Code of discipline

ADAMSTOWN CASTLE ETNS

CODE OF DISCIPLINE

CONTENTS

  1. Aims of the code
  1. The rights of children, staffs and parents
  1. Responsibilities of children, staffs and parents
  1. Code of Behaviour
  1. Pupils with special needs
  1. Communicating with parents regarding discipline
  1. Sanctions/Strategies for dealing with misbehaviour
  1. Procedures for the use of suspension and expulsion
  1. Procedures specifically with regard to expulsion
  1. Appendices

 

 

 

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT

The Adamstown Castle Educate Together School is one where all children, staff and parents and all those who use these premises co-exist in an atmosphere of mutual respect and safety. An inherent part of this is the promotion of positive relationships and behaviours.

Adamstown Castle Educate Together School Code of Discipline is written in accordance with Circular 20/90 of the Department of Education & Skills on school discipline, the Education and Welfare Act (2000) and the Equal Status Act of 2004. It is underpinned by the four principles of Educate Together: equality based; child centred; democratically run and co-educational.

 

1          AIMS OF THE CODE

In our school we aim:

  • To create an environment where all partners in the school community (i.e. children, teachers and parents) feel safe, respected and valued.
  • To promote self-discipline
  • To create an environment where the children and their teachers can reach their creative and intellectual potential without disruption.
  • To have a framework in place (i.e. the code of discipline) to help the school run smoothly.
  • To establish effective means of communication between pupils, teachers, parents/guardians and Board of Management.
  • To help children to acquire and develop moral and ethical values and a respect for the belief and values of others.

 

2          THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN, STAFFS AND PARENTS

Children’s Rights

Children have the right:

1          To be educated in a safe, happy secure environment.

2          To grow intellectually, emotionally and physically.

3          To be treated as an individual with due respect and regard for others within the school community.

4          To be listened to and to question.

5          To express their emotions, doubts and beliefs.

6          To be free from all forms of abuse, whether physical, emotional, mental or sexual.

7          To receive information about topics and concerns affecting their lives (including information on code of discipline).

 

Staffs’ Rights

Staffs have the right:

1          To educate in an environment free from disruption.

2          To be respected and held in proper esteem.

3          To full and open communication with parents.

4          To relevant information on the child and support from parents if necessary.

5          To voice concerns about the child’s safety, behaviour and academic progress.

6          To expect backup, support and co-operation from parents and the Board of Management for their work.

7          To confidentiality.

8          To be listened to.

9          To appeal to a higher authority, e.g. Board of Management, Department of Education & Skills, Union.

10        To receive adequate facilities and resources appropriate to their teaching duties.

Parents’ rights

Parents have the right:

1          To easy access and regular informative communication with the Teacher/Principal in accordance with the communications policy.

2          To respect, understanding and confidentiality.

3          To regular updates on the progress of the child/children.

4          To question teacher’s actions.

5          To be consulted for disciplinary action at an early stage.

6          To appeal to a higher authority, e.g. Board of Management, Department of Education & Science.

7          Of access to the Code of Discipline of the school.

 

3          RESPONSIBILITIES OF CHILDREN, STAFFS AND PARENTS

Children are to be responsible for:

  • Their class work and homework.
  • Knowing and complying with school and class rules.
  • Their behaviour in class and in the school yard.
  • Their belongings.
  • Their classroom.
  • School property.
  • Their environment.
  • Playing safely.
  • Not excluding others from their games.
  • Helping and caring for others, in particular the younger children in the school.
  • Telling a member of staff if they know another child is not being respected/

 

Parents are to be responsible for:

  • Providing firm guidance and positive role models to children.
  • Children’s behaviour in school and at home.
  • Becoming involved in their children’s learning.
  • Ensuring homework is completed.
  • Ensuring children come on time to school.
  • Ensuring children come prepared for school with pencils, books etc.
  • Ensuring children have had enough sleep and food.
  • Keeping in touch with school about all aspects of child’s learning, progress and behaviour.
  • Communicating to school/teacher any problems which might affect children’s

learning and or safety.

 

Staffs are to be responsible for:

  • The children in their care.
  • Creating a positive atmosphere/environment for learning.
  • Being firm and fair.
  • Treating all children with equal respect.
  • Being prepared for class work.
  • Giving due attention to all children.
  • Communicating with parents on issues concerning their child’s learning and behaviour.
  • Having positive expectations for children.
  • Ensuring opportunities for disruption are minimised.
  • Checking and correcting homework, and adhere to the homework policy.
  • Informing children what is expected from them in terms of behaviour.
  • Not holding children responsible for parents’ shortcomings.

