Code of Behaviour
Code of Behaviour
Section 1 – Preamble
St. Joseph’s Christian Brothers Secondary School (CBS) Nenagh is a Catholic school under the trusteeship of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust (ERST) which:
- Promotes Christian values in a caring and safe environment.
- Provides a curriculum which caters for all students.
- Challenges students to reach their full potential by means of a balanced approach to work and leisure.
- Promotes respect for oneself, for others and for the environment.
- Promotes a sense of pride in the school by encouraging staff, students and parents/guardians to participate in relevant school activities and decisions.
Introduction to Code of Behaviour
This Code of Behaviour (Code) was drawn up in consultation with all the school partners, including Board of Management, staff, parents/guardians and students, in line with guidelines issued by the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB). In all cases in this Code the words “parent/guardian” shall have the meaning “parent(s) or guardian(s).”
St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh recognises the rights of both staff and students to a safe working and learning environment. This right encompasses both the wellbeing of all its staff and students. The provision of a good and positive learning environment is first and foremost predicated by a well-motivated staff. The Code of Behaviour of St. Joseph’s CBS is designed and enforced to maximise the potential of all its staff and students.
Relationship to schools mission, vision, aims.
This Code has been developed in line with the ethos of the Edmund Rice Schools Trust and the Christian Brothers, which has at its core, the care of the student.
Scope of the Code of Behaviour
This Code applies to students of St. Joseph’s CBS and relates to:
- All school activities both during and outside of normal school hours.
- While wearing the school uniform.
- While travelling to or from school using school transport.
- While on school tours, trips and exchanges.
- The misuse of information and communications technology (I.C.T.) and any forms of social media.
Section 2 – Rationale
One of the most important values we endeavour to foster in St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh is respect. We believe that students, teachers, other school staff, parents/guardians and all members of the school community should respect each other and work together in a spirit of harmony and mutual cooperation.
We believe in having respect for our environment. On a practical level, respect for our environment means keeping our school premises free of litter and our classrooms and toilet facilities neat and tidy. It also means not dropping litter, particularly when down town.
Respect for our fellow students means not engaging in any hurtful or bullying behaviour. Bullying is the unwelcome behaviour/treatment of one person towards another. Every member of our school community deserves a safe, happy, healthy and supportive environment, so bullying/harassment is not acceptable at St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh. If you feel you are being bullied – report it. Cases of bullying will be investigated through the school’s anti-bullying Code. If you see any member of our school community being bullied, don’t ignore it – tell someone.
The school strives to provide a safe, secure and inclusive learning environment for the development of our students. Our school Code of Behaviour is based on respect for oneself and for others, so that a positive and co-operative school atmosphere prevails.
In St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh, we aim to create an atmosphere where students can develop their full potential and learn to value and respect themselves and others. Besides a strong academic programme, the school also provides a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The aim is to provide a rich variety of experiences to promote the holistic development of each student.
The school hopes that each student finds in the school a just and caring community in which he can explore and attain his potential. The school expects each student to take responsibility for his own growth and development and to contribute to the life of the school. We provide opportunities for students to exercise that responsibility as they mature in the school.
Fundamental to this spirit is an acceptance, by all, of the need for courtesy and co-operation within the school community. Management, staff, parents/guardians and students must work together to achieve these aims. Mutual respect throughout the school community is essential, so that a positive and co-operative school atmosphere prevails.
The Code of Behaviour provides a framework for a positive approach to behaviour and discipline within the school. It aims to:
- Instill self-discipline in students.
- Encourage students to have respect and consideration for every member of our school community.
- Create an appropriate learning environment for students.
- Prepare students for the responsibilities of the adult world.
Section 3 – Promoting Positive Behaviour
In line with our Mission Statement it is the policy of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh to encourage and promote positive behaviour.
Positive behaviour, genuine effort and achievements, whether academic or otherwise, are recognised and rewarded in the following ways:
- Verbal praise to student either in class or privately.
- Positive comments on homework and reports.
- Positive comment by class tutor / Year Head.
- Positive note home to parent/guardian in student journal.
- Display of students’ work in the classroom or a prominent place on the school premises.
- Awards at Prize Giving Ceremonies.
- Effort and Commitment Reports.
- Announcements regarding in and out of school achievements by students, through the website, on school notice boards, published in the school newsletter, reports in the local paper or the school intercom.
