Parents Page > Policies
Scoil Phádraig Naofa
Droichead na Banndan ? Co. Chorcai
Phone 023 8844708 ? Fax 023 8843951 ? e-mail: email@example.com
Code of Behaviour
The staff of our school came together to audit our Code of Behaviour Policy and prepare in accordance with the N.F.W.B. guide lines.
The staff feels it necessary to ensure the policy is in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008.
Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school
Through our code of behaviour we foster
values …harmonious environment … nurturing potential …
communication between staff, parents and pupils towards promoting positive behaviour.
The school hopes to achieve:
An educational environment that is guided by our vision statement
To allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for otherspromote positive behaviour and self-discipline, recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differencesensure the safety and well being of all members of the school communityassist 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 proceduresensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school
Content of policy
The policy is addressed under the following headings. Schools may adapt it to suit their own situation.
Guidelines for behaviour in the school
Whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour
Positive strategies for managing behaviour
Classroomareas in the schoolrelated activities
Rewards and sanctions
Rewards and acknowledgement of good behaviourfor dealing with inappropriate behaviourparents in management of problem behaviouraggressive or violent behaviour
Suspension / Expulsion
Procedure for notification of a pupil’s absence from school
Reference to other policies
1. Guidelines for behaviour in the school
The Education Welfare Act, Section 23, states that the code of behaviour shall specify “the standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school”.
The following are agreed standards of behaviour the school wishes to promote/expects from the pupils? Each pupil is expected to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adultspupil is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s and their own belongingspupil is expected to attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual
Each pupil is expected to do his/her best both in school and for homework.
There is recognition that factors influencing children’s behaviour may sometimes need to be considered and accommodated?
Section 23 (4) of the Act further states that, prior to registering a pupil, the principal teacher shall provide the parents of the child with a copy of the school’s code of behaviour and that the principal ‘may, as a condition of so registering such child, require his or her parents to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child’.
2. Whole school approach in promoting positive behaviour
The elements of a whole school approach to behaviour include
An ethos, policies and practices that are in harmonyteamwork approach to behaviourwhole-school approach to curriculum and classroom managementinclusive and involved school communitysystematic process for planning and reviewing behaviour policy
Refer to Ch. 5 Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008
We advocate a whole school approach to promotion of positive behaviour in the following manner.
Teachers and other staff members can play important roles in the work in the review and updating of the code. They bring to this work their professional expertise in understanding the links between behaviour and learning; their experience of what works to help students to behave well; and their knowledge of the school and of the school community (p. 16 Guidelines)
Providing opportunities for staff to deepen their understanding of the factors that affect behaviour and that help students to change behaviour (p. 29 Guidelines)
Our staff as a team should have opportunities to confirm that all school policies and practices support the objectives of the code of behaviour (p. 32 Guidelines)
All staff participated in the review of our document.
Staff promotes positive behaviour through a variety of strategies.
Newly appointed teachers are informed of our code and procedures to promote positive behaviour.
Staff discuss behaviour at staff meetings and on planning days as necessary.
Appropriate work is provided for pupils to promote a work ethos.
SPHE programme is used to help us promote positive behaviour. Programmes such as Walk Tall and Stay Safe support the programme. The RE Alive O programme also supports positive behaviour. Circle Time to First Class.
Class teachers discuss class rules with children at the beginning of each year.
Teachers support children with SEN interpreting the code.
Board of Management
The overall responsibility for ensuring that a code of behaviour is prepared rests with the Board of Management.
The staff of our school worked together at a staff meeting to review and update our plan.
The principal presents their work to the BOM at a meeting. The work is discussed and ratified.
The BOM support the Code of Behaviour and the staff with its implementation.
The BOM provide opportunities for the staff to obtain training to support the code where necessary.
The BOM works with the staff and principal to deal with serious breaches of the code of behaviour.
Children will co-operate with the Code of Behaviour fully as parents and teachers work together to implement the code.were consulted when we compiled our document. are given a booklet containing school rules/code of behaviour at enrolment.(Bring home co-operative discipline)can support the plan by the following methods:
Parents ensure their children attend school regularly and punctuallyencourage their children to do their best and to take responsibility for their workare aware of and cooperate with the school’s rules and system of rewards and sanctions
Parents help their children with homework and ensure that it is completed
Parents ensure their children have the necessary books and materials for school.
Teachers work with children in discussing school rule and setting class rules.is used to re enforce the code and discrete time is used to teach the co-operative discipline code.Walk Tall as a key resource to teach the SPHE Strand and Strand Units.bullying policy is fully implemented
Positive strategies for managing behaviour
‘The most effective methodology that teachers develop in attempting to manage challenging behaviour is to prevent it occurring in the first place’. (Managing Challenging Behaviour, Guidelines for teachers INTO 2004: 5).
We have clear expectations with regard to behaviour within the classroom and playground at school as outlined below.
Rules you can live with.
