KILBRIDE NATIONAL SCHOOL
Ní neart go cur le chéile
Code of Behaviour Policy
The aims of Primary Education may be stated briefly as follows:
Mission Statement for Kilbride National School
Kilbride National School, strives to provide a well ordered, caring, happy and secure atmosphere where the intellectual, physical, moral and cultural needs of every child are identified and fulfilled. With a view to providing the highest possible teaching standards, we actively promote staff development on an individual & collective basis. Kilbride National School is a Catholic primary school which fosters gospel values and holds our Catholic ethos as a cornerstone of school life. We endeavour to enhance the self esteem of everyone in the school community, offering equal opportunities for all pupils to develop to their full potential in a well ordered and disciplined atmosphere where parental involvement is encouraged and the wider community is served. As a staff committed to the realisation of these goals, our aim is to create a happy, secure working environment for our pupils, in which there is a sense of good order and a reasonable approach to discipline. This is done by having guidelines to direct behaviour for the good of all. These guidelines constitute the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Aims of our Code of Behaviour
General Guidelines for Behaviour
Code of Behaviour
Our Code of Behaviour covers the following areas:
Behaviour in Class
Behaviour in the Playground
Behaviour in the School Environment
Behaviour on School Tours and Outings
School tours and outings present particular challenges for the school. As well as the normal standard of behaviour expected from all our pupils, the following should be noted:
Attendance at School
Pupils are required to be regular in their attendance at school.
Homework consolidates work already done in school. It is given on a regular basis and pupils are expected to complete it neatly. Parents / guardians are requested to ensure that homework, written and oral is completed. They are requested to check and sign the journal/homework sheet nightly. If for some reason homework cannot be completed then a signed note stating this should be sent to the class teacher.
Positive Strategies for Maintaining Good Behaviour
Encouraging high standards of behaviour among pupils, and creating and maintaining an orderly atmosphere for learning in the school, will involve the use of praise and rewards for good behaviour, and result in sound relationships between teachers and pupils, leading to effective teaching and learning. The following are samples of such strategies currently in use in the school:
If a supervisor is absent then another staff member fills in and the change is noted on the supervision rota in the staff room. This rota is stored with school files at end of each year.
Special Needs Pupils – Children with behavioural difficulties have SNA supervision in yard. The teacher and LS/RT teacher will set specific social skills targets & strategies for these pupils in their IEP.
Maintaining standards of behaviour will also involve, in some instances, the application of sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. When sanctions are invoked, pupils should understand that what they have done is unacceptable and it is the misbehaviour that is rejected. The following are examples of unacceptable behaviours. This is not an exhaustive list.
The procedures and sanctions outlined here are what occur where there is persistent minor misbehaviour or serious misbehaviour by pupils.
The particular stage used will depend on the seriousness of the misbehaviour.
1: Verbal warning.
Step 2: Written reprimand- Sad Face/ Warning Card.
Step 3: Loss of Golden Time – Five minutes at a time.
Step 4: If the child has behaved badly throughout the day, the child’s parents/guardians will be informed verbally or by a note. The Teacher will keep a record of the child’s behaviour.
Step 5: Golden Time will take place on Friday.
Step 6: The Principal will be informed if a child is behaving badly over a certain period of time. Parents will be informed of their child’s persistent misbehaviour at this stage and a meeting will take place.
Step 7: The child will have a temporary separation away from the class in order to cool down during times of misbehaviour.
Step 8: The child will stay with the Principal for a ‘cooling off period’.
Step 9: If steps 6, 7 and 8 occur the Principal and the Class Teacher will request a meeting with the child’s Parents/Guardians. At this meeting a recorded Individual Discipline Plan will be devised in order to help the child with his/her behaviour. The Principal, the Teacher and the Parents/Guardians will meet on a regular basis for an update and review of the Individual Discipline Plan.
Step 10: If the child continues to misbehave he/she may be excluded from school outings/parties.
Step 11: If the misbehaviour persists, it may result in temporary suspension.
Step 12: When all efforts have been exhausted, the child may be removed from the school. (See Protocol for challenging children)
Communication with parents / guardians through letters, phone call or meetings will occur at all stages from stage six or where necessary so that parents / guardians are involved at an early stage rather than as a last resort.
Code of Behaviour
PROTOCOL FOR CHALLENGING CHILDREN
Then, in consultation with Class Teacher and other staff involved with child, a decision will be taken by the Principal to shorten the child’s day.
By so doing it is hoped that the time spent in school will be within the limits of what the child can cope with and at the same time allows the other children a time during which their needs may be focused on by Teachers.