 

In summary, parents, staffs, children and those who have the occasion to use the school are expected to support the ethos of the school.

4          CODE OF BEHAVIOUR

All partners have responsibilities which require us to behave in certain ways. Many responsibilities are shared or common to teachers, pupils and parents.

It is expected that if a child finds himself/herself or any other child a victim of any form of misbehaviour that they inform the teacher and/or parents/guardians.

The following is the general code of behaviour in use in the school:

  • Respect, courtesy and co-operation to be shown towards other children, teachers, and support staff and parents, in the classroom, the playground and on school outings, at all times.
  • Respect to be shown by the children towards their own and other children’s property, school property and environment.
  • Respect to be shown for other people’s space i.e. no verbal or physical violence or aggression, or any form of bullying behaviour (See Anti-Bullying Policy)
  • Respect for pupil’s own feelings, i.e. it is okay to feel sad, quiet, angry, etc.
  • Respect to be shown for other people’s feelings.
  • Children are to behave in an orderly fashion in the classroom, moving around the school, going to and from the playground and while travelling on the school bus.
  • Children are asked to come to and leave school on time.
  • Children are asked to bring to school each day all books, copies and materials necessary to do their class work properly.
  • Children are to complete assigned work (written and oral) both at school and at home.
  • Children are asked to listen to others and to take turns to speak in class.
  • Children must not behave in any way which endangers themselves or others and are asked to take care of our younger children at all times.
  • Children are asked not to exclude others from games.
  • Children must remain within the designated playground boundaries during break times.
  • Children should not leave school without permission from the teaching staff.

5          PUPILS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

While all pupils in the school are subject to the school’s code of behaviour, some pupils come to school with special educational needs. Staffs at ACETNS have an appreciation and awareness of this complex and individual needs. These needs are taken into account during the implementation of the school’s Code of Behaviour. Where a pupil with special needs is in breach of the school’s Code of Behaviour the teachers, principal and the Board of Management will use their professional judgment in relation to regularity and level of sanctions. While teachers must be seen to be fair in the eyes of other pupils who may have exhibited the same type of misdemeanours, they may also show leniency in relation to pupils with specific learning/behavioural difficulties. Parents of these pupils will be kept informed of their child’s behaviour on a regular basis and may be requested to work with the school in devising effective interventions to help the pupil to improve his/her behaviour. The devising of such interventions may also entail contacting and meeting with relevant out of school agencies.

6          COMMUNICATING WITH PARENTS REGARDING DISCIPLINE

The support and co-operation of parents/guardians is expected if the Code of Discipline in school is to operate effectively.  If a good relationship exists between parents and school staff, the pupils will ultimately reap the benefits.

 

7          SANCTIONS/STRATEGIES FOR DEALING WITH MIS-BEHAVIOUR

1          Verbal reprimand, in private where practicable, to include reasoning and advising how to improve.

2          Temporary separation from other children or stands apart from group until calm and ready to resume work. This strategy is to be used at the discretion of the teacher depending on the situation and the age of the child.

3          The child to be removed to another classroom for a short period as a calming measure.

4          Sitting near teacher.

5          Pupil apologises sincerely.

6          A record will be kept of continuous misbehaviours in class and yard and of all serious misbehaviours in order to identify patterns of behaviour.

7          The child is deprived of a favourite activity; the parents are informed depending on the seriousness of the misbehaviour.

8          Parents are contacted about behaviour in writing depending on frequency and/or seriousness (See Appendix 1 for Discipline Note).

9          The child is asked to write about his/her behaviour, when she/he behaved so and how it will improve (to be signed by parents).

10        Children are sent to the Principal for continually occurring or serious misbehaviours.

11        Parents are requested to meet with Teacher and or Principal.

12        Referral to the Board of Management.

13        Suspension (Rule 130 National Schools) used to deal with continuously disruptive pupils or with a serious breach of discipline.

14 Expulsion

7.1 Classroom behaviour sanctions

Behaviour Sanctions
Minor disruption in class Reminder from teacher/SNA of expected behaviour or oral reprimand
Repeated disruption over a limited period

(one or more of these sanctions may be applied)

• Reflective sheet written by child and signed by parent

• Separation from peers

• Note to parent from teacher (see Appendix 1 for Discipline note)

• Alternative work

• Referral to deputy principal or principal

Repeated disruption over a longer period (one or more of these sanctions may be applied) • Separation from peers for up to one day

• Separation from peers for more than one day and parents will be contacted by a note or orally by class teacher

• Referral to deputy principal or principal.