“Ground rules”/ behavioural expectations in each class that are consistent with the ethos as expressed in the code of behaviour and which set a positive atmosphere for learninginput in devising the class rules. Walk Tall.ensure that pupils understand and are frequently reminded of how they are expected to behaveclear system of acknowledging and rewarding good behaviour and sanctions for misbehaviourmanagement techniques that ensure a variety of activities and methodologies to sustain pupil interest and motivationfive.systems.hour.pace good.
The positive strategies which you as a staff implement to promote good behaviour, to prevent behavioural difficulties and to deal with incidences of unacceptable behaviour. e.g.
Respect each others boundaries i.e. “No touching rule”problem situations with an adult.
A concise set of playground rules which emphasise positive behaviour and make it clear what activities are permitted. The pupils are involved in the creation of these rules.playground is adequately supervised.down when in conflict.is a need to supervise more closely the behaviour of certain age groups, certain areas of the playground, certain individual pupils. Are all children visible at all times?are organised in ways that will minimise misbehaviourgames are taught to children and when necessary, adapted to suit different class levelshave zones within the playground, providing sections for specific age groups, quiet activities etc. are the arrangements for wet days? (suitable games i.e. board games, jigsaws etc.) of pupils going to and returning from the playground?are in place to manage incidents of misbehaviour? e.g. incident book, reporting to classroom teacher, time-out, withdrawal of privileges, cool down.
Other areas in the school
The playground rule pertains in all areas of the school.
No chewing gum.use of inappropriate language to pupil’s age.use of mobile phones. (turned off during school) Acceptable use.to participate in all school activities.on time.out book.wearing earrings for safety reasons.
School related activities
Standards and rules contained in the code of behaviour would usually apply in any situation where pupils are still the responsibility of the school.
Parents and SNA and all school personnel are invited to abide by code of behaviour and behave respectfully toward children and children to be respectful to them at all times. (Blue book) Refer to p.37.
Rewards and Sanctions
Refer to Ch. 7 Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008
The ways in which good behaviour is publicly recognised and acknowledged in the school are golden time.
There are special occasions when pupil achievement is acknowledged? e.g. assemblies, end of year awards…
There are specific rewards at certain class levels.
Rewards and acknowledgement of good behaviour.
Strategies to encourage and promote good behaviour include:
Positive every day interactions between teacher and pupilschool and class routinerules and boundaries for pupilspupils themselves to recognise and affirm good learning behaviourand giving positive feedback about behaviourwith pupils how people should treat each otherof a pupil by teacher/other teacher/principalin homework journalbest effort/most improved/good behaviour/kind gesture, etc.time/treat
Strategies for dealing with inappropriate behaviour
The school operates a protocol of resolving issues at the lowest level when things co wrong i.e. by the class teacher. The vast majority of issues will be resolved at this point.
The Education (Welfare) Act 2000, Section 23, states that a school must outline ‘the measures that may be taken if a student fails to observe the standards of behaviour that the school has outlined’.
The strategies used in response to incidents of unacceptable behaviour (Refer to p. 54-55 Guidelines).
Verbal reprimandof school/class rulesan explanation – SALT – Calm downfrom the group (in class)of extra work/detentionof privilegesfrom the particular lesson or peer groupout what happened/one copy of school rules/relevant rule up to 20 timesin incident bookof apology/reflection/lines/explanationwith parentsto principalto parentsout a useful task in the schoolwho misbehave frequently may not be allowed to participate in school outings/extra-curricular activities for their own safety and that of other pupils.report to the Board of Management
Involving parents in management of problem behaviour
The staff will contact parents where there is concern about a child’s behaviour.are also consulted when various strategies are not effective for managing the child’s behaviour.are invited to contact the school with their concerns re behaviour.teacher or principal may contact the parentthe teacher/principal will meet the parent without the child present, initially.
Managing aggressive or violent misbehaviour
The strategies are used for dealing with serious emotional and behavioural problems.
If a child is presenting as aggressive the staff will work with SENO, NEPS, HSE to find strategies to deal with the behaviour, manage aggression, protect other children and staff.may need to obtain psychological assessment.SESS will be contacted to provide appropriate training for staff.is also provided in Managing Challenging Behaviour INTO 2004:11 (ref material)the event of seriously violent or threatening behaviour causing a risk to the safety of the pupil himself or the safety o other pupils or staff, the staff may consider removing the child from class/school setting.outwith parent.
5. Suspension / Expulsion procedures
Refer to Ch. 10, 11, 12 Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008
The Education Welfare Act, 2000, stipulates that a code of behaviour shall specify... ‘the procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned” and “the grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student.”(Sections 23(2) c, d)
Suspension and Expulsions
The principal shall inform the education welfare officer, by notice in writing, when a student is suspended from a recognised school for a period of not less than 6 days.
The entitlement to education is protected in a range of constitutional and legal provisions and in human rights Conventions. These legal protections for the individual student’s right to education mean that decisions to suspend or expel a student are open to appeal and may be subject to judicial review by the High Court.
