Code of Behaviour

Contents:

 

  1. School Mission Statement

  2. Introduction and Relationship to Characteristic Spirit of School

  3. Aims of Code of Behaviour

  4. General Guidelines of Behaviour

  5. Implementation /  Rewards for Good Behaviour

6A.  Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour

6B.  Sanctions

7A.  Suspension

7B. Expulsion

8A. Notification of Absences

8B. Bringing a Complaint (Refer to Appendix 4)

9. Roles and Responsibilities

10. Evaluation of Policy

11.  Review of Policy

 

(Please contact school for copy of appendices if needed).

 

Appendix 1 – School Rules

Appendix 2 – Examples of Misbehaviour

Appendix 3 – Letters to Parents

Appendix 4 -  Complaints Procedure Policy

 

1.  Mission Statement:

St. Mogue’s National School seeks to provide an education to our pupils which is appropriate to their abilities and needs.  We hope to promote the moral, spiritual, social and personal development of all pupils and provide health education for them in consultation with their parents, having regard to the characteristic spirit of the school.  We will endeavour to promote equality of opportunity for both the male and female pupils and the staff of our school.  As part of our ongoing recognition of our parents as partners in the school community we will ensure that they have access to records kept by our school which relate to the progress of their children.

 

The development of the Irish language and traditions assumes great importance to us as does the development of staff and anyone involved in management functions in the school.  Great emphasis is placed on the quality and effectiveness of teaching in the school and the attainment levels and academic standards of pupils.  We also seek to establish and maintain systems by which all of this can be assessed.

 

Finally we will endeavour at all times to meet the requirements of education policy and the provision of a curriculum as determined by the Minister and to comply with any regulations made by him/her.

 

2.  Introduction:

The Board of Management, Staff and Parent’s Association of St. Mogue’s N.S., Currin, developed our original Code of Behaviour over a period of two years.  It had been tested and refined and eventually ratified by the Board in late 2004.

 

However, the Principal, in conjunction with the B.O.M. felt that it was necessary to review the code after he had attended a seminar on legal principles and school practices entitled “An Introduction to the Law of Education”.  Therefore, having taken due recognition of the N.E.W.B. guidelines for the drawing up of a Code of Behaviour and the Education Welfare Act 2000, this new policy has been re-drafted, once again, in consultation with staff, parents and the Board of Management.  Much of the original code still remains in place.

 

The school community places great store on  the importance of children being given every possible encouragement to develop good patterns of behaviour.  To function properly, a school needs rules and regulations which are clearly stated and enforced consistently and wisely.  The ideal is that our pupils will acquire the skills of self-discipline and that the school should not have to impose repressive or harsh measures to uphold its code.  At the same time sanctions may have to be imposed in order to ensure that good order is maintained and that offenders against the rules are discouraged from their actions.

 

This policy reflects the values and principles that we consider to be important for the school to run smoothly and effectively.  This policy is not set in stone but will be reviewed as is necessary to address changing circumstances within the school and community.

 

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school:

Our school aims to provide a happy, secure, friendly learning environment, where children, parents, teachers, ancillary staff and Board of Management work in partnership, where each individual is valued, encouraged and respected for their uniqueness, and facilitated to reach their full potential in a positive and supportive atmosphere.

3.  Aims of Code of Behaviour:

  • Provide clear guidance to children, teachers, parents and Board of Management about expected behaviour so that our school  will run smoothly and effectively
  • To allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way
  • To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
  • To assist parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the Code of Behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner

 

4.  General Guidelines of Behaviour:

Children are expected to:

  • Show respect, politeness and co-operation towards other children, teachers, ancillary staff, parents and visitors, in the classroom, the playground and on school outings at all times
  • Show respect towards their own and other children’s property, school property and environment
  • Respect the right of other pupils to learn
  • Attend school on a regular basis and be punctual
  • Behave in an orderly manner at all times.  They are to move quietly and safely in the classroom, on the corridors, going to and from the playground and at arrival and dismissal times
  • Listen to others and to wait their turn to speak
  • Work quietly and complete assigned work to the best of their ability
  • Behave in a way that will not endanger themselves or others
  • Include others in games and activities
  • Bring to school each day all the books, copies and materials necessary to do their classwork properly
  • Stay within designated playground boundaries during break-times
  • Stay on the school premises during school hours

