Code of Behaviour

“Discipline is an essentially positive concept. It is not achieved by constraint, fear or a reliance on punishment. Rather it flows from attitudes of respect, trust and responsible action on the part of all members of the school community. Our Code of Discipline seeks to create a structured environment in which the young person learns self-discipline, personal responsibility and an awareness of the rights of others.”

(Mission Statement for Terenure College)


“Here then are the few points  …  written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to   …  See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues.”

(Epilogue, Carmelite Rule)


CONTENTS:

1.    Introduction
2.    Aims
3.    General Behaviour 
4.    Roles and Responsibilities
5.    School Regulations and Guidelines & Classroom Rules
6.    Attendance and Punctuality
7.    Supportive Measures    
8.    Awards and Affirmation
9.    Sanctions
10.  Breaches of Discipline
11.  Interventions
12.  Detention
13.  Suspension
14.  Expulsion
15.  Conclusion  
16.  Appendices:
        - School Regulations and Guidelines
        - Classroom Rules
        - Anti-Bullying Policy


MISSION STATEMENT:

The Mission (core ethos) of the College is contained in the College’s Mission Statement, the preamble to which reads:

Conscious of the mission of Jesus: “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10), we aim to have a school community which is concerned with people as sons and daughters of God. In an atmosphere of welcome and warmth each individual is valued for himself or herself irrespective of ability and achievement. Each and every one learns to grow at different levels – intellectually, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and physically – through involvement in a balance of academic, religious, cultural and sporting activities.

- Mission Statement for Terenure College


1.    INTRODUCTION:

The School Management sets out below the rules, regulations and procedures which have been drawn up in collaboration with staff, parent(s)/guardian(s) and students and in the context of our aims and values, to ensure the smooth operation of the disciplinary system and the fostering of a positive learning environment. The Code of Behaviour is rooted in the belief that respect for the individual is essential to effective teaching and learning and is, thus, an integral part of a positive school environment. In applying the Code of Behaviour it is necessary to reach a balance between the interests of the individual student and the general welfare of the wider school community.

The Code of Behaviour applies to the campus of Terenure College,  all school activities including school tours, outings, matches, cup matches etc. The school reserves the right to impose in-house sanctions if a student’s activities outside the school have a detrimental effect on the student’s behaviour or academic performance in school, on the well being of any other student in this school or on the good name of the College.

The Code of Behaviour must be read in conjunction with the School Regulations and Guidelines, Classroom Rules and other school policies, in particular the Anti-Bullying Policy.


2.    AIMS:

The Code of Behaviour as set out in this document aims to achieve the following:

•    the creation of a safe and caring environment conducive to effective teaching and learning;
•    the fostering of a spirit of self-discipline crucial to the development of the young person;
•    the development of personal responsibility;
•    the maintenance of a clean and orderly environment;
•    the understanding of the regulations governing behaviour within the school;
•    the creation and implementation of a just and gradated system of sanctions;
•    the co-operation and involvement of parent(s)/guardian(s) in supporting the Code of Behaviour and imposition of sanctions;
•    the nurturing of a sense of respect and pride in each individual for themselves, the school and the community.


3.    GENERAL BEHAVIOUR:

By enrolling in the College parent(s)/guardian(s) and their sons commit themselves to actively supporting and respecting the ethos of the College in particular in regards to our identity as a Catholic and Carmelite School. This will include participating in the religious and liturgical life of the College.

Each pupil is expected to take a full and active part in the life of the College according to the individual talents with which he has been blessed. In keeping with the College tradition of academic excellence, each pupil is required to apply himself to work and study in a most serious and conscientious manner. Participation in the College’s co-curricular activities is an integral part of being a pupil in the College.

The highest standard of courtesy and good manners is expected when dealing with all those involved in College life: teachers, ancillary staff and fellow students. Students should show due respect for staff members or other adults. They should address each other in an appropriate manner and refrain from use of offensive language. They should arrive in class with all appropriate materials and books for the lesson in question. Homework assignments should be completed for the given day and should be neatly presented. Students should behave in an orderly fashion on corridors, staircases and school entrances.   

The classroom environment involves a balance between open dialogue between teacher and student and a disciplined atmosphere wherein learning and teaching can effectively take place. At no time should interruptions or time wasting by a student interfere with the learning opportunities of the group.

Students must respect the environment of the College as well as the property of others and must make every effort to keep the school looking as well and as clean as possible. Restitution must be made for willful damage to school property or the property of others.  

