In line with the requirements of the Education Welfare Act, we have devised a revised Code of Behaviour, which can be downladed in PDF format here.

New code of behaviour Feb 2010

The Code of Behaviour is outlaid in full below –

Code of Behaviour

Introductory Statement

Following consultation with the Board of Management, the teaching staff, the non-teaching staff and the pupils of St. Colman’s National School, this Code of Behaviour was drafted in Spring 2010.

Rationale

  • The existing Code of Behaviour was last reviewed in 2006. In the light of recent publications such as Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008 it is now felt that the policy needs to be revisited and in parts rewritten to ensure that it is in compliance with legal requirements and good practice

 

  • To ensure an orderly climate for learning in the school

 

  • It is a requirement under the Education Welfare Act, 2000, Section 23 (1) which refers to the obligation on schools to prepare a code of behaviour in respect of the students registered at the school. It details in Section 23(2), that the code of behaviour shall specify:

 

  1. The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school;
  2. The measures that shall be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards;
  3. The procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled from the school concerned;
  4. The grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student; and
  5. The procedures to be followed in relation to a child’s absence from school.

 

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the school

The school has a central role in the children’s social and moral development just as it does in their academic development. In seeking to define acceptable standards of behaviour it is acknowledged that these are goals to be worked towards rather than expectations that are either fulfilled or not.

The children bring to school a wide variety of behaviour. As a community environment, in school we must work towards standards of behaviour based on the basic principles of honesty, respect, consideration and responsibility. It follows that acceptable standards of behaviour are those that reflect these principles.

Children need limits set for them in order to feel secure and develop the skills for co-operation. Therefore any rules will be age appropriate, with clear agreed consequences.

Parents can co-operate with the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, by visiting the school and by talking to the members of staff.

A code of behaviour is established to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while at the same time acknowledging the right of each child to education in a relatively disruption free environment.

 

 

 

Aims

  • To create a positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others
  • To promote self-esteem and positive relationships
  • To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour
  • To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights 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
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community
  • To ensure that the school’s expectations and strategies are widely known and understood through the enrolment pack, availability of policies and an ethos of open communication
  • To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy

 

Content of policy

The policy is addressed under the following headings:

 

  1. Guidelines for behaviour in the school

 

  1. Whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour
  • Staff
  • Board of Management
  • Parents
  • Pupils

 

  1. Positive strategies for managing behaviour
  • Classroom
  • Playground
  • Other areas in the school
  • School related activities

 

 

  1. Rewards and sanctions
  • Rewards and acknowledgement of good behaviour
  • Strategies for responding to inappropriate behaviour
  • Involving parents in management of problem behaviour
  • Managing aggressive or violent behaviour

 

  1. Suspension / Expulsion
  • Suspension
  • Expulsion
  • Appeals

 

  1. Keeping records
  • Class
  • Playground
  • School records

 

  1. Procedure for notification of a pupil’s absence from school

 

  1. Reference to other policies
  1. Guidelines for behaviour in the school

In line with the Education Welfare Act, Section 23, the following are the broad standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school.  We have the following expectations of our students and these will be reflected in school and classroom rules and procedures.

o   Each pupil is expected to be well behaved and to show consideration for other children and adults

o   Each pupil is expected to show respect for the property of the school, other children’s and their own belongings

o   Each pupil is expected to attend school on a regular basis and to be punctual

o   Each pupil is expected to do his/her best both in school and for homework.

 

In accordance with Section 23 (4) of the Act, prior to registering a pupil, the principal teacher provides the parents of the child with a copy of the school’s code of behaviour and requests them to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour so provided is acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such code by the child.

 

See Appendix A.

 

All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour.  However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules.  Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/ resource teacher. The teachers will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given.   Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times.  Professional advice from psychological assessments will be invaluable.

 

The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs how to adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support.  This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

 

 

  1. Whole school approach in promoting positive behaviour

The elements of the whole school approach to behaviour include

  • Ethos, policies and practices that are in harmony
  • A teamwork approach to behaviour
  • A whole-school approach to curriculum and classroom management
  • An inclusive and involved school community
  • A systematic process for planning and reviewing behaviour policy

 

The emphasis in our school is on the promotion of positive behaviour and this is emphasis is shared by the entire staff.

 

Staff

Responsibility of Adults

(Teaching staff/Ancillary staff/Visiting teachers/coaches)

The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.

 

As adults we should aim to:

  • Create a positive climate with realistic expectations
  • Promote, through example, honesty and courtesy
  • Provide a caring and effective learning environment
  • Encourage relationships based on kindness, respect and understanding of the needs of others
  • Ensure fair treatment for all regardless of age, gender, race, ability and disability
  • Show appreciation of the efforts and contribution of all
  • To discourage physical aggression and promote positive interactions
  • Inform ourselves about special factors that impact upon behaviour i.e. SEN. Information may be sought from support services such as NEPS and SESS.

 

  • The school’s SPHE curriculum is used to support the code of behaviour. It aims to help our children develop communication skills, appropriate ways of interacting and behaving, and conflict resolution skills. It also aims to foster self-esteem and to help children accommodate differences and develop citizenship. As our SPHE policy states It is our vision that SPHE in our school will promote the personal development and health and well being of each child. They will develop a framework of values, attitudes, understanding and the skills that will inform their decisions both now and in the future, thus enabling them to become responsible members of their community and society. (See SPHE policy).
  • In our school, Circle Time is carried out at all levels and is used very beneficially to reinforce and discuss positive behaviour.

 

Board of Management

The overall responsibility for ensuring that a code of behaviour is prepared rests with the Board of Management. The Board has particular responsibility for the ethos of the school, as well as having overall responsibility for school policies. The Board should play an active role in exploring the kinds of relationships and behaviours that will reflect the school’s ethos and responsibilities.

The Board should ensure that all members of the school community have the opportunity to be involved in work on the code of behaviour. The Code of Behaviour and review of same is formally included in Board of Management meetings when appropriate and is recorded in minutes. The Board of Management actively supports the teachers in developing the Code.