Standards of Behaviour expected from Staff
The Teaching Council has set out a code of professional behaviour and practice for teachers. In conjunction with this code we expect teachers to be:
Standards of Behaviour expected from Parents
Parents are expected to:
As the Board of Management are responsible for the Health & Safety of all staff and students, parents are requested not to approach or reprimand any child, other than their own, on the school premises.
Policy on Suspension & Expulsion for Kilbride National School
This policy applies to the school management, teachers, pupils and parents/guardians.
Relationship to School’s Mission Statement
In the Mission Statement of Kilbride National School, we are committed to providing a comprehensive education to our pupils in an atmosphere of security and belonging, focussing on the full social, moral, spiritual, cultural and cognitive development of the young person. Pupils have a statuary obligation to attend school until age sixteen and have the right to be taught without obstruction.
The above aims cannot be fully achieved if unacceptable behaviour creates an environment of disruption, intimidation, harassment or discrimination which affects the basic right of pupils to their education.
Under the Education Act (1998) section 15(20) (d) the Board of Management shall publish the policy of the school concerning admission to and participation in the school, including the policy of the school relating to expulsion and suspension of pupils.
Section 28(1) provides for the prescription by the minister of procedures for the parent of a pupil to exercise a right of appeal to the Board of Management against any decision of a teacher or other member of the staff of a school.
Section 29(1) provides for the right of appeal by the parents of a pupil against a decision by a board to permanently exclude or to suspend for a length of time to be determined.
Education (Welfare) Act 2000 Section 23 outlines the obligation of the Board of Management to publish and disseminate to parents and pupils the Code of Behaviour to be observed by all pupils in the school. This Code of Behaviour must include:
The procedures to be followed before a pupil may be suspended or expelled from the school.
The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a pupil. Section 24 sets out the statutory obligations which must be observed by the Board of Management in expelling a pupil from school.
Equal Status Act 2000 Section 7(2) (d) provides specifically that an educational establishment shall not discriminate in relation to the expulsion of a pupil from the establishment or any other sanction against the pupil.
The prohibited grounds for discrimination are:
Gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race, membership of the travelling community.
The Principal & the Board of Management
Subject to the provisions of these articles and to the direction of the Board of Management, the principal shall have the power, subject to the approval of the Board of Management, to suspend pupils from attendance but on the dismissal or suspension of any pupil, the parent shall be informed that he or she has the right to appeal to the Board of Management.
Suspension is the withdrawal of permission from a pupil to attend school for a specified period of time.
The period of suspension must be limited and must have regard to the need to ensure that the pupil can reasonably resume his/her studies on the completion of the suspension.
The principal of the school is obliged under the Education (Welfare) Act, Section 21 to inform The Educational Welfare Services of An Tusla in writing if a pupil is suspended for six days or more, or if the pupil is absent for an aggregate of twenty days in the school year.
The authority to suspend a pupil rests with the principal/deputy principal of the school subject to the rights of the parents to appeal to the Board of Management.
Suspension is a serious sanction and should only be imposed where other efforts to resolve a disciplinary situation have failed or where the nature of an incident dictates that the pupil be removed from the school immediately.
Circumstances in which suspensions might be considered could include:
Repeated incidents of indiscipline in spite of warnings and counselling by staff, failure to recognise and submit to legitimate authority, behaviour which is considered to interfere with the right to learn of other pupils and particularly serious incidents which endanger the welfare of others.
It is essential that contemporaneous notes be kept of all incidents or events which might be called upon to support a decision to suspend.
Parents must be informed, in writing, of the reasons for the suspension, the period of the suspension and the requirements which must be fulfilled to gain reinstatement.
Parents must be informed of their right to appeal the decision to suspend and procedures to be followed in making such an appeal.
Pupils should not be dismissed from school unless and until arrangements are made for their safe return to the care of their families.
Records must be kept of all meetings and/or phone calls in connection with the suspension.
Expulsion is the most severe sanction available to a school against a pupil. It should only be imposed for very serious breaches of school rules or in cases where the rights of a greater number of pupils are being denied because of the continual disruptive behaviour of an individual to the teaching and learning of the school classroom.
The case against the pupil should be put to him and s/he should be given an opportunity to respond. The parents should be informed of the grounds upon which expulsion is being considered and the nature of the evidence being relied upon. It is accepted that the quality of proof required for expulsion need not be of the quality required in a court of law.
The parents should also be provided with a fair opportunity to consider the evidence and to offer evidence in rebuttal.
