St Anne's Primary School

Thomas St, Rathkeale, Co Limerick

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069 64779

info@stannesps.ie

Thomas St.

Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

09:10 - 14:50

Monday to Friday

logo

069 64779

info@stannesps.ie

Thomas St.

Rathkeale, Co Limerick.

09:00 - 15:00

Monday to Friday

Code of Behaviour

Code of behaviour

Introduction:

In compliance with Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, the Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School has prepared and made available a Code of Behaviour for its Pupils, Staff and Parents.

The Code of Behaviour details:

 

  1. The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each pupil attending the school;
  2. The whole school approach in promoting positive behaviour;
  3. The measures that shall be taken when a pupil fails or refuses to observe those standards;
  4. The procedures to be followed in relation to a pupil being suspended or expelled from the school concerned;
  5. The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a pupil
  6. The school’s Anti-Bullying Policy;
  7. The procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.

 

The Code of Behaviour of St. Anne’s primary School has been developed in accordance with ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools’, National Educational Welfare Board, 2008.

 

Policy Formulation:

In formulating this policy, the Board of Management completed the following steps

 

  • Parents and Staff were informed that an initial draft of the Code of Behaviour was available and they were invited to make submissions on the content of the code within a specified timeframe.
  • Class teachers were requested to discuss the topic of ‘rules’ with their classes and submit a list of pupil’s suggestions to the Principal.
  • The initial draft of the Code of Behaviour was reviewed and where appropriate amended in-line with the feedback received.
  • The finalised draft of the policy was submitted for the Patron’s Approval.

 

aims & objectives of the Code

 

The aims and objectives of the code are:

 

  • To allow the school to function in an orderly way where children can make progress in all aspects of their development
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline, recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
  • To assist school staff, parents and pupils in understanding the systems and procedures that form part of the code of behaviour and to seek their co-operation in the application of these procedures
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, and sanctions are implemented in a fair and consistent manner throughout the school.

Whole School Approach

 

The Board of Management recognises the importance of creating consistent values, policies, practices and relationships that support the Code of Behaviour.  Such an environment may only be formed by involving the entire school community and in this respect, the Board acknowledges the importance of the roles played by, the principal, teachers, ancillary staff and parents in the review and operation of the Code.

 

Standards of Behaviour

 

Pupils

 

General Behaviour

Each pupil is expected to:  

  • be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults
  • show respect for the property of, the school, other children and their own belongings
  • attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual
  • do his/her best both in school and for homework.
  • wear the full school uniform everyday (Girls: royal blue pinafore, navy cardigan, navy tie, blue shirt. Boys: grey pants, navy jumper, navy tie, blue shirt. Track Suit: school tracksuit, blue collared t-shirt)
  • leave mobile phones at home
  • wear appropriate footwear in the interest of pupil safety

 

Classroom Behaviour

Each pupil is expected to:

  • listen – to the teacher and other pupils if they are speaking
  • work – to the best of his/her ability
  • value – school property and the belongings of fellow pupils.
  • follow – the direction of his/her teacher
  • obtain – his/her teacher’s permission to leave the classroom
  • respect – the teacher, other pupils and visitors to the classroom.
  • Abide- by classroom rules as outlined by Incredible Years Behaviour Programme

 

Playground (Playing Pitches) Behaviour

Each pupil is expected to:

  • play – safely avoiding any games or play that are rough or dangerous
  • follow – the directions of the playground supervisor(s)
  • remain – on school grounds at all times
  • obtain – permission before re-entering the school building during break periods
  • respect – the yard supervisor and fellow pupils
  • avoid – swearing, fighting or name calling
  • Abide- by playground rules as outlined by Incredible Years Behaviour Programme.

 

Behaviour in other School Areas

Each pupil is expected to:

  • walk quietly in the school corridors
  • behave properly in the toilets
  • go to and return from the learning support/resource teacher directly and quietly

 

Behaviour during School Outings/Activities

Each pupil is expected to:

  • follow – his/her teacher’s directions at all times
  • remain – with the teacher/supervisors and group of pupils at all times
  • behave – politely towards those they meet on such trips
  • observe – the rules of general good behavior

 

 

Staff

 

It is the Principal’s responsibility to ensure the school’s Code of Behaviour is administered in a manner that is consistent and fair to all pupils. However, each staff member has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within common areas of the school. Each staff member has a responsibility to ensure the whole school implementation and use of Incredible Years Behaviour Programme which promotes positive behavior.