 

Parents

The school maintains open pathways of communication with parents regarding the Code of Behaviour. Parents will be invited to examine a draft policy and to contribute any suggestions or amendments they feel worthwhile.

Prior to registering a pupil, the principal teacher provides the parents of the child with a copy of the school’s rules and requests them to confirm in writing that the rules so provided are acceptable to them and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with such rules by the child. A copy of the code of behaviour is available for all parents to view in the school.

Parents support the school in the promotion of positive behaviour and the maintenance of high standards of behaviour e.g.

o   Parents ensure their children attend school regularly and punctually

o   Parents encourage their children to do their best and to take responsibility for their work

o   Parents are aware of and cooperate with the school’s rules and system of rewards and sanctions

o   Parents attend meetings at the school if requested

o   Parents help their children with homework and ensure that it is completed by signing the homework diary. Homework diaries are provided from Rang a dó upwards.

o   Parents ensure their children have the necessary books and materials for school.

 

Pupils

Students are more likely to support a code of behaviour when they have helped to develop it. Relationships of trust between teachers and students can grow stronger through the process. In our school, children are consulted informally and formally through the SPHE curriculum on matters regarding behaviour. They are active in implementing the Classroom Code – e.g.

o   Drafting rules for the classroom

 

  1. Positive strategies for managing behaviour

Various strategies are used throughout the school to promote good behaviour and to prevent misbehaviour.  We have clearly stated achievable school rules.

 

School Rules

 

  1. Children are expected to do their best in class and take responsibility for their own work at all times.
  2. Pupils are expected to have all books, copies and other school requisites necessary to do their school work with them during school time and must keep them in good condition, replacing any that are lost.
  3. Pupils are expected to do all home and other assignments in a neat and careful fashion.
  4. Children should not bring money to school except for payment of books, school tours or at the request of the teacher for any other school purpose.
  5. Students must be neat and tidy in their dress and personal hygiene.
  6. Children are requested to treat each other with respect, to be kind to each other and to make new students feel welcome.
  7. Children are expected to be mannerly and courteous to teachers and visitors.
  8. It is expected that children will follow instructions from teachers at all times.
  9. It is expected that children respect other students and do not interfere with their learning.
  10. Kicking, punching, pinching or striking another student is absolutely forbidden.
  11. Verbal abuse of any kind, e.g. name-calling or hurtful remarks by one student to another is contrary to school ethics and will not be tolerated.
  12. Children are expected to exhibit a readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict.
  13. The use of bad language is forbidden.
  14. Children are asked to report to the teacher if they see someone being unfairly treated.
  15. Children who feel that they are being unfairly treated by others should immediately inform a teacher.
  16. Children are expected to walk quietly throughout the school building.
  17. On school outings, children will act in a way which brings credit to their school.
  18. If a parent wishes a child to leave school during school hours, it is essential that the class teacher be informed in writing.
  19. Children may not leave the school premises without permission from the class teacher.
  20. It is expected that at all times school property and equipment will be treated with respect.
  21. It is expected that at all times other children’s property will be treated with care and respect.
  22. Any parent or guardian who has any concern about their child’s welfare should discuss it with the principal by appointment.
  23. The reasons for pupil absences should be explained to class teachers in written form.

 

These can be summed up as 6 main rules:

 

  • Respect/ Be nice
  • Do your best
  • Be tidy
  • Be Safe
  • Walk
  • Listen

 

Classroom

At the beginning of each academic year, the class teacher will draft a list of class rules with the children.  These reflect and support the school rules, but are presented in a way that is accessible to the children.  Class rules should be kept to a minimum and are devised with regard for the health, safety and welfare of all members of the school community.  They should where possible emphasise positive behaviour (e.g. ‘Walk’ and not ‘Don’t run’).  Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference.  Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

 

Incentives

Part of the vision of St. Colman’s NS is to help children achieve their personal best – academically, intellectually and socially.  We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and that similarly children use a variety of approaches to solve problems.  Reward systems which are based on academic merit or particular extrinsic goals continuously apply to only a limited number of children and undermine the individuality of children.  All children deserve encouragement to attain their own best.  Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to at all times by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.

 

The following are some samples of how praise might be given;

  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval
  • A comment in a pupil’s exercise book
  • A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class
  • A system of merit marks or stickers
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication.

 

Playground(s)

Positive behaviour is expected at all times in the playground. We support and encourage such behaviour by

  • Organising activities in ways which minimise misbehaviour
  • Creation of zones within the playground, providing sections for specific age groups, quiet activities etc.
  • Careful supervision at each break time (one staff member on duty) ensuring all children are monitored.
  • An incident book is carefully maintained where necessary.
  • The children’s movement to and from the yard is orderly and supervised.
  • On wet days, board games, jigsaws, cards etc are used in the classrooms

 

Other areas in the school

There is an expectation that the school rules will be implemented in all areas of the school such as halls, cloakrooms, toilets etc. Children are reminded of these regularly.

School related activities

Standards and rules contained in the code of behaviour would usually apply in any situation where pupils are still the responsibility of the school.  The school has drafted a volunteer form for school activities and school trips and outings.

See appendix B.

  1. Rewards and Sanctions

Rewards and acknowledgement of good behaviour

As we have already described, the school places great importance on active rewarding of positive behaviour. Teachers are careful to grant age appropriate rewards and incentives.

 

 

 

 

Strategies for responding to inappropriate behaviour

Sanctions

 

In St. Colman’s NS, if a pupil fails to observe the standards of behaviour outlined in the school, certain measures and sanctions may be imposed.

