The Board of Management of Coláiste Chríost Rí, in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, following consultation with the persons specified in that section of the said Act and having regard to the relevant guidelines published by the National Education Welfare Board, hereby makes the following Code of Behaviour. This Code of Behaviour may be cited as the Coláiste Chríost Rí Code of Behaviour 2010, or in abbreviated form as “CCRCB 2010” (hereinafter referred to as “the Code”), and shall come into operation on the 1st day of August 2010.
In nine parts, the Code is set out as follows:
- General Principles and Parameters
- Behavioural Standards and Expectations
- Detailed Provisions of the Code
- Communicating the Code
- Promoting Positive Behaviour
- Responding to Unacceptable Behaviour
General Principles and Parameters.
Many people work together in the School each day and therefore a high level of courtesy and consideration for others is necessary. This Code is based on the recognition of each member of the School Community as an individual and yet creates an environment in which the welfare of all should be protected.
Colaiste Chriost Ri is a community of mind and heart where we bond together through shared vision, values and goals. In such a community, expectations of acceptable behaviour are clear.
Our school acknowledges the contribution of all members of the school community. Each member has a responsibility for the promotion of positive behaviour and a role in dealing with and minimising negative behaviour.
In creating and maintaining an environment so that our school may function to the benefit of all students, certain responsibilities are set before the students. It is the belief of Colaiste Chriost Ri that good school and classroom management is aimed at educating studentsto take responsibility for themselves.
Co-operation between staff and parents is crucial in shaping attitudes that produce good behaviour in schools. Home and school can be positive influences in a young person’s life, and together we can help our students grow to maturity in an often confusing and insecure modern world. Each of the school partners has a distinctive role to play in this whole enterprise
B. Roles and Responsibilities
- The school expects that students will at all times strive to uphold the Code of our school
- Students are given responsibility and are encouraged to understand why the Code is important
The school acknowledges the role of parents as central partners in the development and operation of the Code of Behaviour and expects them to support the code and encourage their sons to uphold it
The school seeks to achieve consistency in promoting good behaviour. This can be achieved by promoting mutually respectful relationships between students and teachers by ensuring that.
- The Code is implemented in a fair and just way
- Standards are clear, consistent and widely understood and high expectations are set
- The school gives priority to promoting and affirming good behaviour
- Adults model the behaviour expected from students
- Clear boundaries and rules for students should be set
- Students are helped through recognition and affirmation of good behaviour
- Positive feedback is given where merited
- Students are helped to explore how people should treat each other
- Students are involved in the preparation of school and classroom rules
The Board reserves the right to publish an informal summary of the foregoing Behavioural Standardsexpressed in appropriate language for dissemination to Students.
Board of Management
The Board of Management is the decision-taking body of the school. The school acknowledges its role in the development and operation of our Code of Behaviour. All policies are developed with the authority of the Board of Management and must be approved by its members before becoming official school policy. While members of the Board of Management are not involved in the day-to-day procedures, they are the body to whom parents/guardians and students over 18 can appeal in cases of suspension or expulsion
C. Development of Code.
This Code of Behaviourhas been drawn up in consultation with all the school partners, including Board of Management, staff, parents/guardians and students. This policy has been developed in line with the mission statement of the school whose ethos and philosophy has at its core a Christian humanism rooted in the person and teachings of Christ and which has at heart the freedom of and respect for the individual.
Coláiste Chriost Ri is an evolving inclusive Christian community committed to Catholic education in the Presentation Brothers’ tradition; we pursue academic and sporting excellence within a unique Gaelic culture and tradition. Our Curriculum maintains a creative balance between preparation for the workplace and development of the person.
D. Foundational principles of Code.
The Code is premised on a value-set which emanates from the school’s mission statement. This value set includes:
- Natural Justice
- The right to be heard
- Professional Detachment
The aims of our code of behaviour are:
- to create a safe, secure learning environment for all, by promoting a sense of mutual respect among all members of the school community
- to have effective procedures in place which allow for the day-to-day running of the school and which meet the demands of current legislation
- to promote positive behaviour and self-discipline
- to allow for the appropriate involvement of all school personnel
- to ensure understanding by the parents, students, staff and management of the Code of Behaviour and the reasons for it
- to promote and acknowledge positive behaviour
- to outline strategies to be used to discourage undesirable behaviour and the ways in which positive behaviour is acknowledged
- to outline the structure of fair, consistent and agreed sanctions that will be used in response to undesirable behaviour
- to outline the interventions to be used when a student repeatedly misbehaves
Our school Code of Behaviour, therefore, is based on respect for oneself, for others and for our environment, so that a positive and cooperative school atmosphere prevails.
