Behaviour and Discipline
- INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT
This policy was formulated during the 2011-2012 school year. It is a review of a policy last formulated during the 2008-2009 school year. The Principal, Martin Lynch, led and co-ordinated this review in March 2020.
A Code of Discipline is necessary to ensure an orderly and supportive learning climate in SN Baile Mhic Adaim. It is a requirement under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 (1) which refers to the obligation on schools to prepare a code of behaviour in respect of the students registered at the school. It details in Section 23(2), that the code of behaviour shall specify:
- The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school;
- The measures that shall be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards;
- The procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned;
- The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student; and
- The procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.
- RELATIONSHIP TO CHARACTERISTIC SPIRIT OF THE SCHOOL
In line with our ethos and mission statement SN Baile Mhic Adaim strives to create a harmonious environment where every pupil is valued and nurtured to achieve his or her potential and to enhance co-operation between parents, pupils and staff.
To create a learning environment in which pupils and teachers are free to work without disruption or interference.
That every child should be happy in school and that the behaviour of one child should not in any way infringe upon the happiness of another.
That every child should show respect and consideration for his/her fellow pupils, teachers and visitors to the school.
This policy will be addressed under the following headings:
- Reasons for good behaviour
- Expectations of pupils
- Specific school rules
- Procedures for dealing with misbehaviour
- Suspension procedures
- Expulsion procedures
- School Records
- Procedures for notification of school absences
- Reference to other policies
- Reasons for good behaviour
To create a secure and ordered environment in the school, which will facilitate the educational, emotional and social development of all pupils.
Children are expected and encouraged to be pleasant, polite, courteous, helpful, co-operative, kind, generous, thoughtful, honest, truthful, trustworthy, punctual, tidy, obedient and diligent.
Children are also encouraged to have or develop a good self-image, self-confidence and also a good sense of humour.
See Appendix A
4) Procedure for dealing with misbehaviour
Discipline within the school will be enforced by taking the following steps as necessary:
- Correction by Teacher for:
- Breaking of school/class rules.
- Talking without permission.
- Disrupting or distracting other children.
- Failure to do homework.
- Leaving seat without permission.
- Throwing papers etc.
- Failure to line up.
- Delaying or fool-acting in the toilets.
- Delaying and messing at bin, paring pencils when it’s unnecessary
- Not sticking to task e.g. writing activities
- Scribbling, writing on copies or books or having untidy copies, desk or floor.
- Showing off.
- Being cheeky
- Making faces at other students
- Pulling chairs from under other children
- Writing and passing notes
- Constant messing, attention seeking
- Report to Principal for:
- Constant breaking of rules in A.
- Foul language.
- Dangerous play.
- Letter Home to Parents for:
- For any sort of misbehaviour which the teacher feels ought to be drawn to the notice of parents.
- No improvement after A and B in constant disruptive behaviour in class.
- For misbehaviour listed in B, as the Principal sees fit.
- Meeting with Parents for:
- Above, if no improvement.
- Bad language or impudence to teachers.
- Non co-operation.
- Wilful damage to property.
- Bullying behaviour.
- Report to Board of Management:
In the event of non co-operation of parents and for very serious misbehaviour as decided by the principal teacher.
In the case of gross misbehaviour the Board shall authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents. The maximum initial period of such suspension shall be three school-days. The Board shall subsequently decide if the misbehaviour warrants a further period of suspension.
The BOM should place a ceiling of ten days on any one period of suspension.
The BOM will formally review any proposal to suspend a pupil where such a suspension would bring the total number of days to twenty or more in any one school year.
Any such suspension is subject to appeal under Sec 29 of the Education Act
The BOM should offer an opportunity to parents to appeal the decision to suspend a pupil. In cases where the decision to suspend is upheld by the BOM, then parents will have a further opportunity to appeal to the patron. Sec 29 Appeals are made to the Sec General of Dept of Education & Skills.
Implementing the suspension
The Principal will notify the parents and pupil in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm:
- The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end
- The reasons for suspension
- Any study programme to be followed
- The arrangements for returning to school, including commitments to be entered into by the pupil and the parents
- Provisions for appeal to the BOM
- The right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept of Educ & Science (Education Act 1998, Sec 29).
