students, school staff and visitors.

(12)      See that the classroom is kept clean and tidy and that the furniture is treated with care.

(13)      Switch off lights when classroom is being vacated.

(14)      Avoid fighting or rough play

12. SCHOOL UNIFORM

It is our expectation that the official school uniform to be worn at all times. All personal items; e.g. coat, jumper, should be marked clearly with owner’s name. The school uniform consists of the following:

1.         Blue shirt.

2.         Plain navy trousers or plain navy skirt.

3.         Navy V-necked jumper with school crest.

4.         Pair of black/navy low-heeled shoes. Runners are not allowed except for P.E. class.

5.          Scarves: only plain navy scarves are allowed.

The following items of clothing are optional:

(a)    Official school jacket with crest. If students wish to wear a jacket during class time the official school jacket is the only acceptable jacket.

(b)   Official school hoodie with crest. The hoodie does not replace the existing school jumper. If students wish to wear a hoodie during class time the official school hoodie is the only acceptable hoodie. It is not permitted to wear the hoods up in class.

The school jacket and school hoodie may be purchased within the school. In respect of these additional optional school uniform items, the school advises that, in general, they should be worn outside of the classroom. If students wear these items in class the benefit of adequate insulation is
reduced when students go outside.

6.      It is our expectation that students do not wear make-up.  Excessive use of hair colouring and make-up is not acceptable and students may be asked to remove it. The only jewellery allowed – should one wish to wear any – is: one pair of neat earrings to be worn on ear lobes, one ring, one watch.  It is our expectation that students do not wear facial jewellery. No facial studs are allowed under any circumstances

Sanctions

Students not wearing the school uniform

Journal note: 1st time

Direct contact with parent: 2nd time

Reflection Sheet: 3rd time

Meeting with Behaviour Management Team: 4th time

Meeting with Principal

The school authorities are the judges of acceptable dress and hair styles school, and promotes It is our expectation that parents co-operate with the school by ensuring that students are not negligent in relation to the rules on school uniform.

13. HEALTH

It is our expectation that the school be informed of any illness or physical ailment which might affect a student’s performance in class or during extra-curricular activities.

Students are expected to report any accident immediately to the teacher in charge.  Medicines of any kind will not be administered by the school.  Parent(s)/guardian(s) of any student taking prescribed medication should inform the school. It is expected that a student who feels unwell should first report to the teacher in charge and obtain permission to report to the school office.  If the student is unfit to return to class, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be contacted where possible and where deemed necessary.  It is expected that before leaving the school the student must sign out.

It is our expectation that students will uphold the Public Health (Tobacco) Act 2002 in relation to cigarette smoking which is illegal on school premises.

Section 47(b) of the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002 states that fines of up to €3,000 can be incurred by persons smoking in a prohibited area.  Such an action will be considered a grave offence.

Sanctions if a student:

  • Attends school while under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
  • Supplies illicit drugs to another student.
  • Brings drugs into the school.
  • Uses drugs in the school.

It is our expectation that students will uphold the Misuse of Drugs Act (get the correct legal angle on this) in relation to possession, consumption, inhalation or otherwise taking of drugs or alcohol or any harmful substances.

Any attempt to encourage or involve others in such activities is strictly forbidden.  Breach of this rule will be considered to constitute a grave offence.  (c.f. the school Substance Abuse Policy for a full account of procedures in relation to the use/abuse of controlled substances.)

  • Smokes in the school

Sanction

The offence is serious and will involve suspension or, in extreme cases, expulsion.

Smoking, in accordance with the Public Health Tobacco Amendment Act (2004), is not allowed in the school, school grounds or while a student is involved in any school related activity..

CONDUCT PROCEDURE

Where, however, a pupil acts in a manner prejudicial to the learning situation, good order or  the interest of others, the school has a right and duty to intervene and, where necessary, impose sanctions.

Behaviour Management is initially the responsibility of the individual teacher in the classroom.  All teachers carry the same rights and responsibilities regarding the initiation of behaviour management procedures.

It is our expectation that all students are dealt with in a fair manner.

The principles of fair procedure will always apply.

14. Behaviour Management Structure

Procedures:

Stage 1:      Student encouragement and advice by subject teacher.

Student caution by subject teacher.

Note in Student Journal signed by parents

Use of Reflection Sheet. Signed by parents

Teacher records all incidents in the Teacher Diary and in the student journal.

Stage 2:         Student sent to Year Head/Designated member of staff.

Written record of behaviour management incident is noted on eportal

Stage 3:          Student engages with the Behaviour Management Team (Year Head and Deputy Principal) and records are kept.

Parents will be contacted.

Stage 4:        Behaviour Management Team informs the Principal.

                       Parents will be contacted

                       Possible suspension by Principal. (Max: 3 Days)

Stage 5:        Referred to Board of Management with possible suspension or Expulsion.