Schools are required under section 23(2) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, to include their procedures for suspension and expulsion in their code of behaviour.
The Board of Management of a recognised school has the authority to suspend a pupil. A student should not be suspended for more than three days except in exceptional circumstances. The Board of Management normally place a ceiling of ten days on any one period of suspension imposed by it. Any suspension for which the pupil has been suspended in a school year for 20 days or more is subject to appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998. A single incident of misconduct may be grounds for suspension.
Suspension should be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. Normally other interventions will have been tried before suspension. The decision to suspend a pupil requires serious grounds such as;
The student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other studentsstudent’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safetystudent is responsible for serious damage to propertysingle incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension
Procedures For Suspension
Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures when proposing to suspend a student. The school will observe the following.
Inform the pupil and their parents about the complaint. It is the school’s policy to keep parents fully informed and to involve them at an early stage, rather than as a last resort.parents and pupil an opportunity to respond.suspension no longer generally than 3 days. (except in exceptional circumstances)Of Management will formally review any proposal to suspend a student for 20 or more days in a school year (in total). Any such suspension is subject to appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998).
Implementing The Suspension
The principal will notify the parents in writing of the decision to suspend their child and the letter will confirm:
The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and endreasons for the suspensionstudy programme to be followedarrangements for returning to school including any commitment to be entered into by the pupil and the parentsprovision for an appeal to the Board of Management, and, the right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.
A suspension may be removed or altered either immediately or retrospectively if the Board of Management decides, or, if the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science directs it to be removed following an appeal.(section 29 appeal)
Reintegrating the pupil and starting with a clean slate
On return to school the pupil will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start. The school will then expect the same behaviour of this pupil as of all other pupils.
Recording and Reporting
A record of the behaviour and sanction imposed will be kept which will include:
The investigation (including notes of all interviews helddecision making processdecision and the rationale for the decisionduration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension.
The principal will report all suspensions to the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) in accordance with NEWB reporting guidelines. (Education Welfare Act 2000, section 21(4)(a) (p.78).
Expulsion (permanent exclusion)
Under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, ‘A student shall not be expelled from a school before the passing of twenty school days following the receipt of a notification under this section by an educational welfare officer’ (Section 24(4)) It is the right of a Board of Management to take ‘…such other reasonable measures as it considers appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained in the school concerned and that the safety of students is secured.’ (Section 24(5))
The Board of Management has the authority to expel a pupil. This authority is a reserved function of the Board of Management and is not delegated to the Principal.
Before expelling a pupil, the school will have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a pupil including as appropriate:
Meeting with parents and the pupil to try to find ways of helping the pupil to change their behaviour.sure that the pupil understands the possible consequences of their behaviour, if it should persist.that all other possible options have been tried.the assistance of support agencies, if appropriate.
A proposal by the Board of Management to expel a student requires serious grounds, such that:
The pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety.student is responsible for serious damage to property.
Expulsion should be a proportionate response to pupil’s behaviour – should only be taken in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour.
Expulsion For a First Time 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 member of staffviolence or physical assaultillegal drugs to other students in the schoolassault
Procedures for expulsion (fair procedures/right to be heard)
Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the following procedural steps will include:
A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal (includes contacting parents re behaviour as with suspension)recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal. (parents informed of the same)by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing (incl. Informing Educational Welfare Officer. The pupil cannot be expelled before the passage of 20 school days from the date the EWO receives the written notification)arranged by an Education Welfare Officer. (BOM may consider suspending the pupil during this period if the continued presence of the pupil will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other pupils or staff)of the decision to expel. (notifying parents, inform on right to appeal – section 29)
Under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, parents (or pupils who have reached the age of 18) are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department 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. Accordingly, schools should advise parents 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. (See Circular 22/02)
In line with the school’s policy on record keeping, and data protection legislation, the following records are kept in relation to pupils’ behaviour.
Records of incidents of bad behaviour are kept within the school.on any investigations into serious incidents are kept.of suspensions/expulsions and communications with the NEWB are kept on file.filing cabinet is kept in the office.
7. Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school
The Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 (2)(e) states that the code of behaviour must specify, “the procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.” Section 18 stipulates that parents must notify the school of a student’s absence and the reason for this absence.
Refer to the school’s policy on attendance or include a list of strategies that are used to encourage school attendance e.g.
Creating a stimulating and attractive school environment
System for 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 timeparents aware of the terms of the Education Welfare Act and its implications.
Parents/guardians send in a note informing teachers in writing of their child’s absence from school and the reason for this absence. These notes are kept on file under Education Welfare Act 2000 the school must inform the NEWB of any child absent for 20 days or more.
Some practical indicators of the success of the policy will be
Observation of positive behaviour in class rooms, playground and school environment
Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils
Roles and Responsibility
The Board of Management has particular responsibility for the Code of Behaviour.whole school staff has responsibility for the implementation of this policy.
Timetable for Review
Ratification & Communication