 

Teaching staff are specifically responsible for the management of behaviour within their own class. They will:

 

  • Discuss the Code of Behaviour with their class in an age appropriate manner at the beginning of the school year.
  • Ensure the rules and consequences are displayed in the classroom.
  • Encourage self-discipline and positive behaviour.
  • Ensure there is an appropriate level of supervision at all times.
  • Implement the reward/sanction scheme in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Keep a written record of all incidents of continued, serious or gross misconduct. This record will indicate the advice and/or warnings given to the child on the misbehaviour and, the consequences of its repetition.
  • Inform pupils when instances of misbehaviour on their part are being recorded.
  • Report repeated instances of serious misbehaviour to the Principal.

 

Parents/Guardians

Parents/guardians play a crucial role in shaping attitudes in their children which produce positive behaviour in school. Parents/guardians can assist the school by encouraging their children to abide by the school rules, encouraging punctuality and regular attendance and by ensuring that homework is given due time and effort.

 

Should a parent/guardian be concerned about any aspect of their child’s behaviour they are welcome to make an appointment with class teacher to discuss their concerns. In cases of an identified pattern of misbehaviour parents will be invited to participate in the intervention process.

 

All parents are invited and encouraged to participate in Incredible Years Behaviour Programme for parents. This will be delivered in house by HSCL Co-Ordinator and another teacher who have been trained as tutors.

 

Promoting Positive Behaviour

The school endeavors to create an environment where positive behaviour is reinforced through praise and reward and negative behaviours are discouraged through consequences and sanctions. All teachers and SNA’s are trained in Incredible Years Behaviour Programme. This programme, which promotes positive behaviour is strategically implemented throughout the whole school. The common language of ‘The High 5’ is taught, implemented and reinforced throughout the school. Classroom and playground rules and consequences have been devised collaboratively by teachers. They are displayed clearly in classrooms and playgrounds to remind and reinforce positive behaviour. School staff constantly reinforce rules verbally and non-verbally. The rules and consequences suit the age and stage of the child’s development.

A weekly meeting takes place where staff members who have concerns regarding behaviour can meet with middle management to update on and attempt to resolve any issues that may arise at the earliest stage.

 

 

 

Positive behaviour is rewarded in the following ways:

 

  • Verbal acknowledgement of good/improved behaviour.
  • Well done tickets for termly well done raffle.
  • Wall of fame which focuses on one particular positive behaviour monthly
  • Special privileges
  • Celebrated at assembly time
  • Norah O’ Regan student of the year award.

 

Inappropriate Behaviour

In order to establish a common understanding and consistent response the Code of Behaviour classifies misbehaviour into three levels based on the degree of disruption caused by the misconduct. The Code also specifies the disciplinary actions and supportive interventions that will be employed.

 

Level One

 

Level 1: Behaviours

 

Level 1 behaviours are those that interfere with the orderly learning environment of the school, classroom, and common areas. Students learn through their mistakes.  To this extent, responses to the daily behaviours, which occur in school, will be developmentally appropriate, instructive and positive. Children will be taught what is expected and how they should behave.  Listed below are some examples of the types of Behaviour that are included in Level 1.  Please note the list is not exhaustive.

 

  • Running in the hallways
  • Disturbing the work or play of others
  • Disrespectful language, tone, or manner
  • Ignoring staff requests
  • Failure to wear school uniform
  • Leaving one’s place/classroom without permission

Level 1: Disciplinary Actions

 

Consequences for Level 1 behaviour are dependent upon the severity and frequency of the specific behaviour.  Teachers will discipline students at level 1.  Some examples of Level 1 responses are:

 

  • Nonverbal reprimand
  • Verbal reprimand
  • Temporary separation from peers
  • Loss of privileges
  • Prescribing extra work
  • Sent to principal’s office
  • Parent contact

Level 1 Supportive Interventions

 

Listed below are some examples of Level 1 supportive actions:

  • Classroom-based interventions, such as Circle Time, revisiting class rules and consequences, with the option of informal consultation, (e.g. with parent(s)/guardian(s) or staff members)
  • Discussion of behaviour with the child, entering into a behaviour contract.
  • Highlighting improved behaviour and good behaviour choices.
  • Informal notes regarding incident/intervention/date.  This information would be useful should a problem persist.

