The mission statement of Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine states that “it aims to provide a high quality comprehensive education, open to all of the students of the greater Kenmare area. We are committed to the care and development of each individual and to fostering a positive attitude towards life long learning. It is a school where students, teachers and parents work together to contribute to a safe, caring and happy environment”. The objective of the Code of Behaviour is to provide a safe and productive environment for teaching and learning for all, in line with the school’s mission statement.
There are five general standards of behaviour expected from pupils in this school:
- Show respect for everyone
- Attend school every day on time
- Prepare for and cooperate in class
- Respect school property and the school environment
- Appropriate dress
These expectations are expressed in the following:
- Code of Courtesy
- General School Rules
- Classroom Rules
- Student Journal
- Procedures for notification of absences, late arrival and signing out.
- School Uniform
Code of Courtesy
Meeting and Greeting
- We greet each other by name when possible and appropriate
- We take responsibility for greeting visitors, welcoming them to the school and assisting them to find their way
- When meeting outside of school students still represent the school and will avoid name calling and offending others
- Teachers and students should actively listen to each other, avoiding interruption, harshness of tone or sarcasm
- We recognise that Senior cycle students deserve a more adult approach
- We pay attention to notice boards as a channel of communication
- Students will give prior notice to teachers when they are unable to attend class or unable to participate in sport
- We hold open a door for another and this courtesy is acknowledged
- People with special needs deserve our special consideration, a word of recognition, kindness etc. We need to take responsibility to see that they are not victimised or bullied, as we would look out for a family member with special needs.
- We volunteer a helping hand to a person carrying a heavy weight
- We encourage safety in the corridors by avoiding jostling and pushing
School Services and Facilities
- We are aware of and recognise the services of the non teaching staff: Clerical Officers, Caretakers and Cleaners
- We are conscious of using school facilities and surrounds to their maximum advantage.
- This being a Green School, students are expected to show active responsibility in caring for and respecting the school environment
- We encourage the correct use of Recycling Stations.
- We value the voluntary assistance of staff and student with in-school and out-of-school activities.
- Team effort and collaboration is valued in the following areas:
◘ Sport ◘ Green school
◘ Liturgy ◘ Music, Drama, Public Speaking
◘ Student Council
◘ School Events and Celebration
“Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine”
General School Rules
Pupils are expected to show respect for themselves, staff members and other students.
- This is a Green School and pupils are expected to show active responsibility in caring for and respecting school environment and property. Bins are provided in the classrooms for paper only and all other items should be disposed in the main assembly area bins.
- Pupils are expected to come to school each day, on time and be prepared for class.
- Students are expected to stay within the school grounds during school hours, unless parents/guardian makes alternative arrangements by contacting the school.
- Students must wear full school uniform in school and on school outings and functions.
- The health and safety of each individual is of the utmost importance, therefore, any substance, practices and objects deemed by the school to pose a threat are strictly forbidden and may be confiscated.
- Smoking is not permitted on the school grounds. Chewing gum is not permitted.
- You are responsible for your personal property and are advised not to bring valuables or large sums of money to school. If necessary, hand into the Office for safekeeping.
- Mobile phones should remain off at all times in school. If confiscated, they will only be returned to a parent. MP3 players, games should not be brought to school and may be confiscated.
- You are expected to arrive on time for class and to work and behave well in accordance with the teacher’s instructions.
- Homework must be written into the school journals and completed each evening in order to be prepared for the next class. Journals must be signed by parent / guardian weekly. The school’s Homework Policy must be followed.
- You are expected to have the required books and materials for each class. You are expected to be responsible with school equipment.
- At the end of class the classroom should be clean and tidy. Chairs should be put up on tables at the end of last class each day.
- You are expected to abide by the school’s Acceptable Use Policy for Computer and Internet Usage.
- Students must have their Journal with them in school and must make them available to staff members on request.
- This book must be well kept and used for official purposes only.
- The Journal must be signed weekly at home and will be inspected in school on a regular basis.
- Students who leave class for any reason must have a note from the class teacher in the Record Book.
- The loss of a Journal must be reported immediately to the Yearhead. Replacements must be paid for by students.
