Code of Behaviour

 Selskar College

Code of Behaviour

Ratified by Board of Management 16th January 2018

 

 

 

MissionStatement

 

 

“Teaching and Learning with care and respect,

where every person matters”

 

 

As a college community, we believe that good behaviour, endeavour, achievement and contribution in class and around the college should be recognised and rewarded. We also believe that students should take responsibility for their conduct, and when they choose to disobey college rules, they will face sanctions.

 

College rules apply to all situations where students are in the care of staff.  This includes during lessons, in the corridors, at break times, during extra-curricular activities, college outings and games.

 

When students are permitted by parents/guardians to go down town at lunch time or at other times or are allowed to leave the college at the request of parents/guardians, they are the responsibility of their parents/guardians.  Such students while in college uniform are representing the college and the college reserves the right to impose sanctions if their behaviour brings the college into disrepute.

 

 

Any student who is enrolled at Selskar College is subject this Code of Behaviour.  This is a condition of enrolment and is not dependent on the Code being signed by the parent/guardian or the student.

 

 



Introduction

This Code of Behaviour was prepared using the Guidelines for Colleges and the relevant statutory legislation.  The Code supports the mission of the college to provide education in a caring, respectful environment where all people are valued. Staff, parents/guardians and students were consulted in the preparation of the code.

 

Responsibility

  • It is the responsibility of the Principal and Deputy Principal to ensure that all staff members, parents/guardians and students are familiar with college rules.

 

  • It is the responsibility of all staff to implement the college rules.

 

  • It is the responsibility of students to respect and follow the college rules.

 

  • It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to be familiar with and support the college in implementing the college rules.

 

Expectations of Behaviour

All members of our college community are expected to be‘RESPECTFUL’ as outlined in the list of expectations. The ‘Expected Behaviours’ are discussed with each class by  Class Teachers and Class Tutors at the beginning of each year or when a student joins our college. They are included in the college journal and are reinforced by teachers and through induction programmes. The skills required to behave as expected are taught in class by teachers, modelled by all staff, and supported by parents.

 

Rewards

When expectations are achieved and a standard of behaviour is shown by students, positive reinforcement is important. Good behaviour both inside and outside the classroom is acknowledged. In some cases, a quiet word is most appropriate and in other situations, good notes / stickers are written/ placed by teachers in student journals or a message is sent home. At more formal award ceremonies certificates are presented along with gifts or vouchers.

 

Informal:

This is done within classes by individual teachers and can include:

  • verbal praise either in class or quietly to students
  • positive behaviours may be recorded on VSWare
  • a positive note or sticker in the journal
  • positive comment about the student(s) to Tutor or Year Head
  • small rewards such as class materials or treats.

 

Formal:

Rewards and certificates are presented across year groups throughout the school year. Students or classes may be verbally acknowledged at assembly. A celebration of work takes place to acknowledge the achievements of our First Year JCSP students. Students representing our college at events are announced with details of their achievements at assemblies, over the college intercom, on the screen in the GP area and/or on the Selskar College Facebook page. In addition, regular workshops and events are held throughout the year where participation is based on good behaviour and classwork.

 

Positive reportsof students’ progress may be given at parent-teacher meetings and in college reports after Christmas examinations, Mock Examinations, and Summer Examinations.

Awards

Class Tutors co-ordinate the nomination of students for Student of the Month awards.

Attendance, punctuality, participation, and academic achievement are acknowledged through certificates and vouchers on a regular basis.

Awards are presented for Spirit of Selskar, Sports Person of the Year, Reader of the Year and Junior and Senior Student of the Year.

A Third Year JCSP Awards celebration and presentation of JCSP Certificates, references and Profiles of Achievement takes place before students sit the Junior Certificate examinations. 

 

Outings & Trips

Class/Year group trips may be arranged to reward a particular group for their achievements, in addition to curricular trips.

 

Student Leadership                 

Each year certain students undertake leadership roles and collaborate with the college staff to improve the college community for all. These roles include Head Boy, Head Girl, Student Council Class Representatives, Meitheal Leaders and Library Assistants. All of these students are expected to demonstrate appropriate behaviour at all times.

 

Respectful Behaviour in Selskar College

In Selskar College, we are expected to observe the following:    

  1. Respect all college facilities both inside and outside the building.
  2. Enter and exit classes in order, walk on the left hand side of the corridor and line up quietly at the next classroom.
  3. Safety at school is everyone’s right, including staff and students.
  4. Practice safe behaviour coming to and from school.