 

 

 

Level Two

 

Level 2: Behaviours

 

Level 2 behaviours are those that seriously interfere with the orderly environment of the school and are potentially dangerous to the safety and well being of the students and staff.  Listed below are some examples of the types of behaviour that are included in Level 2.  Please note the list is not exhaustive.

 

  • Repeated instances of Level 1 behaviour which have not been modified by intervention
  • Behaviour which is dangerous to self or others (e.g. shoving, pushing, hitting)
  • Intentionally damaging school or personal property
  • Stealing
  • Cheating
  • Use of profanity
  • Derogatory reference to another person’s race, gender, religion, physical condition, disability, or ethnic origin
  • Disrespectful language or behaviour toward an adult
  • Possession or use of dangerous toys or sporting equipment (e.g. bow and arrows, any kind of knives, etc.)
  • Bullying

 

Level 2: Disciplinary Actions

The disciplining of students for Level 2 behaviour is dependent upon the severity and frequency of the specific behaviour and developmentally appropriate levels.  The disciplinary actions at Level 2 are administered by the Principal, and include the formal notification of parents, with written documentation.  Some examples of Level 2 responses are:

 

  • In school supervised detention
  • Written apology from pupil signed by parents/guardians
  • Report submitted to the Board of Management
  • Meeting with parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • Recompense to be made by pupil/parents/guardians for damage, loss or theft of property
  • Confiscation of dangerous items
  • Suspension from school of one to five days, depending on the severity of the Behaviour
  • Implementation of extensive Behaviour management plan

 

Level 2: Supportive Interventions

Listed below are some examples of Level 2 supportive actions:

 

  • Team conference to include classroom teacher, other involved staff, Assistant Principal or Principal.
  • Request for assistance from external agencies such as the National Educational Psychological Service, Health Service Executive Community Services, the Special Education Support Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, National Council for Special Education.
  • Referral of a Child displaying behavioural problems for psychological assessment (with the parent(s)/guardian(s) consent).

 

Level Three

 

Level 3: Behaviours

Level 3  behaviours are considered the most serious violations.  These behaviours endanger the immediate health, safety and personal well being of the pupils and staff of the school.  They represent a direct threat to the orderly operation of the school environment.  Situations, which include illegal activity, may result in contact with the Garda Síochána after parental involvement.  Listed below are some examples of the types of behaviour that are included in Level 3.  Please note that the list is not exhaustive.

 

  • Repeated or serious instances of Level 2 behaviour which have not been modified by intervention
  • Setting fires
  • Intentional possession or use of weapons
  • Violent fighting or intentionally causing physical harm to others
  • Discriminatory or prejudicial activities or actions toward another person or group involving race, gender, religion, physical condition, handicap, or ethnic origin

 

Level 3:  Disciplinary Actions

Behaviour at Level 3 may involve suspension and/or expulsion from school. The length of the suspension will depend

upon the severity and frequency of the specific Behaviour.  Specific information about due process and procedures in respect of the issuing of a suspension is contained in this document.  Level 3 responses:

  • Suspension from school for one to five days:

This response will occur with the first incidence of Level 3 behaviour or Level 2 behaviour of significant severity.  The Principal following due process and procedure, can issue a suspension.

  • Suspension from school for five to ten days:

This response will occur with the repeated incidence of Level 3 behaviour or a severe expression of this Behaviour.  A suspension of this magnitude will only be issued with the approval of the Board of Management.

  • Expulsion:

Repeated incidents of Level 3 behaviour can result in a pupil being expelled.

 

Procedures for Suspensions & Expulsions

 

Suspension: 

 

Definition of Suspension:

‘requiring the student to absent himself/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days’

 

Developing  A Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, National Educational Welfare Board

 

The grounds for suspension:

 

Suspension should be a proportionate response to the behavior that is causing concern. Normally, other interventions will have been tried before suspension, and school staff will have reviewed ‘The factors to consider before suspending a student’, (Developing a Code of Behaviour, Guidelines for schools, Pg.72).