The use of sanctions or consequences is characterised by certain features;

  • It must be clear why the sanction is being applied
  • The consequence must relate as closely as possible to the behaviour
  • It must be made clear what changes in behaviour are required to avoid future sanctions
  • Group punishment should be avoided as it breeds resentment
  • There should be a clear distinction between minor and major offences
  • It should be the behaviour rather than the person that is the focus

 

The following steps will be taken when a child behaves inappropriately.  They are listed in order of severity with one being for a minor misbehaviour and ten being for serious or gross misbehaviour.  The list is by no means exhaustive.  Teachers may put in place alternative measures bearing in mind the features by which sanctions should be characterised.  The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupils devise strategies for this;

 

  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
  4. Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened
  5. Loss of privileges during break (sin bin)
  6. Carrying out a useful task in the school
  7. Communication with parents
  8. Referral to Principal
  9. Principal communicating with parents
  10. 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, NEWB Guidelines 2008 – all available in the school)

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

Teachers hold a common understanding of the type and severity of sanctions imposed. If any member of staff is in doubt about the suitability of a sanction, whole staff consultation occurs.

 

 

Involving parents in management of problem behaviour

Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers have a shared strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy, which can be implemented at home and in school.

 

A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff; pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.

 

Parents should be encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life, in the past or present, which may affect the child’s behaviour. Information can be shared by parents through the enrolment form.

The following methods are to be used at all levels within the school:

  • Informal parent/teacher meetings and Formal parent/teacher meetings
  • Through children’s homework journal
  • Telephone Contact
  • Letters/notes from school to home and from home to school

Managing aggressive or violent misbehaviour

Seriously violent or threatening behaviour is a rare occurrence in St. Colman’s NS. However, should a pupil’s behaviour constitute a risk to the safety of the pupil himself/herself or the safety of other pupils or staff, the school will take several steps. These include: –

 

  • Isolation of pupil//removal of the pupil to a safe place with a trusted member of staff
  • Every effort will be made to calm the child
  • Immediate communication with parents
  • Immediate visit from parent if deemed necessary
  • In extreme cases, child may need to be referred to external agency for psychological testing. This would only be done in consultation with the parents.

 

  1. Suspension / Expulsion

Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion 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 teacher 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 the pupil, 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, the Education Welfare Act 2000 and the NEWB guidelines 2008. Suspension must also be notified to parents in writing. Where the parents decline the offer of meeting the school authorities, the written notification is to be regarded as the notification of suspension.

 

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.

 

 

St. Colman’s NS will follow fair procedures in the event that it is proposing to suspend or expel a student. These procedures have two essential components

  • The right to be heard
  • The right to impartiality

 

These fair procedures apply to

  • The investigation of alleged misbehaviour
  • The process of decision making

 

In exceptional circumstances, the principal and chairperson of the Board of Management may extend a 3-day suspension to a 5-day period without full Board of Management sanction (e.g. if the Board of Management is unable to convene at short notice).

 

The Board of Management will normally place a ceiling of 10 days on a single suspension. Any extension of this will be considered as another suspension and due procedures should be followed.

Where a period of suspension exceeds 20 days, the parents of the child have the right to appeal this under section 29 of the Education Act. A section 29 appeal can be made by contacting the Secretary General of the DES. An application form for this procedure can downloaded from the DES website. See appendix C.

Removal of Suspension

Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. 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 for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class. The school will make every effort to help the student reintegrate into school life – academically and socially.

 

The student will be given every opportunity and support for a fresh start.

 

 

Records and reports to be kept in respect of suspension will include –

 

Records of investigation and decision making ·    The investigation (incl all interview notes)

·    The decision making process

·    The decision and rationale for same

·    The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension

Report to the BOM The principal will report all suspensions to the BOM with the reasons for and the duration of each suspension.
Report to NEWB The principal is required to report suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines ( Ed .Welfare Act 2000, section 21(4) (a)

 

Use of suspension will be reviewed at regular intervals.

 

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rules for National Schools the National Education Welfare Act 2000 and the NEWB Guidelines 2008. The grounds for expulsion will be similar to the grounds for suspension. However, it will only be considered when all other interventions have been exhausted.

 

Grounds for Expulsion include

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

 

Procedures in respect of expulsion

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal ( similar to one carried out in the case of suspension)
  • A recommendation to the Board of Management by the principal
  • Consideration of the Board of Management of the principal’s recommendation, and the holding of a hearing
  • Board of Management deliberation and action following the hearing
  • Consultations arranged by the Education Welfare Officer (this should occur within the 20 day period between the Board decision and the start of expulsion date)
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.

 

 

Appeals

Under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, parents are entitled to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science against some decisions of the Board of Management, including (1) permanent exclusion from a school and (2) suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year.  Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student. (See Circular 22/02)

 

Records and reports to be kept in respect of expulsion will include –

 

Records of investigation and decision making ·    The investigation (incl all interview notes)

·    The decision making process

·    The decision and rationale for same

 

Report to the BOM The principal will report to the BOM with the and records of all relevant communication will be maintained.
Report to NEWB The BoM is required to report expulsions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines  and the Welfare Officer is required to liaise with the all relevant parties within that period.( Ed .Welfare Act 2000, section 21(4) (a)

 

 

 

  1. Keeping records

All serious incidents on the playground are recorded factually in the School Incident Book.

Teachers include a record of individual children’s behaviour on the annual school report.

  1. Procedures for notification of pupil absences from school

The school informs the parents every September that The Education Welfare Act, 2000, stipulates that parents must notify the school of a student’s absence and the reason for this absence.  This notification must be written. A careful record of all absences and reasons for such will be kept in a filing cabinet. This information is reported to the NEWB on the standard forms. Records will be kept until the end of the school year unless a child’s absences have exceeded the twenty days and these records will be retained by the school until the welfare officer advises otherwise.

 

  1. Reference to other Policies

St. Colman’s NS has an extensive range of policies which support and consolidate the school’s Code of Behaviour. These include:

o        SPHE plan

o        Anti-bullying / Sexual harassment

o        Enrolment

o        Health & Safety

o        Special Educational Needs

 

Success Criteria

Our school Code of Behaviour will be considered successful if the following criteria are satisfied:

 

  • Observation of positive behaviour in class rooms, playground and school environment
  • Practices and procedures listed in this policy being consistently implemented by teachers
  • Positive feedback from teachers, parents and pupils

 

Roles and Responsibility
  • All members of the school community have responsibility in upholding the School Code of Behaviour.
  • The Board of Management has a vital role to play in supporting the school Code of Behaviour, especially in extreme situations such as suspension and expulsion.