 

In class, students are expected to:

  1. Engage and participate in class to the best of their ability without distracting others.
  2. Come on time in uniform to class with books, homework, journal and other materials.
  3. Talk and communicate calmly; with respect and manners to all students and staff.
  4. Fulfil their obligation to respect the rights of all to work, teach and learn.
  5. Use the ‘One voice, Hands up and Listen’ method in class.
  6. List and do all homework and learning in the journal.

 

Central to our Code of Behaviour are our ‘Six Key Rules which help us to be RESPECTFUL’. These are written so that they are easily understood by all students. It is these rules that are explicitly taught to students. They will be included in the student journal each year. (See Appendix A).

 

 

College Journal

  1. The Selskar College student journal is an integral part of communication between teachers and parents.
  2. Failure to produce the college journal when required to do so by a teacher or any other member of staff will be dealt with very seriously and may lead to after school detention.
  3. Students who deface or lose their college journal will be required to replace it at their own expense.

 

 

 

 

 

Homework

  1. Homework, including written exercises, learning and revision, is given on a regular basis and students are required to complete it neatly and to the best of their ability.
  2. Students are required to note all homework assigned in their college journal.
  3. Parents/Guardians are required to ensure that homework, both written and oral, is completed. The college journal is then signed at the end of every week.
  4. If for some reason homework, or part of it, cannot be completed, parents/guardians are required to note this in the college journal.

 

Mobile Phones and Other I.C.T. Devices

  1. Mobile phones and other devices must be turned off and put away during all classes and between class periods. They may be used in class with teacher instruction but only for the purposes outlined by the teacher. 
  2. Any student found in breach of this rule will have the complete device, including SIM card, confiscated for a minimum period of 48 hours.
  3. Mobile phones and I.C.T. devices brought to college must be switched off and kept in the student’s locker or bag at their own risk.
  4. The college authorities are not responsible for any articles lost or stolen.

 

College Uniform and Personal Property

  1. Students are expected to wear the full and correct uniform coming to, during and leaving college unless P.E. is the first or last class of the day. The official college jacket is the only jacket to be worn on the college grounds and on all school trips. Breach of this rule will lead to students being asked to remove the jacket. If this instruction is not followed, then the jacket will be confiscated.
  2. Full P.E. uniform is required during P.E. classes. Exemptions from P.E. will only be granted with a medical certificate.
  3. Students are expected to be neat and tidy at all times and the college authorities are the judges of acceptable standards of appearance.
  4. Facial piercings are not permitted. Students may, however, wear small stud earrings if they wish.
  5. When outside the college environment and in college uniform, students are required to uphold the good reputation and ethos of the college.
  6. Students are at all times responsible for their own personal property which should be clearly labelled.
  7. Students are not permitted to leavetheir belongings, including college bags, in the college building after college hours.
  8. The college authorities are not responsible for any articles lost or stolen.
  9. Students are expected to use their lockers as per agreement signed upon enrolment.

 

Smoking and Substance Abuse

  1. Smoking (including any nicotine or substance inhalation device) and/or substance abuse within college grounds is strictly prohibited and is subject to suspension and to the full rigours of the law.
  2. Students in college uniform found smoking within the vicinity of the college entrances and exits are in breach of college rules and will be subject to sanction. 

 

Finally, but most importantly:

Teachers are in the position of parents/guardians while students are in college and on any college related activity. This means in particular that:

 

  • There is no excuse for rudeness, disrespect or insolence towards teachers or any other staff member.
  • Any reasonable request from a teacher or other member of staff should be carried out at once and without argument.

 

Responses to Inappropriate Behaviour

 

Despite students, staff and parents/guardians best intentions, inappropriate behaviour can happen and even minor events can be disruptive to teaching and learning. In our college, most students behave appropriately with the help of consistent routines and clear rules. The majority of students respond to work that is presented well in a manner that is suitable for their ability. To ensure this occurs, teachers will draw on their own teaching style, expertise and knowledge of both students and subject. When a student’s behaviour prevents teaching and learning taking place, a balance must be found between meeting the needs of that student and the needs of the other students and staff.

