Positive Behaviour Code

 

This code incorporates the following policies: 

1.    Positive Behaviour Policy,

2.    Anti-Bullying Policy.

3.    De-escalation and Management of   Extremely Challenging Behaviour

4.    Acceptable User Policy (for use of technology and personal devices)

5.    Dignity at Work Policy

 

Contents

 

Positive Behaviour Code General

 

Policy No. 1: Positive Behaviour Policy

Š      Student's Rights and Responsibilities Charter

Š      Suspension and Expulsion-Overview

Š      Appendix 1: Suspension

Š      Appendix 2: Expulsion

Š      Appendix 3: Irish National Teacher's Organisation (INTO)/Management Complaints Procedure

 

 

Policy No. 2: Anti-Bullying Policy

Š      Appendix 1: Bullying Incident Recording Template

Š      Appendix 2: Board of Management checklist for annual review of implementation of Anti Bullying Policy

Š      Appendix 3: Board of Management Notification of the annual review of the implementation of the school's Anti-Bullying Policy

 

Policy No. 3: De-Escalation and Management of Extremely Challenging Behaviours

 

 

Policy No. 4:  IT Acceptable User Policy

 

Policy No. 5: Dignity at Work Policy

 

 

Positive Behaviour Code-General

The Positive Behaviour Code is a set of policies that incorporates the following:

1.    Positive Behaviour Policy,

2.    Anti-Bullying Policy.

3.    De-escalation and Management of Extremely Challenging Behaviour Policy

4.    Acceptable User Policy (for use of technology and personal devices)

5.    Dignity at Work Policy

 

These policies are grouped together as they are intended to provide clarity, advice and guidance regarding all behaviour in the school community.

 

All of the policies are informed by our ethos and incorporate our core values. They encompass how we as a school community are striving to live the core principles of our ethos. They support our Learn Together and Social Personal and Health Education programmes by encouraging the development and activation of core values.  The code also, necessarily, contains steps to be followed when problems arise.

 

Values and Standards of behaviour:

The values and standards of behaviour, and procedures outlined in the Positive Behaviour Policy apply across all situations, circumstances and policies within the Positive Behaviour Code.

 

 

Overview:

North Bay ETNS is an Educate Together National School. Educate Together (ET) schools are a specific type of state-funded schools in Ireland.  We operate the same national curriculum and follow the same rules for Boards of Management. We are staffed according to the same pupil teacher ratios as all other national schools and follow all legislation, guidelines and instructions of the Department of Education.  We have a local Patron Committee and are affiliated members of Educate Together.

 

 

 

 

Mission Statement:

 

“Learn Together to Live Together”

 

 

Vision Statement

 

We aim to provide an excellent education that is respectful of all, regardless of belief system, race, ethnicity, class, culture, gender, language, lifestyle and ability.

 

In North Bay ETNS, every child will learn in an inclusive, democratic, co-educational setting that is committed to enabling and supporting each child to achieve their full potential while at the same time preparing them to become caring and active members of a culturally diverse society.

 

 

Our Vision and Ethos:

Educate Together schools differ from other schools in that we have a unique ethos. The ethos describes the spirit and character of the school. It permeates all the activities of the school day and enables a strong sense of community and social cohesion within the school.

 

The aim of the Positive Behaviour Code is to ensure that the individuality of each child is respected and that individual differences are celebrated, acknowledging the right of each child to an environment in which they can grow and learn safely.

 

The vision for our school is that we will ‘live out’ the core principles set out below and seek to create and maintain an ethos that encapsulates these principles.

 

 

 

 

 

The principles laid out below are the core principles of all Educate Together schools.

 

The Multi-Denominational Principle:

North Bay ETNS is a multi-denominational primary school that enables equal access to the school. Children of all social and cultural groups, and of all religions and non-religious backgrounds, are equally respected and welcomed.

 

The Co-Education Principle:

All children are encouraged to fulfil their potential in a school that is committed to equal opportunities for girls and boys.

 

The Child-Centred Principle:

The school offers a child-centred curriculum in which the teacher guides and facilitates the child’s learning through both formal and informal methods and encourages the child’s active participation is his/her learning. Each child’s individual needs are considered and he/she is encouraged to learn at an appropriate pace.

 

The Democratic Principle:

The school is managed by the Board of Management under the guidance of the Patron Committee regarding matters of ethos. North Bay has an active Parent Teacher Association and a dedicated staff upholding a cohesive set of values that encapsulate the school ethos. On an on-going basis, parents are encouraged to take an active part in their children’s learning under the professional guidance of the teacher.