15. SUSPENSION PROCEDURES

15.1     The purpose of suspending a student from the School is to provide the student with time for reflection, to emphasise the seriousness of specific misbehaviours and to give staff time to plan ways of helping the student to change unacceptable behaviour.

15.1.a  The Board of Management has delegated authority to the Principal to suspend a student for a period up to and including three days. If a suspension for longer than three days is being proposed the matter must be referred to the Board. In such a case, having sought approval from the Chairperson of the Board, the Principal may suspend for up to five days to allow for time to convene a meeting of the Board of Management. The Board will not normally impose a suspension of more than 10 consecutive school days.

15.1.b  Suspension will normally be imposed for a grave offence as defined in this policy.  Where in the opinion of the Behaviour Team for the student’s year and/or Principal or Acting Principal, detention or warning are an inadequate disciplinary procedure for serious offences, or in the instance of repeated serious offences, the sanction of suspension may be imposed

Such misbehaviour may include:

  • A threat to the safety of others.
  • Disruption of teaching and learning
  • Deliberate damage to property
  • Misuse of technology
  • Substance abuse
  • Persistent breaches of the Code of Behaviour which have not been rectified by the normal school interventions.

15.1.c  Before a suspension is imposed the Principal will have considered the seriousness and context of  the behaviour; the impact of the behaviour on the other members of the school community; the interventions that have already been tried with the student involved; the likely impact of the suspension on the particular student. Care will be taken to ensure that the academic progress of the student will not be adversely affected by the suspension.

15.1.d  Suspension Procedures.

Following a thorough investigation of the incident, if the Principal decides it is appropriate to suspend a student, the following procedure will be used:

The student will be informed and given an opportunity to respond.

The student’s parents will be contacted and the matter will be explained. The suspension will not be implemented until the parents have been fully informed both of the circumstances of the incident and of their right to appeal the decision to suspend to the Board of Management.

Every effort will be made to request and to facilitate the student/ parent/ guardians to meet with the Principal and/or Acting Principal and Year Head at a specified time acceptable to all parties so as to afford them a full opportunity to comment on the disciplinary action being considered.

If the student/parents/guardians fail to attend such a meeting and fail to provide a reasonable explanation for not doing so, the matter will be determined in their absence and the suspension carried out.

The student and parents/guardians will be informed in writing that the suspension has been imposed, the date from which the suspension takes effect and the period of the suspension.

In the event of the student/parents/guardian attending such a meeting, if having heard the student/parents/guardians, the Principal considers that it is proper and necessary that suspension be imposed, s/he may suspend on such terms as s/he considers appropriate.

Confirmation in writing will be given to the student/parents/guardians that suspension has been imposed, the date from which such a decision takes effect and the period of the suspension.

Without prejudice to the foregoing, where the Behaviour Team and/or Principal has been notified of an alleged grave offence and where immediate suspension is deemed necessary for Health and Safety reasons, the Principal, without having interviewed the student and without prior notice to the students/parents/ guardians, may suspend a student with immediate effect for such a period as is deemed appropriate, pending investigation of the allegation of an offence.

Official notice of such suspension will be confirmed by post to the student/guardians/parents/ and the period of the suspension indicated.

The Behaviour Team shall, as soon as practicable, notify the student of the allegations made, investigate the matter and interview the student.  The interview shall give the student a full opportunity to comment on the allegations made.  Following that interview, the Behaviour Team shall decide whether the student has committed an offence that warrants suspension and recommend suspension or otherwise to the Principal. The relevant procedures outlined above will be followed.

15.1.e  The Principal will notify the Board of Management of the suspension. Under Section 21(4) of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, where a student is suspended for a period of not less than six days, the Principal will forthwith so inform the Educational Welfare Officer by notice in writing.

15.1.f   Following a period of suspension, the student, accompanied by his/her parent/guardian, is required to present himself/herself to the Principal or Deputy Principal on returning to the school, before going to any class. At this meeting the Principal/Deputy Principal will review the case decide what structures are required to support the student in returning to school and in addressing the behaviour which led to the suspension.

15.2     Appeals of suspension

A suspension imposed by the Principal can be appealed to the Board of Management as follows:

15.2.a  An appeal should be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Board of Management within 5 school days of the imposition of the suspension and should set out the parent’s case against the suspension.

15.2.b  At its next meeting the Board will nominate two members, neither of whom should have any involvement in the case, to investigate the issue and report back to the Board with its findings and recommendations.

15.2.c  If this investigation recommends that the Board remove the suspension, the record of the suspension will be removed from the student’s file. If the investigation approves the suspension then the suspension will stand.

15.2.d  There is no further right to appeal unless the student’s cumulative suspensions in any one year exceed 20 days, in which case there is a right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept. of Education and Science. The Principal must inform the parents and the NEWB if this 20 day limit has been reached.

15.3 Review

The Board will monitor the frequency of the use of suspension as a disciplinary measure and will regularly review the procedures to ensure that it is being used fairly and appropriately and in the best interests of the entire school community.

