Code of Behaviour - tinahely national school

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Tinahely National School

Code of Discipline and Behaviour

Date: April 2012
Review date: September

It is necessary that school should be a well-ordered and disciplined place. It should provide an environment where the child is physically safe and happy and where good relationships are fostered between pupils, teachers, parents/guardians and others involved in the running of the school. It should provide a curriculum and a working atmosphere to help each child develop his/her potential. It should help the child as he/she grows older to move away from an externally imposed discipline and to become self-disciplined.

This code applies to all school activities, whether inside or outside the school grounds.

This code will operate in conjunction wit the school anti-bullying policy and the school child-protection policy.

A copy of the finally approved code will be made available to all parents of school-going children and should be clearly understood by pupils’ parents and teachers.

The most effective schools tend to be those with the best relationships with parents, and every effort will be made by the staff to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents, and that parents are told not only when their children are in trouble but when they have behaved particularly well.


All pupils are expected to behave in a responsible manner both towards themselves and others, showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other pupils and adults at all times
Pupils will respect the right of others to learn in a secure safe atmosphere.
Pupils will co-operate with instructions given by the teacher.
Respect must be shown for the property of the individual and of the school at all times.

The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to accommodate these differences.  Any behaviour will be judged having regard to a child’s  age, temperament, level of ability and/or other relevant factors.

Each teacher has responsibility for the supervision and maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school. If misbehaviour occurs at lunchtime or at any time when another teacher is in charge, the teacher may impose a sanction and inform the class teacher of this.  

The school places greater emphasis on rewards than on sanctions in the belief that this will, in the long run, give the best results. Teachers will keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour, but they must also record any improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.  The school has a Discipline-for-Learning programme, which emphasises positive reinforcement for learning.

(1)  The class teacher/teacher in charge deals with it and may impose a sanction.
If the problem is not solved the class teacher shall consult the Principal and/or the parents/guardians of the child with a view to helping the child overcome the difficulty.
If the problem persists or in the case of serious misbehaviour it may be necessary to have on-going discussions between the parents/guardians, teacher and Principal to monitor the situation - always with the objective of helping the child


In imposing a sanction it is important that the teacher should communicate to the pupil that it is the misbehaviour that is unacceptable and not the individual.

When misbehaviour occurs, the following is a list of possible sanctions or strategies that may be used. This list is not exhaustive.

The pupils is made aware of the fact that his/her behaviour is unacceptable;
The child may receive a verbal reprimand from the teacher;
The teacher may discuss misbehaviour with pupil, and include suggestions on how he or she might improve;
The seating arrangement in class may be changed;
A child may be temporarily separated from class group;
Incomplete homework may have to be completed;
A note or a comment may be written on a child’s homework journal to be signed by parents/guardians;
A pupil may be given a written assignment re. inappropriate behaviour to be signed by parents/guardians;
If a pupil’s behaviour is a source of danger/disruption to himself or others he may be removed from the activity in which he is involved e.g. Art/P.E./Play;
A pupil may be referred to the Principal;
A formal parent-teacher meeting in school may be held

Suspension and Expulsion
Before serious sanctions such as suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised.  Where it is proposed to detain a pupil after school hours, the parents or guardians will be notified.  Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.

For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case.  Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.

Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the Principal.  If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future, the pupil may be suspended for a period.  Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board has authorised the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.  Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Local Welfare Education Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)
Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.

Children with Special Needs
All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour.  However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules.  Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/resource teacher, and/or Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given.   Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times.  

The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support.  This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

Methods of Communicating with Parents
Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.

A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.

Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour.

This code was approved by the Board of Management on 20 March 2012

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