F. Scope of Policy
This policy applies to students of Coláiste Chríost Rí and relates to
- All school activitieswhether during or outside normal school hours
- School tours and outings
- All situations and occasions where students are acting in the name of the school
- All situations where students interact with visitors to, or guests of, the school.
- Where a student when outside the school and clearly identifiable as a student of Coláiste Chríost Rí behaves in a manner that reflects negatively on the good name of the school
- Where a student when outside of the school shows disrespect towards a member of the Coláiste Chríost Rí community
Behavioural Standards and Expectations
In general, all members of the School Community are expected to conduct themselves in a lawful, ethical, safe and responsible manner, always recognising the rights of others.
Students are expected:
- to take responsibility for their own behaviour and learning;
- to behave in a manner that respects the rights of other members of the School community, especially other students’ right to learn and the teacher’s right to teach.
- to comply with any direction given by a teacher, the Principal or Deputy Principal unless the student has lawful authority or reasonable excuse for not so complying;
- to observe the provisions of this Code and all applicable school policies; and
- to observe the provisions of this Code and all applicable school policies while wearing the school uniform outside the school premises.
Parents are expected:
- to show an active interest in their Student son’s schooling and progress;
- to co-operate with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Teachers and Staff in achieving the best outcome for their Student son;
- to support the Principal, Deputy Principal, teachers and Staff in maintaining a safe and respectful learning environment for all Students:
- to initiate and maintain constructive communication and relationships with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Teachers and Staff regarding their Student son’s learning, wellbeing and behaviour;
- to contribute positively to behaviour support plans that concern their Student son.
Teachers are expected to
- comply with the applicableCodes of Professional Conduct for Teachers as published from time to time by the Teaching Council under the Teaching Council Acts 2001 and 2006
- operate and implement the Code of Behaviour in an even-handed and respectful way which shows fairness and consistency
Detailed Provisions of the Code
- It is not possible to be definitive or exhaustive about the range of circumstances that may give rise to the initiation of disciplinary action by the school
- An incidence of unacceptable behaviour may be trivial in itself but through frequent repetition can become a serious issue as it may impact negatively on class progress or upon the individual concerned
However, in order that our standards for behaviour may be implemented with fairness and consistency we bring the following aspects of the Code of Behaviourto your attention.
- All absences must be explained in writing by parents/guardians.
- Consistent attendance and punctuality is expected.
- Absence without express permission of parents is regarded as a serious matter.
- A note explaining absence must be given to the teacher of the first class on the morning of the student’s return to school.
- In accordance with the school’s obligations with reference to the Welfare Act, all absences of more than 20 school days must be reported to the National Education Welfare Board.
- The school calendar should be observed. Any requests for permission to be absent should be discussed with the Principal or Deputy Principal.
- We warmly welcome contact between home and school. Any such contact must be made via the school office. Parents who wish to meet the Principal, Deputy Principal or a member of staff, must first make an appointment to do so.
- Students, if late, must sign in the Late Register.
- If leaving the school during school hours the students must sign the appropriate register.
- Classroom Rules:
- Students must come fully prepared for each day’s class with School Journal, the necessary books and equipment (including kit for P.E. when time-tabled). All written homework must be completed and oral work prepared. If this is not possible, a note from parent/guardian is required in the School Journal.
- School Journals are to be used only for recording homework and teachers’, parents’/guardians’ comments. A teacher can inspect them at any time. If they have been damaged or lost, the student must immediately purchase a new one.
- Students are expected to be seated in their classrooms before 8.30am each day as arriving into a class which is already in progress causes disruption. (School opening hours are 8.30am – 3.25pm. Lunch times are 12.45pm – 1.25pm. ) Class work is all-important and students must follow instructions from teachers. Respect, courtesy and cooperation are expected at all times.
- Under no circumstances can any student’s behaviour interfere with the right of other students in the class to learn or with the right of the teacher to teach.
