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Code of Discipline

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Scoil an Cheathrair Alainn
Code of Behaviour

Scoil an Cheathrair Alainn Code of Behaviour is the result of the ongoing consultation and collaboration between the Principal, staff, pupils, parents and Board of Management. It was reviewed and reformulated in April/June 2010 in the light of "Developing a Code of Behaviour - Guidelines for Schools" issued by the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) and the Education Act 1998. In drawing up the code, consideration has been given to the particular needs and the circumstances of the school and our pupils. It has been approved by the Board of Management on and will be reviewed in


School Ethos
Our Code of Behaviour reflects our mission statement.


  • To ensure that the learning environment and opportunities of each pupil are respected as each child has a right to education in a disruption free environment where they feel safe and secure..
  • To enhance the learning environment where children can make progress in all aspects of their development
  • To help create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others and self, among pupils, staff, parents and other members of the wider school community.
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
  • To promote good behaviour in our school
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair, appropriate and consistent manner and are understood and supported by pupils, parents, staff and the whole school community.

Promoting Positive Behaviour

Our school uses Discipline for Learning which promotes positive behaviour. Teachers develop clear and simple classroom rules and yard rules, through discussion with the children. Teachers use a classroom management plan to promote positive behaviour. This includes the class rules as mentioned above, an agreed reward system and the consequences that apply when a child fails to adhere to the rules.

Our school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give best results. Our approach to rewards and praise include the following:

  • A word of praise privately or in front of class
  • A visit to another member of staff for commendation
  • Stickers, stamps, trophies
  • Informing parent by good note in child's journal.
  • Certificates for good behaviour awarded after four and eight weeks
  • Name recorded in Honours Book by Year Head after eight weeks
  • Certificates for good behaviour, awarded at end of term award ceremonies, to children who have a specified number of clear weeks in their journal.
  • Special class treats e.g. Golden Time, extra play in the yard or class trips
  • Regular visits to classrooms by Year Heads to encourage and praise good behaviour
  • Individual Behaviour Plans and Targets as needed

Behaviour Standards

In order to create a happy school environment in which pupils can feel secure and make progress, every pupil is expected to

  • Attend school regularly and punctually
  • Be respectful of self and others
  • Be kind and willing to help others
  • Be courteous and well mannered e.g. Sorry if I'm wrong, excuse me, please and thank you
  • Be fair and forgiving
  • Each pupil is expected to do their best in class both with work and behaviour
  • Keep the school rules
  • Help create a safe, positive environment. Make a fresh start and learn from your mistake.

Our school rules reflect these expectations

School Rules
The rules are broadly similar in each class although at the beginning of each academic year each class teacher will draw up a list of classroom and yard rules through discussion, collaboration and agreement with the children. Rules are kept to a minimum and

  • are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.
  • They should, where possible, emphasise positive behaviour.
  • Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age and specific needs of the pupils

Where difficulties arise parents will be contacted at an early stage.

Classroom rules
1. Be on time and have all your own books, copies, journal, pencils etc. each day
2. Do your work well and let others work without interruption
3. Do what you are told immediately
4. If you wish to speak, raise your hand and wait your turn
5. Listen while others are speaking.
6. Stay in your workplace, unless told to do otherwise
7. Keep to your own space at your table.
8. Do not make hurtful, nasty remarks to, or about, another pupil or member of staff
9. Look after property. Do not waste, damage or steal things.
10. Tell the truth
11. Say sorry, thank you, please or excuse me as needed.

Yard Rules
1. Stay in own yard at all times including time before school unless otherwise instructed by a teacher
2. Do not leave own yard or school without permission
3. Play in a way that is safe for yourself and for others
4. Speak to one another and all school staff in a respectful manner
5. When the bell rings freeze, then line up promptly, in an orderly manner until teacher brings you to your class.