 

Maintaining good relationships is key to our Mission Statement. Restorative Practice is at the core of this mission. This is a process whereby students are given the opportunity to reflect on their behaviour, to consider how they and others have been affected by it to help heal broken relationships and prevent reoccurrence. It gives the student an opportunity to take responsibility for their own behaviour. Restorative practice may be used by Year Heads, Guidance Counsellors, the Behaviour for Learning Programme Teacher, Tutors and classroom teachers.

 

Most issues will be resolved by the classroom teacher. The general approach to responding to inappropriate behaviour is as follows.

 

  1. A verbal warning will give the student the opportunity to change their behaviour.
  2. If the behavioural interruptions continue, sanctions such as moving students within the classroom, penalty sheets, break time detentions, notes in journals, moving students to another classroom under supervision and/or extra homework, will be brought into action by the classroom teacher. Parents will be informed through the college journal when detention requires the student to stay at the college during lunchtime. 
  3. Where behavioural interruptions are persistent and the student continues to refuse to adhere to college rules, action will be taken.
  4. If the student chooses not to change their behaviour the recorded incidents and actions taken will be brought to the attention of the Year Head after the classroom teacher has exhausted other means of sanction. Written records of incidents and actions taken by the class teacher will be given to the Year Head who will invoke the use of support structures, where applicable, and work with the student and parents/guardians to help the student to change the undesirable behaviour.
  5. Evening detention is a sanction.  Parents will be notified in writing of the date and time of such a detention.  Parents/Guardians are responsible for making arrangements for the student to get home after such a detention.  In particular, where a student usually travels by bus, parents must arrange that their child has an alternative way of getting home after an evening detention.  If a student does not attend a given evening detention or if the behaviour during detention is not satisfactory, this will be regarded as a serious breach of the Code of Behaviour and further sanctions may be imposed.
  6. High level disruptive behaviour such as aggressive behaviour, refusal to follow basic instructions, foul language, vandalism of college property and/or dangerous use of equipment will merit immediate removal from the classroom and may lead to suspension.
  7. Offensive language or behaviour directed at staff member may result in an immediate 1-3 day suspension in line with the College Suspension Policy (Appendix B).
  8. A student may be required to work with the Behaviour for Learning Programme Teacher while on suspension.
  9. On returning to collegeafter suspension, the parent/guardian and the student may be required to meet with the Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head before the student returns to classes. The student’s behaviour will be monitored on return and they may be subject to additional conditions designed to support them in managing their own behaviour.
  10. If a student’s behaviour continues to breach college rules, the incident reports and the actions taken will be referred to the Principal who may in turn refer the matter to the Board of Management for further disciplinary action, up to and including permanent exclusion (See Appendix C).

 

 

 

Appendix A

Six Key Rules to help me to be RESPECTFUL to Myself & Others

 

Key Rule

This means:

Because:

Attend school regularly

  • I come in every day in full uniform unless I have a valid reason because…

I will learn more and be prepared better for exams and my career.

  • I must bring in a note from my parents/guardians or a doctor’s cert for each day I miss because…

It is the law to explain why I was absent and the school must record why I wasn’t in.

  • I don’t leave school without permission because…

My safety is important

Be on time for each class

  • I arrive to school early in the morning and after lunch because…

I disrupt the teacher and other students if I am late.

  • If I am late, I go to the office and get signed in because…

It is the Law to record my attendance and the school needs to know I am in.

  • I move quickly between classes and don’t delay because…

Being on time is a good quality to have.

  • I must attend all classes during the day because…

Adults need to know that I am safe.

  • I must access the toilet facilities and use my locker before 9am and during break times only because…

I must learn to manage myself so I am not disrupting the teaching and learning.

Behave Appropriately on the Corridor

  • I move quickly between classes and don’t delay because…

Being on time is a good quality to have.

  • I walk on the left hand side of the corridors and follow any one-way systems because…

This helps the whole school community move more easily and with fewer accidents.

  • I move quietly between classes because…

I disrupt the teaching and learning occurring in classrooms if I am too loud

Follow the classroom routine

  • I may only enter the classroom with the teacher’s permission because…

It helps to ensure the safety of all students.

  • I sit in the seat assigned to me because…

Routine helps me to focus

  • I take out my class materials including school journal which must remain on the desk at all times because…

Being organised makes learning easier

Behave Appropriately in Class

  • I let others learn without distraction because…

Everyone has a right to learn.