- A letter of appreciation and congratulations from the Principal for outstanding achievement or for service to the school community.
- Acknowledgement of good behaviour by Year Head, Deputy Principal and Principal.
- Awards for Certificate Examination results.
- Acknowledgement at assembly of good behaviour.
- Public recognition of achievements on the school intercom.
- Photographic record of student achievements displayed in school.
- Recording of achievements in school newsletter, website and local media.
- Granting of certificates in recognition of participation and achievement of students within school, or while representing the school.
Further, good behaviour is promoted through the fair and consistent application of the Code of Behaviour and the educational and pastoral roles played by students’ council, students liaison committee (buddies), class teachers, class tutors, Year Heads, Deputy Principal, Principal and Board of Management.
Interventions to support positive behaviour
Support for all
Most students behave appropriately in an environment that encourages and rewards positive behaviour and has clear rules and procedures in relation to class and school conduct. Minor misbehaviour should be dealt with routinely and effectively through the skill of the classroom teacher.
Additional Support for some students
Some students need more active intervention to help them to manage their behaviour. Without additional help, they may be at risk of failing, behaviourally, socially and educationally. Additional inputs or interventions might include:
- referral to Year Head.
- referral to guidance counsellor
- involving the pastoral care team.
- setting targets for behaviour and monitoring them with the student, in a supportive way, such as a self-monitoring checklist.
- behaviour contracts.
Specialised support for a small minority of students
A small minority of students may show particularly challenging behaviour. They may have great difficulty in learning new behaviour and may not respond to low-level interventions. These students will need a sustained and systematic response involving the important adults in their lives, in school and at home. The Principal and staff should build good links with any local support services that may be able to assist in responding to the needs of a student with behavioural difficulties. Sources of support may include the National Educational Psychological Service (N.E.P.S.), HSE Community Psychology Services, the National Behavioural Support Service (N.B.S.S.), the National Council for Special Education (N.C.S.E.), Child Guidance Services or the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (C.A.M.H.S.). Schools must be cognisant of their obligations under the Equal Status Acts 2000 to 2004 with regard to making reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.
Behaviour Support Structure
In our school the approach we take to give specific help to those students who find it particularly difficult to uphold the Code of Behaviour is:
- Interview between the student and a member of the teaching staff, usually the class tutor.
The purpose of this interview is to establish an understanding in the student of the Code of Behaviour they have breached.
- To bring the student to an understanding of the effects of the breach on himself as well as on other members of the school community.
- To bring the student to an understanding of how to act/react appropriately so as not to be in breach of the Code of Behaviour.
- To administer a sanction, if one is required and to get the student to see the need for one.
The following behaviour support options may be considered:
- Referral to the guidance counsellor.
- Referral to the Pastoral Care Team
- Referral to the school chaplain where appropriate, in consultation with parent/guardian.
- Referral to external resources such as the family G.P. or a clinical psychologist or CAMHS, in consultation with parent/guardian.
- Referral to the school’s psychologist in consultation with parent/guardian.
Section 4 – The Standards of Behaviour Expected
Code of Behaviour- ‘Standards of Behaviour’
- Respect and Honesty:
- Respecting each other and all members of the school community.
- Bullying, in any form, is not tolerated in our school.
- Behaving well in class and on the corridors.
- Being on your best behaviour while representing the school and when in school uniform, at any time.
- Endeavouring to be honest and truthful at all times.
- Respecting all school property and student’s belongings.
- Everyone should feel respected and valued in our school.
- Feeling safe and secure is each individual’s right.
- It facilitates an active learning environment and develops a positive school spirit.
- It develops the student’s own sense of responsibility and maturity.
- We would like our property and belongings to be respected by others.
- Mutual Understanding:
- Listening to each other and respecting other opinions.
- Allowing uninterrupted teaching and learning in the classroom.
- Treating others as you would like to be treated.
- Respecting religious, racial and cultural differences.
- We all like to have our opinions heard and valued.
- Everyone benefits from a positive classroom atmosphere.
- We are all unique.
- Personal Responsibility:
- You are responsible for all your actions and adherence to the school’s Code of Behaviour.
- You attend school on each school day unless there’s an appropriate reason for being absent.
- You arrive on time for all classes.
- You wear the full school uniform to a high standard and present yourself in a tidy manner.
- You have books, copies, journal, homework and other class materials.
- You are responsible for finding out and completing work missed due to absence from class.
