Code of Behaviour and Anti-Bullying Policy

Code of Behaviour for St. Aengus N.S.

Every child has the right to learn and develop to his/ her full potential in a safe, caring environment where he/she can feel happy .

With this in mind ,this policy is created to lay down agreed guidelines which promote positive behaviour and allow the school to function in an orderly and harmonious way.

Why is it necessary to devise a Code of Behaviour and what will it contain?

The existing policy is in need of renewal and it is required by law since 2007.This document must be in place by 2010.

It should specify the following :

a. the standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each pupil attending St. Aengus N.S.;

b. the measures that shall be taken when a child fails to observe these standards;

c. the procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from school ;

d. the grounds for removing a suspension;

e. procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.

Those involved in drawing up the policy

Parents , teachers , Board of Management and pupils ,as appropriate, are involved in compiling the document. Views are gathered by questionnaire from parents. Teachers discuss views and ideas at a special staff meeting and a draft copy is presented to the Board of Management.

If approved by the Board a draft copy , including any amendments made by the board, is left on view in the school foyer for a period of 3 weeks where parents are welcomed to examine and comment . Any further amendments are made and a copy is circulated to each family . The policy will be sent to all families and later posted on the upcoming school website. In future years only new entrants to the school will receive a copy. Parents will be required to sign a letter saying that they have read and wish to comply with the code .

Promotion of a positive ethos in the school

In our school we treat all children with respect and dignity. There is a strong sense of community and cooperation among staff, pupils and parents and all are agreed that emphasis is placed on a system which rewards the positive rather than sanctioning the negative.

Parents have a pivotal role in the formation of their child’s attitude and relationships with others¦.This relates to life inside and outside school.

Parents are made aware of what is expected of their child in school , the reward system in place and sanctions which are used when necessary. They are assured that this system is used with complete fairness and regard to the dignity of every child.

Pupils are consulted in drafting of rewards and sanctions within the classroom and are taught expected behaviour with care.

The Code

Four important rules to remember always :

1. Follow directions of teacher.

2. Keep hands ,feet and objects to yourself.

3. Name calling, teasing and bad language are not allowed.

4. Bullying is not tolerated.

Examples of the above rules are discussed in class and everyone is reminded of them on an ongoing basis. Teachers will ensure that every child understands behaviour expected and will encourage kindness and consideration of others.

Consideration will be given to children with special needs and any specific behaviour targets will be mentioned in their individual education plan.

Rewards for expected behaviour

The most common reward is oral i.e. teachers frequently draw attention to good behaviour and praise the child.

In class system :

Stickers , First in line,

pupil of the week, Positive note to parent,

night off homework.

Points system ( children can gather points during the week for which certain benefits can be awarded to the whole class e.g. golden time on Friday or extra sports time.)

In the case of older classes, points may be lost if a member of the class or a team misbehaves.

In other areas of school

In the playground and other areas of the school children are “caught being good “ and rewarded by a smiley face. This involves children being polite and helpful to adults and other children .

Assembly

The principal , who is responsible for discipline in the school as a whole, leads assembly on Friday mornings in the hall. Children are reminded of acceptable behaviour in St. Aengus’ National School. Any areas of weakness are focused upon and improvements recognised.

Pupils of the week certificates , bookmarks for smiley faces and extra play time for best line are given.

Any child who has gained 3 smiley faces and has worked well at class and homework will be eligible for a prize. If ,however, he/she has broken any of the 4 rules the prize will be postponed for another week for that child.

Also any efforts e.g. sporting achievements, school or dancing competitions or class project winners are acknowledged.

One class will recite a favourite poem , song or give an account of work they have done lately to give a few minutes of entertainment and a prayer is offered. Assembly songs are sung.

Sanctions

The necessity for corrective action is explained to children as their understanding is very important. The 4 rules of the code are given in detail in class and when a child fails to follow these the following will happen :

1. Child is given a reminder.

2. A second reminder is given.

3. Time out – the child is kept back for 1 -5 minutes at next break time (depending on age of the child). Older children may also get detention at lunch or break time.

4. Child may be sent to another class for short time.

5. The child is sent to the principal where she /he will explain his/her actions and a call may be made to the parent or a letter may be sent. Following this the parent may be asked to come to school so that all parties involved can set behavioural goals for the pupil.

This measure will be recorded.

In the event of severe misbehaviour at no.1 above , a child will be sent straight to the principal.

Procedures in respect of Suspension. (as per page 77 of the NEWB Guidelines)

While the BOM has the authority to suspend, they may delegate this authority to the principal, for periods of up to three days.

  • Investigation of the facts to confirm serious misbehaviour.
  • Parents will be informed by phone or in writing about the incident.
  • Parents will be given an opportunity to respond.

If suspension is still decided upon

  • Principal notifies parent in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter should confirm:
  • The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
  • The reasons for the suspension.
  • Any study programme to be followed.
  • The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents.
  • The provision for appeal to the Board of management
  • The provision for appeal to the Secretary General of the DES. (Only where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days.)
  • Where the cumulative total of days reached 6, the NEWB will be notified.

Records and reports.

Formal written records will be kept of:

  • The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
  • The decision-making process.
  • The decision and rationale for the decision.
  • The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension.

Expulsion.( As per page 82 of the NEWB Guidelines)

Procedures in respect of expulsion.

  • Detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal.
  • Inform parents in writing of alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
  • Give parents and students the opportunity to respond before a decision is made.
  • A recommendation to the BOM by the principal( see page 84 NEWB guidelines)
  • Consideration by the BOM of the principal’s recommendations and the holding of a hearing. (see page 84 NEWB Guidelines)
  • BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing. ( page 85 NEWB Guidelines)
  • If BOM is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) in writing, of its opinion and the reasons for this opinion. The intention to expel a student does not take effect until 20 school days have elapsed after NEWB have received written notification. The NEWB should be notified using a Notice of Intention to Expel form which is available on www.schoolreturn.ie or from our helpline (1890 36 3666). This form should be completed and sent to School Return Section, National Educational Welfare Board, 16-22 Green St, Dublin 7.
  • Consultations arranged by the EWO.
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.