The decision to suspend a student requires serious grounds such as that:

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

 

A single incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

 

Suspension as part of a behavior management plan

 

Suspension should be part of an agreed plan to address the student’s behavior. The suspension should:

  • Enable the school to set behavioural goals with the student and their parents
  • Give school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions
  • Impress on a student and their parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

 

Authority to Suspend:

The Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School has formally and in writing delegated the authority to impose an ‘Immediate Suspension’ to the Principal Teacher. An ‘Immediate Suspension’ may be for a period of one to three school days depending on the severity of the specific Behaviour, in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board the suspension may be for a longer period but in any event will not exceed 5 school days.

 

Furthermore, the Board of Management has formally and in writing delegated to the Principal Teacher the authority to impose an ‘Automatic Suspension’ for named behaviours detailed in this policy. An Automatic Suspension may be for a period of one to three school days depending on the severity of the specific behaviour, in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board the suspension may be for a longer period but in any event will not exceed 5 school days.

The Board retains its authority to suspend a student in all other cases/circumstances.

 

Immediate Suspension and Automatic Suspension.

 

An ‘Immediate Suspension’ will be deemed to be necessary where after a preliminary investigation the Principal reaches the determination that the continued presence of the pupil in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety and wellbeing of pupils or staff of the school. An ‘Immediate Suspension’ may be for a period of one to three school days depending on the severity of the specific Behaviour, in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board the suspension may be for a longer period but in any event will not exceed 5 school days.

 

An ‘Automatic Suspension’ is a suspension imposed for named behaviours. The Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School, having given due consideration to its duty of care as prescribed by Health & Safety Legislation, has determined that the following named behaviours will incur ‘Automatic Suspension’ as a sanction;

  • Physical assault/violence resulting in bodily harm to a pupil or member of staff

or

  • Physical violence resulting in serious damage to school property

 

An Automatic Suspension may be for a period of one to three school days depending on the severity of the specific Behaviour, in exceptional circumstances and with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board the suspension may be for a longer period but in any event will not exceed 5 school days.

 

Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be informed of an Immediate or Automatic Suspension by telephone, and arrangements will be made with them for the pupil to be collected. In no circumstance will a student be sent home from school prior to his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) being notified. Formal written notification of the suspension will issue in due course, but no later than 2 school days after the imposition of the suspension. Such a notification will detail:

 

  • the duration 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 pupil and the parent(s)/guardian(s).

 

The Board of Management acknowledges that the decision to impose either an Immediate or Automatic Suspension does not remove the duty to follow due process and fair procedures. In this regard, and following a formal investigation, to be completed no later than 2 school days after the incident the Board will invite the pupil and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) to a meeting to discuss;

  • the circumstances surrounding the suspension,
  • interventions to prevent a reoccurrence of such misconduct.

 

The Board of Management of St. Anne’s primary School acknowledges the fundamental importance of impartiality in the investigation process. In this regard the following undertaking is given;

  • No person with a vested interest or personal involvement in the matter will be involved in the organisation or implementation of the investigation procedure.

 

Procedures in Respect of Other Suspensions:

In cases other than those of Immediate or Automatic Suspension the following procedures will apply;

Where a preliminary assessment of the fact confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant suspension, the Board of Management of St. Anne’s primary School will initiate a formal investigation of the matter.

 

The following procedures will be observed;

A written letter containing the following information will issue to Parent(s)/guardian(s);

  • details of the alleged misbehaviour, details of the impending investigation process, and notification that the allegation could result in suspension.
  • An invitation to a meeting, to be scheduled no later than 5 school days from the date of the letter, where parent(s)/guardian(s) are provided with an opportunity to respond before a decision is made or a sanction imposed.

 

The Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School acknowledges the fundamental importance of impartiality in the investigation and decision-making process. In this regard the following undertakings are given;

  • No person with a vested interest or personal involvement in the matter will be involved in the organisation or implementation of the investigation procedure, nor will such a person be involved in the decision-making process.
  • The person(s) involved in the investigation process will on presentation of a full report of the facts absent himself/herself/themselves from the decision-making process.

 

Where a decision to suspend has been made the Chairperson of the Board of Management will provide written notification to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the pupil of the decision. The letter will confirm:

  • the duration 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 pupil and the parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • the provision for an appeal to the Board of Management.

 

Where a suspension brings the total number of days for which the pupil has been suspended in the current school year to twenty days the parent(s)/guardian(s) will be informed of their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 or the Education Act 1998 and will be provide with information on the submission of such an appeal.

