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Code of Discipline Beahaviour

Our Goals and Aims

To enable the child to live a full life as a child. To help him/her to develop his/her natural powers at their own rate to their fullest capacity. We are teaching a programme that is flexible and can be adapted to suit our needs.

Discipline Policy/Code of Behaviour

Gentleness combined with firmness – self-control is encouraged. Silence and order are demanded at all times on the corridor and in the bathrooms. Punctuality for the class is expected from teachers and pupils. Teachers encourage children to speak in a normal tone when involved in group work. If children do not behave as expected the following has been found helpful: -

1. Reasoning with pupil.

2. Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).

3. Temporary separation from peers, friends or others.

4. Loss of privileges.

5. Detention during break.

6. Prescribing additional work.

7. Referral to Principal.

8. Note to parent.

9. Suspension (under the terms of Circular 20/90 of the Department of Education) of continuously disruptive pupils or a pupil guilty of serious breach of discipline may be excluded from the school. The maximum initial period of such exclusion shall be three days. The B.O.M. may authorise the Principal or Chairperson to carry out this function.

Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the B.O.M. will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal. If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future, the pupil may have to be suspended for a temporary period. Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 1 30 (5) of the Rules for National Schools.

If, after a period of suspension, the child shows no signs of improvement & continues to display grievous levels of misbehaviour, the Board of Management has the right to expel the pupil under the terms of the N.E.W.B. guidelines section 24.

A further meeting with the parents will be held to ensure that the student understands the possible consequences of their behaviour & that all other possible options have been tried before expulsion is carried out.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the code could include:

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

    It must be noted that a policy of praise and positive reinforcement is used at all times to encourage good behaviour and prevent disciplinary problems occurring. The following rewards will be given to show approval:

    1. Encouragement and praise (including public).

    2. D.V.D. (Educational) occasionally.

    3. Homework off.

    4. Responsibilities in school.

    5. Prizes.

    Appendix A

    Factors to consider before proposing to expel a student

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • What is the precise description of the behaviour?
  • How persistent has the unacceptable behaviour been and over what period of time?
  • Has the problem behaviour escalated, in spite of the intervention tried?
  • The context of the behaviour

  • What are the circumstances of the incidents of serious misbehaviour (e.g. in class, in a particular teacher’s class, in the yard, in a group?
  • What factors may have triggered or provoked incidents of serious misbehaviour (e.g. bullying, cultural or family factors)?
  • Are there any factors that may be associated with the behaviour (e.g. particular home circumstances, special educational needs)?
  • The impact of the behaviour

  • How are other students and staff affected by the student’s behaviour?
  • What is the impact of the behaviour on the teaching and learning of the class?
  • The interventions tried to date

  • What interventions have been tried? Over what period?
  • How have the interventions been recorded and monitored?
  • What has been the result of these interventions?
  • Have the parents been involved in finding a solution to the problem behaviour?
  • Has the intervention of NEPS or other psychological assessment or counselling been sought, where appropriate?
  • Is the student or parent involved with any support service and has this agency or support service been asked for help in solving this problem?
  • Has any other agency been asked for assistance (e.g. Child Guidance Clinic, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services)?
  • Is the Board satisfied that no other intervention can be tried or is likely to help the student to change their behaviour?
  • Whether expulsion is a proportionate response

  • Is the student’s behaviour sufficiently serious to warrant expulsion?
  • Is the standard being applied to judging the behaviour the same as the standard applied to the behaviour of any other student?
  • The possible impact of expulsion

  • To what extent may expulsion exacerbate any social or educational vulnerability of the student?
  • Will the student be able to take part in, and benefit from, education with their peer?
  • In the case of a student who is in care, what might be the implications of expulsion for the care arrangements?
  • Appendix B

    Procedures in respect of expulsion

    Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

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

    1. A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal

    2. A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal

    3. Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.

    4. Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.

    5. Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.

    6. Confirmation of the decision to expel.

    Due notice of meetings and a fair and reasonable time to prepare for a Board meeting will be given to parents.

    Step 1: A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal

  • Inform the student and their parents about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion
  • Give parents and the student every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.
  • Parents should be informed in writing of the alleged misbehaviour and the proposed investigation in order to have a permanent record of having let them know. This also ensures that parents are very clear about what their son or daughter is alleged to have done.
  • Parents and the student must have every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made about the veracity of the allegation, before a sanction is imposed.
  • If a student and their parents fail to attend a meeting, the Principal should write advising of the gravity of the matter, the importance of attending a re-scheduled meeting and, failing that, the duty of the school authorities to make a decision to respond to the inappropriate behaviour. The school should record the invitation issued to parents and their response.
  • Step 2: A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal

    Where the Principal forms a view, based on the investigation of the alleged misbehaviour, that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion. The Principal should:

  • Ensure that parents have records of: the allegations against the student; the investigation; and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion
  • Provide the Board of Management with the same comprehensive records as are given to parents
  • Notify the parents of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to that hearing
  • Advise the parents that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management
  • Ensure that parents have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.
  • Step 3: Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendations; and the holding of a hearing

  • It is the responsibility of the Board to review the initial investigation and ensure that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures. No party who has had any involvement with the circumstances of the case, is part of the Board of Management’s deliberations (for example, a member of the Board who may have made an allegation about the student)
  • Where a Board of Management decides to consider expelling a student, it must hold a hearing. At the hearing, the Principal and the parents, put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Each party should be allowed question the evidence of the other party directly. The Board must take care to ensure that they are, and are seen to be, impartial.
  • After both sides have been heard, The Board should ensure that the Principal and parents are not present for the Board’s deliberations.
  • Step 4: Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing

    Having heard from all the parties, it is the responsibility of the Board to decide whether or not the allegation is substantiated and, if so, whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction.

  • The Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion.
  • The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification.
  • An appeal against an expulsion under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 will automatically succeed if it shown that the Educational Welfare Officer was not notified in accordance with Section 24(1) or that twenty days did not elapse.
  • The Board should inform the parents in writing about its conclusions and the next steps in the process. The parents should be told that the Board of Management will now inform the Educational Welfare Officer.
  • Step 5: Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer

    Within twenty days of receipt of a notification from a Board of Management of its opinion that a student should be expelled, the Educational Welfare Officer must:

  • Make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parents and the student, and anyone else who may be of assistance
  • Convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 24)
  • The purpose of the consultations and the meetings is to ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education.
  • Suspension should only be considered where there is a likelihood that the continued presence of the student during this time will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other students or staff.
  • Step 6: Confirmation of the decision to expel

  • Where the twenty-day period following notification to the Educational Welfare Officer has elapsed, and where the Board of Management remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management should formally confirm the decision to expel.
  • Parents and the student should be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal.
  • A formal record should be made of the decision to expel the student.
  • Appendix C

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

    The appeals process

    The appeals process under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 begins with the provision of mediation by a mediator nominated by the Appeals Committee (Department of Education and Science).

    Review: To be reviewed every three years. (Next review date – May 2012)

    This policy has been reviewed in consultation with the Parents Council & Board of Management

    Ratified on: 6/5/10 Signed: Fr. Michael Kennedy, Chairperson, B.O.M.