Bullying, in whatever form, is abhorrent and will not be tolerated. Bullying shows a lack of respect for others. It is an abuse of power. Bullying can be deeply upsetting and extremely damaging to all those involved: the victim and his family, those who witness it and the bully. Bullying therefore is totally wrong and completely against the ethos of our school. (Please also read the School’s Anti-Bullying Policy).


4.    ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Terenure College acknowledges the contribution of all members of the school community wherein each member has responsibility for the promotion of good behaviour and a role in dealing with negative behaviour.

Students:

The school expects that students will at all times do their best to uphold the Code of Behaviour of the school. By virtue of being a student of Terenure College, students have the responsibility to behave in a manner that is in keeping with the values and ethos of the College which are incarnated in this Code of Behaviour. Students must comply with the School Rules and Regulations and obey the instructions of staff members.

Teachers:

Terenure College acknowledges the central role of teachers in the development and operation of the Code of Behavior. The school recognises that a teacher’s main focus is in the area of teaching and learning, but that they also have a pivotal role to play in behaviour management. That pivotal role is a core element of this code.  

Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline in his/her own class while showing a common responsibility for good order within the College.

Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

A genuine partnership between teachers and parents is essential for the welfare and successful education of our students. The co-operation of parent(s)/guardian(s) is considered fundamental to the implementation of the school discipline policy. By enrolling their son in the school parent(s)/guardian(s) commit themselves to supporting the aims and ethos of the school and agree to support the policies of the school.

Form Masters:

Form Masters have an overall responsibility for the promotion of good behaviour within an individual Year Group and for dealing with serious or continued breaches of the Code of Behaviour by student(s) of that Year Group.

Principal and Deputy Principal:

The Principal and Deputy Principal have the overall responsibility for the promotion of good behaviour within the school.  They are responsible for putting in place whole school structures to give effect to the Code of Behaviour. They will intervene in certain situations as they deem appropriate.

In the absence of the Principal, the Deputy Principal assumes the function and the authority of the Principal.

In Addition:

Tutors, Guidance Counsellor, Learning Support Teachers, Study Monitors/Coaches and Chaplaincy etc. all have special roles to play in upholding the code.  


Other Staff:

The contribution of ancillary staff in the day to day running of the school is acknowledged and it is recognised that they too have a part to play in the successful operation of our Code of Behaviour. In particular, staff members have a responsibility to report examples of positive behaviour and incidents of misbehaviour they may witness from time to time.  

The School Board of Management:

The ultimate authority and responsibility for the creation and successful implementation of all policies lies with the School Management.


5.    SCHOOL REGULATIONS & GUIDELINES & CLASSROOM RULES:

The School Regulations and Guidelines and Classroom Rules are drawn up in accordance with the stated aims of the Code of Behaviour and are published as an appendix to this document. They will be regularly evaluated and revised when appropriate. To further facilitate both students and their parent(s)/guardian(s), they are published, when possible, each year in the Homework Journal and are posted home at the start of the school year. They are also posted on the college website annually.


6.    ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY:

Students are required to actively engage with the teaching and learning process. To this end, absences from school must be kept to a minimum. Students must be punctual for class not only at the start of the school day and after lunch, but also throughout the day.

Absences from school must be explained in writing by a Parent/Guardian to the Form Master on the Absence Notes that are in the back of the Homework Journal. In addition to this, parents of Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Year pupils are requested to ring the College between 8.45 a.m. and 9.25 a.m. on the day of their son’s absences, informing the College of the absence.

Truancy for part of a day or for a full day is a very serious breach of discipline and the Form Master will take whatever action is deemed necessary to deal with it.

In accordance with the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, the school authorities are obliged to report absences over 20 days, cumulative, in any one school year to the National Education Welfare Board.


7.    SUPPORTIVE MEASURES:

In Terenure College students will be encouraged in their endeavours to uphold the Code of Behaviour by use of the following measures: -

(a)    The Code of Behaviour for students, including the School Regulations and Guidelines, is circulated to parent(s)/guardian(s) of all new entrants into the school and they are required to read it and acknowledge with a signature that they will abide by its contents. This is to ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) and students: understand what the rules are; that they must be adhered to; and the procedures that will be followed in the event of the rules not being upheld.

(b)    At the start of the academic year, the more salient points of the Code of Behaviour, the School Regulations and Guidelines and Classroom Rules, as well as any amendments to them, are highlighted to each Year Group.