Procedures for notification of absences, late arrival and signing out.
- On returning to school after an absence, parents/guardians should sign the Absent Note slip at the back of the student journal. This should be shown to the Year head at Assembly. If a student is absent for more than 3 days, parents are asked to notify the school.
- Students who are late must present a note from the parents/guardian, in the Notes section of the Student Journal. Unexplained or continuous lateness may result in a sanction.
- When requesting permission to leave school during school hours, parents/guardians should sign the Permission to Leave slip at the back of the student journal and present it to the Year Head at Assembly. This is presented at the Office when signing out on leaving school. Students must sign back in on return to school. Mitching from school is considered a serious offence.
The Welfare Act 2002 places demands on parents to notify absences to the school and on the school to report absences of 20 or more days to the NEWB, National Educational Welfare Board. Parents will be notified of this in advance.
The school uniform consists of:
- grey school trousers or skirt, ‘regular’ fit.
- white polo shirt with the school crest.
- navy jumper bearing the school crest and school jacket.
- Black leather shoes (no canvas/runners or runner type shoes, even if they are black). Flat black or navy ‘boat style’ shoes are also acceptable.
- The uniform must be clean, neat and tidy.
- Each student needs at least two polo shirts and two trousers/skirts. All should be clearly marked with student’s name. Students may not wear jewellery except for a watch and a stud earring in each ear lobe. Hair must be neat and tidy.
- The school recommends that students do not wear excessive make-up. Visible piercings are not allowed.
- Students must wear full uniform for Assembly each morning. Any student not wearing full uniform must bring a note from home stating the reason. A note will be accepted for one day only after which a sanction may apply.
The school uniform is only available from O Sullivan-Fords, the Square, Kenmare.
- Internal Structures and Procedures
Role of the Principal
The Principal controls the internal organisation, management and discipline of the school, exercises supervision over the teaching and non-teaching staff and has the power, for any cause for which he or she judges adequate, to dismiss subject to the approval of the Board or to suspend pupils from attendance.
Role of the Deputy Principal
The Deputy Principal, as a member of the management team, assists the Principal in the internal organisation, management and discipline of the school. The Deputy Principal works with the Year Heads, Class Tutors, Chaplain, Guidance Counsellor and Subject teachers in developing, reviewing and implementing the Pastoral Care Programme in the school. The Deputy Principal has a key role and responsibility for the implementation of the disciplinary process and the maintenance of general discipline within the school. The Deputy Principal is in charge of the school in the absence of the Principal. In the absence of the Principal and Deputy Principal, a member of staff will be delegated responsibility and authority to be in charge of the school.
Role of the Year Head
The Year Head has general responsibility for the observance of the school regulations by the year group. Duties involved are:
- Facilitating meetings between tutors and Year Heads to review and plan.
- Co-ordinating all information given to and received from Subject teacher and tutors and checking action has been taken.
- Reporting to and liaising with, the Deputy Principal, Principal and Pastoral team regarding the year group.
- Keeping and overseeing records concerning students.
- Checking and dealing with lateness, absenteeism and uniform.
- Communicating with parents – in particular those experiencing difficulties in relation to their child’s progress in school or behavioural difficulties.
- Significant role in implementing the Code of Behaviour and will regularly review the effectiveness of sanctions applied to students.
- Communicating general information regarding students to general staff body: student on holiday, death in the family, illness involving student/parent/close relative, etc.)
- Dealing with Complimentary and Incident sheets and communicating the outcomes.
Role of Class Tutor
The Tutor has an important and significant role in the school; the class Tutors take a particular interest in the activities and progress of the student in a particular class. They help students to be positive in their behaviour and work. They take care, show care, teach care and evoke care. They are the first port of call.
- The Tutor will check individual journals weekly and ensure parents sign them weekly.
- The Tutor will liaise with Year Heads regularly to note any individuals who show cause for concern.
- The Tutor should report to the Year Head or Chaplain any concerns he/she has with regard to personal problems a student may have or if he/she thinks a particular student needs counselling, guidance or pastoral care for various reasons.
