Code of Behaviour


Ní neart go cur le chéile


Code of Behaviour Policy


Our Aims


The aims of Primary Education may be stated briefly as follows:

  • To enable the child to live a full life and to realise his/her potential as a unique individual.
  • To prepare the child for further education and life-long learning.
  • To prepare them to live full and useful lives as adults in society.


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


  • To help create a positive learning environment in which every pupil can benefit from school.
  • To help pupils to become more self-disciplined and to encourage good standards of behaviour.
  • To help the school operate smoothly for the benefit of all.
  • To care in a practical way for pupils, staff, the school and its environment.


General Guidelines for Behaviour


  • All pupils are expected to behave in a responsible manner both to themselves and to others showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other pupils and adults at all times.
  • Respect must be shown to the person of the individual at all times.
  • Respect must be shown for the property of the individual and of the school at all times.
  • Respect must be shown towards staff at all times.
  • Respect must be shown from parents/guardians at all times.


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 trips/outings


  • Attendance at school


  • Homework


Behaviour in Class


  • Pupils are expected to respect the right of other pupils to learn and to avoid disrupting teaching and learning in the classroom.
  • Pupils are expected to have respect for their teachers and follow instructions given by them.
  • Pupils are expected to go to and from their classroom in an orderly manner.
  • Running is not allowed at any time in classrooms or corridors.
  • Pupils are expected to show courtesy and respect towards other pupils.
  • Pupils are expected not to show any physical and verbal aggression towards fellow pupils and staff.
  • Pupils are expected to promote our school policy of inclusion and not isolate other pupils.
  • Pupils are expected to behave in an appropriate manner at all times.


Behaviour in the Playground


  • Pupils are expected to have respect for the person and property of others.
  • Pupils are expected to avoid rough play and bullying (both verbal and physical).
  • Pupils are expected to promote our school policy of inclusion and not isolate others on the yard.
  • Pupils are expected to behave in an appropriate manner at all times.
  • Pupils are expected to obey signals at the end of break.
  • Pupils are only permitted to re-enter the school premises during break with the teacher’s permission.
  • Pupils are forbidden to climb walls or fences.
  • Bad language will not be tolerated in the playground.
  • Pupils must remain in their own designated areas.


Behaviour in the School Environment


  • Pupils are expected to move about the school in an orderly manner.
  • Pupils shall not remain on the school premises after school activities are finished.
  • Pupils are expected to show respect for school property.
  • Pupils are expected to come to and from school with due care for other pupils, for property, for traffic and pedestrians.


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:

  • Pupils must wear their uniform on all school tours and outings.
  • Pupils must obey the instructions of teachers, drivers, tour guides, or anyone person designated to be in charge of them during the course of the outing.
  • Pupils are not permitted to absent themselves from the travelling group.
  • Pupils are expected to promote our school policy of inclusion and not isolate other pupils.


Attendance at School


Pupils are required to be regular in their attendance at school.

  • After a pupil has been absent, a note from the parent / guardian must always be brought to the teacher on the pupil’s return to school.
  • At times parents phone the school office to explain an absence if the child is to be out of school for a number of days. However, parents are requested to send a note into the teacher explaining the absence on the pupil’s return.
  • Pupils are expected to be on time for school each day and, in the event of a late arrival, bring a note to the teacher. Parents whose children arrive late to school are requested not to interrupt teaching and learning in the class.   Children enter using the main door after 8:45 a.m. to avoid interruption to classes.
  • Deliberate absenteeism by a pupil from school is considered a serious offence and is reported to parents / guardians and to The Educational Welfare Services of An Tusla.
  • Pupils are not permitted to leave the school premises for any reason, unless collected by parents or guardians. The collecting adult signs the child out at the office.



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:


  • Junior Classes – Stickers / Star Charts /Treat Jar/Group of the week/ Golden Time/ Golden book and Black Book.


  • Middle Classes – Group of the week/ Stickers/ Homework Off/Golden time /Golden book and Black Book.


  • Senior Classes – Student of the week / Group of the week/Homework off/ Golden time / Golden book and Black Book.


  • Learning Support – Stickers/Star Charts /Treat Jar.


  • Yard – Designated play areas for different groups / yard games provided / play equipment.


  • Supervision – Each yard has two adults supervising each break – one teacher and one SNA. In the senior area, when the field is dry, one of the adults supervises in yard and the other in the field. Pupils who require bathroom visits during break must ask permission.


  • Wet Day supervision – Pupils remain in their seats – board games, colouring activities provided. Two Senior Children are sent into each room to help organise games. Four adults (2 teachers and 2 SNAs) walk between classrooms - each have designated rooms to supervise.


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.