- Your actions can affect you and those around you.
- Being absent without reason and/or being late for class disrupts others and hinders your own progress.
- It is good personal training and shows pride in yourself and school.
- You are organised and ready to learn.
- It reinforces classroom learning which helps you to succeed in your studies.
- Achieving Full potential:
- Working to the best of your ability.
- Using your talents to fulfill your own potential and to contribute to school life.
- Listening, paying attention and participating in class.
- Doing all your study, homework and regular revision.
- It leads to success and personal achievement.
- It leads to personal satisfaction and positive school experiences.
- It fosters good habits.
- It will help you achieve good exam results.
- Pride in self and school:
- You respect yourself and value your abilities and talents.
- You support and acknowledge the abilities and talents of others.
- You create and promote a positive class and team spirit.
- You keep the school clean and graffiti free.
- You take pride in your personal and school achievements.
- This allows you to make the best use of your abilities and talents.
- You understand the uniqueness and individuality of others.
- It develops morale and self-esteem and creates a sense of belonging.
- It is uplifting to work in a pleasant environment.
Section 5 – School Rules
No Bullying (Refer to Anti-Bullying Policy).
- All students must have an official Student Journal (Refer to Section Six).
- 1st, 2nd & 3rd Year students are not permitted to leave the school grounds during lunchtime
- Mobile phones must be switched off during the school day (Please see Mobile Phone Policy).
- No eating or drinking in class.
- No littering or chewing gum allowed.
- No smoking on school grounds (This is a legal offense). The use of E-cigarettes is also forbidden on school grounds
- No consumption or possession of alcohol or illegal substances (This is a legal offense).
- No visible body piercings or retainers will be permitted
- Hairstyles must conform to what is acceptable in the formal workplace. In all cases, the school authorities are the arbiters of acceptable standards of dress, hairstyle and grooming
Section 6 – Student Journal
The student journal is used as a means of communication between the school and parent/guardian and also as a means whereby students record the homework which they have been assigned.
Parent/guardian is requested to check the student journal daily/weekly and ensure that assigned homework has been completed and should note any communication to parent/guardian from the school requiring their attention.
The loss of a student journal or defacing or removing of pages from same is a breach of this Code of Behaviour. Where this arises students must present a written explanation for same signed by parent/guardian and may be required to purchase a replacement student journal. Failure to comply with the rules relating to the student journal is a breach of this Code of Behaviour.
Section 7 – Procedures
Procedure for Use of Lockers
- Lockers remain the property of the school and use of a locker is secured by paying a €15 fee.
- Lockers should be kept in good order and students are liable to make good any damage they cause to the locker.
- The cost of replacing lost keys is the responsibility of the student and must be ordered through the teacher in charge of lockers.
- Students should report any irregular interference with their locker to the teacher in charge of lockers.
- Lockers should only be accessed before 9am, at break time, lunchtime and after school.
When a student arrives late into school
Student who is late should:
(a) Sign in late book, in office
(b) Get a stamp of late arrival, from office, in his student journal stating the time student is sent to class
(c) When a student has been late three times without explanation he will be referred to his Year Head.
When a teacher delays a student going to his next class
Teacher who delays student should provide the student with an entry into his student journal giving:
(a) Time sent to class
(b) Teacher’s signature
Students not in full school uniform.
A student arriving in school not in full school uniform must meet one of the following:
- The Deputy Principal
- The Principal
Student must present a note to one of the above explaining lack of correct uniform. Student is sent to Deputy Principal to collect items of uniform from school clothes store. A note is taken of the date and items handed out to the student in a clothes store record book.
At the end of the school day, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the items of uniform are returned to the Deputy Principal and items returned will be noted in the clothes store record book.
If a student goes straight to class, not in full uniform, the class teacher sends the student to Deputy Principal for missing items of uniform.
If the student refuses to wear items from clothes store, the following applies:
Where parent/guardian is available-
- Parent/guardian is asked to bring in proper uniform for student where possible. If parent/guardian refuses, student may be excluded from classes, or, where necessary, student may be taken home.
Where parent/guardian is unavailable-
- Student may not be allowed to attend class.
- A note is sent home in the student journal.
Procedure for Presenting Note for Short Absence
- On returning to school from any period of absence a student must present a note of explanation from his parent/guardian in his student journal to each of his class teachers.
- If a student fails to produce a note of explanation from his parent/guardian he must present one the following day.