- The recording of school events or activities, in sound and or in image, is strictly forbidden unless authorized by a member of staff.(See expanded policy on Acceptable Use of Internet and Electronic Media)
- Posting of recordings of school events or activities without express permission from the school is forbidden.(See expanded policy on Acceptable Use of Internet and Electronic Media)
- The use of mobile phones is totally prohibited in the classroom and the environs of the school and should be powered off and out of sight at all times,unless otherwise authorized by a member of staff.
- The use of vulgar/offensive language and rude gestures is totally forbidden.
- Students are expected to comply with all instructions given by the subject teacher or by any supervisor.
- Students are required to observe School Rules for Examinations.
- Students should comply with any additional rules set down for specialist rooms.
- Students should not attempt to frustrate or circumvent the behavioral expectations of the school by failure to return signed incident sheets, explanatory notes etc. This is viewed as a serious challenge to the proper functioning of the Code of Behaviour.
- Students should come to school in full school uniform, including appropriate leather shoes, as indicated on the uniform list. This helps to preserve a sense of equality among students and heightens school identity.
- Students should not wear earrings or facial jewellery.
- Students should have their hair neat, clean and tidy at all times.
3 Relationship Towards Others
The Department of Education is very concerned about incidents of bullying in schools, and has issued’Guidelines to Schools on Countering Bullying Behaviour
Every student has the right to come to school free from the threat or worry of intimidation from fellow students. If you as guardians/parents become aware of such threatening behaviour, please encourage your son to speak to the Form Teacher, Guidance Counsellor, Year Tutor, Principal or Deputy Principal about the matter, knowing it will be dealt with in a most sensitive manner.Failing this, please contact the school yourselves.Colaiste Chriost Ri recognises that all members have the right to a workplace free from sexual harassment and is fully committed to ensuring that all are able to enjoy that right. (Employment Equality Acts 1998 &2004)
- Bullying, either in the form of physical intimidation, verbal intimidation or aggressive behaviour in general towards fellow students or teachers, is very serious and will be treated accordingly.Bullying may also take the form of deliberate exclusion or shunning.
- Any student who physically or verbally intimidates another student or teacher may incur very serious disciplinary sanctions up to and including exclusion.
- Sexual harassment is behaviour of a sexual nature that is unwanted, unsolicited and offensive to the recipient. Such behaviour fails to respect the dignity of others and impacts upon them and upon their work in school.
- Any student who sexually harasses another student or teacher or member of the school community may incur very serious disciplinary sanctions up to and including exclusion.
- Discriminatory or abusive behaviour and/or language towards others on grounds of race, gender, family status, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, age or membership of the travelling community, shall not be tolerated in the Coláiste Chríost Rí school community. Such behaviour fails to respect the dignity of others and impacts upon them and upon their life in school.
- Fighting, either within the school precincts or beyond, is strictly prohibited..
4. The Environment
- The school provides lockers for student use but is not responsible for loss of books or other items from such lockers.
- Students shall respect the property of the school and of other students.They must not damage the property of others.Wilful vandalism is regarded as a serious offence and the school management reserves the right to inform the relevant authorities.
- A student must not take, without permission, any school property or property of others. Theft is regarded as a serious breach of school rules. The school management reserves the right to inform the relevant authorities.
- Students shall not litter their environment. This includes classrooms, corridors, school yard or grounds.
- Students may be assigned cleanup duties, individually or in groups, as a sanction or as a exercise in environmental awareness.
5. Safety Rules
- Smoking is strictly forbidden in school and offenders are referred also to recent relevant legislation.
- The use of prohibited substances, including drugs and alcohol, is a most serious issue and will be dealt with as such. In the event of a breach of this rule, the relevant authorities will be notified.
- The use of aerosol sprays should be confined to dressing-rooms.
- Chewing gum or other such items are not permitted for reasons of hygiene.
- Meals, snacks and drinks will be taken at break times only and with good manners and with respect to school property and environment. Each student is responsible for keeping his eating area clean and litter free.
- All students must remain in the school grounds for the duration of the school day. This includes lunch breaks unless the school has received written parental consent to the student being allowed to go home for lunch.
- On their way to and from school, or during extra-curricular activities, students shall behave in a manner that reflects positively on themselves, their parents/guardians and the school.
