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Code of Behaviour

SHANBALLY NS CODE OF BEHAVIOUR 2014

PURPOSE OF POLICY The policy was revised in line with Developing Code of Behaviour Guideline for Schools published by the NEWB (May 2008).  The existing policy was due for review and our new revised policy will be compliant with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act 2000 particularly in relation to suspension and expulsion (section 24) and also with the requirements of the Health & Safety at Work Act 2005. In Shanbally NS we enjoy a high level of respect and cooperation between staff, parents and pupils.

 

FORMULATION OF POLICY

The formulation of this policy is the result of a collaborative process between teachers, parents, Board of Management, pupils and all other staff.  The Parents Association will also have an active role in the process.   Proposed amendments to the draft can be presented to the Board of Management prior to the final approval.  The authority for final approval of the policy rests with the Board of Management. When sanctioned, a copy will be made available to all members of the school community.  This policy will be supported by the following school policies, some of which are currently being reviewed.

  • Admissions policy
  • Anti-bullying
  • Attendance
  • Child Protection policy.
  • Health and safety statement
  • Homework
  • Healthy Eating
  • Social, personal and health education

RATIONALE

In accordance with the Health & Safety at work act 2005 the Board of Management will conduct their business, as far as reasonably practicable, in ways that prevent improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health or welfare at work of employees or the health and safety of pupils, parents or visitors at risk.  Our aim is to ensure that the right of each child to education is upheld and maintained.  The need for order and good behaviour is emphasised.  Pupils and adults in the school community are expected to accept the rules in a spirit of goodwill and co-operation.  Parental support is an integral part in the implementation of our code of behaviour.  Respect and order are its key components.

 

RESPONSIBILITY FOR IMPLEMENTATION

The daily responsibility for school discipline within the school rests with the Principal.  The Deputy Principal also has a key role in its implementation.  Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school.  Post holders, all teaching and auxiliary staff will help to ensure the successful implementations of this policy.

BEHAVIOUR GUIDELINES

General guidelines for behaviour based on the characteristic spirit of the school.

  • Pupils must be polite and gentle at all times.
  • Physical and verbal aggression are not permitted under any circumstances.
  • Pupils must pay attention at all times and must respect their teacher and all adults within the school community.
  • Each pupil must show respect for the property of the school and the property of fellow pupils
  • Each pupil must attend school as required and be punctual at all times

The school recognises the fact that effective teaching and learning takes place when pupils are well behaved and self-motivated. The importance of good behaviour is constantly emphasised and pupils will be encouraged to achieve the highest standards possible in line with their own capabilities.

  • Pupils must respect themselves, the opinion of others and all visitors to the school. In respecting themselves pupils must look after their appearance and possessions in accordance with our school uniform policy.
  • Pupils must respect the good name of the school and never bring it into disrepute.
  • Pupils must be loyal, truthful, honest and honourable.

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SCHOOL JOURNAL The importance of the school journal lies in its daily use. It acts as a reference book for both teachers and parents and as a daily record of homework. This school journal is not a private diary and may be consulted by teachers, parents and pupils. All details of homework, both written and oral must be recorded in the journal. Parents and pupils must familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations pertaining to good conduct within the school. Each pupil needs to have his/her journal with him/her on a daily  basis and present it to a member of staff when requested. Journals may be checked at intervals and the condition and contents noted. It is important therefore that the journal is not defaced or altered in any way.   SCHOOL OPENING Gates are open by 8.35am. If pupils arrive before then with the gates locked, they must wait at the front or side gate until opened by the Principal or a Teacher. The BOM accepts no responsibility for unsupervised children in the morning. Children are requested to follow our “Meet or Greet” policy as they line up in their appropriate class lines. Official supervision begins at 8.35am. All children should be on time in the morning to enable them to participate in the line-up of classes at 8.50am to hear various school announcements etc. Parents are welcome to accompany their children in the mornings. To develop independence and self-management skills, we would encourage children, from an early age, to enter and prepare for class independently.   The normal hours of finishing are (i) 1.30pm for Junior and Senior Infant classes (ii) 2.30pm for 1st to 6th classes Parents should come to the front door to meet their children in Junior & Senior Infants. Parents can wait at the front or side gate for the rest of the classes. If some parents would like to come in, that’s acceptable too. All children should be off the school premises by 1.35pm (Juniors + Seniors) or 2.35 pm (rest of school). If there is a genuine reason for being late, this should be explained to the Principal. If a phone call is made ahead of time, Ruth in the office will inform the class teacher who will assist in making arrangements until the parents arrive. No responsibility will be taken for children who are collected at 1.30pm and who remain on school grounds after that time. At the 2.30pm finish time children awaiting collection should remain on school grounds outside main door. No responsibility  will be taken for children who leave the school grounds after 2.30pm.   GENERAL TIMES Starting Time: 8.50am assembly Sos: 10.50 – 11am Lón: 12.45 -1.15pm Junior & Senior Infants finish at 1.30pm Finishing Time: 2.30pm   SHANBALLY NS School Uniform Boys:                                                               Girls: Wine School Jumper with School Crest        Wine School Jumper with School Crest Grey Trousers                                                 Grey Pinafore, Grey slacks Grey Shirt                                                       Grey Shirt Wine Tie                                                         Wine Tie   School Tracksuit and grey polo-shirt School Shorts ar available for the warm weather   Shoes to be worn with the School Uniform. Runners to be worn with School Tracksuit/ School Shorts   School Jumper and School Tracksuit are available from Buckleys/ Lauras Schoolwear, Douglas, Unit C1, Dosco Business Park, South Douglas Road, Cork. 021-4368210   Junior and Senior Infants: Uniform is worn on Monday and Tuesday. Tracksuit is worn on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.   1st to 6th Class: Uniform is worn on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tracksuit is worn on Thursday and Friday. (Unless in pre-arranged circumstances e.g. training etc.)         RULES Routine and structure play a vital part in ensuring an effective implementation of our code so that pupils and teachers can work in an ordered setting.  Accordingly it is necessary that pupils observe the following rules.  The standards and rules contained in the Code of Behaviour would usually apply in any situation where the pupil, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school.  Examples include school tours, games and extra- curricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school.     CLASSROOM RULES