Around the School Rules (for my own safety and that of others)

1. Walk in the school in a safe, quiet and orderly manner
2. Be courteous and mannerly
3. Do not walk through the car park or the garden
4. Do not go through the P.E. hall if in use
5. Ask for the teacher's permission to leave the classroom or the school, to go to another classroom or to the office
7. Treat all property with care
8. Enter and leave the school through the school gates
9. After school hours only return to the school in an emergency and accompanied by an adult.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Two levels of misbehaviour are recognised: minor and serious. In cases of serious misbehaviour parents will be involved immediately and invited to meet the teacher/year head or principal to discuss their child's behaviour and agree a way forward. Parents/Guardians who have concerns about their child's behaviour or/and welfare are advised to contact the school as soon as possible as early intervention can help all involved.

Examples of Serious misbehaviour

  • Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying)
  • Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning
  • Threats or physical hurt to another person
  • Damage to property
  • Theft
  • Assault on a teacher or pupil
  • Other behaviours as may arise with serious consequences for self and others.

Consequences of bad behaviour

  • All bad behaviour disrupts learning for oneself and others
  • It often makes others feel unsafe and insecure
  • Bad behaviour can easily become a habit


Sanctions are normally imposed in the hope that the pupil will learn to choose positive behaviour, self -discipline and raise self- esteem.
Minor sanctions are exercised in the context of reinforcing the positive behaviour of other pupils e.g. " Well done…... I like the way you are sitting up straight with your arms folded".

  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
  • The consequence must be proportionate to the misbehaviour
  • The pupil must understand why s/he is receiving a sanction and a change to positive behaviour is required in the future
  • There is a clear distinction between minor and serious offences
  • The misbehaviour rather than the person is the focus of any sanction
  • Group punishments are normally avoided

When and if appropriate an investigation may well be carried out to establish the facts.
The following steps are normally taken when the children behave inappropriately. They are listed in order of severity with one being for a minor misbehaviour and ten being for serious misbehaviour. The list is by no means exhaustive nor necessarily sequential. The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupils devise strategies for this.

1. Reasoning with pupil and possible development of a contract.
2. Verbal warning including advice on how to improve and record in journal.
3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class.
5. Referral to year head / Principal and communication with parents re classroom behaviour.
6. Temporary separation from peers in the yard
7. Yellow and Red cards. For Red card offences children will have" time out" in a supervised location during break times, for up to three days .
8. Loss of privileges
9. Principal communicating with parents re yard behaviour
10.Exclusion ( Suspension or Expulsion ) from school ( in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000 ) and the Education Act 1998

C/F Appendix on request from school

*In exceptional circumstances, each behavioural situation will be judged on a case- by- case basis

*In applying any sanction, the duty of care to the student is maintained

*The standards and rules contained in the Code of Behaviour will apply in any situation where the student, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school.
Examples include school tours, games and extracurricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school

*While classroom and yard discipline are kept separate to promote positive relationships between teacher and child, in instances of serious misbehaviour, privileges will be withdrawn e.g. trips outside school, irrespective of where the incident happened i.e. yard or class


School starts at 8.50 a.m. and finishes at 1.30 p.m. for Junior and Senior Infants and 2.30 p.m. for 1st-6th classes

  • Please ensure your child is on time in his/her line in the yard where the teacher will collect him unless otherwise instructed by another staff member.
  • If child is late for school on 5 occasions, parents will be informed by letter
  • If child is late on 10 or more occasions, parents will be invited to come to the school to meet with the Year Head
  • Please collect your child in the yard after school and not from classrooms
  • Parents are advised not to collect their child early from class as it disrupts valuable learning time
  • In exceptional circumstances, if a parent wishes to collect a child early, parent will first have to sign the child out at the secretary's office. Parent will collect a green card from the secretary and give it to the child's teacher.
  • On the third occasion that a child is collected early, the Principal will speak to the parent
  • If there is a recurrence the Board of Management will be informed


  • When a child is absent, a written note explaining the reason for the child's absence should be given to the class teacher when the child returns to school.
  • Parents are asked to note mid-term breaks and end of term closures when planning family holidays. It is inadvisable for students to miss time out of the school term due to holidays
  • If a child is absent for 20 days the school is obliged to inform the National Education Welfare Board
  • A letter will be sent to parents of children who have been absent for 10 days or more. Parents will sign the letter and return it to the class teacher

School Uniform

  • Navy cardigan/jumper, navy or grey trousers /pinafore /skirt, light blue blouse/shirt, navy tie, flat shoes.
  • School tracksuit and a blue polo shirt and runners must be worn for P.E.