- The Tutor advises students on homework and/or study skills.
- The Tutor works in close co-operation with other parts of the pastoral care structure to ensure the best situation is found to any difficulties that may arise.
- The Tutor organises the SPHE class which covers issues of concern to pupils. Tutors of each year group will meet regularly to plan and review the SPHE programme.
- The Tutor provides feedback to students on academic and personal issues and can recommend reward or corrective procedures to the Year Head.
The Subject Teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of general discipline within his/her class while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school. Teachers shall keep written records of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of good behaviour. These should be communicated to the relevant school authorities. Corporal punishment is not allowed and students should remain under the supervision of the class teacher during timetabled classes.
Students, on enrolment must sign their agreement to abide by the Code of Behaviour. The Principal and staff by acting in ‘loco parentis’ requires students to adhere to and carry out any reasonable instruction given to them by a member of staff.
The parents/guardians, on enrolling their son/daughter in Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine must sign their agreement to this Code of Behaviour and will endeavour to support their child to abide by it during their enrolment in the school.
Rewards and Sanctions
Based on the belief that students respond positively to encouragement, the use of Complimentary Sheets is encouraged. These give an opportunity to record positive behaviour and improvement in all areas. These should be given to Year Heads who may then decide on a rewards system:
- Class Complimentary Sheet followed by appropriate reward, e.g. no homework to-night, etc.
- Awards Ceremony to take place a few times during the year, possibly after morning assembly.
- Individual Complimentary Sheets.
- Teachers own initiative on class treats (video, quiz).
- Weekend off homework for no Incident Sheet for one particular class, i.e. one month of excellent behaviour.
Sanctions are necessary to show disapproval of and to discourage unacceptable behaviour. The following strategies and sanctions may be used to show disapproval of behaviour in breach of the school’s Code of Behaviour.
- Teachers should first of all reason with the student, i.e. explain to them why such behaviour is unacceptable.
- The student should be reprimanded by the teacher either on a one-to-one basis or in the class.
- Students should be separated from others in the class if this is a feasible option.
- Students could lose privileges within the class, e.g. computers.
- Students could be put on detention by class teacher. Notice of detention must be given to students one day in advance, preferably by recording it in their Journal.
- Students could be given additional relevant course work or school related assignments. (Not lines)
- Misbehaviour should result in a note in the Journal.
- If students do not have their homework, equipment, etc., they should get a note in their Journal which should be signed by a parent.
- Continuous misbehaviour should result in an Incident Sheet and be given to the Year head:
- No Journal or refusal to follow the teacher’s instructions should receive an Incident Sheet.
- If notes are consistently not signed by parents, teachers should inform the Year Head.
- Incident sheets and complimentary sheets are retained in the student’s file and recorded on e-portal, the school’s database.
Persistent breaches of the Code of Behaviour which have not been rectified by the foregoing disciplinary procedures may result in the following:
- The student may be placed on Report.
- At the discretion of the Year Head, the student may be given some punishment such as Formal Detention, school chores, brief internal suspension.
- Parents may be notified by phone or in writing that the behaviour of the student is giving serious cause for concern and invited to the school to discuss the matter with the Principal / Deputy Principal/Yearhead.
- Should the misbehaviour continue, the Principal may recommend that the student be suspended in line with the school’s Suspension Policy.
- The purpose of suspending a student from school is to provide the student with time for reflection, to emphasise the seriousness of specific misbehaviours and to give staff time to plan ways of helping the student to change unacceptable behaviour.
- The Board of Management has delegated authority to the Principal to suspend a student for a period up to and including three days. If a suspension for longer than three days is being proposed the matter must be referred to the Board. In such a case, having sought approval from the Chairperson of the Board, the Principal may suspend for up to five days to allow for time to convene a Board meeting. The Board will not normally impose a suspension of more than 10 consecutive school days.
- Suspension will be imposed for any serious breaches of the Code of Behaviour. Such misbehaviour may include:
- A threat to the safety of others.
- Disruption of teaching and learning
- Deliberate damage to property
- Misuse of technology
- Substance abuse
- Persistent breaches of the Code of Behaviour which have not been rectified by the normal school interventions.