Grounds for removal of suspension
A suspension may be removed if the BOM decides to remove the suspension for any reason or if the Sec General directs it be removed following an appeal under Sec 29
Returning to School After Suspension
- A pupil returning to school after suspension must be accompanied by a Parent or Legal guardian.
- A commitment to conform to the Code of Discipline and school rules must be given by the pupil and that commitment be supported by the Parents or Guardians
Records & Reporting (Suspension)
Formal written records are kept of:
- The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
- The decision making process
- The decision and the rationale for the decision
- The duration of the suspension and conditions attached
- The Principal will report all suspensions to the BOM, with reasons for and the duration of each suspension
- The Principal will report suspension to NEWB in accordance with reporting guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act sec21 21 (4) (a)).
Only the Board of Management of SN Baile Mhic Adaim has the authority to expel a pupil and this authority will not be delegated.
- Grounds for Expulsion
- The pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of disruption to the education of others.
- The pupil’s continued presence constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of others
- The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property
- The grounds may be similar to the grounds for suspension but the school believe that, having tried a series of interventions, they have exhausted all possibilities of changing the pupil’s behaviour.
- Factors to be considered prior to expulsion
- The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
- The context of the behaviour
- The impact of the behaviour
- The interventions tried to date
- Whether expulsion is an appropriate response
- The possible impact of expulsion
- Procedures in respect of Expulsion – see ( Ch 12 Developing a Code of Behaviour, Guidelines for Schools – NEWB)
- A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
- A recommendation to the BOM by the Principal
- Consideration by the BOM of the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing
- BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing
- Consultations arranged by Túsla personnel
- Confirmation of the decision to expel
A parent/guardian may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary Department of Education and Skills (sec 29 Education Act 1998). An appeal may also be brought by the NEWB on behalf of the student.
Class teacher keeps a record of serious misbehaviour occurring in his/her class in the pupil’s personal file.
Serious misbehaviour in playground is referred to the Principal if it cannot be dealt with by the teachers on yard –duty. The Principal keeps a detailed record of all serious pupils’ misbehaviour.
- School Records
A personal file which also contains a record of a pupil’s misbehaviour is kept on file for seven years until that pupil becomes an adult.
- Procedures for notification of school absences
- SN Baile Mhic Adaim strives to promote good attendance (See School Attendance Policy) by
- Creating a stimulating and attractive school environment
- Acknowledging/rewarding good or improved attendance
- Adapting curriculum content and methodologies to maximise relevance to pupils
- Adapting the class and school timetables to make it more attractive to attend and to be on time
- Making parents aware of the terms of the Education Welfare Act and its implications.
- Parents/guardians send in a note giving the reason for the child’s absence from school. These notes, signed and dated, are kept by each class teacher.
- The school uses the standard forms to report on pupil absences to the National Education Welfare Board? (See forms on www.newb.ie)
- References to other school policies
The following policies support and enhance SN Baile Mhic Adaim’s Code of Discipline:
- SPHE plan
- Record keeping
- Health & Safety
- Special Educational Needs
- SUCCESS CRITERIA
The practical indicators of the success of this policy are as follows:
- Observation of positive behaviour in class rooms, the playground and school environment.
Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
- Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils
- ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- Board of Management
- Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
- Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code.
- Ratify the code.
- b. Principal
- 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.
- c. Teachers
Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour by:
- Creating a safe working environment for each pupil.
- Recognising and affirming good work.
- Preparing school work and correcting work done by pupils.
- Recognising and providing for individual talents and differences among pupils.
- Being courteous, consistent and fair.
- Limiting opportunities for disruptive behaviour.
- Dealing appropriately with misbehaviour.
- Keeping a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour.
- Providing support for colleagues.
- Communicating with parents when necessary and providing reports on matters of mutual concern.
- Pupils’ Responsibilities
- Attend school regularly and punctually.
- Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice.
- Show respect for all members of the school community.