- Orderly behaviour is expected on school corridors and stairways. Running and pushing others is not allowed and rules imposed to facilitate safety must be obeyed. As a gesture of courtesy, precedence should always be given to members of staff or visitors when passing through doorways, etc. Students may not enter toilet areas or use lockers without permission from a staff member except at break times.
- Having in one’s possession any item(s), such as knives, sharp-pointed objects, etc, which may reasonably be regarded as having the potential to inflict bodily harm and injury, wilfully or negligently, save those items permitted for learning purposes, such as compasses, chisels, etc. is totally forbidden.
- Everyone shall be familiar with the fire regulations of the school and shall take part in all organised fire drills.
- Interference with safety equipment is strictly forbidden.
6. Yard Rules
- Students should not congregate in ‘out-of-bounds’ areas.
- Throwing or kicking any object is forbidden.
Communicating the Code of Behaviour.
Before agreeing to enrol their son in Coláiste Chríost Rí, all parents/guardians are given a copy of the Code of Behaviour and are asked to read it and to indicate that they have done so and that they have accepted its contents by signing to that effect.
To the Student:
In Coláiste Chríost Rí, students will be encouraged in their endeavours to understand, and thereby uphold the Code of Behaviour by use of the following measures:
- At the start of the first term each year, as part of our induction process, each class is brought through the Code of Behaviour. Any amendments to it are highlighted. This is done so as to remind students of the content and to take account of the fact that they have been out of our school’s environment for three months.
- If a student is in breach of a rule, he is asked to explain (orally or in writing) the rule he has breached, to describe what effect this breach has had on members of the school community, and how he could act differently in the future to avoid being in breach of the rule. This is done to develop the student’s sensitivities and consideration for others and to assist him in upholding school rules in the future. Only after this is a sanction given.
- School rules and the reason for them are discussed with the students as part of the school’s pastoral care and RSE/SPHE programmes and by the class teacher. The notion of respect for others, self-control, a sense of fairness and the principles of natural justice are discussed as part of the Religious Education programme in the school. Some of this work also takes place in CSPE class since it is the foundation of good citizenship.
- Issues such as bullying, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, violence, substance misuse etc. are discussed thematically with the students during their time in Coláiste Chríost Rí, as part of RSE/SPHE programmes and at assembly, using current legislation, current affairs and/ or outside speakers. This is to help the students better understand these issues so that they can develop their thinking, understanding and action based on factual information and in the light of the Christian values espoused in our school.
- A summary of school rules will be posted in each classroom
[The school reserves the right of interpretation and revision of the code.]
Promoting Positive Behaviour.
The quality of relationships between teachers and students is one of the most powerful influences on student behaviour. For many students, their teachers are a major source of support, adult empathy and pastoral care, and can be a hugely significant figure in their lives.
Encouragement is vital to success and achievement in all aspects of our students’ lives. With this in mind, recognition of genuine effort is given through praise and encouragement in class or at assemblyor through audio/visual media.
A range of methods is promoted which encourages and affirms student efforts and responsibilities taken, as well as rewards and achievements. These may include
- Personal and prompt word of praise from the teacher, year-head or others.
- A positive written comment from the class teacher or others.
- Written record of achievement to be signed by student, teacher and parent.
- A letter of appreciation from the Principal for repeated positive performances.
- Advertisement of student’s achievement, when appropriate, on in-house media.
- Photograph taken and displayed
- Class rewards which may include reduced homework, prizes, games or otherwise.
Responding to Unacceptable Behaviour:Over-view of Possible Interventions
Diagram of Behaviour Management Structures in Coláiste Chríost Rí
The general conduct of students is supported primarily by the subjects teacher who may use any of the following as an intervention
- Eye contact
- Private discussion with student
- Verbal reprimand
- Note to parent on student’s journal
- Change the seating position of student
- Punishment work
- Contact the parent by telephone
- Refer the issue to the Deputy Principal who may
- Repeat any of the previous interventions
- Impose a sanction which may involve
- Community work: cleaning, painting, removal of graffiti etc
- Discuss with the student what an appropriate restitution might be
More serious situations are dealt with by writing a formal report which, in the interest of clarity and communication is signed by the student and teacher in the first place, and is signed later by the parent. Such reports are classified as being ‘incidents’ or ‘serious incidents’ Copies of the report are submitted to the Year-Head.