- Before a suspension is imposed the Principal will have considered the seriousness and contextof the behaviour; the impact of the behaviour on the other members of the school community; the interventions that have already been tried with the student involved; the likely impact of the suspension on the particular student. Care will be taken to ensure that the academic progress of the student will not be adversely affected by the suspension.
- Suspension Procedures:
Following a thorough investigation of the incident, if the Principal decides it is appropriate to suspend a student, the following procedure will be used:
- The student will be informed and given an opportunity to respond.
- The student’s parents will be contacted and the matter will be explained. The suspension will not be implemented until the parents have been fully informed both of the circumstances of the incident and of their right to appeal the decision to suspend to the Board of Management.
- The parents will also receive notification of the details of the suspension in writing.
- If the suspension is to take immediate effect, as in cases involving health and safety, parents may be asked to collect the student from school. The student will remain in a supervised area of the school until collected.
- All suspension decisions will be notified to the Board of Management and suspensions of more than 5 days duration will be notified to the NEWB.
- Returning to school after a suspension:
- Schools will ensure that a student returning to school following a
suspension will be supported in catching up on work and in developing an understanding of the initial reasons for the suspension.
- In certain instances the school may require the parents to accompany the student to school on the day of return in order to meet with the student’s Year Head and/or other relevant school personnel.
A suspension imposed by the Principal can be appealed to the Board of Management as follows:
- An appeal should be submitted in writing to the Secretary of the Board of Management within 5 school days of the imposition of the suspension and should set out the parent’s case against the suspension.
- At its next meeting the Board will nominate two members, neither of whom should have any involvement in the case, to investigate the issue and report back to the Board with its findings and recommendations.
- If this investigation recommends that the Board remove the suspension, the record of the suspension will be removed from the student’s file. If the investigation approves the suspension then the suspension will stand.
- There is no further right to appeal unless the student’s cumulative suspensions in any one year exceed 20 days, in which case there is a right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Dept. of Education and Science. The Principal must inform the parents and the NEWB if this 20 day limit has been reached. Review:
The Board will monitor the frequency of the use of suspension as a disciplinary measure and will regularly review the procedures to ensure that it is being used fairly and appropriately and in the best interests of the entire school community.
Expulsion of a student will be considered only after every effort at rehabilitation has failed and every other sanction exhausted.
- Only the Board of Management has the authority to expel a student. This authority will not be delegated.
- Expulsion of a student is a very serious step and will only be taken by the Board in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. Such behaviour may include:
- Significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
- A serious threat of violence against other students or members of staff.
- Actual violence or physical assault.
- Supplying illegal drugs.
- Sexual assault.
- Deliberate serious damage to property.
- Serious misuse of technology
- In most cases before considering expulsion, the school will have taken significant steps to address the student’s behaviour. These steps may include:
- Meeting with parents and the student to try and find ways of helping the student to change their behaviour.
- Making sure that the student understands the possible consequences of their behaviour, if it should persist.
- Ensure that all other possible options have been tried
- Seeking the assistance of support agencies (e.g. National Educational Psychological Service, Health Service Executive Community Services, the National Behavioural Support Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, National Council for Special Education).
- However there may be exceptional circumstance where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. Due process and fair procedures will be followed in all cases and the principles of natural justice will apply.
- The following are the procedures for the investigation of misbehaviour which may lead to expulsion:
- The Principal will ensure that there is a thorough investigation of the incident. The student may be suspended from school while this investigation is taking place.
- The Principal will inform the student and the parents, in writing, of the details of the alleged misbehaviour and the possibility that it could result in expulsion.
- The student and parents will be given every opportunity to respond to the complaint before a final decision is made. If the final decision is that the Principal intends to recommend expulsion to the Board of Management then the parents will be invited to a meeting with the Principal before the recommendation is taken to the Board.
- The Principal will provide the parents and the Board of Management with records of the allegations, the investigation and also the grounds on which the Board is being asked to consider expulsion.
- The parents will be notified of the date of the Board of Management hearing and will be invited to attend. They will be given adequate notice of the meeting and will be informed that they may make a written and oral submission to the Board. The written submission may be made in advance.