- If a note is not produced, the matter is referred to the student’s Year Head.
Procedure for Returning to School after a Prolonged Absence of five or more consecutive school days
- Student to report to Deputy Principal/Principal before returning to class with a note of explanation in his student journal.
- Deputy Principal/Principal will sign the note of explanation for the prolonged absence in student journal.
- Deputy Principal/Principal to discuss the student’s return to class and how work missed will be made up.
- Deputy Principal/Principal to inform Year Head of student’s return to class.
- Where applicable medical certificate to be presented and retained in school.
Procedure regarding homework for students away from school at school activities or absent with or without a note for a portion of the school day.
- It is the policy of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh, where it is practical and possible, that students should keep up to date with homework assignments in the above circumstances.
- It is the responsibility of the individual student to find out homework assignments. Students are expected to contact a classmate for the relevant work, or to ask the relevant teacher.
Procedure allowing students to leave class with a teacher’s permission.
For health and safety reasons students should not be allowed to leave class during the school day. However, on a practical level, it may be necessary to allow students to leave class at the discretion of the class teacher.
Procedure for student leaving school during the school day
A student who needs to leave the school during the school day must:
- Have a note in his student journal, signed by a parent/guardian, outlining the reason for leaving the school during the school day.
- The student must show the note in his student journal to his Year Head, at the earliest opportunity possible, who will duly sign the note.
- The student should inform his class teachers in advance of planned absences.
- The student must also present the note to the class teacher, whose class he will be leaving, at the start of the class.
- On leaving the class the student must get his class teacher to enter the time of departure from the classroom, in his student journal.
- Junior cycle students must call to the office and wait there until a parent/guardian arrives to the school and signs the student out in the departures book. Where parent/guardian cannot collect student, parent/guardian must give consent by phone before student is allowed to leave.
- Senior cycle students must proceed to the office and sign out in the departures book.
Procedure for student returning to school during the school day:
A student who returns to school during the school day must:
- Report to the office and sign the arrivals book.
- The time of the student’s arrival back to school will be noted into his student journal.
- The student is responsible for having a note from his parent/guardian outlining the reason why he was absent from school for a segment of the school day.
- The student must present his student journal to the class teacher, whose class he is joining, and the teacher will note the time of arrival to the classroom in the student journal.
Procedure when a student has a Career Guidance/Counselling appointment
- Student should give “appointment slip” to the class teacher whose class he will be missing.
- The class teacher will sign “appointment slip”.
- Career guidance teacher to check signed slip at start of session.
- Career guidance teacher to sign and put time of termination of session on slip before student returns to class.
- Student presents appointment slip to class teacher whose class he is joining, and the teacher will note time of arrival to the classroom on the appointment slip.
Procedure relating to a student’s improper use of a mobile phone or other electrical device.
The use of mobile phones by any student for any purpose is not permitted on the grounds of St Joseph’s C.B.S. Secondary School unless directed to do so by a teacher. Phones are to be turned off for the duration of the school day including break, lunch and evening supervised study and extra-curricular activities (but may be allowed during extra-curricular at the discretion of the teacher). For medical reasons a student may be allowed to use their phone to support their condition as necessary.
Pupils who disregard this policy and use a mobile phone on the school premises without permission will be required to hand over their phone to a member of staff on request. The confiscated mobile phone will be left with the Deputy Principal for the following duration:
- 1st occasion: The phone can be collected from the Deputy Principal on the same day at 3:36pm.
- 2nd occasion: The phone will be held by the Deputy Principal and returned the following day at 3:36pm. Parent/Guardian will be contacted by school management regarding this offence.
- 3rd and subsequent occasions: The phone may be kept for a longer period of time and must be collected by parent/guardian following an arranged meeting with school management.
For other details refer to the Mobile Phone Policy.
Procedure for parent/guardian wishing to contact class teacher/Year Head
St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh welcomes the support of a parent/guardian in the educational development of their son and recognises that this may require consultation outside of the yearly parent-teacher meeting.
The student journal is used as a means of communication between the school and parent/guardian and is the first point of contact between school and home. In certain circumstances, a parent/guardian may deem it necessary to contact a class teacher or Year Head to discuss a student’s progress or behaviour:
- Parent/guardian should telephone the school secretary and request an appointment with the relevant class teacher/Year Head.
- The school secretary will contact the relevant teacher and arrange a suitable time for the meeting.