  • Obey your teacher and supervising staff
  • Pay attention during lesson time and respond immediately to teacher instructions
  • Have all school materials organised properly
  • Speak politely during class and remain seated when requested to do so
  • Non-educational items / literature e.g. electronic games, playstations etc. must not be brought into school unless special permission has been granted.
  • Pupils are not allowed use mobile phones in school.

 

PLAYTIME RULES

  • Follow directions of the person in charge
  • Enter and leave your classroom in a quiet and orderly fashion
  • Walk quietly and with care in the corridors
  • Play in the permitted areas
  • Play in a gentle and friendly manner
  • Cease play when signalled to do so
  • Move safely and with caution

YELLOW CARD PROCEDURE

Agreed procedure for the issuing of the Yellow Card to pupils who continue to make noise after the whistle blows.

  • Pupils walk to the Line when the bell rings
  • When pupils have settled in the Line, one of the teachers on Yard Duty will blow the whistle. The other teachers on Yard Duty will collect the Yellow Cards from the folder in the Chestnut Room and will issue them to pupils who are still creating noise in the Line.
  • Pupils issued with Yellow Cards will inform the class teacher when they return to class.
  • At the next break, the pupil will present the Yellow Card to the teacher on Yard Duty at the front of the school and will stand by the wall as they miss 5 minutes of play-time.
  • The teacher on Yard Duty at the front of the school will collect and return the cards to the folder.

 

INTERNET: ACCEPTABLE USE POLICY

  • Students will observe good netiquette i.e. etiquette on the Internet at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.
  • Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action, including 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.

YARD SUPERVISION/ BEHAVIOUR

Supervised time out (detention) will be allocated to pupils responsible for aggressive behaviour to include:

  • Deliberately hurting and causing injury to another child
  • Continually disrupting and spoiling playtime for other children
  • Unsafe and dangerous play
  • Continually engaging in bullying behaviour.

Detention will take place on the day following the offence.  Parents will be informed and will sign a note sent home.

CATEGORIES OF MISBEHAVIOUR YARD PLAYTIME

  1. Aggressive behaviour – kicking, hitting, pulling, pushing, ganging up, punching, fighting, rough play, etc.
  2. Verbal disrespect (name calling, teasing etc.)
  3. Non co-operation with routine (not paying attention, not lining up properly, talking out of turn etc.)

 

STRATEGIES FOR REWARDING GOOD BEHAVIOUR

Pupils who are respectful and orderly will be given due recognition within the school system.. Greater emphasis will be put on rewards for good behaviour rather than sanctions for inappropriate behaviour.  Good behaviour can be rewarded by:

  • Affirmation – regular teacher praise and encouragement
  • Special privileges and rewards.  E.g. stickers and stars
  • Achievement certificates
  • A positive comment on homework journal
  • A visit to another member of staff for commendation
  • A visit to the Principal
  • A supply of merit marks
  • Delegating a special responsibility or privilege
  • A telephone call to parents or a note in the journal.