The Year Head may
- Repeat any of the interventions already made by the teacher
- Discuss the issue with the subjects teacher and/or Deputy Principal
- Report the difficulty at the weekly Year-Head meeting.
The Year-Head meeting may:
- discuss the gravity of the issue, previous interventions, emerging trends or other information
- take no action for now
- re-invoke any of the previous interventions
- contact the home again.
- place the student on a class-by-class monitoring system: Yellow Card
- place the student on a very critical monitoring system Red Card
- advise that a suspension is warranted and decide on its duration
- discuss the appropriateness of counselling
Referral of the student to the school’s counselling services may be used as a support structure for students in difficulty when it is the view of those directly involved with the student, that, in their professional judgement, it may be of help.
Failure of all these interventions may cause the issue to be referred to the Board which may
- Communicate its disquiet to the parent
- Invite the parent and the student to attend a meeting with the Board
- Decide on a sanction which might involve a suspension or an expulsion
Applications for admission into the Transition-Year programme will be considered in light of, among other factors, a history of compliance with the school’s Code of Behaviour.
General Power to Suspend
The Board of Management devolves its authority to suspend a student onto the Principal and Deputy Principal. Such suspensions cannot be for longer than five school-days.
Suspension may be imposed in response to single incidents which, in the opinion of management, warrant such a penalty. Suspension may also be imposed to register disapproval of a continuing pattern of uncorrected, if otherwise less serious, instances of misbehaviour.
Grounds for Suspension
In determining whether to impose a suspension the Principal, Deputy Principal or Board, as appropriate, will have regard to whether:
- the student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
- the student’s continued presence on the school premises, at this time, constitutes a threat to the safety of other members of the school community
- the student is responsible for serious damage to property belonging to another member or members of the school community or the school itself
- the student has failed to comply with any significant provision of theBehavioural Standards and Expectations contained in Part 2 of this Code without lawful authority or reasonable excuse
- the student has failed to comply with any significant provision of a school policy without lawful authority or reasonable excuse
- the student has failed repeatedly to ameliorate his behaviour
Without prejudice to the foregoing, the Principal or Deputy Principal may, at his discretion, where he believes that it is warranted in all the circumstances of the case impose a suspension upon a Student not exceeding 5 School Days. Such suspension will come into operation immediately following it being communicated to the Student and to his parent/guardian. A Student who has been suspended with immediate effect, subject to any direction to the contrary being given by the Principal or Deputy Principal (as appropriate), shall leave the School Premises as soon as practicable.
The following are examples of behaviour that could lead to immediate suspension:
- Assaulting or threatening to assault another member or members of the school community;
- While on the school premises, being in possession of a knife or other article made or adapted for use for causing injury or incapacitating a person;
- While on the School Premises, being in possession of controlled drugs for unlawful sale, supply or personal use;
- Being present on the School Premises while under the influence of an intoxicant (i.e. alcohol, drugs or any combination of drugs of alcohol and drugs);
The Parents of the student, or if over 18 years of age, the student who has been suspended, may appeal such suspension to the Board in writing within two school days of the receipt of the notification of that suspension. Any appeal should be addressed to The Chairman, Board of Management of Coláiste Chríost Rí, Capwell Road, Cork and must be either hand delivered to the Principal OR sent by registered pre-paid post to him. A suspension will come into operationfollowing its notification to the student’s parents/guardians provided no appeal has been received by the Principal within the prescribed time. In determining such appeal, the Board may, in its absolute discretion, either direct that such suspension be quashed, extended or reduced in addition to directing the Principal to amend the school record accordingly. Where an immediate suspension has been imposed, and the duration of such suspension has expired by the time of the next ordinary meeting of the Board, the Board may, in its absolute discretion, quash such suspension and direct the Principal to amend the school record accordingly.
The Parents of the student, or if over 18 years of age, the student, may appeal to the Board against anysignificant disciplinary sanction short of expulsion imposed upon a Student by the Principal or Deputy Principal. Any appeal should be addressed to The Chairperson, Board of Management of Coláiste Chríost Rí, Capwell Road, Cork and must be either hand delivered to the Principal or sent by registered pre-paid post to him. The entering of an appeal in respect of a disciplinary sanction short of expulsionshall suspend the activation of the sanction until the Board adjudicates on the appeal.
