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Behavioural Policy - Sanctions

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Sanctions

The following sanctions may be imposed where students are in breach of the Code of Behaviour. These sanctions facilitate the provision of an orderly learning environment for all in St. Declan’s.

(1) Verbal Reprimand

(2) Note in Diary

(3) Written punishment of an educational nature

(4) Withdrawal of privileges

(5) Detention

A sanction of detention may be applied where a pupil has engaged in persistent disruptive behaviour or has been in serious breach of school rules. The sanction of detention may be imposed by Class Teacher / Class Tutor / Year Head / Deputy Principal or Principal.

A student may be required to sit a lunch time or an after school detention.

(6) Report Cards

Report cards may be issued to a student if deemed necessary by a Class Tutor/Year Head/Deputy Principal/Principal when other classroom management strategies have been exhausted. The report card aims to monitor student’s behaviour and encourages compliance with the Code of Behaviour.

Report Cards also help the student monitor his/her own behaviour and make positive adjustments.

(7)Contract of Learning

A contract of learning may be invoked where a student has persistently broken school rules. A contract is a document agreeing to certain conditions agreed between management, parents/guardians and the student and signed by all parties

(8)Discipline Committee

Discipline Committee consists of the relevant Year Head, Class Tutor and another teacher. The committee is charged with the responsibility of protecting the right of every student of St. Declan’s Community College to learn in a relatively disruption free environment. The Discipline Committee advises the Principal on serious disciplinary issues:

          • The Discipline Committee will monitor students who are placed on a Contract of Learning
          • The Discipline Committee may meet students who consistently, despite sanctions imposed, breach the school Code of Behaviour.
          • When a student is on report parent/guardian will be notified by the staff member putting the student on report.

(9) Reduced Timetable: may be imposed for Health & Safety reasons.

(10) Suspension

The Board of Management has the authority to suspend a student. The Board of Management delegates authority to the Principal and the Deputy Principal to suspend a student for up to 3 days. The Board of Management may impose a longer suspension and normally a ceiling of ten days will apply on any one period of suspension.

Grounds for Suspension

Suspension may be considered when:

  • The students behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students
  • The students continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property
  • Serious defiance of school personnel
  • Suspension will be imposed only when it is a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern.

Factors to consider before suspending a student

It is important to consider the context before imposing a sanction of suspension.

  • Record of behaviour
  • Interventions tried
  • Parental involvement
  • Seriousness of the breach of the Code of Behaviour
  • Health and Safety of staff and students

Procedures in respect of suspension

A complaint will be investigated by the Principal/Deputy Principal. The student is informed that an investigation is underway and that it may result in a suspension.

The student is given an opportunity to respond.

The parent is contacted and the issue is discussed. The sanction is discussed with the parent. The parent is given an opportunity to respond. A meeting with the parent may be arranged.

The sanction is imposed.

The parent is informed by letter of:

  • The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
  • The reasons for the suspension.
  • Student and parent may be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Behaviour.
  • Student and parent may be asked to sign a Contract of Learning.
  • The Board will formally review any proposal to suspend a student where the suspension would bring the number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year to twenty days or more. Any such suspension is subject to appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.
  • The Principal may make a recommendation to the Board to suspend a student. The Board of Management will meet with the student and parents/guardians. The Board of Management will then decide whether or not to impose a sanction. If a suspension is imposed this suspension may be appealed to the V.E.C. or the D.E.S. (See Appeals Procedure)

 

Appeals Procedure

Parents or students over the age of 18 may appeal any suspension imposed by the Principal/Deputy Principal to the Board of Management. The Parent or student aged over 18 will be informed in writing of their right to appeal to the Board. A suspension imposed by the Board may be appealed to the V.E.C. in the first instance. When an appeal to the V.E.C. is concluded parents, or students aged over 18 may appeal to the Secretary General of the D.E.S. The parent or student aged over 18 will be informed in writing of their right to appeal to the V.E.C. and the D.E.S.

Re-integration of student at the end of suspension

A student may need the support of the Guidance Counsellor or other school professional to help in the re-integration process.

It is the responsibility of the student to ascertain the work covered in his/her absence.

When the sanction is completed the student will be given a fresh start.

When the student returns to school after a suspension they must report to the Principal/Deputy Principal.

The school expects the same behaviour from this student as of all other students. Student may be placed “On Report” for a period at the end of suspension to help student to monitor their own behaviour.

Student and parent may be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the Code of Behaviour.

Student may be asked to sign a Contract of Learning and the Parent/Guardian asked to witness this through their signature.


(11) Expulsion

Authority to Expel

The Board of Management of St. Declan’s Community College has the authority to expel a student from the school.

Expulsion may be considered when

  • The students’ behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.
  • The students continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.
  • There is a serious breach of the Code of Behaviour.

Expulsion for a first offence

Expulsion for a first offence may be considered when:

  • A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff.
  • Actual violence or physical assault.
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other students in the school.
  • Sexual assault/harassment.

Expulsion will be imposed only when it is a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern.

Procedures in respect of Expulsion

1.A detailed investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Principal. The Principal will inform the student and the parent about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion. Parents will be informed in writing and invited to attend a meeting with the Principal. Parents and student will have opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.

If a student and parent fail to attend a meeting the Principal will write to invite them to a re-scheduled meeting.

2.The Principal makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion.

The Principal will

  • Inform the parents and the student that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion
  • Ensure parents have all relevant records pertinent to the investigation, and written notice of the grounds on which the Board is being asked to consider expulsion
  • Provide the Board with the same comprehensive records as are given to the parents
  • Notify the parents of the date of the hearing by the Board and invite them to that hearing
  • Advise the parents that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board
  • Ensure that parents have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing

3.Holding of a hearing: The Board will consider the Principal’s recommendation to expel a student

  • The Board will hold a hearing taking into account the rights of all parties
  • The Board should satisfy itself that the investigation was properly conducted and in line with fair procedures
  • The Board should review all documentation and the circumstances of the case
  • The Principal and the parents, or a student aged over 18 put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Each party is given the opportunity to question the evidence of the other party directly
  • The parents may also make the case for lessening the sanction
  • The Principal and the parents will then leave the hearing

4. Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing

  • The Board will decide whether or not to expel the student.
  • The Parents or a student over the age of 18 will be informed of the decision of the Board.
  • If the Board decided to expel the student the Board must inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing stating that it is the opinion of the Board that the student should be expelled from school and the reasons for its opinion.
  • The student cannot be expelled from school for 20 school days from the date the E.W.O. receives the notification.
  • The student may be suspended from school during this period.
  • The Board will then inform the parents of its conclusions and the next steps in the process including notification to the E.W.O.

5.Consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer

The E.W.O. will consult with the relevant parties.

6.Confirmation of the decision to expel

When the 20 days has elapsed and where the Board remains of the opinion that the student should be expelled the Board will formally confirm the decision to expel. This task may be delegated to the Principal and the Chairperson of the Board.

Parents will be notified immediately that the expulsion will now proceed.

Parents will be informed about the right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal.

7.Appeals

The appeal in the first instance will be to the V.E.C. and the parents have 14 days in which to lodge an appeal.

When the appeal to the V.E.C. has concluded the parent (or the student aged over 18) may appeal to the Secretary General of the D.E.S.



 

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