Code of Behaviour

ST. CLEMENT’S COLLEGE

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR 2017

(Including Standards of Behaviour)

This code of behaviour is the set of programmes, practices and procedures and policies that together form the plan for helping students in St Clement’s College to behave well and learn well.
This code was developed collaboratively by all members of the school community, students, teachers, Parents/Guardians, Board of Management.
It follows the guidelines set out in the NEWB Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools as required by Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 23(3).

When and Where Does this Code of Behaviour Apply?
This code of behaviour applies to all students of St Clement’s College when they are on the school premises and /or on school related activities. The school opens at 8.15 am and students are under supervision from then until class starts. Students are requested to vacate the school premises within 15 minutes of the end of last class unless they are involved in a school activity which is supervised by a teacher.
Disorderly conduct by students on the way to and from school e.g. on the bus or in the street is not the responsibility of the school. The school will assist the relevant authorities in any investigation of such incidences.

Aims of the Code of Behaviour

This code of behaviour aims to
1) Create a positive and safe environment for teaching and learning
2) Create a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
3) Encourage students to take a personal responsibility for their learning and their
behaviour
4) Build a positive relationship of mutual respect and mutual support among students,
staff and Parents/Guardians
5) Ensure that the school’s standards of behaviour are known and understood by all
members of the school community
6) Enable our school authority to strike an appropriate balance between its duty to
maintain an effective learning environment for all and its responsibility to students
whose behaviour presents a challenge to the teaching and learning process.
7) Meet the statutory requirements re Code of Behaviour in Sect 23 (3) of the Education
Act 2000

Mission Statement
St Clements College is a voluntary secondary school established in 1884 by the Redemptorists.
St Clement’s College seeks to facilitate the development of each student to his full academic, personal, spiritual and social potential in a catholic, caring, respectful and safe environment
To fulfil this mission statement St Clement’s College seeks to be a
• Catholic school, embodying a living-faith community founded on positive experiences of Gospel values
• Centre of learning aimed at excellence in education and in the development of students to their fullest potential.
• Place where care and attention is given to the needs of all students
• Place of welcome in which there is a fundamental belief in the potential of each young person
• School which is welcoming and respectful of diversity
• Place where true partnership is practised
• Happy, caring and supportive environment, where young people can discover meaning and purpose and are encouraged to explore change and growth.

Expectations

Students are expected to

• Engage with the values of the school as outlined in the Ethos Statement and the school’s Standards of Behaviour
• Comply with the Standards of Behaviour
• Engage with learning and strive to achieve academically
• Take personal responsibility for their own development, learning and behaviour
• Respect themselves, others and the school

Teachers and support staff are expected to
• Support the school values as outlined in the Ethos Statement and the Standards of Behaviour
• Foster good relationships within the school community and promote a positive atmosphere and good behaviour within the school
• Treat students with fairness, care and compassion

Parents/Guardians / Guardians are encouraged to
• Support and reinforce the school’s Standards of Behaviour
• Support the policies and strategies of the school
• Be actively involved and contribute to the life of the school
• Foster positive and co-operative relationships with the school staff

Principles underpinning this Code of Behaviour
• This code is informed by the principle of fairness.
• It respects the principles of natural justice and ensures a consistent approach to behaviour on the part of all school personnel.
• It promotes equality for all members of the school community.
• It prevents discrimination and allows for appropriate accommodation of difference in accordance with Equal Status Legislation.

School Plan for Promoting Good Behaviour
School management and staff actively seek to foster the school ethos, policies and practices that help to promote positive behaviour and prevent inappropriate behaviour at both class and school level.
Strategies to encourage and promote good behaviour include
• Clear Standards of Behaviour developed collaboratively and understood by all.
• Positive interactions between students and teachers in the classroom
• Public affirmation of good behaviour by school management
• Assemblies
• Student Award System
• Awards for students who are high achievers in State Examinations
• Awards for students who have excelled in extra-curricular activities. These awards take teamwork, leadership and commitment into consideration as well as natural talent

Responding To Inappropriate Behaviour Strategy
Despite the best efforts of the school inappropriate behaviour happens. Even minor breaches of the standards of behaviour can be disruptive, particularly if they are persistent. Serious misbehaviour can have damaging and long-lasting effects including disruption of the student’s own learning and the learning of others. It can cause distress and anxiety and even pose a threat to the safety of teachers and students.
St Clement’s College seeks to adopt a problem- solving approach to a student’s inappropriate behaviour as part of a whole school strategy which operates at three levels of intervention. At each level support from Parents/Guardians / guardians is sought and the school seeks to support students with special educational needs in managing their behaviour. The school is cognisant of its obligations under the Equal Status Acts 2000-2004 with regard to making reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities.