(c)    School rules and the reason for them, the notion of tolerance for others, self-control, a sense of fairness and understanding of principles of natural justice are discussed as part of the CSPE, SPHE and Religious Education programmes.

(d)    Parent(s)/guardian(s) are invited to liaise with the relevant Form Master or Deputy Principal or Principal on any aspect of their son’s progress or any concerns they may have. In this way early intervention is possible which may avoid problems escalating. Parent(s)/guardian(s) are also welcome to consult with individual teachers. All meetings should be organized by appointment and through the College Reception.

(e)    The Principal will communicate regularly in the form of letters, assemblies/meetings during the year, particularly parents’ meetings at the start of each school year.


8.    AWARDS AND AFFIRMATION:

In line with the school’s philosophy of respect for the individual, it is the belief and expectation of the School Authorities that each student is capable of the highest standards of behaviour. The student’s self-esteem and personal growth is at the heart of the Code of Behaviour.

Amongst the means of promoting and affirming good behaviour are:

•    where individual teachers are encouraged to adopt an award system for their class;
•    in cases where a student has displayed exceptional behaviour and/or work, that the teacher will post home a Special Commendation acknowledging the contribution of the pupil;
•    the awarding of extra homework credits;
•    where each student receives an individual report on his progress at regular intervals throughout the year;
•    at Assemblies during the course of the year, as well as at the Annual Prize-giving, aspects of school life are acknowledged and rewarded;
•    various awards presentations throughout the year;
•    highlighting student achievements in our Newsletter, which is sent to parents on a regular basis and in notices throughout the school.


9.    SANCTIONS:

The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by:

•    helping students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable;
•    helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others;
•    helping students to understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences;
•    helping them to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.

A sanction may also:

•    reinforce the boundaries set out in the code of behaviour;
•    signal to other students and to staff that their wellbeing is being protected.

In instances of more serious breaches of school standards, sanctions may be needed to:

•    prevent serious disruption of teaching and learning;
•    keep the student, or other students or adults, safe.

The following are amongst the sanctions that may be imposed for breaches of conduct:

1.    In general, teachers handle problems and apply their own sanctions which may include prescribing additional work/punishment work, notes in Homework Journals, loss of homework credits, etc. 
2.    Interview – pointing out to the student the error of his ways, reasoning with him and advising him on how to improve, and the consequences of further unacceptable behaviour.
3.    Formal Reprimand  – pointing out to a student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) the unacceptable trend in his behaviour and the consequences of the continuation of such behaviour.
4.    Formal Detention from 8.45 a.m. to 10.45 a.m. on Saturdays.
5.    Students whose behaviour in school has been unsatisfactory may be excluded from participation in extra-curricular activities and may suffer the withdrawal of privileges.
6.    Suspension.
7.    Expulsion.

The School Authorities will file reports from teachers, notice of detention, letters of suspension, etc. showing the history of misconduct by a pupil and the steps taken by the school to remedy the situation.


10.     BREACHES OF DISCIPLINE:    

Gradation of misbehaviour and corresponding sanctions:

•    Low Level Misbehaviour:  No homework, incomplete homework, unsatisfactory standard of work, missing proper materials for class, not following classroom etiquette, speaking without permission, being late for class, incorrect uniform, eating in class or chewing gum, etc.

•    Sample Sanctions:  Verbal warning; written work such as extra homework, page of textbook, classroom rules signed by parent; note in Homework Journal to be signed by parent.


•    Medium Level Misbehaviour:  3rd occurrence of low level offences over more than one class; punishment work not presented on a 2nd occasion; once off occasion of medium level of disrespect/dissent towards a teacher.

•    Sanction:  (After having applied sanctions listed above, other than verbal warning) Formal Reprimand; possible report to Form Master, which may lead to a Detention or other sanction.


•    High Level Misbehaviour:  Persistent disruption of classwork; once off occasion of serious level of contempt/disrespect towards a teacher; violent/aggressive behaviour towards a student or a teacher. Wilful damage to school property or the property of another student.

•    Sanction:  Incident Report to Form Master; possible Formal Reprimand. Type of sanction applied left to the discretion of Form Master/Deputy Principal/Principal, which could include Detention, Suspension or a recommendation for Expulsion.

Please note:
Persistent repetition of a minor offence will lead to its being considered a major offence. These lists do not purport to be comprehensive. They are illustrative of breaches of discipline that may occur and possible subsequent sanctions.