In accordance with Section 29 of the 1998 Act, an appealshould be directed to the Secretary General of the Department where a Student is, among other things, suspended from attendance at the School for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 School Days in any one School Year. Further information and the Appeals Application Form is available from the Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit, Department of Education and Science, Cornamaddy, County Westmeath – telephone (0906) 483600 –www.education.ie.
The Principal reportsregularly on suspensions to the Board of Management, together with the reasons for, and the duration of each suspension. If required, the Principal will report a suspension to the NEWB.
The authority to expel a student rests with the Board of Management. If the student shows no evidence of bringing his behaviour up to standard despite repeated attempts by the school through sanction, close monitoring, or by other means, to bring about a lasting remediation in the student’s behaviour or if an allegation of serious misbehaviour is involved, a disciplinary hearing will be held before the Board. The Principal or Deputy Principal, as appropriate, will be present at this hearing. The student and his parents/guardians will also be invited to attend.The process will adhere to the guidelines in relation to expulsions as set out in the booklet ‘Developing a Code of behaviour: Guidelines for Schools’ which was issued by the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) in 2008. (See Appendix 4)
Prior to the convening of the disciplinary hearing, the Principal or Deputy Principal, as appropriate, shall notify the parents of,and also, if over 18 years of age, the student of the precise nature of the complaint against him together with a copy of relevant statements and other documentation.The parents/guardians, or if over 18 years of age, the student, shall confirm receipt of notification by returning the attached acknowledgement slip to the school. Parents/guardians and/or the student may make written as well as oral submissions to the Board. Written submissions may be submitted prior to the holding of the hearing, if desired.
Disciplinary hearings are heldin camera, that is, in private, and individuals not directly concerned with the subject matter of the hearing will not be allowed to attend. At the hearing, the Principal or Deputy Principal, as appropriate, calls witnesses to prove the allegations of misbehaviour not previously admitted, either expressly or implicitly, in the Answer furnished by the student. If such a witness is a student, that student may be accompanied by his parents. When the Principal or Deputy Principal, as appropriate, has finished with a witness, that witness may be examined by the student and his parents. A witness can be further examined by the Principal or Deputy Principal, as appropriate, arising out of the student and parents’ examination. At the close of the Principal’s case, the student may elect to give evidence himself either in rebuttal of the allegations made against him or in mitigation.
Following the hearing, if a simple majority of the members of the Board find that the stated allegations of misbehaviour have been substantiated the Board may, subject to the requirements of Section 24 of the 2000 Act, expel the student from the school or take whatever form of disciplinary sanction short of expulsion it considers, in its absolute discretion, appropriate in all the circumstances of the case.
In accordance with Section 29 of the 1998 Act, an appealshould be directed to the Secretary General of the Department where a Student is, among other things, permanently excluded from the School. Further information and the Appeals Application Form is available from the Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit, Department of Education and Science, Cornamaddy, County Westmeath – telephone (0906) 483600 –www.education.ie.
DETENTION POLICY AND PROCEDURE
Detention of a student may be imposed by a subject teacher, year head, Deputy Principal or Principal. It is usually imposed to register the school unease at continuing unsatisfactory behaviour. However, a single serious breach of the Code may warrant detention.
The student will be informed that a detention is to be imposed as well as being informed about the causes which have given rise to the imposition of this sanction
Time and precedence
- Detention periodscan be for up to two hours in duration and are held after school and may occur on any school-day.
- A student will attend the earliest possible detention period but flexibility regarding the day on which the detention is to be served will be shown where it is considered warranted.
- Detention takes precedence over all other activities.
- Twenty four hours notice will be given to the student
- It is the student’s responsibility to inform his parents
- A note informing the parents of the impending detention will be written in the student’s journal.
Three or more detentions
If, after three detentions, a student faces a further detention, consideration will be given to suspension.
PROCEDURES FOR NOTIFYING THE SCHOOL ABOUT REASONS FOR ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL
Any absence from school should be unavoidable and for a very good reason
It is not acceptable that parents take students out of school for holidays, or for other non-essential reasons
It is the duty of parents to inform the school, in writing, if their child will be absent for any period, giving the reason for the absence and its anticipated duration
If a student is absent and the school has not been informed, it reserves the right to contact the parents seeking a reason for the absence
If a student is absent for ten days the school may contact the parents/guardians if concerns remain.