Implementation Date

This policy will be implemented from September 2010.

Timetable for Review

This policy will be reviewed at regular intervals.

 

 

Appendix A

Code of Behaviour

St. Colman’s National School, New Quay.

 

School Rules

  • Children are expected to do their best in class and take responsibility for their own work at all times.
  • Pupils are expected to have all books, copies and other school requisites necessary to do their school work with them during school time and must keep them in good condition, replacing any that are lost.
  • Pupils are expected to do all home and other assignments in a neat and careful fashion.
  • Children should not bring money to school except for payment of books, school tours or at the request of the teacher for any other school purpose.
  • Students must be neat and tidy in their dress and personal hygiene.
  • Children are requested to treat each other with respect, to be kind to each other and to make new students feel welcome.
  • Children are expected to be mannerly and courteous to teachers and visitors.
  • It is expected that children will follow instructions from teachers at all times.
  • It is expected that children respect other students and do not interfere with their learning.
  • Kicking, punching, pinching or striking another student is absolutely forbidden.
  • Verbal abuse of any kind, e.g. name-calling or hurtful remarks by one student to another is contrary to school ethics and will not be tolerated.
  • Children are expected to exhibit a readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict.
  • The use of bad language is forbidden.
  • Children are asked to report to the teacher if they see someone being unfairly treated.
  • Children who feel that they are being unfairly treated by others should immediately inform a teacher.
  • Children are expected to walk quietly throughout the school building.
  • On school outings, children will act in a way which brings credit to their school.
  • If a parent wishes a child to leave school during school hours, it is essential that the class teacher be informed in writing.
  • Children may not leave the school premises without permission from the class teacher.
  • It is expected that at all times school property and equipment will be treated with respect.
  • It is expected that at all times other children’s property will be treated with care and respect.
  • Any parent or guardian who has any concern about their child’s welfare should discuss it with the principal by appointment.
  • The reasons for pupil absences should be explained to class teachers in written form.

 

Failure to adhere to school rules will result in disciplinary action. The following strategies will be used:

  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
  4. Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened
  5. Loss of privileges during break (sin bin)
  6. Carrying out a useful task in the school
  7. Communication with parents
  8. Referral to Principal
  9. Principal communicating with parents
  10. 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, NEWB Guidelines 2008 – all available in the school)

 

I have read the School’s Code of Behaviour

 

Signed:__________________________________________

 

Appendix B

Form to be completed by volunteers

 

This school owes a duty of care to its pupils. The school has a duty to satisfy itself that no person assisting in the school in any capacity poses a threat to pupils or staff. The school must therefore make certain enquiries of all volunteers assisting in any capacity in the school.

The following 5 questions must be responded to:

 

  1. Where have you been residing during the previous five years?

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. Were you ever subject of an inquiry by a Health Board concerning a child welfare matter?                         □ YES                           □ NO

 

  1. Were you ever the subject of a Garda criminal investigation arising from a complaint of child abuse?                         □ YES                           □ NO

 

  1. Were you ever the subject of any allegation of criminal conduct or wrongdoing towards a minor?             □ YES                           □ NO

 

  1. Are you aware of any material circumstance in respect of your own conduct which touched/touches on the welfare of a minor? □ YES □ NO

 

In respect of the schools enquiries with third parties, enclosed is consent form, confirming your consent to the making of such enquiries and the giving of responses by any relevant Health Board(s) and/or the Gardaí.

The school undertakes that all responses furnished by you in respect of the above questions, will be treated as confidential, subject to any reporting obligations which may be imposed on the school, pursuant to “Children First” published by the Department of Health, or pursuant to any legal obligation imposed on the school to facilitate the effective investigation of crime.

In the event that the school finds it necessary to make third party enquiries from a Health Board and/or the Gardaí, to confirm the accuracy of your replies to the above questions, you agree to consent to the school’s making of such enquiries and your responding to same.

 

You should note that if the school becomes aware of the fact that you have made incomplete or inaccurate disclosure your assistance will be dispensed with immediately.

 

 

Signed:_____________________________  Date:_________________


 

 

 

Appendix C

 

 

APPEALS

APPLICATION

FORM

 

 

This form should be used for the making of an appeal to the

 

Secretary General

of the

Department of Education & Science

 

(as provided for under section 29 of the Education Act, 1998)

 

 

 

 

 

If the appeal is in relation to a vocational school or a community college, this form should not be used in the first instance. Forms for appeals to a VEC should be obtained directly from the school or VEC concerned.

 

 

 

 

IN GENERAL APPEALS MUST BE MADE WITHIN 42 DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT’S DECISION

 

APPEAL APPLICATION

An appeal can only be taken by a Parent, or a student who has reached the age of 18 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(PLEASE WRITE IN BLOCK PRINT)

 

 

 

NAME:           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADDRESS:      

 

 

HOME TELEPHONE NUMBER:

 

 

 

DAYTIME TELEPHONE NUMBER:

(IF DIFFERENT TO ABOVE)

 

 

 

MOBILE TELEPHONE NUMBER:

                       

NAME OF STUDENT (If under 18 years of age):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DATE OF BIRTH:                                  YEAR/CLASS OF STUDENT:

 

NAME AND ADDRESS OF SCHOOL IN RESPECT OF WHICH THE APPEAL IS MADE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HAS YOUR CHILD ANY SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REQUIREMENT?

