PRESENTATION SECONDARY SCHOOL
CODE OF POSITIVE BEHAVIOUR
Code of Positive Behaviour Presentation Secondary School Thurles
“The discipline policy in a school must have reach beyond the immediate demands of ensuring an orderly environment. It should contribute to the overall development of the young person as a responsible and contributing member of a democratic society” '
Mission and Values
The Presentation Secondary School Thurles Code of Behaviour is underpinned by the religious and educational philosophy of its foundress, Nano Nagle: The school aims to provide the best possible environment in order to cater for the cultural, educational, moral, physical, religious, social, linguistic and spiritual values of all of its students. Special concern is shown for the disadvantaged in our school community. Every effort is made to ensure the uniqueness and dignity of each person is respected, and responded to, especially through the pastoral care system in the school.
As a Presentation School, we promote the dignity of our pupils by educating them in a Catholic environment, nurturing and encouraging their personal development, thus empowering them to achieve their full potential as individuals and members of society.
As a CEIST school, Presentation Secondary School is committed to ensuring that the core values of CEIST: promoting spiritual and human development, achieving quality in teaching and learning, showing respect for every person, creating community, being just and responsible are enshrined in the school’s code of behaviour.
The aims of the Presentation Secondary School, Thurles Code of Behaviour are:
- To comply with the Provisions of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, other relevant legislation and Department of Education and Skills guidelines and reports.
- To provide an environment where teaching and learning can happen effectively.
- To provide an environment in which students feel safe, secure and respected.
- To develop a moral framework within which initiative, responsibility and sound relationships can flourish.
- To promote a happy atmosphere.
- To enable students to develop a sense of self-worth and a respect for and tolerance of others.
- To encourage students to take responsibility for their own behaviour.
'School Matters: A report of the Task Force on Student Behaviour in Second Level Schools, 2006:8.2
That students will develop:
- Sensitivity and consideration for others
- A pride in themselves and in their school
- An intolerance of bullying behaviour
- Responsibility for their learning and their environment
- A respect and tolerance for others’ way of life and different opinions
- An interest in their school and in their education
- A sense of fairness
- An intolerance of abusive behaviour
- An understanding of the need for rules
- An independence of mind
- Non-sexist attitudes
- Non-racist attitudes
- A persistent approach to tasks
That all staff will acquire and develop:
- An appreciation of the importance of affirming and acknowledging good behaviour in students.
- An appreciation of the importance of a team approach to helping students behave well.
- An increasing expertise in ways of responding to unacceptable student behaviour.
That the school shall endeavour:
- To ensure that parents understand the rationale for the school’s code of behaviour
- To work closely with parents in order to put in place a support programme for students experiencing difficulties in relation to the school’s code of behaviour
- To establish and develop links with agencies/bodies that support students and their families presenting with challenging behaviour.
Application of the Code
The Code of Behaviour applies during:
- school time: the normal school day or anytime wearing a Presentation Uniform
- supervised study
- extra curricular activities
- school trips/tours
- any other time/occasion when a student is under care or responsibility of the school or after school
Roles and Responsibilities
Presentation Secondary School promotes a positive Code of Behaviour based on mutual respect and with clearly defined boundaries, recognizing rights and responsibilities for the whole school community. The roles and responsibilities of members of the school community in relation to the code of behaviour are outlined below.
Board of Management
- To ensure that a code of behaviour for Presentation Secondary School is prepared in accordance with the Guidelines of the National Educational Board, laid down in Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.
- To adhere to the code of behaviour in matters which involve the Board
- To review the code of behaviour
- To ensure that Presentation Secondary School has a policy on, and procedures for the use of suspension and expulsion that comply with “Developing a code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools”, issued by the National Educational Welfare Board, 2008, other relevant legislation and Department of Education and Skills circulars.
- To reserve the right to expel a student.
- To delegate to the Principal the authority to suspend a student in a manner that reflects the Guidelines issued by NEWB: “Developing a Code of Behaviour” and relevant legislation.
- To ensure that procedures are in place to appeal the Principal’s decision to suspend a student.
- To ensure that fair procedures are accessible to people with disabilities or those from different language or cultural backgrounds.
- To bring the code of behaviour to the attention of all to whom it applies – staff, students, parents and the Board of Management
- To implement the Code of Behaviour.
- To suspend a student, where warranted, in accordance with procedures
- To co-ordinate discipline within the school in liaison with the Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Class Tutors, Guidance Counsellors, Special Educational Needs Organiser, Subject teachers and all staff.
- To initiate a review of the code of behaviour annually.
- To promote good behaviour.
- To implement the Code of Behaviour.
- To monitor student attendance, absences, punctuality in accordance with the school’s ‘Attendance Policy’ and to address any issues that arise in relation to these.