Hair and Jewellery

  • Hair ought to be worn in a neat fashion out of eyes
  • One small pair of stud earrings and a watch is the only jewellery allowed

Healthy Lunches

Our school promotes healthy living and good lunches are provided free of charge. No other food is necessary.

Mobile Phones

Mobile phones may not be used during school time. If misused they will be confiscated for one week and will only be returned when parent comes to the principal's office to collect it.


Homework is given Monday-Thursday inclusive. Reading is considered to be a very important part of your child's homework as reading is essential if your child is to succeed in every subject.

Adults in our School Community

All adults within the school community are expected to work within an atmosphere of mutual respect. This should permeate throughout the school. It is expected that all staff, parents and visitors will interact in a polite, respectful and friendly manner. They are expected to model high standards as their example has an important influence on the children. Accordingly, we expect parents to help their children keep the school rules e.g. by talking to their child about good behaviour and treating others well. If parents/guardians have difficulty understanding our code please let the school know.

Communication with Parents

Parents are always welcome in our school and staff will consult with them where necessary. Communication with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. A high level of co-operation and open communication between parents ,staff and children, is seen as an important factor in encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Some methods of communication include the following

  • Informal and formal parent/teacher meetings- These include prompt communication to resolve problems/concerns as they arise.
  • Through children's homework journal
  • Letters/notes/texts and phone calls from school to home and home to school
  • H.S.C.L. teacher
  • School Website

It is the responsibility of the parents/guardians to inform the school immediately of a change of phone number or address.


Before a serious sanction such as Suspension is considered all other procedures in our discipline policy up to this point will normally have been adhered to. The decision to suspend a pupil will follow from serious misbehaviour:

  • The pupil's behaviour is a danger to himself
  • The pupil's behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The pupil's continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property

The Board of Management and Staff of Scoil an Cheathrair Alainn will follow the procedures for suspension and expulsion outlined in the Guidelines for Schools on Developing a Code of Behaviour.

Fair procedures (i.e. the right to be heard and the right to impartiality) will be applied at all times. Accordingly, pupils and their parents will be fully informed about the alleged misbehaviour and the processes that will be used to investigate and decide the matter and they will be given an opportunity to respond before a decision is made and before a serious sanction is imposed. In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary when the continued presence of the pupil in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of pupils or staff of the school, or any other person. Automatic suspension will apply in the event of a student engaging in very serious misbehaviour

In determining the appropriateness of suspending a pupil the relevant Staff, Principal and the Board of Management will enrol the factors to consider before proposing to suspend a student. These factors include, the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, the context of the behaviour, the impact of the behaviour, the interventions tried to date, whether suspension is a proportionate response and the possible impact of suspension.

Procedures in relation to suspension:

  • Communication to parents regarding the suspension of a pupil or the possibility of suspension will be in writing and by phone and copies of all correspondence will be retained.
  • The parents/guardians and the pupil will be invited to meet with the Principal and/or Board of Management to discuss the proposed suspension.
  • The Board of Management has delegated responsibility for suspension to the Principal in the event that immediate suspension of a pupil is warranted and for not more than three days. The parents/guardians and child will normally be invited to discuss the matter with the Principal and the procedures governing suspension will be applied.
  • Where parents do not agree to meet with the Principal, written notification will serve as notice to impose a suspension.
  • A written statement of the terms and date of the termination of a suspension will be given to parents/guardians. A suspension will not be for more than three days, except in exceptional circumstances where the B.O.M. meets and considers that a period of suspension longer than three days is necessary in order to achieve a particular objective. The letter will confirm - the period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end