Levels of Intervention

1. Support for All Occasional, minor misbehaviour is attended to by the class teacher/class tutor
2. Additional support for some students Some students need more active intervention to manage their behaviour.
Additional interventions include
• Referral to Year Head/ Student Support Team / School Counsellor/Outreach Support Worker / another teacher or adult / Principal/Deputy Principal who can work with the student
• Involvement of Parents/Guardians and Pastoral Care Team
• Setting targets for behaviour and monitoring them in a supportive way

Specialised support for a small minority of students A small number of students may show particularly challenging behaviour which may not respond to intervention at level 1 and 2. The school seeks to build good links with local support services that may be able to assist in responding to the needs of a student with behavioural difficulties.

Sanctions
The purpose of a sanction is to help bring about a change in behaviour by
• helping students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable
• helping them to recognise the effects of their actions and behaviour on others
• helping them to understand that they have choices about their behaviour
• helping them to take responsibility for their behaviour
• reinforcing the standards of behaviour set out in the code of behaviour
• Signalling to other students and staff that their welfare is being protected.

The sanctions for inappropriate behaviour include

• Reasoning with the student
• Reprimand including advice on how to improve
• Loss of privileges
• Carrying out a useful task in the school
• Communication with Parents/Guardians
• Additional homework
• Referral to Year Head / Deputy Principal/ Principal
• Setting targets for behaviour
• Report Card
• Detention
• Suspension (internal and external) Internal suspension is dependent on the availability of adequate supervision
• Expulsion

Procedures for Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour

The school disciplinary procedure is structured in a manner whereby students are given every chance and opportunity to address inappropriate behaviour and learn from their mistakes.

Step 1. Class teacher:

The teacher is responsible for maintaining good behaviour in the classroom, and has a number of strategies available to him/her including verbal reprimand, extra class/homework, note in journal to Parents/Guardians etc.
If any one particular incident is deemed by the teacher to be serious enough he/she may refer the student directly to the Year Head/Principal using the referral form.

Step 2. Class Tutor

The class tutor advises students on the importance of complying with the Standards of Behaviour and refers students who have accumulated notes in their journal or on vsware.re. inappropriate behaviour and/or late coming to Year Head.

Step 3. Year Head:

The Year Head works with the student in managing his behaviour/punctuality and encourages him to take personal responsibility for his behaviour. He/she may impose a sanction such as a report card or detention or referral to the Principal/Deputy Principal/Pastoral Care Team.

Step 4. Principal/Deputy Principal:

The Principal/Deputy Principal deals with serious and/or persistent breaches of the Standards of Behaviour and has a range of sanctions available in line with Responding to Inappropriate Behaviour Strategy.

Detention

After school detention is a sanction in the college. Students may be placed on detention by Year Head, Principal, Deputy Principal for reasons such as persistent late coming, inappropriate behaviour etc. 24 hour notification and reason for detention will be given to Parents/Guardians/guardians via the school journal.
Individual teachers may detain students inside/outside school hours at their own discretion.24 hour notification and reason for detention held outside school hours will be given via the student journal.

Procedures for raising a concern or bringing a complaint about a behavioural matter
If a student or parent wishes to raise a concern about behaviour or about any aspect of the code of behaviour he should make an appointment to discuss the matter with the school Principal/Deputy principal.
The Board of Management is committed to following the Complaints Procedure for Voluntary Secondary Schools as established whenever a parent or student may wish to make a complaint about a behavioural matter. (See Complaints Procedure)

Implementation of the Code of behaviour

The Code of Behaviour will be available on school website and the code will be explained to all 1st year Parents/Guardians at a meeting in the school.
Teachers will explain the standards of behaviour to all students at the beginning of each school year and help them to develop the skills necessary to behave well.

Review of the Code of Behaviour

This code will be reviewed initially after 1 year of operation and subsequently on a regular basis as directed by the Board of Management

Suspension & Expulsion

Serious incidences of misbehaviour may invoke suspension or expulsion. As these are serious matters they will be implemented in accordance with the Policy of Suspension and Expulsion.