- The school secretary will contact parent/guardian and confirm appointment with the relevant teacher.
Procedure for changing subject level once the term has commenced
A student should:
- Discuss with his teacher the fact that he wishes to change to a different level.
- Establish with the help of the career guidance counsellor the consequences of such a change in relation to subject choices at senior cycle or third level entry requirements.
- Have written permission from his parent/guardian to request the change.
- Apply in writing to the Deputy Principal/Principal using the appropriate application form and outlining the reasons for the change.
- Note: a change in level may not necessarily imply that a student will be changing class.
Procedure for changing subject choice once the term has commenced
A student should:
- Request the appropriate application form from the Deputy Principal/Principal.
- Discuss with his present teacher the fact that he wishes to change to a different subject.
- Establish with the help of the career guidance counsellor the consequences of such a change in relation to subject choices at senior cycle or third level entry requirements.
- Have written permission from his parent/guardian to request the change.
- Apply In writing to the Principal using the appropriate application form and outlining the reasons for the change.
- Note: The Principal will consult with both teachers before a final decision is made. It should not be assumed that a request to change subject will be automatically accommodated.
Procedure governing applications by students to repeat an academic year
The management, in consultation with teaching staff, will consider applications from students to repeat an academic year at St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh. The application, endorsed by a parent/guardian, will be made in writing and should clearly outline the student’s reasons for seeking repeat status.
The following criteria will apply where a student’s application is under consideration:
- The student’s prior disciplinary record.
- The student’s personal motivation and work ethic.
- Exceptional circumstances, such as illness or bereavement, that may have mitigated against the student’s performance in previous years.
- The likely impact of the repeat student on existing class dynamics.
Where it is the considered opinion of management and staff that a student is unlikely to improve his performance or enhance the school’s environment and reputation, the application will be refused.
What are the explicit expectations of the school and the Year Head when a student is placed on a self-monitoring checklist?
Background to self-monitoring system:
Students with behavioural and academic difficulties typically have limited awareness and understanding of their own behaviour and its effects on others. Self-monitoring interventions equip students to recognise and keep track of their own behaviour. Using these strategies, students can learn to identify and increase positive, pro-social behaviours, the behaviours necessary for success in general education settings.
Five steps involved in planning a self-monitoring intervention:
- Identify the target behaviour.
- Select/design a self-monitoring system.
- Choose reinforcers and how the student will earn them.
- Teach the student to use the system.
- Fade the role of the adult in the intervention.
The expectations of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh of a student placed on a self-monitoring checklist are
- The student must rate themselves in relation to their target behaviour.
- The student must present the form to the class teacher who also rates the student on their target behaviour.
- The student must present the self-monitoring checklist to the teacher monitoring their behaviour at the end of the school day. The teacher will discuss the entries recorded by both the student and the class teachers during that day with the student.
- The student must present the self-monitoring checklist to his parent/guardian each night for signing.
- The student will remain on a self-monitoring checklist until the student reaches an agreed standard of behaviour.
What are the explicit expectations of the school and the Year Head when a student is placed on a Report Card?
Background to Report Card system:
- Students who have on-going behaviour issues noted in their student journal or their demerit file will be moved on to a report card by their Year Head.
- The parent/guardian is informed by the Year Head that the student is going on report and that the report card has to be signed each evening and be returned to the Year Head on the following morning.
- The student must present the report card to each teacher at the beginning of class. The teacher will note the student’s co-operation and effort under the headings on the report card.
- Students are advised and encouraged to behave in an appropriate manner.
The expectations of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh of a student placed on a Report Card are:
- The student must present the report card to the class teacher at the start of each class.
- There should be an improvement in the student’s behaviour, participation and work-rate while on report.
- The student must present the report card to their Year Head at the end of the school day. The Year Head will discuss the entries recorded by the class teachers during that day with the student.
- The student must present the report card to his parent/guardian each night for signing.
- The student will remain on report until the student reaches the standard of behaviour set out by their Year head.
Procedure for entering St. Joseph’s CBS from another secondary school
In the event of a student wishing to transfer from another second level school the following conditions will apply:
- The school will require the following documents from the student’s previous school:
- Continuous satisfactory reports.
- Satisfactory references from previous school Principal.
- Copies of exam results.
- Student I. D. number.
- Copies of psychological reports, if applicable.