- the reasons for the suspension
- any programme of study to be followed
- the arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents (for example, the pupil and parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour)
- the provision for an appeal to the Board of Management and the right to appeal to the Secretary general of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 Section 29)

  • The suspension will be recorded on the NEWB 'Student Absence Report Form' (when applicable).
  • When the period of suspension ends, the pupil will be re-admitted formally to the class by the Principal following an undertaking to commit to the school's code of behaviour by the pupils and parents/guardiams. The school will help the pupil catch up on work missed and the pupil will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start.
  • Where a satisfactory resolution of a problem is achieved, a pupil may be re-admitted to school within a suspension period at the discretion of the Principal and/or the chairperson of the Board of Management.
  • If a pupil continues to misbehave s/he may be suspended for a major fixed period (up to ten days) by the B.O.M. to allow for consultation with both the pupil and the pupil's parents/guardians to address the issues.
  • As outlined above, parents/guardians and pupil will be given the opportunity to discuss the issues with the Principal/Board of Management.
  • The Education Welfare Officer will be informed when a student has been suspended for three days or more cumulatively.
  • Section 29 Appeal - when the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days the parents may appeal the suspension under section 29 of the Education Act and will be given information about how to appeal.

Procedures for expulsion

  • Subsequent to the above suspension procedures and meetings with parents/guardians, if serious/gross incidents of misbehaviour continue, the pupil will be recommended for permanent expulsion by the Board of Management. The grounds for expulsion include the following:
  • The pupil's behaviour is an on-going danger to himself
  • The pupil's behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
  • The pupil's continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety.
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property

  • Authority to expel is reserved to the Board of Management.
  • In Determining the appropriateness of expelling a pupil the BOM will refer to the factors to consider before proposing to expel a student. These factors are similar to those mentioned above in relation to suspension.
  • In exceptional circumstances, pupils may be expelled for a first offence. This may apply in the event of
  • A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff
  • Actual violence or physical assault

Procedures in respect of expulsion - six steps.
o Step 1 - A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
o Step 2 - A recommendation to the Board of Management
o Step 3 - Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal's recommendation; and the holding of a hearing with parents and other relevant personnel
o Step 4 - Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing
o Step 5 - Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer
o Step 6 - Confirmation of the decision to expel
Section 29 Appeals (p86). A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the secretary general of the Department of Education and Science (DES). A form for such an appeal is available from the DES.

Keeping Records

Class Level

  • The school has a record sheet in pupil's journal for documenting problem behaviour.
  • Class teachers also keep a record of problem behaviour. This includes the nature and seriousness of the behaviour, the context of the behaviour, the impact of the behaviour and the interventions tried to date .


  • Serious incidents of misbehaviour on the playground are recorded on the school record sheets in Yard Folders.

School Records

  • A record will be kept of letters or phonecalls to parents in relation to pupil's behaviour. A record will also be kept of communication with outside agencies and with the Board of Management. These records will be stored in the pupil's individual file.
  • Documentation pertaining to Section 29 appeals will be kept and stored in a locked filing cabinet in the school office.
  • Records of Suspension
  • Records will be kept of investigation and decision-making (including notes of all investigation, the decision-making process, the decision and rationale for the decision, the duration of the suspension and any conditions attached). These records will be stored in a locked filing cabinet in the school office.
  • Report to the Board of Management - The principal will report all suspensions to the Board with reasons for and the duration of each suspension
  • A report will be made to the NEWB in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines.
  • Records in respect of expulsion - all data, letters, etc. will be kept as above.