IF SO, PLEASE PROVIDE DETAILS:

 
 
 

 

NATURE OF APPEAL: (Please tick one category only)

 

Refusal to enrol

 

Suspension *

 

Permanent exclusion/

Expulsion

 

* Please note that an appeal may only be made in respect of a suspension which results in 20 days or more of suspension for that student in any one school year

DATE WHEN YOU WERE NOTIFIED OF THE DECISION BY THE SCHOOL:

 

DAY   MONTH  

YEAR

 

DETAILS OF PROCEEDINGS AT LOCAL LEVEL:                     

 

Please give details below of any appeal or review proceedings that have taken place at local level in this case, either to the Board of Management, the school patron or, in the case of a VEC school, the VEC.

 

Please state the outcome of these proceedings.

 

(Extra pages may be added)

 

GROUNDS ON WHICH THE DECISION IS BEING APPEALED[1]:

 

(A) In relation to enrolment appeals, please advise whether you consider that:

 

Yes                   No

 

(1)   The school may have breached fair and                                 ¨                  ¨

reasonable procedures in dealing with your application.

 

(2)   There has been a failure by  the school                                  ¨                  ¨

to correctly apply their published enrolment policy.

 

(B) In relation to appeals against a suspension or expulsion of a child, please advise whether you consider that:

 

Yes                   No

 

(1)   The school may have breached fair and reasonable                 ¨                   ¨

procedures in dealing with you or your child.

 

 

(2)   There has been a failure by the school to                     ¨                    ¨

correctly apply their Code of Behaviour’s rules

on expulsion and suspension.

 

 

If you have ticked Yes to any of the boxes above, please state clearly the grounds on which the decision is being appealed.

 

(Extra pages may be added)

 

PLEASE ENCLOSE COPY OF BOARD OF MANAGEMENT DECISION, IF AVAILABLE.

IF THE BOARD OF MANAGEMENT DECISION IS NOT AVAILABLE, PLEASE EXPLAIN WHY NOT.

 

 

 

VENUE FOR APPEAL HEARING

To accommodate the administration of Section 29 appeals, all hearings are located, where possible, in the Department of Education and Science’s offices. A date, time, and venue for the hearing will be arranged in consultation with all concerned.

 

 

 

 

 

PLEASE ENCLOSE COPIES OF ALL CORRESPONDENCE WITH THE SCHOOL IN RELATION TO THIS MATTER

 

YOU MAY ALSO ENCLOSE ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTATION IN SUPPORT OF YOUR CASE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I certify that the information given above is true. I understand and authorise that all documentation considered relevant may be accessed as part of this appeal process, and that contact may be made for this purpose with relevant bodies such as the National Educational Psychological Service. In making this application I consent to the disclosure of information in relation to this application by the Appeals Administration Unit to the National Educational Welfare Board and/or the National Council for Special Education.  I understand that all documentation provided by me in relation to this appeal, including this application form will be released to the school in question prior to an appeals hearing taking place and may be made available to the National Educational Welfare Board and/or the National Council for Special Education.

 

Signed:__________________________________________            Date:_____________

 

 

 

Please return completed application form to:

 

Section 29 Appeals Administration Unit

c/o Department of Education and Science

Cornamaddy, Athlone

Co. Westmeath

Tel: (0906) 483600    

 

OFFICE MAY BE CONTACTED:

Monday to Friday, 10.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. & 2.30 p.m. – 4.00 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the appeal is in relation to a vocational school or a community college, this form should not be used in the first instance. Forms for appeals to a VEC should be obtained directly from the school or VEC concerned.

 

 

PLEASE NOTE THAT WHEN SUBMITTING THIS APPLICATION FORM YOU SHOULD AT THE SAME TIME NOTIFY THE SCHOOL IN QUESTION OF THE APPEAL TO THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION & SCIENCE, AND THE GROUNDS ON WHICH IT IS MADE.  A COMPLETED COPY OF THIS FORM MAY ALSO BE PROVIDED TO THE SCHOOL.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR OFFICE USE ONLY:

DATE OF RECEIPT:                                                                  FILE REF:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Section 29 Appeals 

 Information Note for Parents

 

Where Do I get Further Information?

 

If you would like further information on the Section 29 appeal process you may contact any of the staff working on these appeals at 0906 48 3600.

 

 

NEWB

 

The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) is the statutory agency which can assist parents who are experiencing difficulty in securing a school placement for their child and your local Educational Welfare Officer can provide assistance in this regard. The NEWB can be contacted at 01- 8738700.

 

 

 

The following will also act as a guide to you in completing your application and lodging your appeal.

 

What can a parent appeal?

 

Section 29 of the 1998 Education Act allows an appeal to be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science[2] in respect of a decision by a Board of Management, or by a person acting on behalf of the Board of Management;

 

  1. a) to refuse to enrol a student in the school,
  2. b) to permanently exclude a student from the school, or
  3. c) to suspend a student from the school for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days in any one school year,

 

What is the Nature of the Appeal?

 

The High Court has recently issued a number of judgments involving appeals taken under Section 29 of the 1998 Education Act. These rulings have brought greater focus to the scope of an appeal taken under Section 29 of the 1998 Education Act. While this note does not serve to be legal interpretation of these judgments the main scope of section 29 appeals now relate specifically to the following:

 

  • Parents have a right to apply to their school of choice but they do not have an absolute right to have their child enrolled in that school. Hence parental school of choice alone is not a ground on which an appeal may be upheld.

 

 

  • concluded that whereas parents have a right to apply to their school of choice they do not have an absolute right to have their child enrolled in that school. Hence parental school of choice alone is not grounds for lodging an appeal

 

  • Schools have published policies on enrolment and codes of behaviour. Section 29 committees may only review decisions made by school boards of management to consider whether the board reasonably followed its own lawful policies and procedures.

 

  • If the Section 29 appeal committee finds that a school has followed its own procedures, then a committee cannot overturn a decision taken by a Board of Management, on management issues, including for example if the school considers itself to be full.

 

  • Section 29 Committees having reviewed the issues involved in the case, can ask that a school reconsider its original decision. It will in these circumstances be a matter for the school to make a final decision on whether to enrol or remove an expulsion or suspension. Once taken that will conclude the appeal process.