Minor Misbehaviours


  • Homework not done and no note.
  • Interfering with others, rudeness.
  • Borrowing items without asking.
  • Inattentiveness.
  • Answering out of turn.
  • Not wearing uniform.
  • Swinging on chairs.
  • Running around the school.
  • Continuous talking.
  • Cheekiness.
  • Fidgeting.
  • Pushing in line.
  • Kissing.
  • Spitting.
  • Telling Tales.
  • Refusal to do work.
  • Refusal to do homework.
  • Writing and passing notes.
  • Defacing copies and schoolbooks.
  • Senior pupils running through junior yard.
  • Swinging on chairs.


Serious Misbehaviours


  • Fighting.
  • Hitting.
  • Pinching.
  • Bullying.
  • Disrespect.
  • Mitching.
  • Bad language.
  • Bad attitude.
  • Name calling.
  • Alienating friends.
  • Exclusion and isolation.
  • Rough play.
  • Disrespecting others.
  • Back-talking.
  • Belittling personal comments.
  • Damaging play equipment or school property.
  • Stealing.
  • Leaving school premises without permission.
  • Climbing on walls
  • Mobile phone with no permission.




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



  1. Teacher seeks a solution through various strategies within classroom context.
  • Catch child when good.
  • Bringing attention to positive behaviour.
  • Being specific about inappropriate behaviour.
  • Putting sanctions in place e.g.: Loss of privileges, loss of Golden Time, Time out also used.
  • Circle Time, if appropriate.


  1. Teacher may look for advice from others – Colleagues/Principals/Psychologists.


  1. The Board of Management will be informed of the situation.


  1. Parents/Guardians contacted and involved, crucial to effectiveness to work as team.


  1. Regular Meetings/Reviews established. Feedback – 2 ways. Notebook – daily communication if effective.


  1. Teacher is requested to record behaviour daily so as to make detailed evaluation.


  1. Psychological educational assessment is sought and if appropriate resource hours with Special Needs Teacher will be recommended.


  1. The Principal in consultation with the Teacher, Psychologist and D.E.S. Inspector may look for a Special Needs Assistant for the child
  2. In extreme cases where:


  • the education of the other children in class is being adversely affected;


  • their emotional welfare is suffering;


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.


  1. Having worked through the above steps and where it is felt by the Board of Management that they have explored all other options (in consultation with Principal and Teaching Staff, D.E.S. Inspector and Psychologist) a decision may be taken to seek a placement in another school deemed more appropriate to meeting the educational, emotional, psychological and language needs of the child.


School Uniform


  • Pupils are expected to wear their school uniform.
  • Tracksuits and runners are essential for physical education.
  • Jewellery other than watches and stud earrings are not allowed in school.
  • Toys/ Trading cards/ Game boys /iPods/ Nintendo DS (or any other similar electronic items) are not permitted in school.


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:

  • Courteous towards each other, pupils and parents.
  • Be prepared for lessons, professional and on time.
  • Communicate in a positive and appropriate manner.


Standards of Behaviour expected from Parents


Parents are expected to:

  • Implement and follow our school policies.
  • Model good behaviour and encourage their children to do same.
  • Encourage inclusion and discourage the isolation of other children.
  • Support the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy and co-operate with the policy when it is invoked.
  • Be courteous towards pupils and staff.
  • Be respectful and courteous towards parents and their children.
  • Make an appointment to meet with a teacher/ Principal by contacting the school office.
  • Parents are not permitted to approach staff members before or after school hours without prior arrangement.
  • Respect school property and encourage their children to do the same.
  • Pupils’ coats and other property should be labelled.
  • Supervise their young children on school premises when collecting other pupils or visiting the school.
  • Equip pupils with appropriate school materials, sufficient healthy lunch and full uniform.
  • Follow the Parental Complaints Policy when a grievance occurs.
  • If a grievance occurs, parents will make an appointment to discuss the matter with the class teacher with a view to resolving the issue. Parents are asked to refrain from detailing their complaint in e-mail or letter form. Grievances can only be successfully resolved through discussion and compromise.
  • Confidentiality pertaining to all school matters is of paramount importance for all those who visit and volunteer our school, and especially those who are in contact with staff and pupils. Negative discussion about another child’s progress/behaviour is not tolerated on school premises. The happiness and safety of all of the children in Kilbride NS is intrinsic to our school ethos.


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.


Legislative Context


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.

  1. Where a Board of Management or a ‘person acting on its behalf’ believes that a pupil should be expelled it must before doing so, inform The Educational Welfare Services of An Tusla of this belief and the reason for so believing.


  1. The Educational Welfare Services of An Tusla must consult with the Principal, the pupil and his/her parents and other appropriate persons and convene a meeting of those willing to attend.


  1. Pupils may not be expelled for twenty days after the Educational Welfare Services of An Tusla receive this notification.


  1. A Board of Management has the right to take such reasonable measures as it considers appropriate ‘to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained and the safety of pupils is secured during this twenty day period.’


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.


Suspension Procedure


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 Process


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.