- The student must attend a personal interview with the Principal, accompanied by a parent/guardian if under eighteen years of age.
- The student must meet the required standards as per conditions listed below.
- Completed school enrolment form must be submitted.
- Student and parent/guardian must sign the school contract form.
Considerations prior to possibility of transfer:
- Reasons for applicant’s request to transfer.
- Suitability of applicant to our school.
- Suitability of our school for the applicant.
- The welfare of the applicant if transfer is allowed.
- The welfare of students already enrolled in our school, if transfer is allowed.
- Availability of subjects requested.
Transfer to the school will be allowed only after due consideration of all the above requirements. The transfer must pose no threat to students, staff or the school and the move must be assumed to be positive for all.
Section 8 – Sanctions
The following sanctions are introduced so that our students experience the consequences of their misbehaviour. They are scaled so as to take account of the nature of the incident and the situation leading up to the incident. The sanctions are imposed by the staff of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh in accordance with our “Ladder of Referral”.
It is expected that the class teacher will deal with most of the day to day issues of discipline, and only problems of a more serious nature will be passed up the line as per the “Ladder of Referral”.
Where the Code of Behaviour has been breached some or all of the following strategies may be used, as the school considers appropriate:
Sanctions Available to Teachers:
- Reasoning with the student including advice on how to improve.
- Change of seating arrangement in the classroom.
- Verbal reprimand.
- Subject-related written assignment or additional homework.
- Conduct entry under student’s name on VS Ware record system.
- Entry in the student journal of a student for the attention and signature of parent/guardian of the student.
- Removal to another class for a class period by arrangement with the other class teacher involved.
- Confiscation of items which are inappropriate, dangerous or the cause of distraction.
- Break/lunchtime detention – to be arranged by the teacher who gives the detention.
- Community service in classroom e.g. removal of graffiti or tidying a classroom.
- Contact parent/guardian by telephone in consultation with the student’s Year Head/Deputy Principal.
- Referral of student to Year Head/Deputy Principal. The student’s Year Head/Deputy Principal will be provided with a written report of behaviour/incident(s) or/and a copy of the student’s complaint form by the teacher making the referral.
Sanctions Available to Year Head (In addition to sanctions available to teachers) :
- Evening Detention. Parent/guardian will be notified in writing that evening detention has been imposed and the reason for same. This notification will be sent at least one day prior to the date on which detention will take place.
- Assignment of written task related to behaviour/incident.
- Place a student on a report card. This report card must be presented by the student to the class teacher at the beginning of every class. The teachers’ comments and signatures will be recorded at the end of each class period and the student will return it to the Year Head at the end of the school day. The student will remain on report at the discretion of the Year Head. The student’s parent/guardian will be notified that their son is being placed on report and requested to sign the report card nightly.
- Issue the student with an attendance/self-monitoring checklist with predefined targets.
- Temporary withdrawal of a student from class and assignment of that student to another classroom by arrangement with the class teacher involved.
- Communication with parent/guardian in relation to disciplinary issues.
- Withdrawal of privileges.
- Exclusion from school trips and events.
- Community service on the school premises such as picking up litter and tidying of classrooms and general assembly areas.
- Request parent/guardian to attend at the school to discuss disciplinary issues concerning their child.
- Written undertaking of good behaviour signed by both the student and parent/guardian.
- Implement a retracking programme which is used on a one-to-one basis with students who are experiencing significant difficulties.
- Monetary fine for breach of code of behaviour.
- Referral to Deputy Principal/Principal.
Sanctions Available to Deputy Principal (In addition to sanctions listed above) :
- Interviewing student with class teacher or Year Head present on disciplinary issues.
- Request parent/guardian to come to the school to discuss disciplinary issues concerning their son.
- A ban on involvement and representation of the school in extra-curricular activities.
- In-house suspension from a particular subject for a limited time.
- Payment for, or replacement of, damaged or stolen property.
- In certain circumstances, when a student is in breach of the code of behaviour, parent/guardian will be required to collect their son, or have their son collected from the school.
- Referral to the Principal.
Sanctions Available to the Principal (In addition to sanctions described above) :
- Immediate removal of a student from the school in line with suspension procedures.
- Suspension for a period not exceeding three school days in accordance with the school’s Code on Suspension and Expulsion.
- Expulsion in accordance with Section 23 of the Education Welfare Act (2000), as outlined in the school’s Code on Suspension and Expulsion.