 

  • Specifically on enrolment, it is not the function or role of a Section 29 committee to:

o    find places for students in local schools,

o    to judge a school’s enrolment policy,

o    consider information that was not made available to the Board of Management, unless it is material that should have been before the Board when it was making its decision.

 

What Do Parents have to Do When Making an Appeal?

 

The Section 29 appeal application form asks parents to set out their grounds of appeal. Parents are asked to explain the grounds of appeal as to whether the school acted reasonably.

 

In relation to enrolment appeals, you are asked to state:

 

(3)   Why you believe the school was not reasonable in how it dealt with your application.

 

(4)   Where you consider the school did not correctly and reasonably apply their enrolment policy.

 

In relation to appeals against a suspension or expulsion of a child, you are asked to state:

 

(3)   Why you consider the school was not reasonable in how it dealt with you and/or your child.

 

(4)   Where you consider the school did not correctly apply its rules on expulsion and suspension contained in its Code of Behaviour.

 

 

What Happens After Parents lodge an Appeal?

 

Parents and schools are encouraged to resolve the issue of the appeal. Failing that a facilitator may contact you to discuss the issues surrounding the appeal. They will also make contact with the school and aim to resolve the issue surrounding the appeal. Where this is not possible the appeal will be heard by a Section 29 committee. This hearing will take place in the Department of Education and Science offices. A member of the Department’s staff will be in contact with you to arrange a date and time for this hearing.

 

 

Will the Nature of these Appeals Change and When?

 

The recent High Court judgments are the most authoritative pieces of legal opinion on the nature and scope of Section 29 appeals. In order to secure full legal clarity to the nature of these appeals, the Minister for Education and Science is appealing one of the High Court judgments to the Supreme Court.

 

Until the Supreme Court hears and makes a ruling on this judgment, or until other legislation in this area is brought forward, the current nature of appeals will remain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix D

 

 

 

Circular Letter 22/02

 

 

 

 

 

 

c/o Department of Education and Science
Cornamaddy, Athlone
Co. Westmeath
Tel: (0906) 483600

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To Boards of Management and Principals of National Schools

 

Appeals Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998

 

  1. Introduction

 

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 gives parents (and students who have reached the age of 18) the right to appeal certain decisions made by a school board of management, or a person acting on behalf of a board, to the Secretary General of this Department.

 

  1. Decisions which may be Appealed

 

Currently, Section 29 of the Education Act provides that the following decisions may be appealed to the Secretary General:

 

(i)            Permanent exclusion from a school;

 

(ii)           Suspension for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year; or

 

(iii)          Refusal to enrol.

 

It should be noted that the procedures have been designed to deal specifically with the three issues identified at (i) to (iii) above. The procedures are not designed for and cannot be invoked to deal with matters that do not come within these three categories.

 

Furthermore an appeal to the Secretary General under the Section 29 procedures cannot be made, and will not be accepted, until all procedures at local level have been exhausted. In effect, the matter that is the subject of the appeal will have had to have been referred to the Board of Management of the school and the Board will have had to issue its decision in the matter.

 

  1. Timeframe for making Appeals

 

Appeals must generally be made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the school was notified to the parent or student. Accordingly, schools should advise parents of this right of appeal and associated timeframe when informing them of any of the above categories of decisions.

 

  1. Procedures to be followed

 

The detailed procedures that apply to all appeals to the Secretary General under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 are outlined in the appendix to this Circular. In brief, there are three layers to these procedures:

 

  1. a) Both parties will be asked in the first instance to see if an accommodation can be reached at local level;

 

  1. b) Should that fail, and where the Appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the appellant and school, a facilitator will be appointed to contact the parties at the earliest opportunity;

 

  1. c) Finally, an appeal may be referred for hearing by an Appeals Committee established by the Minister for Education and Science.

 

  1. Queries

 

Any other queries relating to the Appeals Procedure outlined in this circular should be directed to Post Primary Administration, Department of Education and Science, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (Tel. (057) 93 24377. Finally all references in the attached Appendix to the Appeals Administration Unit should be regarded as a reference to Primary Administration Section 2 until further notice.

The Section 29 Appeals Application Form is also available on this website
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D Ó Ríain

Principal Officer

 

September 2002

 

 

Section 29 Appeals Application Form English

 

 

Application form Irish  

Appendix to Circular Primary 22/2002

 

Procedure for Hearing and Determining Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998

 

 

Introduction

 

 

Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998, gives parents (and students who have reached the age of 18) the right to appeal certain decisions made by a school’s board of management, or a person acting on behalf of the board of management, to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science.

 

The Act provides that a decision of a board of management to permanently exclude, suspend or refuse to enrol a student may be appealed on commencement of Section 29.  The class of decisions which may be appealed may be extended by the Minister, following consultation with the partners.  While consultation on this aspect will be commenced as soon as possible, these procedures are now being introduced in order to provide, in this initial stage, for appeals of permanent exclusions, suspensions and refusals to enrol.  The procedures will apply only to appeals of decisions taken by a board of management on or after the date of implementation of the procedures.

 

The legislation provides that the Minister for Education and Science will establish one or more appeals committees, for the purpose of hearing and determining appeals, and that such committees will act in accordance with such procedures as may be determined from time to time by the Minister, following consultation with the partners in education.

 

Having regard to the desirability of resolving grievances within the school where possible, the parties to an appeal under section 29, i.e. the appellant and the school’s board of management, will be asked to consider the matter in the first instance at local level to see if an accommodation can be reached.  As a general rule, appeals will only be considered by an appeals committee under section 29 where the parties are unable to resolve the issue at local level.

 

The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 provides that the National Educational Welfare Board will also be able to appeal certain categories of decisions, and may also make submissions to appeals hearings.  The Act has not yet been commenced.  Notwithstanding this, provisions have been made in the following procedures for the role of the Board, and such provisions will apply once the relevant sections of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000 have been commenced.

 

The Department is establishing an Appeals Administration Unit to administer the new appeals process in accordance with the procedures outlined hereunder.  All appeals under section 29 and requests for information in relation thereto should be addressed to this Unit [c/o Department of Education and Science, Marlborough Street, Dublin 1].

