Code of Behaviour

 

Aim of the School

The aim of the school is to provide a comprehensive education in an environment that nurtures holistic development, fosters academic achievement, ensures that all students reach their full potential and are well prepared for the workplace and life’s challenges. Our success is measured in terms of student motivation, engagement with learning, success in public examinations and the destination of students after Leaving Cert. To ensure success, we commit to an extensive system of support and the use of innovative and diverse methods of teaching.

Code of Behaviour

The code of behaviour is designed to create a happy and structured environment in which each student learns self-discipline, personal responsibility and an acute awareness of the rights of others.

1. RESPECT FOR PEOPLE

A Pupils: Each student has the right to learn, therefore, I do not disturb the class or deprive my fellow students of their rights. I recognise that bullying, fighting and intimidation are serious breaches of school rules.

B Teachers: Teachers have the right to teach without have to constantly correct me for inattention, lack of co-operation or disruptive behaviour.

C. Parents: My parents have the right to expect from me that I perform to the best of my ability. I recognize that study will secure my livelihood, develop my talents and skills and help me to enjoy rest and recreation.

2. RESPECT FOR PROPERTY

A I must respect what belongs to me and what belongs to others. Consequently, I should not damage, take, mark, break or write on school property or my fellow student’s property. I accept that wilful damage must be paid for by the student at fault. I accept that all my property, coats, bags, books, etc should have my name indelibly marked on them

B Litter seriously spoils the school environment. I must co-operate by placing litter in the litter bins and play my part in keeping the school and its environs neat and tidy

Standards of Behaviour

All members of the school community are expected to behave in ways that show

· respect for self and others,

· kindness and willingness to help others,

· courtesy and good manners,

· fairness,

· readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict

· forgiveness.

The school expects student commitment to their own learning and to the other students’ learning by

· attending school regularly and punctually,

· doing one’s best in class,

· taking responsibility for one’s work,

· keeping the rules,

· helping to create a safe positive environment,

· respecting staff,

· respecting other students and their learning

· participating in school activities. (See School Policy on Homework)

The standard of behaviour that is not acceptable is

· behaviour that is hurtful, including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation,

· behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning,

· threats or physical hurt to another person,

· damage to property

· theft. (See School policy on Anti-Bullying)

· in possession, in school, of illegal weapons (zero tolerance of knives, guns)

Despite the best efforts of school, inappropriate behaviour happens. Even minor breaches of the code of behaviour can be disruptive if they are persistent. Serious misbehaviour can have damaging and long-lasting effects including disruption of the student’s own learning and the learning of others. It can cause distress and anxiety or even pose a threat to the safety of students and teachers.

The school and classroom rules translate standards into practical guidance about the behaviour expected of students. They describe how to behave in order to learn well and develop into mature and responsible individuals.

Rules

1. Punctuality for all classes is expected.

2. The use of foul or obscene language is prohibited

3. Students must stay within the school grounds during the mid-morning break. Senior students are allowed down town during the Lunch break and junior students are allowed to the local CENTRA on the Dublin Road.

4. Full school uniform must be worn to school every day and on any school related activity unless otherwise stated.

5. Loitering in the front of the school is prohibited.

6. For Health and Safety reasons, all students enter by the front door and exit by the back door.

7. Mobile phones and other electronic devices must be turned off in class and must not be visible. If a mobile phone rings or is visible during class the teacher confiscates it, puts

it in an envelope on which the student’s name is written, and leaves it in the School Office, for safe keeping until the end of the day.

8. Cyber Bullying is a form of victimisation and is considered unacceptable behaviour. All reports of cyber bullying will be fully investigated and responded to within the context of the school code of behaviour See AUP

9. If students knock at the staffroom door or the secretary’s door they must not enter but wait for an answer.

10. Food or drinks must not be consumed during class under any circumstances.

11. The chewing of gum is forbidden.

12. Students must not loiter in the area between the door of Room 2 and the front door, outside the offices’ doors or outside Room 1.

13. Littering on school grounds is prohibited

14. Smoking, the possession/consumption of alcohol or any substance that alters behaviour are strictly forbidden on school grounds or on school related activities. (See Substance Abuse Policy)

15. Possession of laser lights, lighters, knives, guns or any hazardous material or other illegal objects are strictly forbidden (See Health and Safety Statement).

Absences

Attendance at all classes is expected. If a student is absent from school, a note from the parent/guardian in the student’s journal stating the reason for the absence must be provided when the student returns to school. Notes for pre-arranged appointments e.g. dentists must be provided before the time of the appointment.

(Section 23(2)(e) an Section 18 of the Education Welfare Act 2000)

School Attendance records are kept in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000 Section 21.4(b). The National Education Welfare Board will be informed when a student’s total absences exceed 20 days.

The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour

Examples of sanctions include

· Verbal reprimand

· Confiscation of inappropriate or distracting items

· Payment for the repair or replacement of damaged property

· Removal from the group or class

· Withdrawal of privileges

· Referral to class tutor

· Withdrawal from the particular lesson

· Carrying out a useful task in the school

· Formal report to the Board of Management

The knowledge of the particular context of the student and the behaviour determines what sanction is used.