This list is not exhaustive. St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh reserves the right to implement disciplinary procedures as deemed appropriate. The seriousness of the violation of the Code of Behaviour will determine the sanction applied.
Written records and/or incident reports as appropriate will be kept in relation to breaches of the Code of Behaviour and measures taken in response to same.
Section 9 – Suspensions and Expulsions
As required under section 15, Education Act 1998 and Section 23, Education Welfare Act 2000
- The Code of Behaviour of St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh outlines the standards of behaviour expected of our students and the procedures and sanctions of the school. The school community recognises the excellent behaviour and cooperation of so many of its students at all time.
- Under the Articles of Management for Secondary Schools, the Principal has authority to suspend any student for a limited period and shall report any such suspension to the Board of Management at its next meeting. This is the practice in St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh.
- Under the Articles of Management it is the Principal alone who has the right and responsibility to suspend a student. However, when the Principal is away, the Deputy Principal acts as Principal and has the right to suspend a student in such circumstances.
- In all cases in this Code the words “parent/guardian” shall have the meaning “Parent(s) or Guardian(s).”
- Suspensions will usually only occur after the Principal has:
- Ensured disciplinary options under the Code of Behaviour have been applied and documented.
- Ensured that appropriate support personnel (internal and external) have been involved.
- Ensured that discussion has occurred with the student and their parent/guardian regarding the student’s misbehaviour which the school considers unacceptable and which may lead to suspension.
- Ensured that diagnostic assessments have been carried out where appropriate (e.g. N.E.P.S.) particularly where unacceptable behaviour is on-going and persistent.
- Before a decision on suspension is taken, the Year Head or Deputy Principal will investigate the complaint(s) and will decide whether or not the matter should be referred to the Principal for decision on suspension.
- The Principal may also take a decision to suspend on foot of a serious complaint received directly from a member of staff, another student or from any other person.
- Before a decision is taken to suspend a student, the Principal will meet with the student involved, inform him of the complaints against him and allow the student the right of reply.
- Where the Principal decides to suspend a student, the parent/guardian will be informed of the decision by letter. If the suspension is to be immediate e.g. in the interest of health and safety, parent/guardian will be informed by phone but the reasons for the suspension and the details of the suspension will be notified by letter as soon as practicable. The letter will include:
- Notice of the suspension.
- Effective date of the suspension.
- Duration of the suspension.
- Reasons for the suspension.
- A statement that the Education Welfare Board has been informed – this will apply in the case of a suspension of more than 6 days or where the student has been suspended for more than 20 days during the school year to date.
- A request to the parent/guardian to come to the school for a meeting.
- Any conditions which the Principal deems necessary to lay down before the student is re-admitted to school.
- Where it is proposed to suspend a student, the parent/guardian will have the right to appeal the suspension to the Board of Management but only after meeting with the Principal. The Principal will have the right to insist that the student remains at home while the appeal of a suspension is in progress. In the case of a successful appeal and the suspension has already been served, the suspension will be removed from the student’s record in the school.
- A suspension may be removed where:
- The Principal, having met with the student’s parent/guardian deems that the circumstances are such that the suspension should be lessened or removed.
- New information or circumstances are brought to the Principal’s notice.
- The Board of Management removes the suspension following an appeal
- Article 19 (c) of the Articles of Management states that “if, in the judgement of the Principal, a student should be expelled, the Principal shall refer the matter to the Board of Management for decision”.
- Expulsion is the ultimate sanction imposed by the school and is exercised by the Board of Management in cases of very serious or persistent indiscipline, breach of Code of Behaviour or misbehaviour.
- When, in the judgement of the Principal, a student should be expelled, the following procedures will be followed:
- The parent/guardian will be informed of the decision of the Principal by letter.
- The parent/guardian will be given at least five days’ notice of the meeting of the Board of Management.
- The parent/guardian will be invited to attend and to speak at the meeting of the Board of Management.
- In advance of the meeting, the Principal will prepare a Report for members of the Board. The Report will contain all relevant material relating to the case including the previous record of the student and details of the incident leading to the decision to refer the case to the Board. It will also include copies of previous correspondence with the parent/guardian (if any) and where relevant, the efforts made by the school to assist the student in the past and the various warnings given to the student.
- A copy of the Report will be sent by post to the parent/guardian of the student in advance of the meeting.