If a student is absent for twenty or more school days in one school year, the school is legally obliged to report this to the NEWB, and to give reasons for the absences
The school may notify the NEWB at any time if it has concerns about a student’s absence
The NEWB has the right to investigate absence from school where it deems it appropriate
The school keeps a daily attendance record of all students which is submitted to the Board of Management and the NEWB at the end of the year.
Absence through illness
Parents should, if possible, inform the school by telephone if a student is ill
If a student is absent for more than three days parents should phone the school with a progress report, to be given to the class teacher
Return after absence
On a student’s return from absence, parents should communicate to the school by telephone, by letter or by note written in the appropriate detachable slip on the student’s journal the central details relating to the absence. These details are; the dates to which the absence note refers, the date of return, the reason for absence and the number of days absent
The student must present any written communication, immediately on his return, to the Deputy Principal for signature, and to all his teachers at the start of each class
Where there has been a significant absence through illness the school may request a doctor’s certificate.
Absence during school hours
If possible, all appointments, such as medical or dental appointments, should be outside of school hours
If an appointment during school hours is unavoidable, a parent should enter the nature, date and time of the appointment in the student’s journal, or in a letter, and ask the school to allow the student to leave
The student presents the journal, or the letter to the Deputy Principal, or in his absence a Form Teacher or Year-head, or, on occasion, the school secretary , in order to gain written permission to leave the school (Cead Imeachta).
The student shall sign the Approved Absence Register before leaving the school.
Should a student need to leave the school in unexpected circumstances (sickness, family crisis, etc), that student will not normally be allowed out of the school only after contact has been made with his parents/guardians.
Suspected Criminal Activity
Without prejudice to any right to privacy or bodily integrity which a student may enjoy under the provisions of the Constitution of Ireland 1937 and/or the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, any Teacher, the Principal or Deputy
Principal who, with reasonable cause, suspects a Student to be engaged in any criminal activity may search that Student’s personal property (e.g. student’s coat, school baget cetera) or any relevant school property (e.g. the student’s lockeret cetera).
Without prejudice to any right to personal liberty which a student may enjoy under the provisions of the Constitution of Ireland 1937 and/or the European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Law Act 1997, the Principal, Deputy Principalor any member of Staff may use reasonable force to detain any Student whom he/she, with reasonable cause, suspects to have committed, or to be in the course of committing, acriminaloffence for the sole purpose of transferring that Student into the custody ofhis parent/guardian or An Garda Síochána as soon as practicable.
Examples of criminal offences would include:
- While on the School Premises, being in possession of a knife or other article made or adapted for use for causing injury or incapacitating a person;
- While on the school premises, being in possession of controlled drugs for unlawful sale or supply;
- Damaging or threatening to damage property belonging to another member or members of the school community;
- Damaging or threatening to damage the school’s property;
- Theft or attempted theft of property belonging to another member or members of the school community; and/or
- Theft or attempted theft of the school’s property.
While providing examples of criminal offences, the foregoing is not an exhaustive list.
12.4 Procedures in respect of expulsion
Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:
1. A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
2. A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.
3. Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.
4. Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.
5. Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
6. Confirmation of the decision to expel.
These procedures assume that the Board of Management is the decision-making body in relation to expulsions.
Step 1: A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
In investigating an allegation, in line with fair procedures, the Principal should:
• inform the student and their parents about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion
• give parents and the student every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.
Parents should be informed in writing of the alleged misbehaviour and the proposed investigation in order to have a permanent record of having let them know. This also ensures that parents are very clear about what their son is alleged to have done. It serves the important function of underlining to parents the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.
Parents and the student must have every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made about the veracity of the allegation, and before a sanction is imposed.
Where expulsion may result from an investigation, a meeting with the student and their parents is essential. It provides the opportunity for them to give their side of the story and to ask questions about the evidence of serious misbehaviour, especially where there is a dispute about the facts. It may also be an opportunity for parents to make their case for lessening the sanction, and for the school to explore with parents how best to address the student’s behaviour.