- The Board of Management Hearing:
- The Board will ensure impartiality and a Board member who has had any involvement in the circumstances of the case will not take part in the hearing.
- At the hearing the Principal and the parents, or a student who is eighteen years or over, will put their case to the Board in each others presence.
- Parents may wish to be accompanied at such hearings and the Board will facilitate this; legal accompaniment is not acceptable at this stage.
- Neither Principal nor parents will be present when the Board is making its decision.
- Following the Board Decision:
- If the Board decides that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the parents and the Education Welfare Officer, in writing, of its decision and the reasons for its decision.
- The expulsion will not be implemented until twenty days from the date on which the Education Welfare Officer receives written notification of the expulsion.
- Involvement of the Education Welfare Officer:
- Within this twenty day period, the Education Welfare Officer will convene meetings with relevant parties to ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education.
- While these negotiations are taking place, and before the expulsion is finalised, the Board may consider it necessary to continue the student’s suspension from school.
- After the twenty days has elapsed, where the Board remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the decision will be formally confirmed to the parents and the student in a registered letter signed by the Chairperson and the Principal.
- The parents will be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the appropriate form. This appeal is made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.
Note 1: It may arise that it becomes necessary, in the interest of Health and Safety, to search a student’s property This may be authorised by the Principal/Deputy Principal and conducted under their supervision.
Note 2: The cost of malicious damage to property may be recouped from students and/or parents
- Support Structures
Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine has a number of structures in place to support students . They are the School Anti-Bullying Policy and the Pastoral Care system.
School Anti-Bullying Policy
Pupils have a right to a safe learning environment. Bullying is repeated verbal, psychological or physical aggression, conducted by an individual or group against others. This behaviour will not be tolerated in Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine.
There are several types of bullying:
Physical: Pushing, shoving, kicking, tripping, etc.
Damage to property and theft: Damage to clothes, books, lockers, bikes, etc.
Extortion: Demands for money, accompanied by threats.
Verbal: Name calling, comments directed at a person, ethnic origin, family, gender, sexuality, etc.
Isolation: Deliberately excluding or ignoring a person from discussion, games and activities.
Telephone/computer: Abusive telephone calls, text messaging and
Bullying can only be stopped when silence is broken. Somebody must tell another person, a teacher or a parent. Steps can then be taken to stop the problem and prevent it from happening again.
Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine has a comprehensive policy which is followed when bullying is reported.
Pastoral Care System
This is defined as active care for student’s wellbeing and involves the whole staff, formally and informally. The following are in place in the school and may be accessed by students or an adult acting on a student’s behalf:
- Pastoral Care Team who meet regularly to discuss student welfare
- Guidance Counselling Service
- The Chaplaincy
- SPHE(Social and Personal Health Education) & RSE (Relationships and Sexual Education) Programmes
- Substance Abuse/Misuse Policy and education
- Rewards/Awards System Rewarding Positive Behaviour
- Bereavement and Loss Support (Spectrum Programme)
- Art Therapy
- Counselling services within and outside the school
- Crisis Response Team
The following personnel and structures are in place in the school to address pastoral care:
- Class Tutor
The S.P.H.E. teachers will be the designated tutors for Junior Cycle and Senior Cycle students. The class tutors take a particular interest in the activities and progress of the students, helping students to be positive in their behaviour and work. The tutor will check individual journals weekly, and ensure parents/guardians sign weekly. All Tutors liaise with Year heads to note any individuals who show cause for concern or who have improved or had success in any area.
The primary role of the Chaplain is to be a faith presence in the school. This finds expression in different ways. The Chaplain sees to the provision of:
- appropriate liturgical services and opportunities for prayer and reflection
- contributes to pastoral care of students and staff , offering a confidential listening service to all
- facilities appropriate parish links
- has a teaching role in relation Religious Education
- Guidance Counsellor
The Guidance Counsellor assists students in making educational, vocational and personal decisions, advises on career choice and is available to students experiencing personal difficulties.
