This policy was formulated in accordance with the Education Act 1998, Section 15, (1), (2) Section 21. (1), (3), (4), Section 23, (2)(3) and in accordance with Circular 20/90 of the Dept. of Education and Science and Rule 130 of the ‘Rules for National Schools’. It was reviewed in December 2008 and January 2009 to bring it in line with guidelines from the National Education Welfare Board. It was further reviewed in 2011 and during the 2016/17 school year.
Good discipline is of paramount importance in educational institutions as it promotes order, gives security and fosters a situation wherein organised learning and safe and fair recreation may take place. Good behaviour stems from the development of self-discipline and the cultivation of relationships based on mutual respect.
Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Micheál – Mission Statement
The Board of Management and Staff of Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Micheál are dedicated to providing a Christian caring learning environment where every child is encouraged to grow and develop to his/her full potential.
Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Micheál – Vision
1. To create a safe, secure, caring environment where the child can feel happy and confident and where he/she can embrace change in a positive way.
2. To recognise each child as an individual, to celebrate difference and promote tolerance.
3. To promote a natural learning spirit and curiosity of life, where the child is encouraged to reach his/her true potential.
4. To educate the child holistically – teaching a broad curriculum that focuses on the cognitive, emotional and spiritual needs.
Aims of the Code
1. To support the right of each child to education in a harmonious environment ;
2. To allow for the smooth, safe and harmonious running of the school;
3. To promote the security and happiness of all children and staff in the school;
4. To create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can feel secure and thus make progress in a holistic way whilst developing self-discipline;
5. To promote good behavior and self-discipline among the children;
6. To promote equality and fairness for all;
7. To ensure consistency in the application of rules and sanctions.
- The individuality of each child and the need to accommodate differences in an atmosphere of mutual respect
- The right of each child to be educated in a secure, safe environment
- The need for a strong sense of community and consistency within the school together with a high level of co-operation among staff, pupils and parents
- Fairness and consistency in dealing with behaviour/discipline
- The promotion of good behaviour through encouragement and praise
Note: In our school we expect everyone to show courtesy and respect for others at all times everyone should endeavour
• To accept the rules in a spirit of good will and co-operation;
• To uphold the good name of the school;
• understand that they have rights and responsibilities.
• respect others’ points of view;
• maintain excellent levels of behaviour on all school-related activities, outings, competitions, sporting activities etc.
1. The daily responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal. In the absence of the principal, the Deputy Principal assumes this responsibility. These duties are further delegated to other post-holders in the absence of the principal or deputy principal or other relevant members of staff.
2. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom, while sharing a common responsibility for maintaining a harmonious atmosphere within the school.
3. A rota of teachers for yard duty will be drawn up at the beginning of each school year and issues that arise in the yard will be dealt with by the teachers on duty on any given day (in consultation with the class teachers and/or principal if necessary).
4. A pupil will be referred to the Principal for serious breaches of discipline and/or for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour (as defined in the “misdemeanours” section of this document).
5. Parents/Guardians of all new entrants to the school will be required to sign an acceptance form in respect of the school’s behaviour policy.
6. Rewards and sanctions (as described in the “Disciplinary Measures” of this document) may be applied through the application of pre-typed cards and/or letters/forms.
7. Records of serious misbehaviour will be retained in the school.
8. The Board of Management reserves the right to modify details of this policy at short notice to deal with matters that were not foreseeable when the policy was drafted.
9. Standards, rules and sanctions in this code apply in any situation where the student, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school e.g. school tours and trips, sports events etc.
Clár Ama na Scoile
Starting Time : 9.20
• Sos Beag: 11.00 – 11.10 am
• Sos Mór: 12.30 – 1.00 pm (Junior & Senior Infants)
• Sos Mór: 1.00 – 13.30 pm (First Class to Sixth Class inclusive)
• School closes at 2.00 pm for Infants and at 3.00 pm for all other classes.
The school cannot accept responsibility for escorting children to and from school buses. Parents/guardians are requested to collect children promptly as delays can be distressing for many children. In the event of a delay in their collection, children will wait in an orderly manner outside the main wall in front of the Principal’s office
- All children should have a wholesome lunch (see separate policy)
- Pupils may not each lunches on their way to and from the classroom
- The school encourages the use of school milk
- Glass bottles, cans or chewing gum are not allowed
In the interest of safety, children may not wear earrings/sleepers. Studs are allowed.
Full school uniform/tracksuit is to be worn daily. Black shoes only should be worn with uniform. Grey or black coloured tights only are allowed. Any issues with school uniform may be communicated through the homework diary.