 

Making of an appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science

 

 

  1. An appeal may be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science in respect of a decision by a board of management, as defined in the Education Act, 1998, or by a person acting on behalf of the board of management, to:

 

  1. a) permanently exclude a student from the school
  2. b) suspend a student from the school for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days or longer in any one school year, or
  3. c) refuse to enrol a student in the school.

 

  1. An appeal may be made by the parent of the student concerned, or by the student, where he/she is aged 18 years or over, or by the National Educational Welfare Board when established in respect of a decision under paragraph 1 (a) or 1 (c).

 

  1. An appeal will generally not be admitted unless it is made within 42 calendar days from the date the decision of the board of management under paragraph 1 (a), (b) or (c) was notified to the parent or student concerned. However, a longer period for making appeals may be allowed as an exception where the Appeals Administration Unit is satisfied that circumstances did not permit the making of an appeal within the 42 day limit.

 

  1. In the case of a school which is established or maintained by a vocational education committee, the appeal against the decision of the board of management of the school shall be made, in the first instance, to the vocational education committee.

 

  1. Appeals should be made in writing on the Section 29 Appeals Application Form [specimen copy enclosed] and addressed, by signed letter or fax, to the Appeals Administration Unit. The appellant should at the same time notify the school of the appeal or, alternatively, send a copy of the completed Application Form to the school. Where fax is used, the appellant should also send a signed copy by post. Appeals Application Forms may be obtained from the school or from the Appeals Administration Unit.

 

  1. The Appeals Application Form should be completed in full, and should specify:

 

  1. a) the appellant/ student’s full name, address and, where relevant, telephone number
  2. b) the decision being appealed
  3. c) the grounds on which the decision is being appealed
  4. d) the full name and address of the school concerned
  5. e) the date that the parent or student was informed of the decision
  6. f) the outcome of any relevant appeal proceedings at school level.

 

  1. If clarification is required by the Appeals Administration Unit before determining whether to admit an appeal, such clarification will be sought immediately. Such clarification may include verifying with the board of management details regarding any local procedures that may have been used.

 

  1. Prior to the processing and consideration of an appeal under these procedures, the parties to the appeal will be asked, as a general rule, to consider the matter in the first instance at local level within the school to see if an accommodation can be reached. Where the 30 day period referred to in paragraph 10 has already commenced, the parties to the appeal will be given up to one week in which to determine whether an accommodation at local level can be reached.  In exceptional circumstances a longer period may be allowed.

 

 

Processing of an appeal

 

  1. An appeal may only be considered where it meets the conditions set down in paragraphs 1 to 5 of these procedures and when all of the requisite information, as outlined in paragraph 6 above, has been provided.

 

  1. Section 29 (4) provides that appeals must be concluded within a period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the appeal by the Secretary General, with the possibility of extending this period by 14 days. The date of receipt for this purpose shall be deemed to be the date on which the completed Appeals Application Form containing all the required information has been received by the Appeals Administration Unit.

 

  1. Once the completed Application Form containing all required information has been received, a letter of acknowledgement will issue to the appellant forthwith. The letter may also ask the appellant to submit any additional documentation relevant to the appeal without delay.  Such documentation could include school reports, documentation relating to any local procedures used, psychological or medical reports.

 

  1. A letter will also issue simultaneously to the board of management, informing it of the appeal and the grounds on which it has been lodged, and the board of management will be asked to submit as soon as possible any information or documentation which it considers may be relevant to the appeal to the Appeals Administration Unit, including, where appropriate, a statement outlining the reasons for the decision of the board of management. Information submitted by the board of management may also include relevant school records, documentation relating to any local procedures used, or such psychological or medical reports as may be held by the school in respect of the pupil concerned.

 

  1. All information and documentation provided by the appellant and by the board of management to assist the appeal will be treated in strict confidence and, save as otherwise provided by law, the Appeals Administration Unit will not disclose such information or documentation to a person who is not party to the appeal without the consent of the appellant or board of management as the case may be.

 

  1. Where an appeal is deemed to be inadmissible under these procedures, a letter to that effect will issue to the appellant forthwith, and copied to the school, stating clearly the grounds on which the appeal is not being admitted.

 

  1. An appeal may be withdrawn at any time by the appellant by notifying the Appeals Administration Unit to that effect.

 

 

Composition of Appeals Committee

 

  1. An Appeals Committee established by the Minister for the purposes of hearing and determining an appeal under Section 29 shall consist of three persons which shall include an Inspector, and two other persons who, in the opinion of the Minister, have the requisite expertise, experience and independence to serve on the Committee. One of these two persons will act as chairperson of the Committee.

 

 

Facilitation process

 

  1. Where the Appeals Committee considers that it may be possible to facilitate agreement between the appellant and the school board of management (the parties to the appeal), notwithstanding any failure to reach agreement at local level within the school, a facilitator will be appointed by the Appeals Administration Unit to contact, or arrange to meet, the parties at the earliest opportunity. The facilitator so appointed shall not be a member of the Committee or a member of the Department’s Inspectorate. Where the facilitator considers it desirable, the School Attendance Officer or Education Welfare Officer with responsibility for the school in question may be requested to assist the facilitation process.

 

  1. The facilitator will attempt to broker an agreement between the parties to the appeal.

 

  1. Where agreement is reached, the facilitator will provide the parties to the appeal with a copy of the agreement.

 

  1. Where an appellant accepts the agreement reached during facilitation, no further appeal may be made to the Secretary General in respect of the original decision of the board of management which formed the basis of the appeal in the first instance.

 

  1. A period of up to one week will generally be allowed for the facilitation process. This may be extended in exceptional circumstances.

 

 

Appeals hearing

 

  1. Where it appears to the Committee, or to the facilitator appointed by the Committee, that agreement between the parties to the appeal is not possible within the relevant time constraints, the case will be referred for hearing by the Appeals Committee and a report of the facilitation process will be provided to the Appeals Committee.