- To co-ordinate discipline within the school in liaison with the Principal
- To promote good behaviour.
- To meet with students who have been referred to them by class tutors in relation to breaches of the code of behaviour.
- To record details of the student’s inappropriate behaviour (incident or repeated incidents).
- To discuss with the student the consequences of the inappropriate behaviour - for the student herself, her teacher/s, her classmates and the school community in general.
- To explore with the student the causes of the inappropriate behaviour.
- To issue discipline slips or report cards to students, where appropriate.
- To contact parents/guardians where a student’s behaviour is considered a serious breach of the school’s code of behaviour.
- To refer a student to the school’s Positive Behaviour Committee or the Principal, as appropriate, for serious breaches of the school’s code of behaviour
- To refer to the code of behaviour at class tutor time on a regular basis.
- To discuss appropriate and inappropriate behaviour with students
- To identify students at risk of developing behavioural difficulties, at an early stage, and refer these students, where appropriate, to the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head, Guidance Counsellors or Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
- To promote good behaviour and acknowledge good behaviour, particularly in students who have previously been involved in inappropriate behaviour
- To liaise with Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head, Guidance Counsellors or the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator in relation to appropriate support needed for students experiencing difficulties in relation to the code of behaviour.
- The Guidance Counsellors shall liaise with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Class Tutors and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator regarding support to be provided to students experiencing difficulties in relation to the school’s code of Behaviour.
Positive Behaviour Committee
The Positive Behaviour Committee comprises of the Principal, Deputy Principal and two teachers. Students may be referred to the Positive Behaviour Committee by a Year Head where the student is not responding to interventions already put in place for her. Students who have received a total of three discipline slips in any one academic year shall be referred to the committee. Students who have been found to have been involved in a serious breach of the school’s code of behaviour will be referred to the Principal or Deputy Principal and/or the Positive Behaviour Committee.
The role of the Committee is:
- To discuss the inappropriate behaviour with the student and explore with her the causes of the behaviour. The committee shall determine if additional supports need to put in place for the student.
- To decide on appropriate sanctions including having the student put on report or putting her on detention. Where a student is put on detention after school her parents/guardians shall be informed of this in writing.
- To decide on structures that need to be put in place to monitor the students behaviour following on from the sanctions. The committee shall decide on how parents/guardians could be involved in any support programme to be put in place for the students.
- To inform parents of students breach of school rules
Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator
- To ensure that standards of behaviour and school rules are communicated in a way that students with special educational needs can understand
- To liaise with resource teachers to provide positive support, including active teaching of skills for students who may be more vulnerable to behavioural difficulties
- To liaise with the Principal and Parents/Guardians in relation to a student experiencing serious difficulties with regard to the school’s code of behaviour referred for a clinical psychological assessment, where this is considered to be in the best interest of the student.
- To assist the parents/guardians to access therapeutic intervention where the psychological report indicates that this is required for the student.
- To liaise with the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Thurles Interagency Forum, Barnardos, Extern Ireland and/or other agencies/bodies that are providing support to a student presenting with challenging behaviour.
- To complete relevant documentation and apply to the Special Educational Needs Organiser (SENO) for additional resources to be allocated to a student presenting with challenging behaviour, who meets the criteria, following a clinical psychological assessment.
- To liaise with the Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head, Class Tutor in drafting an individual behaviour plan, in consultation with the various professionals and/or agencies, for a student presenting with challenging behaviour
- To implement the code of behaviour
- To handle all day to day problems that arise in the classroom.
- To refer a student who persistently breaches the code of behaviour to her Class Tutors
- To record all incidents of breaches of the code of behaviour
- To impose fair sanctions for breaches of the code of behaviour
- To communicate with parents re students’ progress, work and behaviour
- To participate in reviews of the code of behaviour
- To model the school’s standard of behaviour in their dealings with students, each other, other staff and parents
- To affirm and acknowledge the good behaviour of students on an ongoing basis.
- To read, understand and adopt the code of behaviour when enrolling into 1st year or a mid year transfer
- To adhere to the code of behaviour
- To be involved in matters of concern with regard to the code of behaviour through the Student Council
Children and young people have “the right to have their voices heard in issues which affect them”.²
The school’s student council increases the capacity of students to participate and collaborate in the running of the school as appropriate. The necessary training is made available to provide Student Council members with the requisite skills to enable them to put forward their views in ways that are constructive.
The school aims to have the Student Council involved, as appropriate in the construction, implementation and review of school policies. Already students have been facilitated through their Student Council to play an important role in the review of the school’s “Anti Bullying” policy and the Council members have been given an opportunity to provide feedback to all staff at a staff meeting. It is planned to continue such initiatives into the future.