16. EXPULSION PROCEDURES

1. Only the Board of Management has the authority to expel a student.  This authority will not be delegated.

2. Expulsion of a student is a very serious step and will only be taken by the Board in extreme cases or as a last resort after intervention have failed as follows:

3.  Where there is significant and continuing disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.

4. Where there is a serious threat to the health and safety of the student themselves, other students or members of staff.

5. Where the pupil is uncontrollable and is not amenable to any form of school authority.

6. Where parents refuse to exercise their responsibility for the pupil in accordance with this Behaviour Code

i. Where the pupil’s behaviour is detrimental to sustaining the ethos of the school In cases of specific behaviour such as:

ii.      Actual violence or physical assault.

Supplying illegal drugs.

Sexual assault.

Deliberate serious damage to property.

Grave misuse of technology.

7.  Before considering expulsion the school will have taken significant steps to address the student’s behaviour.  These steps may include:

7.3.1        Meeting with parents and the student to try and find ways of helping the student to change his behaviour.

7.3.2        Making sure that the student understands the possible consequences of his behaviour, if it should persist.

7.3.3        Ensuring that all other possible options have been tried to bring about an improvement in behaviour, including IBP intervention

7.3.4        Seeking the assistance of support agencies (e.g. National Educational Psychological Service, South West Counselling Centre, Health Service Executive Community Services, the National Behavioural Support Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, National Council for Special Education).

7.4       However there may be exceptional circumstance where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence.  Due process and fair procedures will be followed in all cases and the principles of natural justice will apply.

7.5       Procedure for expulsion

7.5.1.      The Principal will ensure that there is a thorough investigation of the incident. The student may be suspended from the School while this investigation is taking place.

7.5.2        The Principal will inform the student and the parents, in writing, of the details of the alleged misbehaviour and the possibility that it could result in expulsion.

7.5.3        The student and parents will be given every opportunity to respond to the complaint before a final decision is made. If the final decision is that the Principal intends to recommend expulsion to the Board of Management then the parents will be invited to a meeting with the Principal before the recommendation is taken to the Board.

7.5.4        The Principal will provide the parents and the Board of Management with records of the allegations, the investigation and also the grounds on which the Board is being asked to consider expulsion.

7.5.5        The parents will be notified of the date of the Board of Management hearing and will be invited to attend. They will be given adequate notice of the meeting and will be informed that they may make a written and oral submission to the Board. The written submission may be made in advance.

7.6       The Board of Management Hearing

7.6.1        The Board will ensure impartiality and a Board member who has had any involvement in the circumstances of the case will not take part in the hearing.

7.6.2        At the hearing the Principal and the parents, or a student who is eighteen years or over, will put their case to the Board in each other’s presence.

7.6.3        Parents may wish to be accompanied at such hearings and the Board will facilitate this; legal accompaniment is not acceptable at this stage.

7.6.4        Neither Principal nor parents will be present when the Board is making its decision.

7.7       Following the Board Decision

7.7.1    Where the student and his parents/guardians attend the meeting with the B.O.M., and the Board, having heard the student and/or his parent/guardian, form the view that it is necessary and proper to impose the sanction of expulsion, the Board, before making the decision to expel the student, will notify, in writing, the Educational Welfare Officer of its opinion and the reasons therefore, in accordance with Section 24(1) of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.

Where the student/parents/guardians do not attend the meeting:

If the student or his parent/guardian fail to attend the meeting with the B.O.M. and fail to provide a reasonable explanation for not doing so, the B.O.M. may determine the matter in their absence.  Before making a decision to expel the student, the Board will notify, in writing, the Educational Welfare Officer of its opinion and the reasons therefore, in accordance with Section 24(1) of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.

7.7.2    Where it is decided to impose the sanction of expulsion, the student and his parent/guardian will be informed by letter by the Board that the sanction of expulsion has been imposed and the date from which decision will take effect. The student will not be expelled from the school before the passing of 20 school days following the receipt by the Education Welfare Officer of the notification.  In the interim, the Board may, in accordance with section 5 of the Education (Welfare) Act, suspend or make other arrangements to ensure that ‘good order and discipline are maintained in the school’.

7.8       Involvement of the Education Welfare Officer

7.8.1    Within this twenty day period, the Education Welfare Officer will convene meetings with relevant parties to ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education.

7.8.2        While these negotiations are taking place, and before the expulsion is finalised, the Board may consider it necessary to continue the student’s suspension from school.  This task may be delegated to the Principal or Chairperson.

7.8.3        After the twenty days has elapsed, where the Board remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the decision will be formally confirmed to the parents and the student in a registered letter signed by the Chairperson and the Principal.

7.8.4        The parents will be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the appropriate form. This appeal is made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.

16 Review and Evaluation

Yearly Review

The Code will reviewed on a yearly basis by school management in conjunction with the Behaviour Management Teams and staff. The views of the Student Council will also be taken into account

A major review of the Code will take place every three years