  • I sit properly on my chair and remain in my seat unless given permission to do otherwise because…

The classroom is a safe place that doesn’t distract me or others.

  • I use ‘One voice, Hands up & Listen’ because…

It makes it easy to participate in class.

  • Eating and chewing are not allowed. Drinking water is only allowed with permission from the teacher because…

We learn better in environments that are clean and free from distractions.

Use my

College Journal properly

  • I keep my college journal neat and record my classwork and homework in it because…

It helps me to remember my homework and helps with revision and study.

  • I get it signed each week at home or when asked to because…

Parents/Guardians can see how well I am doing and it has space for notes.

  • I put the journal on the desk and give it to a teacher when asked because…

Searching in my bag for it can be distracting and wastes time.

  • I must not leave a lesson without permission from my teacher and a note in my college journal because…

This helps to ensure students are outside classrooms for valid reasons and are safe.

 

 

 

Appendix B:  Suspension Policy

 

Suspension is defined as requiring the student to absent himself/herself from the college and college grounds for a specified, limited period of college days.  During the period of a suspension, the student retains their place in the college.

 

Suspension is a sanction designed to address the student’s behaviour. It is envisaged that any period of suspension:

 

• enables the college to set behavioural goals with the student and their parents

• gives college staff an opportunity to plan other interventions

• impresses on a student and their parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

 

 

The grounds for suspension

 

Suspension is used as a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. Normally, other interventions will have been tried before suspension, and college staff will have reviewed the reasons why these have not worked. The decision to suspend a student requires serious grounds such as that:

 

• the student’s behaviour has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students,

• the student’s continued presence in the college 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.

 

Factors that will be considered before suspending a student

 

1.    The nature, seriousness and persistency of the behaviour

2.    The context of the behaviour

3.    The impact of the behaviour on other students and staff, teaching and learning in the class group and the student concerned.

4.    The interventions tried to date, including involvement of internal supports and supports from external agencies and services.

5.    Whether suspension is a proportionate response to the behaviour.

6.    The possible impact of suspension.

 

 

Forms of suspension

 

Immediate suspension

 

In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the college at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the college, or any other person. Fair procedures must still be applied.

 

Suspension during a State examination

 

This sanction must be approved by the Board of Management and will only be used where there is:

 

• a threat to good order in the conduct of the examination,

• a threat to the safety of other students and personnel,

• a threat to the right of other students to do their examination in a calm atmosphere.

 

The Board of Management of Selskar College has decided that, as part of the college policy on sanctions, and following the consultation process with the Principal, parents, teachers and students, that the following named behaviours incur suspension as a sanction. The decision to impose suspension for these named behaviours does not remove the duty to follow due process and fair procedures in each case.

 

 

  • Fighting
  • Directed offensive language
  • Smoking in the college grounds or at the entrances
  • Theft or damage to property
  • Possession of weapons
  • Threatening behaviour
  • Under the influence of unprescribed mind altering substances (legal or illegal)
  • Walking off school premises without permission during class time
  • The use or possession of illegal substances or alcohol
  • Causing a danger to self or others
  • Failure to comply with in house sanctions

 

 

Students will not normally be suspended for:

 

• poor academic performance

• poor attendance or lateness

• minor breaches of the code of behaviour.

 

However, any behaviour that is persistently disruptive to learning or potentially dangerous can be a serious matter. Behaviour must be examined in context to understand both the behaviour itself and the response or sanction that is most appropriate.  Therefore, students whose behaviour is persistently in breach of the expectations as set out in the college Code of Behaviour may be suspended if that sanction is considered the best course of action.

 

Rolling suspension

 

 A student will not be suspended again shortly after they return to college unless:

 

• they engage in serious misbehaviour that warrants suspension and

• fair procedures are observed in full and

• the standard applied to judging the behaviour is the same as the standard applied to the behaviour of any other student.

 

Procedures in respect of suspension

 

The college is committed to following fair procedures when proposing to suspend a student in line with relevant legislation. Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant suspension, the college will:

 

  1. Inform the student and their parents about the complaint, how it will be investigated, and that it could result in suspension.  Parents may be informed by phone and/or in writing, depending on the seriousness of the matter.

 

  1. Give parents and student an opportunity to respond by phone, in writing or by attending a meeting, whichever is deemed most appropriate in the circumstances.