- To give the code of behaviour full support by signing the rules
- To ensure that students realise that they, their parents/guardians, fully support the school’s code of behaviour
- To provide information which may help the school in its role in the management of each student’s behaviour e.g. inform the school of:
- Behavioural difficulties they may be experiencing at home due to a students behaviour
- Trauma and other circumstances that may affect their daughter’s performance or behaviour at school
- Their daughter’s ill-health and any absences connected with it.
- To attend parent-teacher meetings and other school meetings organised for Parents/Guardians.
- To keep communication lines open with the school so that they can:
- Be informed of progress
- Receive comment on their daughter’s work and behaviour
- Be involved at an early stage if disciplinary problems do arise
- To co-operate with the school in efforts to resolve any issues that arise for a student in relation to discipline.
- To use the student journal as a means of communicating in writing to the school
- To co-operate with the school, to enable it to put support structures in place for a student experiencing difficulties in relation to the Code of behaviour.
- To acknowledge the good behaviour of their daughter, both at home and at school.
- Consultation with Parents Council
² The United Nations Convention on the rights of the Child Article 12 1989.
Making the Code of Behaviour Accessible to all Students
Students with Special Educational Needs
The school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator shall liaise with resource teachers, Year Heads, Class Tutors and Guidance Counsellors to ensure that the Code of Behaviour is communicated in a way that is accessible to students with Special Educational Needs. The co-ordinator shall liaise with the outside agencies/bodies and professionals where appropriate, in relation to students with special educational needs experiencing difficulties with the school’s Code of Behaviour.
Details of support systems in place for students with special educational needs or learning difficulties are to be found in the school’s Learning Support/Special Education Needs Policy.
First Year Students
The school provides an initiation programme for the all first year students. First Year Head together with Class Tutors, SPHE teachers and CSPE teachers, class teachers provide first year students with appropriate help and support to enable them to cope with organising their timetable, books, rooms. A study skills programme is put in place for all first year students.
First year students are monitored closely to ensure that any student experiencing difficulties with the curriculum is provided with appropriate academic support. First year student attendance and behaviour are also monitored to ensure that students experiencing difficulties or at risk of developing difficulties are identified at an early stage and that appropriate supports are put in place for them.
Parents/Guardians are encouraged to bring any concerns they have to the attention of the school at an early stage. The school is committed to working in liaison with parents to address any difficulties that students may encounter.
Students Whose First language is not English: EAL Students
The Special Educations Needs Co-ordinator and the Language Support Co-ordinator working in close co-operation with language support teachers, Year Head and teachers shall ensure that students whose first language is not English understand the Code of Behaviour and that any additional support required by these students is put in place for them.
Details on the support systems in place for students whose first language is not English are to be found in the school’s “Language Support Policy”.
Links to the Curriculum
Civic Social and Political Education
The Junior Cycle Civic, Social and Political Education (CSPE) is a valuable curricular measure aimed at developing in students an appropriate sense of responsibility and commitment to the common good associated with democratic living. Teachers of CSPE shall use the framework of the curriculum to explore with their classes issues pertinent to student behaviour. Students shall be encouraged to view the connection between their own behaviour towards others and how they would like to be treated.
Social Political and Health Education (SPHE)
Teachers of SPHE shall explore with students important dimensions of their behaviour. Teachers shall encourage students to become aware of their own responsibility as members of the school community. The teachers shall endeavour to bring about in students an awareness of the characteristics of bullying behaviour together with an understanding and appreciation of the school’s policy on bullying behaviour and for the factors necessary to enable effective learning to take place in the classroom.
The Religious Education Curriculum is delivered within the Framework of the Catholic ethos of the school which emphasizes respect and kindness for all members of the school community and promotes the dignity of each individual student. The module on morality and conscience explores the concepts of “right and wrong” and aims to empower students to develop a sense of responsibility.
Promoting Positive Behaviour
Presentation Secondary School promotes a positive Code of Behaviour based on mutual respect and with clearly defined boundaries recognising rights and responsibilities of all members of the school community.
The school places a strong emphasis on positive behaviour management and aims to promote justice and fairness and encourage each student to develop good standards of behaviour.
The code of behaviour has been devised to enable standards of excellence to be achieved in all school activities. Students who adhere to the code are rewarded by the quality of their environment and by the affirmation they receive.
Good behaviour is affirmed and acknowledged on an ongoing basis by Year Heads, Class Tutors and teachers in the classroom. It is also affirmed and acknowledged by the Principal and Deputy Principal at morning registration, at parent teacher meetings, at school assemblies, on the school newsletter and other school publications.
School Rules and Standards of Behaviour
The code of behaviour encompasses the use of the student journal, school uniform rules, general school rules and procedures, school safety regulations, study and homework.