Pupils with special needs

Pupils with special needs will be required to follow the school's 'Code of Behaviour' but teachers will use their professional judgment in relation to regularity and level of sanctions. While teachers must be seen to be fair in the eyes of other children who may have exhibited the same type of misdemeanors, they will also show leniency and understanding in relation to children with specific learning/ behavioural / emotional difficulties. Parents of these children will be kept informed of their child's behaviour on a regular basis and may be requested to work with the school in devising effective strategies to help the child to improve his/her behaviour. This may involve agreeing a behaviour plan or contract or working and co-operating with the Resource Teacher and a Special Needs Assistant(SNA), if an SNA is deployed to assist a pupil/class. The devising of such strategies may also entail contacting and meeting with relevant out of school agencies.

Understanding behaviour

Staff at Scoil an Cheathrair Alainn are also aware of the factors that affect behaviour. These factors include external and interpersonal factors (such as parent and family patterns and relationships, peer groups/friends and neighbourhood and community factors) and within-person factors (including age and stage of development, social skills deficit, personality and temperament, physical and medical characteristics and ability to learn). The staff also believe that students' behaviour can change and will endeavour to assist pupils to modify their behaviour. Examples of support and intervention for pupils are outlined below.

Interventions and support

  • Classroom management plan as agreed with all students at the start of the school year i.e. Rewards, rules and sanctions
  • Social skills programme, promotion of friendship and self esteem as part of S.P.H.E.
  • Yard games/activities may be organised if the behaviour is taking place on the yard.
  • Use of a behavioural check-list to evaluate whether any modifications could be made to the learning environment.
  • A Behaviour Plan may be considered when a child consistently exhibits challenging and disruptive behaviour. A Behaviour Plan will focus on a limited number of behavioural targets. It is envisaged that the child will be involved in the setting of targets. If a child is entitled to a support teacher on the basis of his behavioural needs, the support teacher may set targets in consultation with the child, the class teacher and the parents.
  • For pupils who exhibit particularly challenging behaviour, support services may be requested to assist in responding to the needs of the pupils. Sources of support may include, the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS), Special Education Support Service (SESS), HSE Community Psychology Services, the National Council for Special Education, Community Support Services i.e. H.S.E., Barnardos and Springboard

Communicating and implementing the code
o All parents will be issued with a copy of the Code of Behaviour.
o The staff will endeavour to ensure that all parents can access and understand the code.
o Special effort will be made to ensure that pupils with special educational needs understand the school rules, the reward systems and the consequences of misbehaviour. SPHE lessons, DVD's and role-play may be used to ensure these pupils understand cause and effects of behaviour. Teachers will teach the Code of Behaviour pupils in an age appropriate manner.

Procedure for the Resolution of Complaints:
Complaints are taken under guidelines laid down in agreement between CPSMA and INTO. Guidelines available in school or on the Catholic Primary Schools Management Association (CPSMA) Web Site.

Success Criteria:

  • Positive feedback from the whole school community
  • Observations of behaviour in the class,yard and corridors.
  • Happy and caring school atmosphere
  • The number of recordings of misbehaviour on the school record sheet.

Roles and Responsibility:

A. The school Staff

  • To co-ordinate, implement and monitor the policy
  • To model positive behaviour
  • To manage the classroom in such a way that children are positively engaged.
  • To involve the pupils in drawing up rules for class-room.
  • To teach the school rules in a way that is appropriate to each class level.
  • To display rules in classroom.

B. Ancillary Staff operating under the guidance of the Principal and Deputy Principal.

  • To model positive behaviour
  • To co-operate with principal teachers in the implementation of the code.

C. Parents/Guardians

  • To encourage their children to keep the school rules
  • To co-operate with the school in the implementation of this and other polices.
  • To model positive behaviour
  • To sign Code of Behaviour outlined in the journal
  • To sign the journal at least once a week

Implementation Date: 1st September, 2011.

Timetable for Review: Review at end of 2013 - 2014 school year and every two years thereafter.

Ratification and Communication:

  • Ratified by the Board of Management
  • Circulated to ancillary staff
  • Circulated to all parents/guardians via internet and Newsletter
  • Published on school website.

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