 

 

Procedures in relation to immediate suspension

 

In the case of an immediate suspension, parents/guardians will be notified, and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected, brought home or sent home with the agreement of parents/guardians. The college has regard to its duty of care for the student.  In no circumstances will a student be sent home from college without first notifying parents.

 

 

Implementing the suspension

 

The Principal will notify the parents and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm:

 

• the period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end

• the reasons for the suspension

• any study programme to be followed

  • the arrangements for returning to college, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents (for example, parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour)

• the provision for an appeal to the Board of Management

• the provision for an appeal to the ETB, if appropriate

 

Records and reports

 

Written records will be kept of:

 

• the investigation

• the decision-making process

• the decision and the rationale for the decision

• the duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension

 

The Principal will report all suspensions to the Board of Management, with the reasons for and the duration of each suspension.

 

The Principal is required to report suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, section 21(4)(a)).

 

Authority to suspend and the period of suspension

 

A student will not be suspended for more than three days, except in exceptional circumstances where the Principal considers that a period of suspension longer than three days is needed in order to achieve a particular objective.

 

The Board of Management of Selskar College has delegated to the Principal, the authority to suspend a student for a maximum periods of five days.

 

Students may be referred to The Board of Management for a review of their behaviour.  The Board of Management may decide to suspend a student for a longer period of time.  This will normally be a maximum period of ten days, except in circumstances where the Board of Management considers that a longer period of suspension is needed.

 

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 college year to twenty days or more. Any such suspension is subject to appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

 

These provisions enable college authorities to give the student a reasonable time to reflect on their behaviour while avoiding undue loss of teaching time and loss of contact with the positive influences of college. They recognise the serious nature of the sanction of suspension and ensure that this seriousness is reflected in college procedures. The provisions mean that the Board of Management takes ultimate responsibility for sanctions of significant length, especially where such suspensions might reach twenty days in one college year and therefore might lead to an appeal.

 

After the suspension ends

 

A period of suspension will end on the date given in the letter of notification to the parents about the suspension.  The college will endeavour  to help the student to take responsibility for catching up on work missed.  When suspension is completed, a student will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start. Although a record is kept of the behaviour and any sanction imposed, once the sanction has been completed the college expects the same behaviour of this student as of all other students.  Students may be readmitted on a phased basis should this be considered necessary.

 

Appeals

 

Parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal the Principal’s decision to suspend a student to The Board of Management of the college.

 

Such an appeal must be made in writing (within 7 days of the date of the letter of suspension) to the Chairperson of the Board of Management, stating the grounds on which the appeal is being made. However, the college may insist that the student remain at home while the appeal proceeds. In the event that an appeal is successful the suspension will be expunged from the student’s record.

 

In the case of decisions to suspend made by the Board of Management an appeal may be lodged to the Chief Executive Officer of Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board.

 

 

Section 29 Appeal

 

Where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current college year reaches twenty days, the parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal the suspension under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, as amended by the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007.

At the time when parents are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student will be told about their right to appeal to the Chief Executive Officer of Waterford & Wexford Education and Training Board

Where an appeal to the ETB is concluded, parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.

 

 

Grounds for removing a suspension

 

A suspension may be removed if the Board of Management decides to remove the suspension for any reason or if the ETB or Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills directs that it be removed following an appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

 

 

Review of use of suspension

 

The Board of Management will review the use of suspension in the college at regular intervals to ensure that its use is consistent with college policies, that patterns of use are examined to identify factors that may be influencing behaviour in the college and to ensure that use of suspension is appropriate and effective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix C: Expulsion Policy

 

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

 

The Board of Management of Selskar College has the authority to expel a student as devolved (under Section 31 of the Vocational Education (Amendment) Act 2001) by Waterford & Wexford ETB.

 

The grounds for expulsion

 

Selskar College considers that the expulsion of a student is a very serious step, and one that shall only be taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour.

 

The college will endeavour to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a student including, as appropriate:

 

  • meeting with parents and the student to try to 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
  • ensuring that all other possible options have been tried seeking the assistance of support agencies

 

A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as that:

 

  • the student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process
  • the student’s continued presence in the college constitutes a real and significant threat to safety
  • the student is responsible for serious damage to property

 

The grounds for expulsion may be similar to the grounds for suspension. In addition to factors such as the degree of seriousness and the persistence of the behaviour, a key difference is that, where expulsion is considered, college authorities have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the student’s behaviour.