 

Expulsion:

 

Definition of Expulsion:

‘A student is expelled from a school when a Board of Management makes a decision to permanently exclude him or her from the school, having complied with the provisions of section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.’

 

 

Developing A Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, National Educational Welfare Board

 

Authority to Expel:

 The authority to expel a pupil is reserved by the Board of Management.

 

Procedures in Respect of Expulsion:

Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion the following procedures will apply:

 

 

  1. A detailed investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Principal (or a Nominee of the Board if required).
  2. As part of the investigation a written letter containing the following information will issue to parent(s)/guardian(s);

 

  • details of the alleged misbehaviour, details of the impending investigation process, and notification that the allegation could result in expulsion.
  • An invitation to a meeting, to be scheduled no later than 5 school days from the date of the letter, where parent(s)/guardian(s) are provided with an opportunity to respond

 

  1. The Principal (or BoM Nominee) will make a recommendation to the Board of Management

 

Where the Principal (or nominee) forms a view, based on the investigation of the alleged misbehaviour, that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal (or nominee) makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion.

In this event the Principal (or nominee) will:

  • inform the parent(s)/guardian(s) that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion
  • ensure that parent(s)/guardians 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 parent(s)/guardian(s)

 

  1. Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s (or BOM’s Nominee) Recommendations & the Holding of a Hearing

If, having considered the Principal’s report, the Board of Management decides to consider expelling a student a hearing will be scheduled.

The parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified in writing

  • as to the date, location and time of the hearing
  • of their right to make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management
  • that they may if they so choose be accompanied at the hearing

The Board of Management undertakes that the timing of such written notification will ensure that parent(s)/guardian(s) have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.

 

In respect of the expulsion hearing the Board gives an undertaking that;

  • the meeting will be properly conducted in accordance with Board procedures
  • the principal (or BoM nominee) and parent(s)/guardian(s) will present their case to the Board in each other’s presence
  • each party will be given the opportunity to directly question the evidence of the other party
  • the parent(s)/guardian(s) may make a case for a lesser sanction if they so choose

 

  1. Board of Management Deliberations & Actions following the Hearing

 

Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the pupil should be expelled the Board

  • Will notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing by registered post of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion.
  • Will not expel the student before the passage of 20 school days from the date on which the Educational Welfare Officer receives this written notification
  • Will in writing notify the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their decision and inform them that the Educational Welfare Officer is being contacted
  • Will be represented at the consultation to be organized by the Educational Welfare Officer
  • Will suspend the student, if it is deemed likely that the continued presence of the student during this time will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other pupils or staff.

 

 

  1. 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 to expel.

Parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified in writing that the expulsion will now proceed. They will also be informed of their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 or the Education Act 1998 and will be provided with information on the submission of such an appeal.

 

The Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School acknowledges the fundamental importance of impartiality in the investigation and decision-making process. In this regard the following undertakings are given;

  • No person with a vested interest or personal involvement in the matter will be involved in the organisation or implementation of the investigation procedure, nor will such a person be involved in the decision-making process.
  • The person(s) involved in the investigation process will on presentation of a full report of the facts absent himself/herself/themselves from the decision-making process.

 

records

 

A standardised record system will be used to track an individual pupil’s Behaviour. Such records will contain;

  • Incidents of misbehaviour,
  • Interventions used to improve behaviour, including contact with parent(s)/guardian(s) or referral to other agencies
  • Evidence of improved behaviour
  • Any sanctions imposed, and the reasons they were imposed

 

Pupils will be told when a record is being made about their behaviour, and the reasons for keeping a record will be explained.

 

All records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.

 

Notification of a Child’s Absence from School

 

Parent(s)/guardian(s) should adhere to the following procedures when notifying the school of a pupil’s absence;

 

  • The school should be notified of the absence on the first day the pupil returns to school
  • The reason for the absence should be notified to the class teacher
  • The absence should be notified in writing by letter / using the school journal
  • Details pertaining to the absence, such as duration and reason, should be provided
  • Significant absences cause by ill health (i.e. absences longer than 10 school days) should be certified.