11.     INTERVENTION:

At Terenure College we use the following interventions to assist students and to give direction to those students who find it particularly difficult to uphold the Code of Behaviour.

When dealing with serious/persistent behavioural issues the following are the broad aims of the school’s approach:

•    to establish a corrective and monitoring process as a first step;
•    to bring about improved behaviour and attitude to work;
•    to endeavour to help the student understand and acknowledge the unacceptable nature of his action(s);
•    to encourage him to be a partner in the process of formulating a way forward;
•    to involve parent(s)/guardian(s) in formulating and enacting corrective strategies;
•    to seek to explore/address underlying personal difficulties that may be a contributing factor in a student’s misbehaviour;
•    to seek to assist a student to create and live a healthy, positive and balanced lifestyle;
•    to protect and uphold the rights of other students and teachers.

The following interventions may be used:

•    Meeting between the student and a member of staff, usually the class teacher initially.
•    Referral to, and interview with, Form Master/Deputy Principal/Principal. 
•    Referral to the Guidance Counsellor or Chaplaincy.
•    Referral of parent(s)/guardian(s) to an outside agency. School personnel may assist parents with such a referral.
•    Imposition of sanctions such as Detention, Suspension or Expulsion.


12.    DETENTION POLICY:

Only the Principal, Deputy Principal, Form Masters and teachers in charge of administrating the lates system may impose Detention.  Receipt of 3 Formal Reprimands in one school year will lead to a Detention being imposed.

1.    Detention is a fundamental element of our Disciplinary Structure and it is essential that the College receives the support of Parent(s)/Guardian(s) in this matter.

2.    Students will not be excused from Detention due to matches, grinds, part-time work etc. The onus is upon the student to refrain from misbehaviour that may lead to Detention.

3.    Failure to attend Detention will result in two Detentions being imposed. Subsequent failure to attend will lead to more serious sanction. Permission to defer a Detention must be sought and received from the Form Master in advance of the Detention. Such a deferment will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

4.    Failure to fulfill a Detention properly e.g. not wearing full school uniform, being late, lack of work, misbehaviour will not be accepted. At a minimum, this will result in the Detention being fulfilled properly the following week.

5.    Detention takes place on Saturdays from 8.45 a.m. to 10.45 a.m.


13.    SUSPENSION POLICY:

The Board of Management of the school has the authority to suspend a student. This authority is delegated to the Principal within the limits stated by the Board of Management. The Principal will be advised by the Form Master(s).

Suspension may be imposed for accumulated and persistent misconduct on the part of a student or for a single incident of serious misbehaviour.

If after 3 detentions have been imposed, a student continues to misbehave he will be liable to be suspended. His record will be brought to the Principal’s attention for a decision regarding Suspension.

The purpose of Suspension is:

•    to impress on a student and his parent(s)/guardian(s) the seriousness of the behaviour;
•    to give the student time to reflect on the link between his action and its consequences and to reflect, in consultation with his parent(s)/guardian(s), on his response to the situation;
•    to help him realise that even more serious consequences may ensue if his behaviour is not modified;
•    to enable the school to set behavioural goals with the student and his parents;
•    to give staff time to plan ways of helping the student to change the unacceptable behaviour.

The Principal reserves the right, in certain situations, to impose an immediate suspension.

The kind of behaviour that might result in an immediate suspension being imposed are an action or actions that:
•    seriously compromises the maintenance of a safe environment or;
•    seriously undermines the authority of school staff or;
•    seriously undermines the education of other students or a teacher’s ability to effectively educate other students.

Procedures in respect of Suspension:

When investigating serious misbehaviour that could warrant suspension, the student and his parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed about the complaint and given the opportunity to respond before any decision is made or a suspension is imposed.

Where the Principal considers an immediate suspension is warranted a preliminary investigation will be conducted to establish the case for the imposition of the suspension. The formal investigation will immediately follow the imposition of the suspension. In the case of an immediate suspension, parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected.

When a decision is made to suspend a student the Principal will notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) and student in writing of the decision. The letter will confirm:

•    the period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end;
•    the reason(s) for the suspension;
•    the expectations of the school in relation to the student’s return to classes;
•    the expectations of the student while on suspension;
•    the provision for an appeal to the Board of Management;
•    the right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills where relevant.

The School is obliged to inform the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) if the suspension is longer than 6 days or if the student had been suspended for a cumulative total of more than 20 days during the school year.


Appeal:

The parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student, upon who the sanction of Suspension has been imposed, may appeal the Suspension to the Board of Management.

