Douglas Community School
Code of Behaviour
Good behaviour is essential for effective teaching and learning to take place in school. This Code provides a just and reasonable system to ensure responsible behaviour by students, staff and parents/guardians.
Affirmation and reward of good behaviour by school and home is a fundamental part of the Code of Behaviour.
The Board of Management of the school is responsible for ensuring that a fair and efficient code of behaviour is applied in the school.
The implementation of the code of behaviour is a just way and the maintenance of good order is the responsibility of all members of the teaching staff.
The Principal has particular responsibility to ensure that the implementation of sanctions is fair, equitable and appropriate.
Parents/Guardians have a duty to support the school in implementing a fair and just code of behaviour. Acceptance of the Code of Behaviour by parents/guardians is required on enrolment of a student in the school.
The school has a responsibility to keep parents/guardians informed of misbehaviour on the part of their children. Parents/Guardians will be informed verbally, by a note on the School Journal, on VS ware or by letter. These communications are intended to alert parents/guardians to problems and to seek their co-operation in correcting the misbehaviour. Co-operation between parents/guardians and the school is enhanced by dialogue with the teacher, Class Tutor, Year Tutor or through VS ware or with the Deputy Principal or Principal in cases involving serious misbehaviour. In all cases the parents/guardians are welcomed to the school to present the student’s case.
The Code of Behaviour and school rules are based on respect for others, a commitment to study and participation in the life of the school.
The Parents Association has been consulted in drawing up this Code.
The teaching staff has been consulted in drawing up this Code.
The student council has been consulted in drawing up this Code.
The Code will be reviewed from time to time. Any of the parties involved in drawing up of this code may request a review of this code.
A copy of the Code is distributed to all parties of the Code.
I agree to abide by the following:
- To treat each person in school with respect.
- To co-operate with my teachers and classmates in doing my work in class.
- To complete all my homework- written and oral-set by my teachers.
- To have all my books, school journal, and equipment as required for my lessons.
- To wear my full school uniform when in school and travelling to and from school each day.
- To attend school punctually on each school day.
- To go directly and punctually from class to class during the school day.
- To respect the property of others and make good any loss or damage I cause.
- To do nothing inside or outside the school to bring the school community into disrepute.
- To surrender to the school authority any matter likely to be injurious to my welfare or that of others.
- To follow the school regulations for safety and good order.
- To keep the school environment clean.
- Not to loiter or smoke in the vicinity of school on my way to and from school.
Witnessed: Parent/Guardian. Witnessed: Parent/Guardian.
IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CODE OF BEHAVIOUR
Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her class and share, with other teachers, a common responsibility for good order within the school and school grounds.
The Class Tutor monitors the educational progress and behaviour of each student. He/She intervenes on disciplinary matters when requested to do so by subject teachers. The Class Tutor may meet parents/guardians, and files reports of such meetings.
The Year Tutor co-ordinates and administers the Class Tutor system and acts in consultation with teachers and Class Tutors in the area of discipline. The Year Tutor meets parents/guardians, and files reports of such meetings.
The Pastoral Care team of the Principal , Deputy Principal, Chaplain, Guidance Counsellor, Pastoral Care Co-ordinator and volunteer teachers act to support students with difficulties and help them overcome any problem behaviours.
The Deputy Principal has responsibility for co-ordinating discipline in the school. He/she will ensure, with the co-operation of all staff, that good order prevails in the school. He/she will be consulted by the Year Tutors and Class Tutors regarding such matters. In the absence of the Principal he/she acts for the Principal.
The Principal has final responsibility for the day- to-day running of the school. He/she ensures that the implementation of sanctions is fair, equitable and appropriate.
BOARD OF MANAGEMENT
The Board of Management gives formal approval to the Code of Behaviour and supports the Principal and teaching staff in the just implementation of the Code.
The Board of Management hears appeals by parents/guardians against the decision of the Principal to suspend a student.
ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY
A student who is absent from, or late for, school without a written explanation from a parent/guardian will be subject to the normal sanctions. Parents/guardians are obliged by the Education (Welfare) Act(2000) to give a written explanation to the school for such absence. The school is obliged to record and report all absences and reasons for absences and to report to the National Educational Welfare Board.
Students who leave school grounds during the school day without permission may be suspended.
Students who persistently fail to wear the full school uniform will be refused admittance to class and be required to return to school in full uniform. In exceptional circumstances at the request of parents/guardians the requirements of full school uniform may be waived for a limited number of days.
The Douglas Community School Student Journal is an essential part of communication between teachers and parents. All students are issued with a journal by the school and are required to have it in class at all times. Failure to produce the journal when required to do so by a teacher is a breach of the code of behaviour.
Students who deface their school journal will be required to replace it and may be subject to the appropriate sanctions.
Mobile Phones and Other ICT Devices
Active mobile phones and personal music systems in school are disruptive of teaching and learning. Where a student is found with a mobile phone, game console or music system switched on in class without permission, the device will be confiscated for a period of 4 days in the first instance with longer periods for repeat offenders. A student who refuses to surrender the device will be suspended from attending school until such time as he agrees to comply with school rules.