 

The school will inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing where a child is suspended or expelled for 6 days or more, where the child has missed 20 or more days in a school year, where attendance is irregular and when the pupil is removed from the school register

 

 

Signed: ____________________________________        Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                              (Principal)

 

 

Date: ______________                                                              Date: __________________

 

 

Date of next review: _______________

 

patrons approval

 

Official Stamp

This policy has been approved by St. Senan’s Education Office, acting on behalf of the Patron  

 

Phone/Fax: (069) 64779

E-Mail: info@stannesps.ie

Website: www.stannesps.ie

 

St. Anne’s Primary School,

Rathkeale,

Co. Limerick.

 

 

Anti-Bullying Policy

  1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of St. Anne’s Primary School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
  2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

 A positive school culture and climate which

  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
  • The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in

a secure environment.

  • The school acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and promotes positive habits of self-respect, self-discipline and responsibility among all its members.
  • The school prohibits vulgar, offensive or other aggressive behaviour or language by any of its members.
  • The school has a clear commitment to promoting equity in general in all aspects of its functioning.
  • The school has the capacity to change in response to pupils’ needs.
  • The school identifies aspects of curriculum through which positive and lasting influences can be exerted towards forming pupils’ attitudes and values.
  • The school takes particular care of “at risk” pupils and uses its monitoring systems to facilitate early intervention where necessary and it responds to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner.
  • The school recognises the need to work in partnership with and keep parents informed on procedures to improve relationships on a school-wide basis.
  • The school recognises the role of parents in equipping the pupil with a range of life skills.
  • The school recognises the role of other community agencies in preventing and dealing with bullying.
  • The school promotes habits of mutual respect, courtesy and an awareness of the interdependence of people in groups and communities.
  • The school promotes qualities of social responsibility, tolerance and understanding among all its members both in school and out of school.
  • Staff members share a collegiate responsibility, under the direction of the Principal, to act in preventing bullying/aggressive behaviour by any member of the school community.
  • promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

 

(b) Effective leadership

(c)  A school-wide approach

(d) A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

(e) Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that

  • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils; and
  • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying;
  • effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;

(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(g) Supports for staff

(h) Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and

(i) On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

  1. In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:

Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour, verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time.

The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • cyber-bullying and
  • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller/ settled community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour.

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

The following list of bullying behaviours is not exhaustive:

 

General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying

 

·            Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.

·            Physical aggression

·            Damage to property

·            Name calling

·            Slagging

·            The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person

·            Offensive graffiti

·            Extortion

·            Intimidation

·            Insulting or offensive gestures

·            The “look”

·            Invasion of personal space

·            A combination of any of the types listed.

 

 

Cyber

 

·            Denigration: Spreading rumors, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation

·            Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual

·            Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name

·            Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight

·            Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online

·            Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images

·            Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group

·            Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety

·            Silent telephone/mobile phone call

·            Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls

·            Abusive text messages

·            Abusive email

·            Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles

·            Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures

·            Abusive posts on any form of communication technology

Identity Based Behaviours

Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation  (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

 

Homophobic and Transgender

 

·            Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation

·            Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation

·            Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian…used in a derogatory manner

·            Physical intimidation or attacks

·            Threats

 

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community

 

·            Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background

·            Exclusion on the basis of any of the above

 

 

 

Relational

 

This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

·            Malicious gossip

·            Isolation & exclusion

·            Ignoring

·            Excluding from the group

·            Taking someone’s friends away

·            “Bitching”

·            Spreading rumours

·            Breaking confidence

·            Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear

·            The “look”

·            Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way

Sexual ·            Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching

·            Harassment

 

Special Educational Needs,

Disability

·         Name calling

·         Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs

·         Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying

·         Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues.

·         Mimicking a person’s disability

·         Setting others up for ridicule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying are as follows:
  • Any teacher who is informed by a parent/ pupil of a bullying concern
  • class teacher
  • all teachers involved with the relevant class
  • principal
  • Any teacher may act as a relevant teacher if circumstances warrant it.

 

 

  1. The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber-

bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:

 

School-wide approach

·         A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community.

·         The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour.

·         The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions.

·         Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention.

·         An annual audit of professional development needs with a view to assessing staff requirements through internal staff knowledge/expertise and external sources

·         Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant teachers

·         School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying, to include pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s) and the wider school community.

·         Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school.

·         Involvement of the student council in contributing to a safe school environment that can help to support pupils and encourage a culture of peer respect and support.

·         Development and promotion of an Anti-Bullying code for the school-to be displayed publicly in classrooms and in common areas of the school.