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH MISBEHAVIOUR

Sanctions will be appropriate to the age and developmental stage of the child and will take account of the cultural background of the child.  Sanctions will be sensitive to the particular circumstances of vulnerable individuals or groups of children.  In compliance with equality legislation, sanctions will not be used in a manner that discriminates against particular children or groups of children. It is only when the standards we set are not observed that the structured system of discipline and sanction is imposed.  Sanctions will be imposed in the event of unacceptable behaviour.  The nature and gravity of the misbehaviour will determine the appropriateness of the sanction.  In dealing with misbehaviour teachers will endeavour to provide a uniform approach.  Allowances however must be made for the individual teacher dealing with individual situations. PHASE 1:  STEPS TO BE TAKEN WHEN DEALING WITH MINOR BREACHES

  • Speak to the pupil and reason with him or her
  • Reprimand and advise
  • Provide extra meaningful work
  • Write out contravened rule(s)
  • Withdraw privilege – e.g. denial in participation in some class activity, temporary separation from peers
  • Note to parents

 

PHASE 2:     SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOUR

  • Principal / Deputy Principal is informed
  • Principal keeps a formal record of complaint on file
  • Principal informs parent and seeks a meeting to discuss matter
  • Principal meets one or both parent (s) / guardian
  • Chairperson of Board of Management is informed
  • Parent requested to meet with Chairperson of the Board of Management and the Principal
  • When there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour the parents and pupil (if appropriate) will be requested to give an undertaking in writing to the Principal and class teacher (if relevant) that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future.
  • Cumulative incidents of serious misbehaviour may be considered as gross and may result in suspension or expulsion.

 

GROUNDS FOR SUSPENSION

Suspension should be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern.  Other interventions as per Phase I and Phase 2 of this policy will have been tried before suspension.  A decision to suspend a pupil can be made on the following grounds:

  • The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of others pupils
  • The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the teaching process
  • The pupil’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the welfare of the teacher
  • The pupil’s continued presence at the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property
  • The pupil is constantly insubordinate and totally disrespectful to staff members
  • A single incident of serious misconduct may be considered sufficient grounds for suspension

 

THE SUSPENSION PROCESS

The Board of Management of the school has the authority to suspend a pupil.  This authority was delegated to the Principal and was agreed formally at its meeting of 10th June 2014.

Immediate Suspension

In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary.

  • When an immediate suspension is considered by the Principal, he must first inform the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
  • A formal investigation should follow the imposition of the suspension
  • Parents must be notified and arrangements made with them for the pupil to be collected
  • A pupil will not normally be suspended for more than 3 days
  • In exceptional circumstances, a pupil may be suspended for more than 3 days.  Such a suspension is to be referred to the Board of Management for consideration and approval.  However the Board of Management may wish to authorize the Principal with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board to impose a suspension of up to 5 days in circumstances where a meeting of the Board cannot be convened.
  • A pupil may be automatically suspended if the grounds for suspension comply with those as set out in this policy.

IMPLEMENTING THE SUSPENSION

The Principal will inform the parents in writing of the decision to suspend.  The letter will state:

  • The period of suspension and the date on which the suspension beings and ends
  • The reason for suspension
  • Programme of work
  • The arrangements for returning to school in which will include a written undertaking to be of good behaviour on return.

 

EXPULSION

Expulsion should be a proportionate response to the student’s behaviour. The following steps should be undertaken to address misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion: a)     Meeting with parents and pupils to try to help the student change the behaviour b)     Making sure the pupil and parents understand the possible consequences of the behaviour c)     Exhausting all other possible options d)     Seeking the help of support agencies i.e. National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), Health Service Executive (HSE), National Council for Special Education (NCSE)

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUSPENSION/EXPULSION

Whilst the grounds may be similar there would be additional factors: (a) The degree, seriousness and persistence of the behaviour (b) Where expulsion is considered a series of interventions should have been tried by the school (c) All possibilities of changing the pupil’s behaviour should have been exhausted.

EXPULSION FOR A FIRST OFFENCE

A BOM can impose automatic expulsion for certain prescribed behaviours or in exceptional cases for a first offence .These behaviours may include, according to the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB): (1) Sexual assault (2) Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school (3) Actual violence or physical assault (4) Serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff.

EXPULSION

A Student maybe expelled from this school when the Board of Management makes a formal decision to permanently exclude him from the school (Welfare Act 200).  The sanction of expulsion will only be used in exceptional circumstances when all other avenues have been exhausted. GROUNDS FOR EXPULSION

  1. The pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
  2. The pupil’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of fellow pupils or staff e.g. Serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff
  3. The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
  4. Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school
  5. Sexual assault
  6. Actual violence or physical assault

 

PROCEDURES FOR EXPULSION
  • Detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
  • Recommendations by the Principal to a specially convened meeting of the Board of Management.
  • The Board of Management deliberates and proposes an appropriate course of action subsequent to the hearing.
  • If the Board of Management decides to expel the pupil the Educational Welfare Office will be informed
  • A confirmation of the decision to expel will be communicated to the parents in writing