- Respect all school property and the property of other pupils.
- Avoid behaving in any way which would endanger others.
- Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling.
- Include other pupils in games and activities.
- Bring correct materials/books to school.
- Follow school and class rules.
- 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.
- IMPLEMENTATION DATE
- TIMETABLE FOR REVIEW
This policy will be reviewed at the end of each school year. The Principal will co-ordinate this review.
- RATIFICATION & REVIEW
This revised policy was ratified by the BOM on 04/03/2020 and communicated fully and clearly to the parents as per Website
Signed: Donal O’Sullivan Date: 04/03/2020
Signed: Martin Lynch Date: 04/03/2020
SPECIFIC SCHOOL RULES
- A child should come directly into his/her classroom between 9.10 and 9.20 a.m. The bell will be rung at 9.20. The school closes at 3.10 p.m. each day. Children should wait inside the school gate to be collected by their parents or to board the bus.
- Every absence of a child from school must be accounted for by parents/guardians sending in a written note of explanation. Children should be absent only when they are ill or have medical appointments. A very occasional absence due to a special family event may also be excused.
- Children should bring in a note from a parent if they have to leave school early or if they wish to stay in at break times. If parents have to take children out of school they should collect them at the classroom door and not at the school gate.
- Parents should sign their child’s homework diary when the homework has been completed. They should send in a note if the child has not completed his/her homework.
- Any kind of inappropriate behaviour is strictly forbidden. Some such behaviours are name-calling, teasing, jeering, belittling, threatening, pushing, spitting, striking, pulling clothes and fighting. Leaving any child out of a group or game is not allowed. Every child has a right to join any game in the playground, having regard for safety. Bossing other children around in the playground is unacceptable. Any behaviour which causes distress to another child may be regarded as unacceptable behaviour.
- The use of bad language inside the school grounds or while engaged in school activities is strictly forbidden.
- Any interference with or damage to school property is strictly forbidden. Where a child deliberately damages or defaces any item of school property, his/her parents will be expected to make good the loss. Where a child breaks a window through carelessness (school windows and neighbours’ windows), e.g. by kicking a ball at a window, he/she will be expected to pay the cost of repair.
- Spraying water in the toilets, sticking wet tissue to the ceilings, abusing toilet tissue or paper towels, locking doors from the outside or general ‘fool-acting’ in the toilets will be severely punished. During class time only one child from each classroom should be in the toilet at any one time and children should not delay in the toilets.
- Rough behaviour which might hurt or injure another child is not allowed, including kicking a ball with force among a group of children and rough tackling or slide-tackling.
- Lifting or carrying another child on one’s back is not allowed.
- Tag rugby or hurling cannot be played during break times.
- Children should not leave the school grounds during play time. A teacher will retrieve a ball from the road. A designated child may retrieve a ball from a neighbour’s property, with a teacher’s permission.
- Climbing is not allowed e.g. on walls, the bicycle rack etc.
- Children are not allowed to play near the gate.
- Children are not allowed to run, play or shout inside the school building.
- A child is not allowed to remain in his/her classroom during break-times. Children are only allowed to come into the school building during break-times to use the toilet or get a drink.
- Chewing gum is banned from the school grounds.
- Children should keep their copies, books and school bags neat and tidy as well as the floor around them.
- Children are expected to be well-mannered and well-behaved and to put their best effort into all their work (both schoolwork and homework).
- Constant talking, showing off, distracting other children, leaving seat without permission, passing notes, delaying and messing at the bin, making faces or gestures and other disruptive behaviours are not allowed in class.
- Any infectious illness should be notified to the school immediately. The presence of head-lice should also be notified.
- Children are advised to bring a coat and hat (or hood) to school in bad weather. At play-time they should return to the school building if it starts to rain. They are not allowed to play on pitches when they are muddy.
Note: The above rules were drawn up having regard to correspondence from the Department of Education and Skills for order in the school and the safety and happiness of the children while at school. They were approved by the Board of Management at a meeting on 18/9/2012 and amended on 14/6/2016 and more recently on the 04/03/2020. They can be further amended in the future.