Suspension will be here defined and understood as the necessary removal/withdrawal of a student from attendance at the school for a specified period of time as a consequence of an action or behaviour that is deemed serious and injurious to the good order and smooth running of the school. A pupil may also be removed from an individual class pending the resolution of an issue.
Suspension is employed
• to signal to the parent/guardian seeking support
• to the pupil that his behaviour has been obstructive to the mission statement of the school and the student must address his behaviour, recognise that a particular standard of conduct is required and confirm that every effort will be made to adhere to the standards and policies of the school on his return.
Suspension may be from one to five days or until the Board can meet to consider the matter dependant on the circumstance.

Procedure

With reference to the Code of Behaviour and after having considered the particular situation the Principal/acting Principal is empowered by the Board to suspend a pupil for a term not exceeding five days.
All suspensions will be reported to the Board of Management. This suspension can only be imposed following a thorough investigation of the reported incident. The parent/guardian of such a pupil shall be notified in writing by the Principal of the nature of the misbehaviour and the date(s) of suspension. The parent/guardian may be requested to come to the school to discuss the matter and the student’s return is conditional upon agreeing to co-operate with the school standards and policies.
In all instances of suspension of a pupil the parent/guardian shall be informed that such a decision may be appealed to the Board of management. A suspension will not be served whilst the appeal is being processed.
Suspension of a pupil for longer than five days will be reported to the
Educational Welfare Board.
A student may be suspended pending recommendation to the Board of Management for consideration of expulsion. In such circumstances the Parents/Guardians/guardian will be offered the opportunity to discuss the matter and be informed of their right to meet with and appeal to the Board of Management.

Expulsion

Expulsion is hereby defined as the permanent exclusion of a pupil from the school. Expulsion will only be resorted to in the most extreme cases of indiscipline and only after every other sanction has been exhausted or when the behaviour is of such gravity that expulsion is the only option. Such misbehaviour would arise due to
a) The safety/welfare of the pupil
b) The safety/welfare/ability of an employee to carry out their duties without threat or obstruction
c) The safety/welfare/entitlement of another student to learn in an atmosphere free from threat or obstruction. The ultimate decision to permanently exclude a student from the school rests with the Board of Management. Prior to expulsion they must inform the Educational Welfare Officer of the belief that a student should be expelled and their reason for so believing.

Procedure

A detailed investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Principal. Parents/Guardians will be informed of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion. Both Parents/Guardians and students will be given the opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour.
Where the Principal takes the view that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal will make a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion.
The Board of Management will hold a hearing to investigate the incident, study reports and hear evidence from all parties involved in the issue. Having heard from all parties it is the responsibility of the Board to decide whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction.
When the Board is of the opinion that the student should be expelled it will notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion. An expulsion will not be imposed before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification under section 24(1) of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000. Parents/Guardians will be so informed in writing and the Board may apply such sanctions as suspension for this period to ensure the good order and smooth running of the school and the safety of students and staff is secured. Following the twenty day notification period and intervention of the Educational Welfare Officer, and where the Board remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board will formally confirm the decision to expel in writing. Parents/Guardians and student will be informed of the right to appeal within 42 calendar days of receipt by Parents/Guardians of the BOM decision under the Education Act 1998 section 28, 29 and supplied with the standard form.

Appeals Procedure

Under Section 28 of the Education Act 1998:

a) The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, may appeal to the Board of Management against a decision of a teacher or other member of staff of a school
b) Grievances of students, or their parent(s) relating to the student school (other than those, which may be dealt with under paragraph (a) or section 29, shall be heard.
c) Appropriate remedial action shall, when necessary be taken as a consequence of an appeal or in response to a grievance this section provides for procedures to be drafted for the purpose of processing complaints by Parents/Guardians against teachers or other members of staff of a school.

Under Section 29 of the Education Act 1988.

Where a board or person acting on behalf of a board
a) Permanently excludes a student from attendance at a school, or
b) Suspends a student from attendance at the school for a period to be prescribed for the purpose of this paragraph, or
c) Refuses to enrol a student in a school,
The parent of the student, or in the case of a student who has reached the age of 18 years, may, within a reasonable time form the date that the Parents/Guardians or student was informed of the decision on expulsion and following the conclusion of any appeal procedures provided by the school or the patron, in accordance with section 28, appeal that decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.

Distribution of the Policy
This Policy will be available on the school website. Students will be made aware of this policy primarily by their Parents/Guardians/guardians and secondly by their class advisor/Year head. Parents/Guardians/guardians will be requested to sign an acceptance form as an essential part of registering their son at the College. Any parent can receive a copy of this policy from the secretary’s office and it is posted to the school website.

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