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Scoil Phádraig, Ballyhale, County. Kilkenny

Cill Chainnigh agus Seamróga abú!! (056) 7768915 Rolla No. 17628R

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Code Of Behaviour

Introductory Statement

This policy statement is based on previous statements, codes and school practices. It was drawn up in 2008. Following an audit of the Code it was updated in September - December 2010 in order to bring it in line with the NEWB Guidelines for Schools: Developing a Code of Behaviour.


It was deemed necessary to update the school's Code of Behaviour at this time in order to put into context our existing Code of Behaviour. Due consideration has been given to the particular needs of Scoil Phádraig. We recognise the variety of differences that exist between children and our aim is to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated, while acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption-free environment.

Relationship to the Characteristic Spirit of the School

This policy reflects our school's philosophy and ethos which aims to foster the values of respect, honesty, courtesy, responsibility, tolerance and consideration of others. We believe that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, pupils and parents. Every effort will be made to ensure that parents are kept well informed, that the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents and that parents are told not only when their child is in trouble but when they have behaved particularly well.

The aims of the Code of Behaviour of Scoil Phádraig are:

  • To provide guidance for pupils, teachers and parents on behavioural expectations.
  • To provide for the effective and safe operation of the school.
  • To develop pupils’ self-esteem and to promote positive behaviour.
  • To foster the development of a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils based on respect, consideration and tolerance of others.
  • To facilitate the education and development of every child.
  • To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment.
  • To enable teachers to teach without disruption.


Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour. Rules will be kept to a minimum, emphasize positive behaviour and will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Good behaviour will be encouraged and rewarded. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

General Guidelines for Positive Behaviour

  • Pupils are expected to treat all adults and fellow pupils with respect and courtesy at all times. Behaviour that interferes with the rights of others to learn and to feel safe is unacceptable
  • Pupils are expected to show respect for all school property and to keep the school environment clean and litter free.
  • Pupils are expected to take pride in their appearance, to have all books and required materials and to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Pupils are expected to obey a teacher’s instructions, to work to the best of their ability and to present assignments neatly.
  • Pupils are expected to attend every day unless there is a genuine reason for absence, in which case the school must be informed in writing, stating the reason for absence.


See Scoil Phádraig’s Policy on Bullying.

Affirming Positive Behaviour

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions.

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
  • A comment on a child’s exercise book.
  • A visit to another class or Principal for commendation.
  • Praise in front of class group.
  • Individual class merit awards, points awards or award stamps.
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
  • Written or verbal communication with parent.

Pupils will not be deprived of engagement in a Curricular Area, except on the grounds of health/safety


Before serious sanctions such as suspension or explusion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.

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

Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the principal.  If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a period.  Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

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

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan and/or contract for/with the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.

School Rules

School rules are kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community. If a school is to function efficiently, it is necessary that rules and regulations are clearly stated and enforced consistently and fairly.

Discouraging Misbehaviour

The purpose of sanctions and other strategies is to promote positive behaviour and to discourage misbehaviour. Sanctions will be applied according to the gravity of the misbehaviour, with due regard to age and emotional development. These may include:

  • Reasoning with pupil.
  • Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
  • Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class.
  • Prescribing extra work.
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Time Out
  • Detention during break (in extreme circumstances and for the safety of the other children in the yard, it may be deemed necessary to detain a child during break time).
  • Communication with parents.( note in dialann scoile, letter, telephone call, meeting with parents).
  • Referral to Principal.
  • Principal communicating with parents
  • Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000).

*Teachers shall keep a written record of all instances of serious misbehaviour as well as a record of improvements in the behaviour of disruptive pupils.

Children with Special Needs

At the start of the school year, an I.E.P. (Individual Education Plan) will be drawn up for each child with special behavioural needs. This plan will be drawn up by the class teacher, resource teacher, parents and where relevant the child's SNA.

  • Recommendations from Psychological reports (where available to the school) will form an integral part of this plan.
  • This plan will be reviewed regularly by the class teacher, resource teacher, parents and where relevant by the child's SNA.
  • Every effort will be made to have a child with special social, emotional and/or behavioural needs referred for psychological assessment without delay. Help will be sought, also, from support services within the wider community.
  • Teachers should take particular care that they help the student with special needs to understand clearly any sanction being imposed and the reason why their behaviour is unacceptable.
  • For some students, visual prompts or pictures may be needed. Some students may need opportunities to practise observing the rules, with feedback on their progress.
  • Teachers should keep children with special needs in mind when doing circle time, drama, SPHE and other topics dealing with a behavioural theme.
  • The school and classroom practices that support good learning behaviour are valid for all students, including those with identified special educational needs.
  • Suspension/Expulsion

The Board of Management of Scoil Phádraig has the right to suspend or expel a student.(see Appendix 3)

Before/After School

Parents are regularly reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before 9.20a.m. or after the official closing time of 2.00 p.m. (infants) and 3.00 p.m. (other classes), except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with the school behaviour policy during these times.


Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour.

Board of Management’s Responsibilities

  • Provide a comfortable, safe environment.
  • Support the Principal and staff in implementing the code.
  • Ratify the code.

Principal’s Responsibilities

“The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the principal teacher. Each teacher has responsibility for the maintenance of discipline within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good order within the school premises. A pupil will be referred to the principal teacher for serious breaches of discipline and for repeated incidents of minor misbehaviour”-CPMSA Handbook: Appendix 55.

  • Promote a positive climate in the school.
  • Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Arrange for review of the Code, as required.

Teachers’ Responsibilities

  • Support and implement the school’s code of behaviour.
  • Create a safe working environment for each pupil.
  • Recognise and affirm good work.
  • Build a positive relationship with each pupil
  • Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
  • Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils.
  • Be courteous, consistent and fair.
  • Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour.
  • Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour.
  • Provide support for colleagues.
  • Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.

Pupils’ Responsibilities

  • Attend school regularly and punctually.
  • Listen to their teachers and act on instructions/advice.
  • Show respect for all members of the school community.
  • Respect all school property and the property of other pupils.
  • Avoid behaving in any way which would endanger others.
  • Avoid nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling.
  • Include other pupils in games and activities.
  • Bring correct materials/books to school.
  • Follow school and class rules.

Parents/Guardians’ Responsibilities

  • Encourage children to have a sense of respect for themselves, other pupils, the staff and school property.
  • Ensure that children attend regularly, punctually and in the school uniform or tracksuit.
  • Be interested in, support and encourage their children’s school work.
  • Be familiar with the code of behaviour and support its implementation.
  • Co-operate with teachers in instances where their child’s behaviour is causing difficulties for others.
  • Communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress/behaviour.

Ratified by Board of Management.

            Chairperson, Board of Management.