Appeals.

  • A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science ( Education Act 1998 section 29)

Expulsion

The Board of Management has the authority to expel a pupil. Expulsion should be proportionate to a pupils behaviour and would only be invoked in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour when all other possible remedial steps have been taken.

Steps taken in event of possible expulsion

1. A detailed investigation is carried out under the direction of the principal.

2. A recommendation is made to the Board of Management by the principal.

3. The Board considers the recommendations and the holding of a hearing.

4. The Board of Management ,if it concurs with the recommendation to expel, informs the National Education and Welfare Board in writing. (Expulsion can only take place after 20 days have passed since the receipt of that letter by the NEWB.)

5. Consultations are arranged by the Education Welfare Officer.

6. Confirmation of the decision to expel.

Decisions to expel are subject to appeal under S. 29 of the Education Act.

Attendance

The principal is required to inform the National Education and Welfare Board of the names of any child who has been absent from school for 20 days or more . He/she is also required to give reasons for the absences. Parents should therefore send a note on the reason for a child’s absence on his/her return to school.

St Aengus National School policy on Bullying

“Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against others.”

(Dept. Education Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour, 1993)

Bullying in any form is unacceptable in St. Aengus’ N.S.

The Board of Management ,Principal and staff of St. Aengus` National School recognise that bullying can take many forms and that it cannot be tolerated within the school in any of it’s guises. They are aware of how damaging bullying can be in the life of a young person and are ever observant to identify and deal with even the least offence. However, some of its forms are difficult to identify by even the most observant, as the determined bully will choose the moment so as to avoid detection and can be extremely subtle in carrying out the offence. The Board and staff are totally committed to ensuring that any occurrence of bullying that is observed, reported, or brought to their attention in any way, will be rigorously investigated and corrective action will be implemented within the shortest possible timeframe.

The most likely forms of bullying to occur are isolation, intimidation, name-calling , shoving, taking small items from another, insults, teasing, dirty looks, spreading rumours, taking friends, tripping, making threats and physical aggression.

Any bullying behaviour is investigated by the principal and recorded. Parents may be involved in helping devise a plan to counter bullying behaviour in a particular case. Persistent bullying is regarded as serious misbehaviour.

How St. Aengus` N.S. will respond to bullying.

1. If a student is accused of, or seen, bullying another student their name is recorded and the incident detailed in the Bullying Log. They also receive a warning and a detention if the incident is proven to the satisfaction of the principal. To ascertain if an accusation of bullying is correct the bully, the alleged victim and any witness are interviewed in the principals office in groups or as individuals. The target of the bullying is offered support .

2. If there are three references to the same student in the Bullying Log their parents are notified and may be asked to attend a meeting. The student loses privileges . After ten days with no misdemeanours they begin again with a clean slate.

-Every class will be taught what constitutes bullying behaviour.

-The consequences of bullying behaviour will be made clear to those who bully, their targets and complicit bystanders.

-An understanding will be developed among staff of :

the reasons people bully.

-the reasons bullies regularly target some people.

-Data is collected about bullying incidents.

-Children are helped to understand the difference between aggression and assertion.

-Children are helped to develop problem solving skills.

-Children are helped to develop a sense of empathy and compassion so they will not tolerate the bullying of others.

For pupils who bully

These children are helped to develop the skills to manage their emotions in a positive way.

They are taught to realise that we all make choices and must take responsibility for our actions.

For the targets of bullying behaviour.

These students can expect to have their story taken seriously and the matter to be dealt with immediately.

They can be taught strategies for dealing with the bullying behaviour of another.

They can be helped to develop a positive perception of themselves .

Any bystander who reports an incident can do so in confidence.

A series of lessons will be taught throughout the school on bullying behaviour and how to counteract it and a positive prevention programme will be in place.

Reviewed on date___22/12/2011_________

Signed ________Liam Gallagher____________ _____________

Review of Discipline and Anti Bullying policy Sept 2012

In addition to the above Cyber Bullying must be added to the policy. Cyber Bullying is reported by 12-15% of children according to ISPCC. Another study (GUI) reports that 1 in 5 children stated they were bullied by electronic means, the majority of these by text message. Technology plays a positive, productive and creative part of young people’s activities, development and social participation. However, it can atkre place day or night and in the home where children should feel is a safe haven.

Cyberbullies can sometimes be anonymous, hiding behind screen names and emasil addresses. Not knowing the bully’s identity can add to the victim’s insecurity .

Cyberbullying can be a harsher form of bullying as youngsters can sometimes say things online that they would never say in person.

Cyberbullying can have far reaching consequences-its easy to send an email making fun of people with a few clicks to the whole school or post it on a website. This can make it very difficult for the child to cope.

A whole school approach will involve educating the children about the harm that can be caused

Children will learn that it is o.k. to tell

Children will be made aware that bullying will be tackled by all members of the community (pupils , staff and parents) together in a consistent and systematic way.

Sanctions will be applied to cyber bullying as any other bullying

Parents will be informed and asked to help.

While children are not permitted to use mobile phones in St Aengus’ N.S. and must send a phone to the office during the school day if they have one with them for exceptional agreed reasons , cyber bullying is taken seriously. Education on this issue will take place within the SPHE programme of the school.

Reviewed on 20/09/2012

Signed___________________________

Date_____________________________

St Aengus’ N.S.

Code of Discipline and

Anti Bullying Policy

9th December 2009