- The Presentation ethos requires that courtesy, respect and good manners are shown at all times, thus creating a caring school community and a positive teaching and learning environment.
- Regular attendance at school is essential for progress. Students are expected to attend on all school days and to be punctual for all classes as timetabled. Those who come late will tender a satisfactory explanation to the teacher in charge. Students must sign in the ‘late book’ in the School Secretary’s Office, if they arrive to school later than 9.00a.m. Students are asked to comply with the procedure regarding the Biometric/Finger Print System.
- Each student is required to have a student journal to record her timetable, homework and correspondence to and from parents and teachers re: absences, permission slips etc. Failure to have a school journal is considered a serious offence and may incur sanctions to be determined by the Year Head/Deputy Principal/Principal. If a student loses a journal, another journal must be purchased from the school office.
- Students should follow strictly the school timetable both with (a) respect to the subjects they study and the classes they attend.
- All requests regarding subject level, discontinuation of a subject or change of class/level should be made in writing and signed by a Parent/Guardian and Principal/Deputy Principal. Such forms are available from the Deputy Principal.
- Students who attend school activities e.g. sports, music, which requires them to be absent from class are responsible for catching up on class work and homework covered in their absence.
- No student may leave the school during the school day without (a) written permission from her parents, which must be shown to the Deputy Principal or Principal before 9.00a.m. or (b) without permission from a member of staff in the absence of the Deputy Principal. (c) Students must sign out when leaving and sign in on return. (d) In the event of a student feeling unwell, the student is asked to report to school office. Parent/Guardian will be contacted.
- A mobile phone is brought to school at the student’s risk and all students must comply with the school mobile phone policy.
- For reasons of health and safety the use of alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs is strictly forbidden. Substance abuse and other infringements of school regulations are treated in accordance with the admissions policy signed by parents. The use of illegal drugs is a criminal offence and it may be necessary to inform the Gardai of any infringement.
- To promote a positive environment littering, either within the school or in the grounds, is not acceptable and is regarded as antisocial behaviour. Anyone found so doing will be given an appropriate clean up duty.
- For health and hygiene reasons (a) chewing gum is strictly forbidden (b) facial jewellery is strictly forbidden and sanctions will be imposed as seen fit by the school authorities e.g lunch time detention.
- Personal/School Property; (a) The management is not responsible for articles lost or stolen. Each student is provided with locker facilities to store books and belongings. Where there are reasonable grounds, such as a concern for physical safety or as part of an investigation into the theft of property, the school authorities reserve the right to search lockers. (b) Deliberately damaging school furniture and property is considered a serious breach of the code of behaviour and the school authorities reserve the right to impose a fine and/or sanction (c) To prevent damage to school property Tippex is not allowed.
- Distinctive and coloured hair styles, as determined by the school authorities, are not permitted and any student found in breach may be asked to leave the school until this has been rectified.
- All students are requested to abide by the anti-bullying policy of the school. Bullying of any form is not tolerated. Students who engage in social website activities which are designed to hurt, embarrass or intimidate any other student or member of staff will face serious consequences as determined by the school management. Parents are requested and expected to support the school in monitoring such activities and complying with the school anti bullying policy.
- School Uniform – the school uniform consists of: Wine Skirt – knee length or longer, Wine School Jumper, Cream Blouse, White/wine socks/wine tights, School Jacket - Wine Fleece – Non uniform jackets will be confiscated.
P.E. Uniform consists of: O’Neills Navy school crested top, O’Neills Navy tracksuit shell bottoms, (absolutely no leggings), White Polo Shirt, Runners. The PE Uniform is to be worn only for PE classes sporting events.
- As a member of the Presentation Community, each student is expected to wear her uniform with pride and maintain a high standard of same.
- Practical shoes: For reasons of safety, high shoes are not allowed. Boots and canvas of any kind are not in keeping with school uniform. Flat practical dark shoes(not runner boots).
- The correct uniform must be worn during school hours, on the way to and from school also on school trips/tours and when involved in extra curricular activities, as required by the school.
- Make up or Fake tan may not be worn by Junior Students
- Senior students are allowed minimal make up
- Jewellery must be kept to a minimum for safety reasons
- Two earrings (max) per ear. No hooped or drop earrings.
- Facial Jewellery and tongue studs are strictly forbidden
15. Ear phones/headphones must not be used by students in school unless specified by the teacher.
16. Students are not permitted to access class for books while class is in progress.
Students must never behave in a way that endangers the health or the safety of any person in the school. In particular:
• Students must at all times take reasonable care to ensure their own safety and that of others.
• Students must not leave the school grounds without permission. If they must leave for an appointment, they MUST sign out at the school office.