 

5.  CODE OF DISCIPLINE - Implementation

  • Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.   The code offers a frame-work within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by teachers.
  • The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results (See Page 7) e.g. Token for night off homework given for an exceptionally good deed.  I’m sure other classes have other ideas for positive promotion of good behaviour.  Perhaps all these could go together in a section “Plan for promoting good behaviour” which is listed on page 3 of guidelines.
  • The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, pupils and parents.
  • School rules are being kept to a minimum. (Appendix 1) The rules are agreed upon following consultation with the children in each classroom.  These guidelines are displayed in each classroom. They are positively stated in terms of what pupils should do.
  • All efforts will be made to match the curriculum to the abilities, aptitudes and interests of each pupil.  This should help to reduce boredom, lack of interest or lack of progress.
  • In the belief that the most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, every effort will be made by the Principal and Staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents, and that parents are not only told when their children are in trouble, but when they have behaved particularly well.
  1. Affirming Positive Behaviour Strategies

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions

 

  Incentives/Rewards

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment on child’s exercise book
  • Praise in front of class group / assemblies (sent to other classrooms)
  • Individual class merit awards, stickers, points awards or award stamps e.g. Golden helper award operational in infant room
  • Sweet as award in Learning Support room..
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • Written or verbal communication with parent
  • An occasional night off homework for pupils when they have been consistently mannerly over a period of time.

 

6A.  Strategies for dealing with Unacceptable Behaviour:

  • The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal.  Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises.  A pupil will be referred to the Principal for serious breaches of discipline and for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour.
  • The following strategies are used to show disapproval of unacceptable behaviour.
  1. Reasoning with the pupil.
  2. Reprimand (including advice on how to improve).
  3. Temporary separation from peers, friends or others.
  4. Loss of privileges.
  5. Detention during a break
  6. Prescribing additional work e.g. weekend homework
  7. Referral to Principal.
  8. Communication with parents.
  9. Suspension (Temporary).

 

Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils. 

 

6B.  Sanctions

In the event that a pupil is in breach of school/playground rules, the pupil’s name is entered in a notebook, which is maintained by the class teacher.

Stage 1:  If a pupil’s name appears in the notebook on a number of occasions in any one week during a term, a standard note is sent to the parent(s)/guardians by the class teacher.  This note must be signed and returned to the class teacher (Appendix 3)

 

Stage 2:  If a pupil’s name appears in the notebook on three occasions in any one week for a second time during that term, a second standard note is sent to the parent(s)/guardians by the class teacher inviting them to meet with the class teacher to discuss the situation. (Appendix 3)

 

Stage 3:  If the situation continues to be unsatisfactory, the parent(s)/guardians will be invited to meet with the Principal.  Sanctions as specified by Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools may be implemented if necessary.

 

NOTE:  If a serious incident of misbehaviour occurs, then Stages 1&2 will be bypassed and the matter dealt with by the Principal. Sanctions as specified by Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools may be implemented if necessary.

 

7A.  Suspension

  • Before resorting to serious sanctions e.g., suspension, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Parents will be involved at an early stage, rather than a last resort.  Communication with parents will be by letter, depending on nature of offence. 

 

The Grounds for Suspension:

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

  • That the pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others in the class and to the teaching process
  • That there is a real and immediate threat to the safety of others or that of the pupil by continuing in the classroom at this time
  • Serious damage to property
  • Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour, depending on circumstances.
  • Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management 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 BOM may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension. 
  • Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other inventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information.
  •  Suspension will be in accordance with the terms of Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
  • Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with Rule 130(6).

 

 

The Appropriateness of Suspending a Pupil:

The following should be reviewed:

  • The nature and seriousness  of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour on other pupils’ learning and on the teaching process
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Whether suspension is a proportionate response to the pupil’s behaviour
  • The possible impact (positive or negative) of suspension

Rule 130(5) Rules for National Schools read:-

5(a)  Where the Board of Management deems it necessary to suspend a pupil, the maximum initial period of such exclusion shall be three school-days. 