General misbehaviour in the classroom is attended to routinely and effectively by the class room teacher through classroom management strategies. These include: request to stop, verbal reprimand, confiscation of inappropriate or distracting items, payment for the repair or replacement of damaged property, removal from the group or class, withdrawal of privileges, withdrawal from the particular lesson, carrying out a useful task in the school.

A record is made, by the class teacher, on VSWare.

If the misbehaviour persists, a note is written in the student’s journal for parent’s signature which will be checked the following day by the teacher and the behaviour monitored.

If there is no improvement in behaviour in the classroom or for misbehaviour outside the classroom the teacher informs the class tutor. (See Teacher Referral Form)

The class tutor speaks to the student and the behaviour is monitored by the teacher and class tutor.

If there is no improvement in behaviour a report card is given to the student by the class tutor for a week. This is signed by the teacher at the end of each class and the parent at the end of

the day. The class tutor checks the report card at the end of the week and may give a report card for a further week if this is deemed necessary.

If 3 report cards are given in a term and there is not any improvement in behaviour the student is brought before the disciplinary committee which consists of the class tutors and the deputy principal and the parents are informed. A sanction may be imposed.

If there is no improvement as a result of this meeting and another teacher referral form is deemed necessary, the parent will be asked to asked to come to the school to discuss the student’s behaviour with the Principal and the student may be suspended for up to three days.

A student may be suspended on the following grounds

· The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students

· The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety

· The student is responsible for a serious damage to property.

A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension for example possession of illegal substances or items. (illegal drugs, alcohol, knives or any other offensive/illegal weapons weapon).

In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may, following an investigation, consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff.

Suspension /Expulsion Procedures

A student can be expelled from the school when the Board of Management is satisfied that all procedures as set out in the code of behaviour have been adhered to. The Board of Management must also be satisfied that school management has taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour.

Suspension only occurs after the Principal has ensured

· All discipline options under the code of behaviour have been applied and documented.

· All support agencies have been involved.

· Discussion has occurred with the student and parent/guardian regarding offending behaviour

· Diagnostic assessments have been carried out where appropriate

· A formal written warning detailing these behaviours, as well as clear expectations of what is required of the student in the future.

· Recorded all action taken

· Copied all correspondence

The Principal may suspend immediately in some circumstances: violence, threats of violence, presence of weapons, illegal drugs.

Length of Suspension: not to exceed six days. Anyone suspended for a longer period of time must be notified to the Education Welfare Officer. If a student is suspended for a cumulative total of 6 days, or more, in one year, the Principal must inform the Education Welfare Officer.

Procedure for Suspension

The Board of Management makes the decision to suspend a student based on the reasons set out in the Code of Behaviour. The student is given details of the grounds which gave rise to the suspension and is given an opportunity to respond, before a decision to suspend is reached and formalised.

Parents / Guardians are informed by registered post and invited to come to the school for a meeting. If suspension is to be immediate (in the interest of Health and Safety) parents / guardians will be informed by phone, with written notification to follow.

Students are supervised in class (in-school suspension) until formal suspension takes effect.

Students will never be sent home during the school day unless collected by a parent or other suitable arrangements are made.

Exclusion

A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds

· 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. (possession of illegal drugs or weapons).

· The student is responsible for serious damage to property.

Expulsion only occurs after the Board of Management has ensured that:

· All discipline options under the Code of Behaviour have been applied and documented.

· All appropriate support personnel have been involved

· All other procedures, referrals, supports have been exhausted.

· Discussion has occurred with the student and parent/guardian regarding specific behaviour which the school considers unacceptable and which may lead to expulsion

· Provision of formal verbal and written warnings at appropriate times detailing these behaviours, as well as clear expectations of what is required of the student in the future

· All action taken is recorded

· All correspondence is copied

· Parents/Guardians are invited to the Board of Management Hearing

· Parents / Guardians are invited to make a written submission in advance of the Board of Management meeting.

· Parents are provided with a full written description of the allegations against the student and the case being made at the Board together with all the documentation, statements supporting the case.

Expulsion can only occur after the Board of Management has

· Heard the Principal’s case against the student (made in the presence of the parents)

· Heard the parents response

· Examined all documentation

· Considered the student’s record in the school.

· Ensured the Principal is not present for the Board of Management discussion and decision on the matter.

· Discussed the matter in detail

· Considered all matters

· Made a final decision to expel

· Communicated the decision to the parents formally by registered post

· Informed the Education Welfare Officer

Expulsion for a First Offence

In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management could decide to expel a student for a first offence in the case of:

· A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff

· Actual violence or physical assault

· Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school or in an area near the school.

· Possession of illegal weapons.

· Sexual assault

Review and Evaluation of This Policy

The implementation, monitoring and review of this policy will be done by senior management, in conjunction with staff, parents and the Board of Management on an on-going basis. It is envisaged that the policy would be reviewed on a formal basis three years after the formal adoption date.

This policy will be reviewed by September 2017