• Students are expected to familiarise themselves with the exit route from each room that they use. They must also familiarise themselves with the route to the assembly area at all safety drills.
• Students must obey ALL safety instructions given to them by school staff members.
• Students must not interfere with safety equipment such as fire alarms, fire extinguishers and hose reels.
• Students should not litter the school building or grounds, as this can be a serious hazard.
This Student Journal is designed:
• to help organise a student’s homework.
• to facilitate communication between home and school.
• to monitor a student’s attendance, punctuality & behaviour.
• to provide a number of permission forms which require the signature of Parents / Guardians.
1. Every student must have a Student Journal, which she is required to have with her in all classes. It must also be brought home each evening to have it checked/signed by parents.
2. All requests for permission to leave school, e.g. for medical / dental appointments, are to be entered in the Student Journal, signed and dated by parents, and shown to the Deputy Principal before 9 a.m.
3. If a student has been absent from school, the reason for absence must be written in the Journal, signed and dated by parents. The student, on her return to school, must show this note to each teacher at the beginning of class. Such notes are given by the Class tutor to the Deputy Principal who monitors students attendance.
4. If a teacher is unhappy with a student’s behaviour or quality of homework, the teacher may write a note in the Journal. This note must be shown to parents and must be signed and dated by them.
5. A Journal must be available for inspection at all times. Failure to present a Journal when requested to do so by any teacher will be considered a serious offence.
6. Each student is responsible for her own Journal, and for ensuring that it is used for official purposes only.
7. The loss of a Student Journal must be reported immediately to the Class Tutor.
- Computer room usage will always be actively supervised by an appropriate staff member.
- The school will regularly monitor all internet usage.
- Computer usage shall be available on the basis of weekly timetable, where available times can be booked.
- Students may use the schools computer facilities for educational purposes only.
- The use of e-mail is prohibited.
- The use of removable media (floppy disks, memory sticks, cds) requires staff permission.
- Any printing by students requires staff permission.
- Uploading and downloading of non-approved software is not permitted.
- Students may not use the internet to defame the school, an individual
- Any student found to be in breach of computer room rules will result in students being denied access to the computer room for a period of time.
Homework and Study
Students are expected to be punctual for all classes. They are required to come to class fully prepared bringing the necessary books, homework and requisites. Students should complete assignments and study to the best of their ability.
Students experiencing difficulties in relation to homework and study shall be supported through the school’s learning support system, the pastoral care system and the guidance team. Parents are requested to bring to the attention of the school difficulties a student may be experiencing in relation to homework and study at an early stage.
While the list of unacceptable behaviours below is comprehensive, it would be impossible to list all and every unacceptable behaviour.
Unacceptable behaviour includes:
- Causing disruption in class by distracting behaviour or persistent talking.
- Hitting, kicking or any rough/boisterous behaviour.
- Offensive language.
- Giving cheek, rudeness, aggression or answering back.
- Substance misuse.
- Not presenting in school uniform.
- Leaving homework undone, forgetting books/copies persistently.
- Chewing gum.
- Vandalizing school property e.g. writing on desks, walls, notice-boards etc.
- Misuse of phones during the school day
- It is unacceptable to be disrespectful about religion, age, disability, race, someone’s gender or sexual orientation, membership of the Traveller Community, family status or civil status.
The school is committed to promoting positive discipline and enabling students to take responsibility for their own behaviour. The class teacher has primary responsibility for discipline within his/her own classroom. In general, class teachers will handle any inappropriate behaviour by students in their class. Most students behave appropriately with the help of consistent and clear rules applied in a fair and equitable way. A small number of students need more active intervention to manage their behaviour. The school has a number of sanctions in place. Sanctions are imposed on students with inappropriate behaviour to help them take responsibility for their behaviour and bring them to a realisation of the need to change their behaviour.
Students generally respond to verbal reprimand from class teachers in relation to breaches of the code of behaviour. Where a student does not respond to verbal reprimands the class teacher shall discuss the misbehaviour and ways by which to improve behaviour with the student. The teacher shall consider additional sanctions (e.g. additional written work) and record it in the journal, if the student has not responded positively to the teacher intervention. For more serious breaches of the code of discipline or where a student has failed to respond positively to class teacher intervention, the teacher shall complete a discipline slip. The class tutor shall decide if this information should be passed on to the Year Head or whether support from the class tutor, involving exploring the causes of the bad behaviour and setting goals for the students to enable her to improve her behaviour would be more appropriate for the student.
In more serious situations or where the student is not responding to intervention from the class tutor, the tutor shall pass the discipline slip to the student’s Year Head. The Year Head shall meet with the student to discuss the inappropriate behaviour with her.