 

  1. A date, time and venue for the hearing will be arranged in consultation with all concerned.

 

  1. The parties to the appeal will be informed at that stage of their right to submit any additional documentation in support of their case (that has not already been provided to the Appeals Administration Unit). Such additional information should be provided in time to enable the time limits set by paragraph 26 to be met. Where the appeal relates to a decision under paragraph 1 (a) or 1 (c), the National Educational Welfare Board may make a submission and such submission shall be made within the same time limits.

 

  1. The parents, student, and, where the National Educational Welfare Board makes an appeal in accordance with its power under section 26 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, a representative of the Board, may attend the hearing as, or on behalf of, the appellant. The board of management may designate two of its members, or one of its members and the school principal, to attend the hearing on its behalf. Subject to the prior consent of the Appeals Committee, either party to the appeal may also be accompanied at the hearing by not more than two persons nominated by them for this purpose. Persons accompanying either party to the appeal will not be permitted to make statements at the hearing, save in exceptional circumstances where the Committee gives its consent.

 

  1. The Committee may invite persons with relevant expertise to attend and make statements at the hearing.

 

  1. In advance of the hearing the parties to the appeal will be provided, in confidence, with a complete set of documentation submitted in relation to the case in question for the purposes of the hearing. The parties will also be notified as to the persons who will be attending the hearing, including any persons specifically invited by the Committee.  This information/ documentation should be provided no later than 3 days before the hearing.

 

  1. Where either, or both, of the parties to the appeal are unable to attend the hearing, they should contact the Appeals Administration Unit no later than 3 days before the hearing so that the hearing may be rescheduled.

 

  1. Where either, or both, of the parties to the appeal fail to attend the hearing, without having given prior notification to the Appeals Administration Unit, the hearing may proceed in their absence at the discretion of the Appeals Committee.

 

  1. At the hearing both parties to the appeal will be given an opportunity to present their case. Both will have the right of reply and each will have the right to question the other through the chair.

 

  1. The Committee may question both parties to the appeal, and seek the views of any other persons (see above) who may have been called.

 

Determination of Appeals

 

  1. Appeals will be determined by the Committee in the light of all the facts presented to it, including the views of any persons called by it to the hearing, and having due regard to:

 

  • the established practices within the school for dealing with issues/ grievances which are the subject matter of the appeal, including, where relevant and available, any statutory or non-statutory procedures, guidelines, regulations or other provisions in operation at any time,
  • the educational interests of the student who is the subject of the appeal,
  • the educational interests of all other students in the school,
  • the effective operation and management of the school,
  • any resource implications arising from the issues under appeal,
  • where relevant, the policy of the patrons and the board of management in respect of the characteristic spirit/ ethos of the school, and
  • such other matters as the Committee considers relevant.

 

  1. In making its determination, the Committee may take advice from such persons as it considers appropriate.

 

  1. Where a vote is required in order to establish the Committee’s determination of an appeal, the matter shall be determined by a majority of votes of the Committee members voting on the question. In the case of an equal division of votes, the chairperson of the Committee shall have a casting vote.

 

  1. Notwithstanding paragraph 16, the Committee may hear and determine an appeal notwithstanding a vacancy for the time being in its membership.

 

  1. The Committee shall, in writing, notify the Secretary General, or an officer appointed by the Secretary General under Section 29 (11), of its determination of the appeal, the reasons therefor and its recommendation as to the action to be taken.

 

  1. The Secretary General, or officer appointed under Section 29 (11), shall, in writing, notify both parties of the determination of the appeal, the reasons therefor and, where necessary, will issue such directions to the school’s board of management as he/she considers to be necessary for the purpose of remedying the matter which was the subject of the appeal. The board of management will be bound by such directions.

 

 

Review of procedures

 

These procedures may be reviewed from time to time by the Minister following consultation with the partners in education.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Ratification & Communication

 

 

This policy has been ratified by the Board of Management of St. Colman’s NS on  _____________________

 

Signature  _____________________________

( Chairperson )

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference Section

  • Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NEWB, 2008
  • Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2007 – provides for certain changes in the hearing of Appeals under  S29 of the Education Act, 1998
  • Education (Welfare) Act, 2000
  • Education Act, 1998
  • Circular 22/02 Appeals Procedures under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998. (DES website). Deals with appeals under the following headings:

(1) Permanent exclusion from a school

(2)   Suspension

(3)   Refusal to enrol

  • Department of Education and Science Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary Schools (1993) available on DES website
  • Report to the Minister of Education Niamh Breathnach, T.D. on Discipline in Schools. Maeve Martin, 1997. Ch. 4 p.56-61 Recommendations for Schools
  • Stay Safe and Walk Tall Programmes
  • Management Board Members’ Handbook. Revised 2007. CPSMA: A suggested Code of Behaviour & Discipline for National Schools
  • INTO (2004) Managing Challenging Behaviour: Guidelines for Teachers
  • INTO (2006) Towards Positive Behaviour in Primary Schools
  • INTO (1995) Enhancing Self Esteem
  • The Education Act 1998. The Education Welfare Act 2000. Questions and Answers, INTO
  • The Principal’s Legal Handbook Oliver Mahon B.L. IVEA 2002 Ch. 2 School Discipline
  • Responding to Bullying. First Steps for Teachers. The Cool School Programme. NE Health Board
  • Investigating and Resolving Bullying in Schools. The Cool School Programme. NE Health Board
  • Stop it! Steps to Address Bullying. Wexford Education Network. Wexford Area Partnership.
  • Working Together – to promote positive behaviour in classrooms, CEDR, Mary Immaculate College of Education
  • Achieving Positive Behaviour. A Practical Guide. Patricia Dwyer. Marino

 

[1]Please see the attached Information Note for Parents.

[2] In the case of a school which is established or maintained by a vocational education committee (VEC), the appeal against the decision of the board of management of the school shall be made, in the first instance, to its (VEC).