However, the Principal may require the student to remain out of school pending the outcome of the appeal, if, in the opinion of the Principal, such an action is appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained and/or that the safety of students is secured.

If the appeal is subsequently upheld, the Suspension will be expunged from the student’s record.

Suspension over 20 days cumulative in a school year may be appealed to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1998, Section 29).


14.    EXPULSION POLICY:

The Board of Management of the school has the authority to expel a student.

Expulsion of a student is a very serious step, and one that will only be taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school will have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion. In exceptional circumstances expulsion may also be imposed for a single incident of extremely serious misbehaviour.

A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as:

•    the student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process;
•    the student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety;
•    the student is responsible for serious damage to property.

The possession and/or consumption of any illegal substances or mind altering substances in the school or during school activities will incur expulsion.

The possession and/or consumption of alcohol may also incur expulsion.

In deciding whether or not to expel a student the Manager will undertake a review of the following factors:

•    the nature and seriousness of the behaviour;
•    the context of the behaviour;
•    the impact of the behaviour;
•    the interventions tried to date;
•    whether expulsion is a proportionate response;
•    the possible impact of expulsion.

Procedures in respect of Expulsion:

Pending the outcome of any proceedings the Board of Management reserves the right to suspend the student if, in the Board of Management’s opinion, such an action is appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline are maintained and/or that the safety of others is secured.

Step 1: A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.

In investigating an allegation, in line with fair procedures, the Principal will inform the student and his parent(s)/guardian(s) about the details of the complaint of serious misbehaviour and give them every opportunity to respond before a decision is made about the veracity of the allegation. Where expulsion may result from an investigation, a meeting with the student and his parent(s)/guardian(s) is considered essential.


Step 2: A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.

The Disciplinary Council, consisting of the Principal, Deputy Principal and at least two Form Masters, will meet to discuss the matter. Having reviewed the results of the investigation of the alleged misbehaviour, the response of the student and his parent(s)/guardian(s), and other relevant factors, the Disciplinary Council will decide whether or not it considers that expulsion may be warranted.

Where the Disciplinary Council forms a view that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal will make a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion. The Principal will:

•    inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion;
•    ensure that the parents have records of: the allegations against the student; the investigation; and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion;
•    provide the Board of Management with the same comprehensive records as are given to the parent(s)/guardian(s).


Step 3: Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing.

The Board of Management will review the initial investigation and satisfy himself that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures.

Where the Board of Management decides to consider expelling a student he will hold a hearing. The Principal will:

•    notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to the hearing;
•    advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management;
•    ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.

At the hearing the Principal and the parent(s)/guardian(s), or a student aged eighteen or over, put their case to the Board of Management in each other’s presence. Each party will be allowed to question the evidence of the other party directly. The meeting may also be an opportunity for parent(s)/guardian(s) to make their case for lessening the sanction. Parent(s)/guardian(s) may wish to be accompanied at the hearing and the Board of Management will facilitate this, in line with good practice.


Step 4:  The Board of Management’s deliberation and actions following the hearing.

Having heard from all the parties, it is the responsibility of the Board of Management to decide whether or not the allegation is substantiated and, if so, whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction.

Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management will notify the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) in writing of his opinion, and the reasons for this opinion.

The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification.

The Board of Management will inform the parent(s)/guardian(s), in writing, about his conclusions and the next steps in the process. Where expulsion is proposed the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be told that the Board of Management will now inform the EWO.


Step 5:  Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.

The EWO will:

•    make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student and anyone else who may be of assistance;
•    convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend.

The purpose of the consultations and the meeting is to ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education.


Step 6:  Confirmation of the decision to expel.

Where the twenty day period following notification to the Educational Welfare Officer has elapsed, and where the Board of Management remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management will formally confirm the decision (this task might be delegated to the Principal). Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified immediately, in writing, that the expulsion will now proceed. Parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student will be told about the right to appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1998, section 29).


15.    CONCLUSION:

The Code of Behaviour will be reviewed one year after its initial implementation.

Any amendments which need to be made will be in keeping with the ethos of the College and the Code of Behaviour and will be communicated to the members of the school community in writing.

A major review will be carried out no later than five years after the date of implementation and will involve consultation with the parent(s)/guardian(s), students, staff and the Board of Management.

This Code of Behaviour for students was devised in consultation with the staff, students, parent(s)/guardian(s) and Management of Terenure College.


As at 19th October 2016.