The Year Head may decide to involve the parents/guardians by informing them about the behaviour, arrange to meet with them to discuss ways by which they can work with the school to support the student to change her behaviour. The Year Head may also decide to refer the student to the appropriate support systems e.g. guidance or learning support, if required.
The Year Head may decide to refer the student to the school’s Positive Behaviour Committee. This Committee may decide to have the student put on detention at lunch time or after school, put on report, or in the case of more serious breaches of the code of discipline, or put on suspension. The Discipline Committee may, where appropriate, refer the student to the school’s Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator and Guidance Counsellor to enable a behaviour support plan or a learning support programme to be put in place for her.
Any student who has received a total of three discipline slips or one serious(major) shall be referred by the Year Head to the Positive Behaviour Committee. Any student who has come to the attention of this Committee will have their behaviour monitored over a period of time to ensure that any necessary support is put in place to enable her to realise the need to comply with the school’s code of behaviour and modify her own behaviour. Parents/Guardians shall be involved in any support programme put in place for the student.
Serious breaches of the school’s code of behaviour by a student may be referred immediately by a teacher, class tutor or Year Head to the Principal. The Principal shall decide if the student should be put on detention or suspended. Parents will be notified by letter if their daughter is being detained in school. Detention will be for a two hour period on Friday 3.50pm. – 5.50p.m.
On the occasion of a student using a mobile phone between 9.00a.m. – 3.40p.m. or during supervised study the following procedures apply:
- The student is asked to switch off the phone.
- A note is written by a teacher in the student’s journal.
- Phone is handed in to the Deputy Principal/Principal’s Office.
- Parent is contacted and a parent or appointed adult is requested to collect phone at earliest convenience.
- Pupil is obliged to do detention (advance notice re detention is posted to the parent).
- If a pupil uses a phone to video/audio imagery a special sanction will be put in place by the School Management.
Truancy and Non Attendance at Classes
Sanctions in relation to truancy and being absent from class without permission are outlined in the school Attendance Policy.
Procedures in relation to the investigation and sanctions to be imposed are outlined in the school’s Anti-bullying Policy.
Chewing gum is not allowed and lunch time detention will be imposed for all offences.
The Board of Management has the authority to suspend a student. The Board delegates the authority to suspend a student to the Principal for a period not exceeding three days which may be extended to five days in exceptional circumstances where a meeting of the Board cannot be convened in timely fashion.
The Role of Suspension in the Overall Behavioural Management Plan
The Board recognizes that the suspension of a student is a very serious step and suspension will only be used as a sanction for very serious misbehaviour which could include any of the following:
- Student behaviour that has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
- Student behaviour that results in the student’s continued presence in the school constituting a threat to safety in the school.
- Serious damage to property by a student.
A single serious incident of misconduct may be grounds for suspension.
In certain circumstances suspension may be considered appropriate in that:
- It enables the school to set behavioural goals with the student and her parents/guardians.
- It gives all school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions
- It enables the school to impress on the student and her parents the seriousness of the behaviour.
The Principal shall inform parents/guardians by telephone or in writing about the behaviour of a student that is being investigated and that the behaviour could result in suspension. Following the completion of the investigation the Principal shall arrange a meeting with the student and her parents/guardians in relation to the proposed suspension. This meeting provides an opportunity for parents/guardians to present alterations to suspension and to have these explored with the Principal.
Factors to consider before suspending a student
The following factors must be considered before suspending a student:
- The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
- The context of the behaviour
- The intervention tried to date
- Whether suspension is a proportionate response
- The possible impact of suspension
Implementation of Suspension
The Principal shall notify the parents/guardians and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. This notification shall confirm:
- The period of suspension, the date on which the suspension will begin and the date which it will end
- The reason for suspension
- The study programme to be followed
- Any commitments to be entered into by the student on return to school and any support programme to be in place for student
- The right for an appeal to the Board of Management
- The right of appeal to the Department of Education and Skills(under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 as amended by the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007
Before imposing the suspension the Principal needs to be satisfied that, as far as practicable, all other interventions have been tried and that the student has failed to respond to such interventions.
Procedures in Respect of Suspension
The Principal shall inform parents/guardians by telephone or in writing about the behaviour of a student that is being investigated and that the behaviour could result in suspension. Following the completion of the investigation
In exceptional circumstance the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the school. In situations of serious bullying behaviour the Principal may consider it necessary to suspend the student/s involved in such behaviour to enable the school to put a support structure in place to monitor the student/s involved in the bullying behaviour and prevent the reoccurrence of such behaviour.
In the case of an immediate suspension the student’s parents/guardians shall be notified and arrangements shall be made for the student to be collected. The parents/guardians shall be given details of the length of the detention.