APPEALS

Any decision to suspend may be appealed to the Board of Management. The Board of Management will formally review any proposal to suspend a pupil where the suspension would bring the number of days in the current school to 20 days or more.  In this instance parents will be informed of the right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998, Section 29).  An expulsion may also be appealed in the same manner.     FAIRNESS OF PROCEDURES The Constitution of Ireland gives rights to parents and pupils in the matter of education and these must be respected as fundamental in the school Code of Behaviour. The requirement of fairness of procedures also derives from the constitution. There are two basic rules of fairness of procedure: 1. The right to be heard i.e. the right to respond, the right to know what alleged misbehaviour is being investigated, the right to know how the issue is decided. If there is a possibility of a serious sanction, the right to be heard by the Board of Management. If the dispute is about facts, the right to ask questions of the other party or witnesses. 2. The right to impartiality i.e. The right to an absence of bias in the decision- maker. Generally impartiality requires that the investigation is separated from the process of making a decision so that the decision-maker comes to the task with an open mind.     WRITTEN RECORDING Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious in-class misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of pupils who have been disruptive.  Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g. suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Teachers must always appraise the Principal if there is communication between parent and teacher over behaviour issues.   SUCCESS CRITERIA

  • Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils.
  • Staff observation in classrooms, corridors and yard

  ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES The Principal has primary responsibility for the implementation of this policy. He will conduct regular assemblies outlining the responsibilities of all pupils in ensuring that the code is adhered to along with our anti bullying policy.  The Deputy Principal will support and assist him in these duties.  All teachers will actively support in its implementation by teaching the children the rules as set out and by constantly rewarding and praising good behaviour.   Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh si.                 RATIFICATION AND COMMUNICATION This policy was ratified by Shanbally NS on June 10th 2014. It is written into our homework journal and must be signed on the journal by the parents/guardian.  Copies are available on request either by hand at the office or via email.   REFERENCE SECTION

  • Developing a Code of Behaviour, Guidelines for schools NEWB May 2008
  • Toward Positive Behaviour in Primary School INTO
  • Articles by David Ruddy, I.P.P.N Leadership Publication Issues 47, 48, November 2008.
  • Circular 20/90 on Discipline – DES www.irlgov.ie/educ
  • Appendix 54 CPSMA
  • INTO handbook
  • Circular 22/02 Appeals Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998.  Deals with appeals under the following headings:

o   Permanent exclusion from a school o   Suspension o   Refusal to enrol o   Education Act, 1998 Section 15 (2(d))(DES website) o   Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, Section 23(1-5), 24 (1-5)(DES website) o   Management Board Members’ Handbook.. Revised 2000. CPSMA

  1. Appendix 42 p.151 Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools
  2. Appendix 54 p.164 Guidelines for School Behaviour and Discipline
  3. Appendix 55 p.167 A suggested Code of Behaviour & Discipline for Schools
    • Department of Education and Science Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary Schools (1993) available on the DES website.
    • Discipline in the Primary School INTO August 2002
    • Enhancing Self Esteem INTO 1995
    • Working Together.  Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations.  INTO 2000
    • The Education Act 1998.  The Education Welfare Act 2000. Q & A INTO
    • The Principal’s Legal Handbook Oliver Mahon B L IVEA 2002 Ch. 2 School Discipline
    • Quality Circle Time in the primary school. Jenny Mosley LDA 2000
    • Working towards a Whole School Policy on Self-Esteem and Positive Behaviour. Jenny Mosley. Positive Press 2001
    • Code of Practice on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying. HAS 2002
  • Investigating and Resolving Bullying in Schools / Responding to Bullying.  First Steps for teachers. The Cool School Programme. NE Health Board
  • Stop it! Steps to Address Bullying.  Wexford Education Network Phone 052-23994
  • Stay safe and Walk Tall programmes
  • School’s own SPHE Plan
  • Anti-Bullying Unit. Trinity College. Dr. Mona O’Moore
  • Achieving Positive Behaviour. A Practical Guide. Patricia Dwyer.  Marino
  • Article in Solas (March 2001)
  • Articles in InTouch
    1. InTouch (April 2002) pg 26 Discipline For Learning
    2. InTouch (March 2002) pg 22 Circle Time
    3. InTouch (April 2000) pg 33 Circle Time
    4. InTouch (May 2001) pg 31 Calm classrooms using Montessori methods

        Review and Evaluation This document has been made available to all staff members and to members of the Board of Management. Copies can be made available on request from the principal’s office. This document will be reviewed and evaluated at staff and Board of Management level as the need arises.       Signed on behalf of the Board of Management:    ……………………… Fr. Sean O’Sullivan Chairman BOM June 10th 2014