5(b) A special decision of the Board of Management is necessary to authorise a further period of exclusion up to a maximum of 10 school-days to allow for consultation with the pupil's or pupils' parents or guardians. 

5(c) In exceptional circumstances, the Board of Management may authorise a further period of exclusion in order to enable the matter to be reviewed.

 

7B.  Expulsion

This will be considered in extreme cases and the following aspects of the case will be reviewed in order to make this decision:

  • The nature and seriousness  of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour
  • The impact of the behaviour on other pupils’ learning and on the teaching process
  • The interventions tried to date
  • Preliminary investigation
  • Whether suspension is a proportionate response to the pupil’s behaviour
  • The possible impact (positive or negative) of suspension

 

If necessary, please refer to page 70 & 71 of the NEWB “Guidelines for Developing School Codes of Behaviour”.

 

Suspension/expulsion procedures in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000

  1. Written notification shall be sent to the Education Welfare Officer before any pupil is suspended or expelled.  This is in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act 2000

Suspension/Expulsion begins on the day that notification is received by the E.W.O.  This shall be sent by registered post and an email shall also be forwarded giving notification of the letter.  The E.W.O. shall try and arrange for the education of the pupil for this period.

 

  1. Under Section 29 of the Education Act (1988), parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept. of Education and Science against some decisions of the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year.  The school will advise parents/guardians of this right of appeal and associated timeframe if it has been decided to suspend or permanently exclude a pupil.  Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student.

 

Rule 130(6) Rules for National Schools read:-

  1.  No pupil shall be struck off the rolls for breaches of discipline without the prior consent of the Patron and unless alternative arrangements are made for the enrolment of the pupil at another suitable school.

 

 8A. Notification of Absences

  1. In the event of a pupil being absent through illness or for any other reason, the class teacher should be informed by note on the pupil’s return to school.  Each child will now use the new homework diary in which there are absence notes which should be filled in and returned as needed.  In Infant Classes where diary is not used, each child is issued with a set of notes at start of school year.  If the absence will be of a lengthy duration, the class teacher should be informed as soon as possible.  There is also a page in the Diary which should be used in the event of children arriving late for school or having to leave early e.g. dental appointment.

 

  1. Any parents or guardians who have asked someone, with whom the school staff are not familiar, to collect their child must make the school aware of this by telephone call or note prior to the child being collected.

 

8B.  Bringing a Complaint

SEE APPENDIX 4:   Complaints Procedure Policy.

 

 9.  Roles and Responsibilities

The School Principal will co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of this policy.  Each class teacher has his/her own particular responsibility both in the classroom and out in the yard.  Pupils and parents are also responsible for observing and reporting any incidents of indiscipline and should be aware of measures which will be implemented if any such incidents occur. 

 

Board of Management’s Responsibilities

  • Provide  a comfortable, safe environment
  • Support the Principal and Staff in implementing the code
  • Ratify the code

 

Principal’s Responsibilities

  • Promote a positive climate in the school
  • Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner
  • Arrange for review of the Code, as required

 

Teachers’ Responsibilities

Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour.

  • Create a safe working environment for each pupil
  • Recognise and affirm good work
  • Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils
  • Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils
  • Be courteous, consistent and fair
  • Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour
  • Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour
  • Provide support for colleagues
  • Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern

Pupils’ Responsibilities

See General Guidelines of Behaviour

 

Parents/Guardians’ Responsibilities

Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves and for property.

  • Ensure that children attend regularly and punctually
  • Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work
  • Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support its implementation
  • Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others
  • Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress/behaviour.
  • Ensure that children get enough sleep and bring a nourishing lunch to school.

10.  Evaluation of Policy:

The level and type of indiscipline, if any, that may be happening in the school is assessed regularly and action taken as a result of these findings.  Some of the more practical indicators of the success of the policy will be positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils and observation of behaviour both within the school and out in the yard.

Policy - Code of Discipline Addendum 2018.doc (48640)

11.  Review of Policy:

As already stated this policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and amended if necessary at the next staff meeting held in the school.