The Period of Suspension
Except in exceptional circumstance the period of suspension for a student shall not exceed three days. If the period of suspension proposed by the Principal is in excess of three days the Board of Management shall meet to decide on the matter. In the event of the Board of Management being unable to convene a meeting in timely fashion the Principal may suspend the student for up to five days. The period of suspension imposed by the Board on any student shall not exceed ten days on any one period.
Suspension of Student following a decision for her Expulsion
Where a decision has been made to expel a student a period of twenty days must elapse from the time notification is received by the National Educational Welfare Officer and the expulsion takes place. During this time all those involved with the student shall meet with the Educational Welfare Officer to plan for the students future education. During this time the Board of Management may decide to suspend the student but only where there is a likelihood that the continued presence of the student during this time would seriously disrupt the learning of other students or represent a threat to the safety of other students and staff.
Suspension of a Student during a State Examination
A student may be suspended during State Examination. The suspension must be approved by the Board of Management and suspension will only be considered of any of the following circumstances pertain:
- A threat to good order in the conduct of the examination.
- A threat to the safety of other students or personnel.
- A threat to the right of other students to do their examination in a calm atmosphere.
Before making a decision to suspend a student during State Examinations the Principal shall contact the State Examinations Commission and seek its advice.
Expulsion of A Student
Authority to Expel a Student
The authority to expel a student is reserved solely by the Board of Management of Presentation Secondary School.
The Grounds for Expulsion:
The decision to expel a student is considered to be a very serious step and will only be considered by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour including situations where;
- the student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of other students or to the teaching process.
- The students continued attendance at school constitutes a real and significant threat tot safety of staff or students
- The student is responsible for serious damage to property
Before considering the expulsion of a student the Board of Management of the school shall first satisfy itself that the school has taken significant steps to address the student’s unacceptable behaviour including where practicable some or all of the following:
- Meeting/s with parents/guardians of student to facilitate the school to work together with them to enable the student to change her behaviour
- Ensuring that the student understands the possible consequences of her unacceptable behaviour if it should persist
- Clinical psychological assessment
- Seeking the advice and assistance of agencies/organizations/bodies that provide assistance/guidance/support to students experiencing difficulties in relation to behaviour, their families and their schools (e.g. National Educational Psychological Services, (NEPS), Child and adolescent Mental Health Services, Health Services Executives, the National Behavioural Support Services, National Council for Special Education)
Expulsion for a Once Off Offence
In exceptional circumstances the Board of Management may consider the expulsion of a student for a once off offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in the Board considering an expulsion of a student could include any of the following:
- Violence or physical assault of a student or members of staff
- A serious threat of violence against another student or any member of staff
- supplying illegal drugs to other students
Factors to be considered before the Board of Management proposes to expel a student
Before deciding to expel a student the Board of Management shall consider the following:
- the nature and seriousness of the behaviour
- the context of the behaviour
- the impact of the behaviour
- interventions tried to date
- is the behaviour sufficiently serious to warrant expulsion
- the possible effects of expulsion for the student herself
Procedures in Respect of Expulsion
Where a preliminary assessment of the facts relating to a student’s misbehaviour could warrant expulsion the Board of Management must ensure that the following procedure /steps have been followed
- a detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
- a recommendation by the Principal to the Board that expulsion may be warranted
- consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing
- a hearing by the Board to determine whether or not expulsion is an appropriate sanction for the student
- where the Board is of the opinion that the student should be expelled notification must be given to the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of the Board’s opinion and reasons for that opinion
- consultation with the Educational Welfare Officer
- confirmation of the decision to expel the student(this shall be made where twenty days has elapsed following notification to the Educational Welfare Officer, of the decision to expel the student and the Board remains of the view that the student should be expelled)
Involvement of Parents/Guardians in respect of the expulsion of a student
The Principal shall inform Parents/Guardians in writing of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion. Parents/Guardians shall be given every opportunity to respond to the complaint of the student’s misbehaviour. The Parents/guardians shall be given the opportunity to meet with the Principal. The parents/guardians shall be given the opportunity to ask questions, make their case for lessening the sanction and explore ways how best to address the student’s behaviour.
Where the Principal is making a recommendation to have a student expelled the Principal shall ensure that parents/guardians have been given records of the allegation, the investigation and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion. The Principal shall notify the parents/guardians of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to attend. The Principal shall advise the parents/guardians that they can make a written or oral submission to the Board of Management. The Principal shall ensure that parents/guardians have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing. At the hearing the parents/guardians shall be allowed to put their case, question the evidence presented by the school and make a case for lessening the sanction.
The parents/guardians shall also be allowed to be accompanied at the hearing and have a person speak on their behalf. The Board must be informed of the name of the person accompanying the parents/guardians to the meeting.