- Two people may attend the meeting of the Board of Management on behalf of the student. Normally this will be the parents/guardians, but where only one parent/guardian wishes to attend the meeting, this parent/guardian may be accompanied by another person.
- In the case of a student over the age of 18, that student may be present at the meeting of the Board. Students under the age of 18 shall not attend the meeting.
- The meeting of the Board of Management will be conducted as follows:
- The Board will examine the Report and seek clarifications (if any) from the Principal.
- The parent/guardian will be invited to attend the meeting at a particular time. The Chairperson will request the Principal to outline the case against the student.
- The Chairperson will give the parent/guardian sufficient time to respond and make representations on behalf of the student.
- When the parent/guardian leaves the meeting, the Principal will also leave while the Board discuss the matter and make its decision.
- Following the meeting the decision of the Board of Management will be communicated to the parent/guardian as soon as practicable following the Board meeting.
- If the decision of the Board of Management is to expel, the parent/guardian will be informed of:
- The effective date of the expulsion – 20 school days following the decision being communicated to the parent/guardian (under section 24 of the Education Welfare Act).
- The reasons for the expulsion.
- The appeals procedure under section 29 of the Education Welfare Act.
- The parent/guardian will also be informed that:
- The National Education Welfare Board has been informed and that an Education Welfare Officer will be in contact with the family regarding the student’s future education.
- The student will remain suspended and will remain under the care and responsibility of the parent/guardian for the period of 20 days.
Section 10 – Review and Evaluation of Code of Behaviour
Monitoring, review and evaluation of this Code of Behaviour and all related work and procedures will take place on an on-going basis in order to keep the school up to date with current best practice in this area.
In conducting this review management will seek the views of all relevant partners in the school community. A review of the Code of Behaviour will be completed by June 2014.
Appendix 1 – Principles of Natural Justice
Procedural fairness is a basic right of all individuals dealing with authorities. All communities have a legitimate expectation that we as a school, St. Joseph’s C.B.S. Nenagh, Board of Management, Principal, Deputy Principal and teaching staff, will follow these principles in all circumstances, particularly when dealing with suspensions and expulsions.
Procedural fairness is generally recognised as having two essential elements:
- The right to be heard which includes:
- The right to know why the action is happening.
- The right to know the way in which the issues will be determined.
- The right to know the allegations in the matter and any other information which will be taken into account.
- The right of the person against whom the allegations have been made to respond to the allegations.
- The right to appeal.
- The right of a person to an impartial decision which includes:
- The right to impartiality in the investigation and decision making phases.
- The right to an absence of bias in the decision maker.
As part of ensuring the right to be heard the Principal should establish if parent/guardian require an interpreter and, if so, make arrangements for one to be available.
The Principal will ensure that students and parent/guardian have access to policies and procedures under which action is being taken.
While it is generally preferable for the functions of investigating and deciding to be carried out by different people, in the school setting this may not always be possible.
If the Principal is conducting both the investigative and decision making stages, the Principal must be reasonable and objective. Ultimately, the Principal must act justly and be seen to act justly. While it is difficult to combine the roles of investigator and adjudicator, given the nature of the Principal’s responsibility, there may at times be no alternative to the Principal exercising both roles.
Nevertheless, it is preferable to have another appropriate officer, such as Deputy Principal or Year Head, carry out the investigation, if possible.
The availability of a line of appeal to a more senior officer adds to the fairness of the process and offers a check in case there is perception of a conflict of interest. It is the Principal’s responsibility to suspend a student from the particular school or to recommend to the Board of Management the expulsion of a student from the school. The responsibility is not to be delegated to any officer other than one acting in the Principal’s position.
To ensure the elements of procedural fairness are met, it is appropriate to provide the student and his parent/guardian with details of all allegations relating to the incident. This usually will involve providing copies of any relevant statements. The Principal may decide that it is not appropriate to provide copies of statements; for example, because of a fear that witnesses may be intimidated. In this case, full details of the allegations outlined in the statements should be provided.
In matters where a long suspension or expulsion is contemplated, the gravity of the circumstances requires that particular emphasis be given to procedural fairness. This includes the availability of a support person/observer at formal interviews, the key features of which should be taken down in writing.
Monitoring, review and evaluation of this Code and all related work and procedures will take place on an on-going basis in order to keep the school up to date with current best practice in this area.
Board of Management,
St. Joseph’s C.B.S.,
Approved by the Board of Management June 2016.
Review date: June 2018