·         The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed with pupils and all parent(s)/guardian(s)s are given a copy as part of the Code of Behaviour of the school every year.

·         The implementation of regular whole school awareness measures e.g. a dedicated notice board on the promotion of friendship, and bullying prevention; annual Friendship Week and parent(s)/guardian(s) seminars; regular student surveys; regular school or year group assemblies by principal or deputy principal.

·         Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly.

·         Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.:

o   Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class.

o   Hand note up with homework.

o   Make a phone call to the school or to a trusted teacher in the school.

o   Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf.

o   Administer a confidential questionnaire once a term to all pupils.

o   Ensure bystanders understand the importance of telling if they witness or know that bullying is taking place.

 

·         Identify clear protocols to encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied. The protocol should be developed in consultation with parents.

·         The development of an Acceptable Use Policy in the school to include the necessary steps to ensure that the access to technology within the school is strictly monitored, as is the pupils’ use of mobile phones.

·         The listing of supports currently being used in the school and the identification of other supports available to the school e.g. GLEN www.glen.ie, BeLonGTo www.belongto.org

 

 

Implementation of curricula

·         The full implementation of the SPHE curriculum and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes.

·          Continuous Professional Development for staff in delivering these programmes.

·         School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes, e.g. Cool School Lessons, #UP2US, Stay Safe Programme, The Walk Tall Programme, On My Own Two Feet.

·         School wide delivery of lessons on Relational aggression (Cool School Programme: A Friend in Deed), Cyber Bullying (#UP2US, Be Safe-Be Web wise, Think Before you Click, Let’s Fight it Together, Web wise Primary teachers’ resources), Homophobic and Transphobic Bullying (Growing up LGBT, Stand Up Programme, The Trust pack ) Diversity and Interculturalism, Yellow Flag Programme. The school should list every resource related to the SPHE curriculum, and make a list of supports.

·         Delivery of the Garda SPHE Programmes at primary level. These lessons, delivered by Community Gardai, cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying

·         The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.

·         The school will implement the advice in “Sexual Orientation advice for schools” (RSE Primary, see booklet).

 

               Links to other policies

·         List school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to bullying, e.g. Code of Behaviour, Child Protections policy, Supervision of pupils, Acceptable Use policy, Attendance, Sporting activities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The school’s procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying  behaviour are as follows:

 

   Procedures for Investigating and Dealing with Bullying

 

The primary aim in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved (rather than to apportion blame);

 

The school’s procedures must be consistent with the following approach:

 

Every effort will be made to ensure that all involved (including pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s)) understand this approach from the outset.

 

 

 Reporting bullying behaviour:

 

  • Any pupil or parent(s)/guardian(s) may bring a bullying incident to any teacher in the school.
  • All reports, including anonymous reports of bullying, will be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff such as secretaries, special needs assistants (SNAs), bus escorts, caretakers, cleaners must report any incidents of bullying behaviour witnessed by them, or mentioned to them, to the relevant teacher;

 

Investigating and dealing with incidents: Style of approach:

  • In investigating and dealing with bullying, the (relevant)teacher will exercise his/her professional judgement to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved;
  • Parent(s)/guardian(s) and pupils are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible;
  • Teachers should take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach.
  • Where possible incidents should be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved;
  • All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils concerned. Pupils who are not directly involved can also provide very useful information in this way;
  • When analysing incidents of bullying behaviour, the relevant teacher should seek answers to questions of what, where, when, who and why. This should be done in a calm manner, setting an example in dealing effectively with a conflict in a non-aggressive manner;
  • If a group is involved, each member should be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member should be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s statements;
  • Each member of a group should be supported through the possible pressures that may face them from the other members of the group after the interview by the teacher;

It may also be appropriate or helpful to ask those involved to write down their account of the incident(s)

  • In cases where it has been determined by the relevant teacher that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the parties involved should be contacted at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken (by reference to the
  • school policy). The school should give parent(s)/guardian(s) an opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school and the supports provided to the pupils;
  • Where the relevant teacher has determined that a pupil has been engaged in bullying behaviour, it should be made clear to him/her how he/she is in breach of the school’s anti-bullying policy and efforts should be made to try to get him/her to see the situation from the perspective of the pupil being bullied;
  • It must also be made clear to all involved (each set of pupils and parent(s)/guardian(s)) that in any situation where disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the pupil being disciplined, his or her parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school;