 

Sanctions will be carried out in the order outlined.  Following discussion with all parties, the principal will decide whether or not to refer the matter to the BOM for further consideration

 

Behaviour Sanctions
Serious misbehaviour including:

 

•Persistent, serious disruption of teaching and learning in the classroom.

•Physical or verbal attacks on students, teachers, SNAs or ancillary staff (See Appendix 2)

•Deliberately offensive language or behaviour

•Serious insolence including refusal to follow teacher/SNA instruction

•Damage to property

•Reckless, threatening or dangerous behaviour towards self or others etc

·         Bullying (See Anti Bullying policy)

1 Referral to deputy principal or principal.

 

2 Parents will be contacted orally and/or letter plus sanctions.

 

3 Referral to the Board of Management.  Parents will be informed in writing.

 

4 Suspension of child in consultation with the Board of Management.  Parents will be informed in writing

 

5 Expulsion of child by the Board of Management. Parents will be informed in writing.

 

7.2 Playground behaviour sanctions

Behaviour Sanctions
Minor infringement of playground rules • Reminder or oral reprimand by teacher/SNA on yard duty.
Repeated minor infringement of playground rules

(one or more of these sanctions may be applied)

• Behaviour noted in incident book

•Class teacher/parents to be informed.

•Separation from peers for defined period or until end of break

•Referral to deputy principal or principal along with teacher on duty

Playground misbehaviour noted over a series of breaks • Separation from peers for between 2 and 5 days.  Principal, class teacher and parents will be notified.

 

Sanctions will be carried out in the order outlined.  Following discussion with all parties, the principal will decide whether or not to refer the matter to the BOM for further consideration

 

Behaviour Sanctions
Serious misbehaviour including:

 

•Persistent, serious disruption of teaching and learning in the classroom.

•Physical or verbal attacks on students, teachers, SNAs or ancillary staff (See Appendix 2)

•Deliberately offensive language or behaviour

•Serious insolence including refusal to follow teacher/SNA instruction

•Damage to property

•Reckless, threatening or dangerous behaviour towards self or others etc

·         Bullying (See Anti Bullying policy)

1 Referral to deputy principal or principal.

2 Parents will be contacted orally and/or letter plus sanctions.

3 Referral to the Board of Management.  Parents will be informed in writing.

4 Suspension of child in consultation with the Board of Management.  Parents will be informed in writing

5 Expulsion of child by the Board of Management. Parents will be informed in writing.

 

 

8          Procedures for the use of suspension

The Board ratifies the use of the NEWB guidelines (2008) for the suspension and expulsion of pupils. Great care will be taken by the principal and the Board of Management to ensure that suspension or expulsion will be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. Normally, before suspension or expulsion other interventions will have been tried and reviewed. However, a single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension or expulsion.

The Board of Management has delegated to the principal the power to suspend for a period of up to three days. This however may only be done in consultation with the Chairperson. Any suspension longer than three days is a decision that can only be made by the Board of Management. The Board places a ceiling of 10 days on any one period of suspension imposed by it. The Board has a duty to inform the NEWB when suspension of a particular pupil exceeds 20 days in any one year.

The grounds for suspension

  • The pupil’s behaviour has a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The pupil’s continued presence in the school constitutes a threat to safety
  • The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.
  • As outlined under the heading serious misbehaviour

8.1 Single instances of gross misconduct

  • If a pupil is guilty of gross misbehaviour, the Principal should advise the Chairperson of the Board and ask that immediate suspension be sanctioned, pending a discussion with parents.
  • The Principal should advise the parents by letter and invite them to meet the Chairperson and him/herself to discuss the incident at a specific time.
  • If the parents fail to meet the Principal and Chairperson and fail to provide a reasonable excuse for not doing so, the child may be suspended until they do so.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the Principal in consultation with the Chairperson may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the pupil in the school would present a serious threat to the safety of the students/staffs of the school or any other person. Fair procedures must still always apply.

8.2 Procedures in respect of referral to the BOM re Suspension

This school will follow fair procedures when proposing to suspend or expel a student. These include

  • The right of pupil and parent to be heard
  • The right to impartiality

8.3 Procedures to be followed before suspension is ratified by the Board of Management

  • The principal or other designated person will investigate the factors that led to the consideration for suspension
  • The pupil and parent will be informed of the complaint. The parent will be informed in writing.
  • The pupil and parents will be given the opportunity to respond to the principal and to the Board before a decision to suspend is made.
  • The Principal completes “Factors to consider before suspending a student” (See Appendix 3)
  • The Principal presents all the above at a regular Board meeting or an extra ordinary meeting convened by the Chairperson. The Board considers all the above before any decision is made.