The Board of Management requires that the person accompanying the parents confirms that he/she will be attending the Board Meeting. The Board requires that the nominated person declares if a conflict of interest exists or would arise from his/her attendance at the Board of Management Meeting.
The Board shall not be responsible for any legal or other fees incurred by parents/guardians in relation to the person accompanying them to the hearing.
The Board of Management of the School shall inform the parents/guardians in writing of its conclusions regarding the expulsion. Where expulsion is proposed the parents/guardians shall be informed that the Board shall now inform the Education Welfare Officer of their decision. The Board of Management and the Principal shall meet with the Educational Welfare Officer and attend any meeting/s organised by the officer including meeting/s that request all those involved with the student to attend.
Following the elapse of twenty days from the date when notification was sent to the Educational Welfare Officer and where the Board of Management remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management shall formally confirm to the student and her parents/guardians the Board’s decision to expel the student. Parents/Guardians and the student shall also be informed about their right to appeal the Board’s decision to expel the student and they shall be supplied with the standard documentation to enable them to lodge an appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.
Communication of the Code of Behaviour
All parents/guardians of incoming first year students shall receive a copy of the school’s code of behaviour prior to students entry to the school and parents/guardians unable to attend shall receive a copy by post.
Parents/Guardians of students transferring into other year groups shall be given a copy of code on enrolment of the student.
Parent/Guardian and Student Assent to the Code of Behaviour
When a parent/guardian chooses Presentation Secondary School, Thurles for a student’s education the ethos of the school and its Code of Behaviour must be accepted by parents/guardians. By enrolling, the parents/guardians and student are accepting the ethos and standards of the school.
Parents/Guardians will be asked to sign a form stating that they have read the code of behaviour and that they will be supportive of the school in its efforts to implement the code.
In the case of students transferring to the school into other year groups similar procedures apply.
A summary of the school’s code of behaviour is included in the student’s school journal and all students and parents are required to sign a statement indicating that they have read the code and agree to be bound by it.
Minor breaches of the code of behaviour, by students, shall be recorded in the students journal. Discipline slips shall be filed in the Deputy Principal’s office and other than in exceptional circumstances shall be maintained for no longer than one academic year.
All records in relation to either suspension or expulsion of a student shall be maintained for a period not exceeding six years from when the student involved reaches her eighteenth birthday. In the case of a student who has reached her eighteenth birthday records in relation to suspension or expulsion shall be maintained for a period not exceeding six years from the date of the suspension or the expulsion. All records relating to suspension or expulsion shall be regarded as strictly private and confidential and be shall filed in the Principal’s office.
Records in relation to bullying behaviour shall be maintained for a period not exceeding six years from the date on which the victim of the bullying behaviour reaches her eighteenth birthday. In situations where the victim of bullying behaviour is over the age of eighteen records shall be maintained for a period not exceeding six years from the time when the bullying behaviour occurred. Full details relating to recording and maintaining records in relation to bullying behaviour are outlined in the school’s Anti Bullying Policy.
Records relating to school attendance shall be maintained indefinitely. Details in relation to recording and maintaining records in relation to attendance are outlined in the School’s Attendance Policy.
The school through its Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator has established links with a variety of agencies and professional and the school can call on the help, advise and support of these as needs dictate including:
- Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
- Child Care Team, HSE
- Extern Ireland
- National Educational Welfare Board(NEWB)
- National Educational Psychological Services(NEPS)
- National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
- Thurles Interagency Forum
- Tipperary Area Partnership Network (TAPN)
Involving the Gardai
Where allegations of criminal behaviour are made about a student or where incident/incidents of bullying behaviour relate to student safety or protection, the school shall report the matter to the Garda Siochana.
All staff shall be encouraged to attend where practicable, cases/ seminars/inservices which focus on an understanding of student behaviour and on managing challenging behaviour.
Links to Related School Policies
Within the framework of the overall School Plan a number of other policies already in place or presently being drafted need to be examined and reviewed, over time, with reference to the Code of Behaviour and any implications it has for them will be addressed.
The following policies shall be reviewed in this context:
- Child Protection Policy
- Data Protection Policy
- Pastoral Care Policy
- Guidance Plan
- Attendance Policy
- Anti Bullying Policy
- Special Educational Needs/Learning Support Policy
- Language Support Policy
- Policy on Interculturalism
- Health and Safety Policy
Review of Code of Behaviour
Our code of behaviour has been devised in consultation with students, teachers, parents and the Board of Management and Trustees. The school reserves the right to vary or amend details in the code from time to time as circumstances change. A review process is part of the code. Any changes will be brought to the attention of all the partners.
This policy has been developed in consultation with Board of Management, Principal, Deputy Principal, Teachers, Students and Parents.