 

The Board of Management of Selskar College has decided that, as part of the college’s policy on sanctions, and following the consultation process with the Principal, parents, teachers and students, that the following particular named behaviours incur expulsion as a sanction. However, the general decision to impose expulsion for named behaviours does not remove the duty to follow due process and fair procedures.

 

  • Serious malicious damage to college or other property
  • Supply of illegal/legal drugs
  • Serious physical assault or violence
  • Sexual assault

 

Expulsion for a first offence

 

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the code could include:

 

  • a serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff
  • actual violence or physical assault
  • supplying illegal drugs to others in the college
  • sexual assault.

 

Determining the appropriateness of expelling a student

 

Given the seriousness of expulsion as a sanction the Board of Management will undertake a very

detailed review of the following factors in deciding whether to expel a student:

 

  1. The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  2. The context of the behaviour
  3. The impact of the behaviour
  4. The interventions tried to date
  5. Whether expulsion is a proportionate response
  6. The possible impact of expulsion

 

Procedures in respect of expulsion

 

Selskar College required by law to follow fair procedures as well as procedures prescribed under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, when proposing to expel a student.  Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:

 

  1. A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.
  2. A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.
  3. Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.
  4. Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.
  5. Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
  6. Confirmation of the decision to expel.

 

The Board of Management of Selskar College has decided that the above procedural steps at 2, 3, & 4 can be accomplished together in a single meeting, consistent with giving parents due notice (at least 7 calendar days) of meetings and a fair and reasonable time to prepare for a Board hearing. 

 

Step 1   A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal. 

In investigating an allegation, in line with fair procedures, the Principal will:

  • inform the student and their parents (in writing) about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion
  • give parents and the student every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.  This will include a meeting with the Principal, parents and the student and any other relevant personnel.

 

Step 2   A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal

Where the Principal forms a view, based on the investigation of the alleged misbehaviour, that expulsion may be warranted, 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 that parents 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 parents
  • notify the parents of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to the hearing
  • advise the parents that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management
  • ensure that parents have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.

 

Step 3   Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing

The Board of Management will review the initial investigation and satisfy itself that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures. The Board will undertake its own review of all documentation and the circumstances of the case. No party who has had any involvement with the circumstances of the case will be part of the Board’s deliberations. 

Where a Board of Management decides to consider expelling a student, it will hold a hearing. At the hearing, the Principal and the parents, or a student aged eighteen years or over, put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Parents may wish to be accompanied at hearings and the Board shall facilitate this, in line with good practice and Board procedures.

After both sides have been heard, the Board shall ensure that the Principal and parents are not present for the Board’s deliberations.

 

Step 4   Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing

Having heard from all the parties, it is the responsibility of the Board to decide whether or not the allegation is substantiated and, if so, whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction. Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board will notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion. (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(1)). The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty college days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(1)).

The Board shall inform the parents in writing about its conclusions and the next steps in the process. Where expulsion is proposed, the parents should be told that the Board of Management will now inform the Educational Welfare Officer.

 

Step 5   Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer

Within twenty days of receipt of a notification from a Board of Management of its opinion that a student should be expelled, the Educational Welfare Officer must:

 

  • make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parents and the student, and anyone else who may be of assistance
  • convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 24).

 

Pending these consultations about the student’s continued education, a Board of Management may take steps to ensure that good order is maintained and that the safety of students is secured (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(5)). A Board may consider it appropriate to suspend a student during this time. Suspension should only be considered where there is a likelihood 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 students or staff.

 

Step 6   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 Principal shall on behalf of the Board of Management formally confirm the decision to expel. Parents shall be notified immediately that the expulsion will now proceed. Parents and the student shall be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal. A formal record shall be made of the decision to expel the student.

 

Appeals

 

A parent, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal a decision to expel to the CEO of  WWETB.   Where an appeal to the ETB has been concluded and the decision of the Board of Management upheld, parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may go on to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.  An appeal may also be brought by TUSLA on behalf of a student.

 

Review of use of expulsion

 

The Board of Management shall review the use of expulsion in the college at regular intervals to ensure that its use is consistent with college policies, that patterns of use are examined to identify factors that may be influencing behaviour in the college, and to ensure that expulsion is used appropriately.