Having considered all aspects of the case, if the principal decides to recommend to the Board of Management that the pupil be expelled, s/he must inform the pupil’s parents in writing of the decision, the reason’s for it and of their right to make representations to the Board of Management on behalf of the pupil. In the interest of the pupil, parents should be required to give notice to the Secretary of the Board of Management of their intention to make representations no later than a specified date to enable an early hearing by the Board of Management.
The parents are entitled to seek access to the pupil’s file and to documentation relevant to the expulsion. If the principal for whatever reason refuses to hand over copies of documentation, the parents may subsequently have a legitimate complaint that full details of the ‘case to answer’ were not furnished in advance.
Arrangements should be made at the earliest possible date for a joint meeting of the Board of Management with the principal and the parents. The recommendations of the principal and the representations (if requested) of the parents should be heard by the Board of Management at this meeting. No new evidence or information which had not previously been made known to the parents should be introduced at this meeting.
The pupil may need to stand suspended from school pending the decision of the Board of Management.
When the Board of Management has heard all of the evidence, the parents and/or their representatives and the principal must withdraw to allow the Board of Management to consider the case. Even though the principal is a member of the Board of Management, s/he may not be party to the consideration of the case as s/he is an involved party. Further the Board of Management should ensure that any member of the Board of Management who might have a conflicting interest should be excused and not participate in the decision.
To ensure its independence as the final authority in the case, the Board of Management must not be involved in the process leading to the decision of the principal to recommend the expulsion of the pupil.
If the recommendation of the principal is rejected, it is a matter for the Board of Management to decide on what conditions, if any, the pupil will be allowed back to school.
If the recommendation of the principal is approved, the parents or the pupil must be informed of their right to appeal the decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. Where a Board of Management has taken the decision to expel a pupil, it is obliged to notify the designated Educational Welfare Officer of its opinion and the reasons therefore. A pupil shall not be considered expelled before the passing of twenty school days from the receipt of such notification by the Educational Welfare Officer. The Board of Management is obliged to co-operate fully with the Educational Welfare Officer in the fulfilment of his/her duties under section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000.
The National Education Welfare Board has the right, under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, to appeal a decision of the Board of Management to expel and, in the event that such an appeal is initiated by a parent or pupil, to make submissions to the appeals committee.
The school is advised to assist in finding a place in another school for a dismissed pupil, particularly if the pupil is under school-leaving age.
Appeal Procedure under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998
Currently, Section 29 of the Education Act provides that the following decisions may be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education:
(i) Permanent exclusion from a school.
(ii) Suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of
suspension to twenty school days or longer in any school year;
(iii) Refusal to enrol.
Appeals must generally be made within forty-two calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or pupil.
Accordingly, schools should advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe when informing them of any of the above categories of decisions.
There are three layers to the procedures for processing these appeals:
(a)Both parties are asked in the first instance to see if an accommodation can be reached at local level;
(b)Should that fail, and where the Appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the appellant and school, a facilitator will be appointed to contact the parties at the earliest opportunity;
(c) Finally, an appeal may be referred for hearing by an Appeals Committee established by the Minister for Educations & Skills.
Related Polices –This policy document needs to be considered in relation to other policies – Code of Behaviour, Enrolment Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, School Attendance Strategy, Substance Use, School Rules etc.
Roles & Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the principal/deputy principal to keep contemporaneous notes of all incidents or events which might be called upon to support a decision to suspend or expel.
Suspensions can be carried out by the principal/deputy principal.
It is the responsibility of the principal/deputy principal to inform the Educational Welfare Officer in writing, if a pupil is suspended for six days or more. When an expulsion is being considered it is the principal’s responsibility to put the case to the pupil in question. The principal must inform the parents of the grounds upon which the expulsion is being considered and the nature of the evidence being relied on.
If the principal decides to recommend to the Board of Management that a pupil be expelled s/he must inform the pupil’s parents in writing of the decision, the reasons for it and of their right to make representations to the Board of Management. The principal must hand over copies of documentation pertaining to the expulsion to the parents if requested. If the Board of Management approves the principal’s recommendation to expel, the principal must inform the parents of their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education.
The principal must also inform the designated Educational Welfare Officer of its opinion and the reasons therefore.
The principal or deputy principal is advised to assist in finding a place in another school for a dismissed pupil.
Monitoring & Review
This policy document and its implementation is reviewed at monthly staff meetings.
This policy is reviewed annually after consultation with the staff, Board of Management and Parent’s Association.
This policy was approved by the Board of Management in the academic year 2018/2019 and will be reviewed in the academic year 2019/2020.