If a student and their parents fail to attend a meeting, the Principal should write advising of the gravity of the matter, the importance of attending a re-scheduled meeting and, failing that, the duty of the school authorities to make a decision to respond to the inappropriate behaviour.
The school should record the invitation issued to parents and their response.
Step 2: A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal
Where the Principal forms a view, based on the investigation of the alleged misbehaviour, that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion.
The Principal should:
• inform the parents and the student that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion
• ensure that parents have records of: the allegations against the student; the investigation; and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion
• provide the Board of Management with the same comprehensive records as are given to parents
• notify the parents of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to that hearing
• advise the parents that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management
• ensure that parents have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.
Step 3: Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing
It is the responsibility of the Board to review the initial investigation and satisfy itself that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures. The Board should undertake its own review of all documentation and the circumstances of the case. It should ensure that no party who has had any involvement with the circumstances of the case is part of the Board’s deliberations (for example, a member of the Board who may have made an allegation about the student).
Where a Board of Management decides to consider expelling a student, it must hold a hearing. The Board meeting for the purpose of the hearing should be properly conducted in accordance with Board procedures. At the hearing, the Principal and the parents, or a student aged eighteen years or over, put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Each party should be allowed to question the evidence of the
other party directly. The meeting may also be an opportunity for parents to make their case for lessening the sanction.
In the conduct of the hearing, the Board must take care to ensure that they are, and are seen to be, impartial as between the Principal and the student.
Parents may wish to be accompanied at hearings and the Board should facilitate this, in line with good practice and Board procedures.
After both sides have been heard, the Board should ensure that the Principal and parents are not present for the Board’s deliberations.
Step 4: Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing
Having heard from all the parties, it is the responsibility of the Board to decide whether or not the allegation is substantiated and, if so, whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction.
Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion.
The Board of Management should refer to National Educational Welfare Board reporting procedures for proposed expulsions. The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification
An appeal against an expulsion under section 29 of theEducation Act 1998will automatically succeed if it is shown that the Educational Welfare Officer was not notified in accordance with section 24(1) or that twenty days did not elapse from the time of notification to the Educational Welfare Officer to the implementation of the expulsion
The Board should inform the parents in writing about its conclusions and the next steps in the process.
Where expulsion is proposed, the parents should be told that the Board of Management will now inform the Educational Welfare Officer.
Step 5: Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer
Within twenty days of receipt of a notification from a Board of Management of its opinion that a student should be expelled, the Educational Welfare Officer must:
• make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parents and the student, and anyone else who may be of assistance
• convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 24).
The purpose of the consultations and the meeting is to ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education. These consultations may result in an agreement about an alternative intervention that would avoid expulsion. However, where the possibility of continuing in the school is not an option, at least in the short term, the consultation should focus on alternative educational possibilities. In the interests of the educational welfare of the student, those concerned should come together with
the Educational Welfare Officer to plan for the student’s future education.
Pending these consultations about the student’s continued education, a Board of Management
may take steps to ensure that good order is maintained and that the safety of students is secured
(Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(5)). A Board may consider it appropriate to suspend a student
REVIEWING THE CODE
Behaviour and discipline matters are kept under regular reviewat meetings of staff, Board of Management, Student and Parents’ Councils.
A formal review of the entire Code will beginfive years after the adoption of the Code, or earlier, as the Board shall see fit.The Board of Management will decide the format of this review.
A number of other school policies are relevant to the Code of Behaviour Policy inasmuch as they contain expanded detail on some of the provision of the Code of Behaviour Policy.
These policies are :
- Anti-Cyberbullying policy,
- Child Protection Policy,
- Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol policy,
- Internet Acceptable Use policy.
To read other school policies which are related to the Code of Behaviour Policy, please see school website at www.ccrcork. com
APPROVAL OF THE CODE
- This Code of Behaviour was formally approved by
- The Teaching Staff on 28 / 05 / 2010
- The Parents’ Council on 12 /05 / 2010
- The Student Council on 5 / 05 /2010.
- This Code of Behaviour was formally approved and adopted by the Board of Management on 01/06/2010.
- This Code of Behaviour was formally approved and adopted by the Presentation Brothers Schools Trust 17/9/2010.
- The Board of Management decided that this Code of Behaviour will come into force on Day / Month / Year.
How to Apply
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