 

Follow up and recording

 

  • In determining whether a bullying case has been adequately and appropriately addressed the relevant teacher must, as part of his/her professional judgement, take the following factors into account:

Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;

– Whether any issues between the parties have been resolved as far as is practicable;

-Whether the relationships between the parties have been restored as far as is practicable;

-Any feedback received from the parties involved, their parent(s)/guardian(s)s or the school Principal or Deputy Principal

  • Follow-up meetings with the relevant parties involved should be arranged separately with a view to possibly bringing them together at a later date if the pupil who has been bullied is ready and agreeable.
  • Where a parent(s)/guardian(s) is not satisfied that the school has dealt with a bullying case in accordance with these procedures, the parent(s)/guardian(s) must be referred, as appropriate, to the school’s complaints procedures.
  • In the event that a parent(s)/guardian(s) has exhausted the school’s complaints procedures and is still not satisfied, the school must advise the parent(s)/guardian(s) of their right to make a complaint to the Ombudsman for Children.

 

Recording of bullying behaviour

 

It is imperative that all recording of bullying incidents must be done in an objective and factual manner.

 

The school’s procedures for noting and reporting bullying behaviour are as follows:

 

Informal- pre-determination that bullying has occurred:

  • All staff must keep a written record of any incidents witnessed by them or notified to them. Consideration needs to be given to where the records will be made e.g. incident book. All incidents must be reported to the relevant teacher
  • While all reports, including anonymous reports of bullying must be investigated and dealt with by the relevant teacher, the relevant teacher must keep a written record of the reports, the actions taken and any discussions with those involved regarding same
  • The relevant teacher must inform the principal of all incidents being investigated.

 

 

 

 

 

     

 Formal Stage 1-determination that bullying has occurred

 

  • If it is established by the relevant teacher that bullying has occurred, the relevant teacher must keep appropriate written records which will assist his/her efforts to resolve the issues and restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved.
  • The school in consultation with the relevant teacher/s should develop a protocol for the storage of all records retained by the relevant teacher.

 

Formal Stage 2-Appendix 3 (From DES Procedures)

 

The relevant teacher must use the recording template at Appendix 3 to record the bullying behaviour in the following circumstances:

 

  1. a) in cases where he/she considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/she has determined that bullying behaviour occurred; and
  2. b) Where the school has decided as part of its anti-bullying policy that in certain circumstances bullying behaviour must be recorded and reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal as applicable.

The school should list behaviours that must be recorded and reported immediately to the principal. These should be in line with the school’s code of behaviour.

 

When the recording template is used, it must be retained by the relevant teacher in question and a copy maintained by the principal. Due consideration needs to be given to where these records are kept, who has access to them, and how long they will be retained. Decisions around record keeping should be noted in this policy.

 

Established intervention strategies

  • Teacher interviews with all pupils
  • Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
  • Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions
  • No Blame Approach
  • Circle Time
  • Restorative interviews
  • Restorative conferencing
  • Implementing sociogram questionnaires
  • Peer mediation where suitable training has been given

 

The Procedures mention the following intervention strategies and reference Ken Rigby;

www.bullyingawarenessweek.org/pdf/BullyingPreventionStrategiesinSchools Ken Rigby.pdf

  • The traditional disciplinary approach
  • Strengthening the victim
  • Mediation
  • Restorative Practice

 

 

 

 

  1. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows:
  • All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g.

 

  • Buddy system / mentoring system
  • SCP mentoring
  • Group work such as circle time
  • SPHE lessons
  • Learning support around developing social skills and building resilience
  • Involvement of Student Council

 

  • If pupils require counselling of further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.

Pupils should understand that there are no innocent bystanders and that all incidents of bullying behaviour must be reported to a teacher.

 

  1. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils:

The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and Practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.

 

  1. Prevention of Harassment:

The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.

 

  1. This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on ____June 2017.

 

  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website, given to all parents of pupils who enrol for the first time and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

 

  1. This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year. Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department.

 

 

Signed: ____________________________________        Signed: ___________________________

(Chairperson of Board of Management)                          (Principal)

 

 

Date: ______________                                                              Date: __________________

 

 

Date of next review: _______________

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