Mobile phones and personal music systems brought to school must be kept switched off and kept in the student’s locker or bag.
Smoking in the school building and grounds is prohibited by law. Students found smoking will be fined and the fines will be donated to local charity.
SANCTIONS FOR MISBEHAVIOUR
Sanctions for Misbehaviour.
When a student’s behaviour is unsatisfactory, disciplinary sanctions will be imposed. These include verbal cautioning, detention, community service(practical constructive tasks within the school), consultation with parents, Report Card, suspension and expulsion. Sanctions for misbehaviour are ususally progressive. The Principal reserves the right to suspend or to recommend expulsion of a student without prior sanctions where serious circumstances warrant such action.
Where a student causes malicious damage or loss to the property of another student, full restitution of the property or cost of the property will be required and the student will also be subject to the appropriate sanctions.
A decision by the Principal to recommend expulsion of a student is subject to the decision of the Board of Management.
Serious or persistent breaches of school discipline will result in suspension/expulsion. These include violence by a student, bullying, serious or persistent disruption of teaching and learning, offensive language to a teacher, vandalising/damaging school property and the personal property of others or other serious cause.
In cases where incidents of serious misbehaviour lead to repeated suspensions a reduced school day may be used over a period of weeks to seek to reintegrate the student into the school community. A parent/guardian will be required to collect the student from the school at the end of each reduced school day.
In cases involving suspension by the Principal, the parents/guardians have the right of appeal to the Board of Management.
In all cases involving expulsion by the Board of Management. The parents/guardians have the right of appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education amd Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act (1998).
Only where the cumulative total days of suspensions exceeds twenty in a school year can suspension be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.
OUTLINE OF PROCEDURES FOR DISCIPLINARY SANCTIONS
SUBJECT TEACHER IN CLASS
- VERBAL WARNING
- WRITTEN NOTE TO PARENTS IN JOURNAL-COUNTERSIGNED BY PARENTS
- GIVE WRITTEN CONTEMPORANEOUS INCIDENT REPORT TO CLASS TUTOR.
- DETENTION – AT LEAST ONE DAY NOTICE NOTED IN STUDENTS JOURNAL.
- SHORT DELAYS FOR CLEAN UP OF UNTIDY ROOMS, CONSULTATION OR DISCUSSION WITH TEACHER ARE NOT CONSIDERED A DETENTION.
ON REPORT CARD 1 (YELLOW CARD)
- TEACHER EVALUATION FORM (STUDENT PROFILE) MAY BE COMPILED BY CLASS TUTOR.
- TUTOR MUST STATE CLEARLY REASON FOR REPORT CARD.
- PARENTS WILL BE INVITED TO DISCUSS REASONS WITH YEAR TUTOR.
- PARENTS SHOULD BE WARNED OF CONSEQUENCES OF CONTINUED MISBEHAVIOUR – OR2 AND SUSPENSION.
- CLASS TUTOR GIVES COMPLETED OR1 TO YEAR TUTOR TO FILE.
ON REPORT 2 (RED CARD)
- TEACHER EVALUATION FORM (STUDENT PROFILE) MAY BE COMPILED BY YEAR TUTOR.
- TUTOR MUST STATE CLEARLY REASON FOR REPORT CARD.
- PARENTS MUST BE INVITED TO DISCUSS REASON WITH YEAR TUTOR.
- PARENTS SHOULD BE WARNED OF CONSEQUENCES OF CONTINUED MISBEHAVIOUR – SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION.
- YEAR TUTOR FILES COMPLETED OR2.
- IN ALL CASES THIS IS A DECISION OF THE PRINCIPAL HAVING HEARD ALL SIDES AND CONSIDERED THE CASE.
- SUMMARILY IN CASES OF SERIOUS INCIDENT OF MISCONDUCT.
- GENERALLY ONLY WHEN ALL ELSE HAS BEEN TRIED AND FAILED.
- GENERALLY ONLY IN CASE OF PERSISTENT SERIOUS MISBEHAVIOUR.
- GENERALLY NEEDS CLEARLY DOCUMENTED CASE HISTORY.
In all cases involving suspension by the Principal, the parents/guardians have the right of appeal to the Board of Management Only where the cumulative total days of suspensions exceed twenty in a school year can suspension be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.
Expulsion of a student is a very serious step, one which is only taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour.
A decision to expel a student by the Board of Management will only be taken when the following procedures have been implemented.
1.) A detailed investigation has been carried out under the direction of the Principal.
2.) A recommendation has been made by the Principal to the Board of Management.
3.) The Board of Management considered carefully this recommendation through a hearing.
4.) The Board of Management deliberates and makes a decision following the hearing.
5.) Consultations with the Educational Welfare Officer.
6.) Confirmation of the decision to expel.
This revision of the Code of Behaviour was approved by the Board of Management on the 13th March, 2018.