Pupils are responsible for their own personal belongings and recovery of mislaid books, lunch boxes and clothing is simplifies if they are clearly marked and checked regularly at home. Staff have raised concerns regarding previous accidents on stairs involved wheeled school bags. School bags on wheels are permitted at the discretion of parents.
High levels of attendance are expected.
All pupils are regularly advised the observe the rules of the road and to behave well on the school buses. Issues relating to behaviour on school buses are referred to the relevant bus driver.
It is the policy to assign homework on a regular basis. Parents are advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework. Each child is expected to complete the tasks to the best of his/her ability.If for some reason achild cannot complete the homework, the parent should write an explanatory note in the homework diary. The issue of homework is further elaborated in the Homework Policy.
Every effort will be made to provide psychological assessment for children who are deemed to require such intervention. In general the school will liaise with NEPS in relation to learning difficulties or other concerns. Where appropriate, help will be sought also from support services within the community.
Our School rules have been drawn up in accordance with guidelines laid down by the Department of Education and Science and following inservice from Mr. Anthony O’Gorman in September 2011 . The rules also apply to school-related activities such as school tours etc. Keeping them will mean that:
- We will be able to work well
- We will be safe and have good order
- We will have a happy, relaxed, caring, Christian atmosphere.
At Scoil Náisiúnta Naomh Micheál, school rules are summarised in Four Statements which are:
- Displayed in all classrooms and throughout the school;
- Regularly discussed in all classrooms and at assemblies;
- Included in the homework journals (First to Sixth Class inclusive);
The Rules are:
The Red Rule – Safety
The Blue Rule – Communication
The Yellow Rule – Learning
The Orange Rule – Respect
Parent-teacher meetings are held once a year. Parents who wish to meet with a teacher during the school year should firstly contact the school to make an appointment. Issues that could have an impact on a child’s behaviour should be communicated to the school so that allowances may have to be made in particular circumstances.
A written note is required and should be given to the class teacher in the following cases:
- When a pupil has been absent from school for any reason.
- When a pupil fails to do or to complete homework.
- If a school uniform/tracksuit is not being worn on relevant days.
- When a pupil is unable to partake in a school activity e.g.swimming
- In exceptional circumstances such as the need to take a child home from school during the school day.
- If there is a change in the arrangements for collecting a child from school (e.g. being collected by a relative instead of the usual parent/guardian)
Parents/guardians will be contacted if a child is ill or has been injured during the school day. Parents/guardians should ensure that the school has up-to-date contact numbers (including an alternative number i.e. of a relative (or friend).
Parents/guardians will be contacted if and when a child’s misbehaviour is of a seriously unacceptable, ongoing and/or if it constitutes a danger to him/herself or others.
Children will be reminded of the main aspects of the code of behaviour on a regular basis – in the classrooms and at assembly.
Praise may be given by means of
- A quiet word or gesture to show approval;
- Use of “homework passes” to give homework (or part of it) off on one night;
- A comment in a pupil’s exercise book or diary;
- A visit to another classroom or to the principal for commendation;
- A word of praise at Assembly time;
- Class – based recognition e.g. “pupil of the week” etc.;
- A mention to parents – written or verbal communication;
- Class treat e.g. Video, extra recreation time etc.
- In exceptional circumstances – homework (or part of) homework off (either for individuals, groups or entireclasses etc.)
Disapproval of unacceptable behaviour
Unacceptable behaviour may be minor, serious or gross. The degree of misdemeanours i.e. minor, serious or gross will be judged by the teachers and/or Principal based on a common sense approach with regard to the gravity/frequency of such misdemeanours, as follows:
Examples of steps to be taken by teachers when dealing with minor misdemeanours such as interruptions in class.
- Verbal reprimand
- Temporary separation from peers within the classroom
- Temporary separation from peers in another classroom
- Pupils may be asked to write out the rule (ie. the coloured card) or an explanation as to how a particular rule was broken. Any such note will be signed by parents.
Note: The relevant teacher or teachers will decide on the relevant sanction(s) depending on the nature and number of misdemeanours.
Examples of serious misdemeanours:
- Constant repetition of minor misdemeanour (ie. no improvement following intervention)
- Constantly disruptive in class
- Frequenting school premises after the school day without appropriate permission
- Using unacceptable language
- Rough play that poses a threat to the safety of others
- Graffiti on school property
- Ganging up on, picking on or interfering with another pupil
- Telling lies
- Damaging or stealing another pupil’s property
- Defiance to a teacher
- Leaving school premises during school hours without appropriate permission
Examples of steps to be taken when dealing with serious misdemeanours:
- Reprimand by principal
- Pupils to complete a report card outlining the nature of the incident, why their behaviour was unacceptable and making a commitment to acceptable behaviour in the future. This card will be signed by pupil and parent/guardian.