- Student Council
The Student Council plays an important role in the school community. The main role of the council is “to promote the interests of the school and the involvement of students in the affairs of the school in co-operation with the Board, Parents and Teachers”. Class representatives communicate between Council and class. Discussion of staff is prohibited. The Council deals with issues related to improvement of school life for students.
- Mentoring Programme
The school organises a comprehensive Mentoring Programme for incoming First Years. The purpose is to help them settle in more quickly to their new school. The Mentors are from the Leaving Certificate Year 2 class. All Mentors receive training and have responsibility for 3-4 students each.
The Code of Behaviour will be communicated to the educational partners as follows:
Students: The main points will be printed in the Student Journals.
Yearheads will give an overview to students at the beginning of the school year.
Class tutors will spend at least two classes on the Code of Behaviour in SPHE class at the beginning of school year.
Parents: Principal will give an overview at the General Meeting for parents of incoming First Years.
Copies of the Code of Behaviour will be sent to the parents of all students enrolling in Pobalscoil Inbhear Scéine.
Available on the school website: www.kenmarecs.com
Staff: Code in Teachers Handbook and reviewed at the beginning of each school year.
This Policy was drawn up in consultation with the Student body, the Staff, Parents and the Board of Management.
This policy is informed by and compliant with the following legislation:
Education Act 1998
Education Welfare Act 2000
Education (Miscellaneous) Provisions Act 2007
Equal Status Act 2000
Education for Persons with Special Education Needs 200
It is also guided by the NEWB, Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools.
- Appendix 1
Protection and Welfare of Children
Guidelines – The Protection and Welfare of Children 1999 and the Child Protection Guidelines for Post Primary ~Schools – DES 2004 have been drawn up by the Department of Education and Science, the Health Boards and organisations representing school management, parents and teachers to guide and direct us in our duty to care. Our Board of Management has adopted these guidelines as the school policy.
These guidelines emphasis that the Safety and Welfare of children must be a priority and it is incumbent on school authorities and personnel to adhere to the guidelines.
If school personnel have any concerns that a child may have been abused, is being abused, is at risk of being abused or has sought a staff members advice on the issue, it should be reported without delay to the school Designated Liaison Person.
The Board has appointed Mr. Dermot Healy as Designated Liaison Person (DLP) and Ms. M. Foley as Deputy Liaison person in the absence of the DLP.
Child abuse is complicated and can take different forms, but usually consists of one or more of the following:
Neglect: Where a child’s needs for food, warmth, shelter, nurturance and safety are not provided, to the extent that the child suffers significant harm.
Emotional abuse: Where a child’s needs for affection, approval and security are not being met and have not been met for some time by their parent or carer.
Physical Abuse: Where a child is assaulted or injured in some way that is deliberate.
Sexual Abuse: Where a child is used for the sexual gratification of an adult.
The primary responsibility of the person who first suspects or is told of abuse is to report it to the Designated Liaison Person, Mr. D. Healy, and to ensure that their concern is taken seriously. The guiding principles in regard to reporting child abuse may be summarised as follows:
- The safety and well-being of the child or young person must take priority.
- Reports should be made without delay.
- The principle of natural justice should apply, which means that a person is innocent until proven otherwise.
- The principle of confidentiality should apply, whereby only those who need to know should be told of a suspicion / allegation / disclosure of abuse and the number that need to be kept informed should be kept to a minimum.
The Protection for Persons Reporting Child Abuse Act 1998 provides immunity from civil liability to persons who report child abuse “reasonably and in good faith”to the Health Board or An Gárda Siochána.
A worker who knows or suspects that a young person has been or is at risk of being harmed has a duty to convey this concern to the designated person in the organisation who will report the information to the Health Board. The Health Board will, in turn, notify An Gárda Siochána. In an emergency, a report must be made directly to An Gárda Siochána.
It is important that everyone in the organisation is aware that the person who first encounters a case of alleged or suspected abuse is not responsible for deciding whether or not abuse has occurred. That is a task for the Health Board or An Gárda Siochána. Under no circumstances should any individual member of staff or volunteer or the organisation itself attempt to deal with the problem of abuse alone. All teachers have been issued with guidelines. New staff should request copy from the office.