8.4 Procedures implementing the suspension

The principal will notify the parents in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm

  • The period of suspension, the dates when the suspension will begin and end and the reason for the suspension
  • The arrangements for returning to school, including the reaffirming of the commitment to the code by parents and pupil
  • The provision for appeal to the BOM
  • The provision of appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act if a child has been suspended for more than a period of 20 days in any one school year.

8.5 Procedures after suspension

Every effort will be made by the principal and deputy principal to engage with the parents before, during and after the suspension to ensure the successful and smooth reintegration of the pupil after the suspension.

  • The school will arrange for a member of staff to provide support to the pupil when he/she returns after suspension.
  • Apart from a written record of the suspension, the child will return to the school with a clean slate and the school will expect the same behaviour of this student as of all other students.

9          Procedures specifically with regard to Expulsion

The authority to expel is reserved to the Board of Management and may not be delegated. The school will make every effort to avoid the use of expulsion.

9.1 The grounds for expulsion

The grounds for expulsion are similar to the grounds for suspension. However, in addition to factors such as the degree of seriousness and the persistence of the behaviour, a key difference is that where expulsion is considered, the school will have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the pupil’s behaviour. However, a single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for expulsion.

Before a decision is taken to expel the Board of Management will make a full review of the factors that have led to the consideration of expulsion. These will include the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, the context and the impact of the behaviour, the interventions tried to date, whether expulsion is a proportionate response and the impact of expulsion on the child.

9.2 Procedures in respect of expulsion

The following procedural steps will be followed

1          A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal

2          A recommendation to the BOM by the principal

3          The Principal writes to the parents inviting them to the BOM hearing to decide the matter and copies them with a copy of the recommendation to the BOM and any documentation/ evidence forwarded to the BOM and relied upon by the Principal.

4          Consideration by the BOM of the recommendation and the holding of a hearing, in which the principal and the parents put their case to the Board in each other’s presence.

5          BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing. The BOM decides whether or not to proceed with the expulsion. The Board will notify the NEWB in writing of the decision. Parents will also be notified in writing about the Board’s decision and the next steps in the process will be outlined to them.

6          Consultations with parents, principal and Board will be arranged by the Education Welfare Officer (EWO) from the NEWB.

7          Confirm the decision to expel.  When a 20 day period of notification of the possible expulsion to the EWO has elapsed and every reasonable effort has been made to hold consultations between the school, the EWO and parents, the school may formally confirm the decision to expel. Parents will be notified immediately and in writing and will be told about the right to appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act. The standard form of appeal will be supplied to parents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1

DISCIPLINE NOTE

Dear Parents

Date: ___________

PUPIL’S NAME:_______________________

 

Please remind your child about the importance of:

Application to work

Homework

Obedience

Punctuality

Behaviour in class

Behaviour in yard

Respect for staff

Respect for other pupils

Respect for other pupils’ property

Respect for school property

 

Teacher’s Signature:____________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2

Assault on staff including volunteers who work in the school

Vide: Circular 40/97 issued by the Department of Education and Skills, Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools, Health and Safety policy of the school
Where the assault is by a pupil, the matter will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of discipline and as provided for in Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 3

Factors to consider before suspending a student (Page 72 of “Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools”, NEWB 2008)

The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
·         What is the precise description of the behaviour?

·         How persistent has the unacceptable behaviour been?

·         Has the problem behaviour escalated, in spite of the interventions 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 incidents of serious misbehaviour (e.g. bullying, cultural or family factors)?

·         What is the age, stage of development and cognitive ability of the student?

·          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?

·         Does the behaviour have a particular or greater impact on some students or teachers?

·         Does the student understand the impact of their behaviour on others?

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 those 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?

·         Are any other interventions such as peer mediation, restorative justice approaches or family conferencing available?

·         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 services)?

Whether suspension is a proportionate response
·         Does the student’s behaviour warrant suspension?

·         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 suspension
·         Will suspension allow additional or alternative interventions to be made?

·         Will suspension help the student to change the inappropriate behaviour?

·         How will suspension help teachers or other students affected by the behaviour?

·         Will suspension exacerbate any educational vulnerability of the student?

 

Advertisements