- Incident will be recorded in the School Incident Book.
- Loss of privileges (eg. Special treats which may include school tours and/or representing the school on sporting activities)
- Parents called in to speak with class teacher
- Supervised detention during one or more (but not more than four) breaks
- Principal sends note in Journal to be signed by parent/guardian
- Principal meets with one/both parents/guardians and child to outline the issues and to seek the co-operation of the parents/guardians in improving the child’s behaviour.
- Chairperson of Board of Management informed and parents to meet with chairperson and principal
- In the case of repeated serious misdemeanours (i.e. following an intervention by a teacher and/or principal), the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the Parents/Guardians will be requested in writing to attend the school to meet the Principal. The situation will be brought to the notice of the parent(s)/guardian(s) and they will be asked to co-operate with the school in ensuring that their child(ren) behave in a safe and acceptable manner.
- In the case of damage to property/graffiti – making good the loss, by either repairing it or paying for it to be replaced, will be brought to the attention of the relevant parents/guardians.
Examples of Gross Misdemeanours:
- Possession of illegal substances
- Malicious injury of another
- Serious damage to school property or to the property of pupils or staff
Dealing with gross misdemeanours:
- The principal will be informed of the situation
- The safety of all concerned will be established through asking the pupil to accompany the principal, deputy principal or other post holder to the principal’s office
- Parents/Guardians will be contacted and asked to meet with the principal who will outline the issues and seek the parents’/guardians’ assistance and co-operation in remedying the situation
- The Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed of the situation as soon as possible. The Chairperson, in consultation with the principal, will decide if the matter should be discussed at a meeting of the Board of Management
- A meeting of the Board of Management will be held as soon as possible
- The Board of Management will discuss the matter and may suspend the pupil (See notes on suspension above) having due regard for the law of the land and the guidelines of the Department of Education and Science. Alternatively the Board may decide that an alternative sanction (from the list of sanctions in the Code of Behaviour) would be more appropriate.
- The Board of Management may decide that, in the interest of the safety of all concerned a child who has been repeatedly disruptive despite intervention may not be able to travel with his/her class on school tours
- In the case of repeated serious misdemeanours i.e. following two inhouse and one full suspension (see below), and in the case of repeated gross misdemeanours, the Board of Management will expel the child. Parents/Guardians will be given 20 days notice and the Educational Welfare Officer will be informed of any pending expulsion.
- In the interest of safety, the Board of Management may decide that the pupil is suspended during the twenty days between the Board’s decision to expel the pupil and the date of expulsion. The Educational Welfare Officer will be informed of any such decision.
- Suspension (see note below)
- Expulsion (see note below)
The Board of Management may sanction the suspension of a child following one or more instances of serious or gross misbehaviour, which are deemed sufficiently grave to warrant such action. Suspension may also be imposed if a child’s behaviour does not improve to an acceptable level. The Board of Management will decide on the form and degree of suspension on the basis of the seriousness of the incident(s) and/or the degree to which earlier interventions have been unsuccessful in bringing about the desired change in behaviour.
Parents/guardians will be asked to attend a meeting with the Principal and Chairperson of the Board of Management. Parents/Guardians will be informed of all decisions re. Suspension. Suspension will be in accordance with Rule 130(5) of the Rules for National Schools.
Suspension will operate as follows
The Board of Management may initially impose a one day or two day inhouse suspension (i.e. the child is removed from the class and supervised by another teacher for the entire day(s))
The Board of Management reserves the right to impose a three day suspension in a situation where it is convinced of the gravity of the incident(s) and/or in situations where matters of health and safety are a cause of concern.
Repeated serious misdemeanours following a one or two day inhouse suspension will result in a full suspension of three days. Three-day suspensions may be lifted, at the discretion of the Board of Management, following a meeting of the pupil, parent/guardian, with the school principal and the chairperson of the Board of Management. At this meeting the pupil would be expected to a. apologise, b. make a commitment to obey the school rules and if appropriate, c. make good any loss to the school/other child/teacher etc. e.g. in the case of damaged property and/or agree to the imposition of a lesser sanction such as temporary removal from his/her peers during break times.
Repeated serious misdemeanours following a three day suspension will result in a further three day suspension.
The Board of Management will expel a child in the case of repeated gross misdemeanours and/or behaviour that presents an ongoing threat to any member of the school community. In accordance with Department of Education guidelines, the Board of Management will give 21 days notice to parents/guardians prior to any expulsion. The Education Welfare Officer will also be informed of this decision.
In the interest of safety the Board of Management may impose repeated three-day suspensions pending the expulsion of a pupil.
It should be noted that these lists of misdemeanours are examples only: It is not to be a totally comprehensive list of misdemeanours and procedural steps.