 

 

Vision, ethos and the Positive Behaviour Code:

This vision is our expression of our educational and moral values and they are demonstrated in the positive ways we respond to behaviour in our school. The core of our Positive Behaviour Code is that we seek to enable the children to reflect, in a spirit of justice, on how their behaviour choices impact on others and to make positive choices. The values we promote have their roots in the vision and core principles.

 

 

 

 

Relationship of Behaviour Code to the characteristic spirit of the school:

 

In North Bay Educate Together National School we recognise that each member of the school community; teachers, SNAs, ancillary staff, parents/guardians and children, has the right to be treated with respect and consideration. All members of staff employ positive approaches in supporting this goal. Greater emphasis is placed on reward for positive action rather than on sanctions. School rules are kept to a minimum and are there to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of all members of our school community.

 

The entire school community has a part to play in contributing to this environment. The strength of this community, together with a high level of communication and co-operation between teachers, SNAs, parents/guardians and children, supports and enables this aspiration. The Positive Behaviour Code helps teachers, other members of staff, children and parents/guardians to work together to bring about a happy, effective and safe school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Behaviour Code: Policy No. 1

 

The Positive Behaviour Policy

Background:

The Positive Behaviour Policy has been audited in light of the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) Guidelines for Schools: Developing a Code of Behaviour.

 

The Education Act (1998) and the Educational Welfare Act (2000) have placed statutory obligations on Boards of Management to include the following sections in the school’s Positive Behaviour Policy:

Š      the standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each child attending the school,

Š      the measures that may be taken when a child fails or refuses to observe those standards,

Š      the procedures to be followed before a child may be suspended and the grounds for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a child

Š      the procedures to be followed before a child is expelled from the school            

Š      the procedures to be followed relating to notification of a child’s absence from school.

In order to comply with these requirements, all of these sections have been included in our Positive Behaviour Policy.

 

Aims:

Š      To build a learning environment that is guided by our Educate Together ethos

Š      To ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community

Š      To assist parents/guardians and pupils in understanding the school’s Positive Behaviour Code and to support their co-operation with its implementation.

Š      To create an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, open-mindedness and consideration for others

Š      To affirm our commitment to the welfare of children

Š      To affirm our commitment to the welfare of staff

 

 

Introduction 

The Positive Behaviour Policy is a set of programmes, practices and procedures that together form the school’s plan for helping children in the school to behave appropriately and achieve their potential. The Positive Behaviour Policy helps the school community to promote the school ethos, positive relationships, policies, procedures and practices that encourage good behaviour and prevent unacceptable behaviour.

 

The Positive Behaviour Policy enables our school management to strike an appropriate balance between our duty to maintain an effective learning environment for all and our responsibility to children whose behaviour presents a challenge to the teaching and learning process. The Positive Behaviour Policy is a key tool in enabling our school management to support the learning of every child in the school.

 

The standards of behaviour expected in the school:

Our children are more likely to benefit from their education, and to be happy, in a structured, caring environment where high standards of behaviour are expected and adhered to. Our school’s standards of behaviour express the kinds of behaviour and relationships that will create a positive environment for teaching and learning. Our standards are encompassed in the values we promote and in the commitment expected.

 

Values reflected in our agreed standards of behaviour:

       Respect for self and others

       Gender equity and equality

       Kindness and willingness to help others

       Courtesy and good manners

       Acknowledgement of and respect for difference

       Fairness

       Readiness to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict

       The right to learn in a safe, happy environment

       An awareness of responsibility toward property and the environment

 

 

 

 

Commitment expected of our children to their own learning and to that of their peers:

This commitment includes:

Š               Attending school regularly and punctually

Š               Doing one’s best in class

Š               Taking responsibility for one’s work and behaviour

Š               Following the school rules

Š               Respecting teachers, SNAs, other staff and volunteers.

Š               Respecting other students and their learning

Good behaviour is promoted through a variety of experiences, programmes, strategies and rules. Children learn to respect others through being respected and through witnessing respect being shown to others.

 

Agreed standards and unacceptable behaviour:

Standards are also a way of signalling to members of the school community the kinds of behaviours that are not acceptable in the school, for example:

Š               Behaviour that is hurtful (bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation)

Š               Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning

Š               Threats or physical harm to another person

Š               Damage to property

Š               Theft.

 

 

Modelling the standards:

The adults in the school community have a responsibility to model the school’s agreed standards of behaviour in their dealings both with children and with each other, since their example is a powerful source of learning for children.

 

Parents/guardians are expected to model the standards that children are asked to respect. In order to do this, they need to be familiar with the standards and to understand the importance of expecting children to behave according to these standards.

The ways in which parents/guardians and teachers interact will provide students with a model of good working relationships.

 

 

The plan for promoting good behaviour:

1.    Standards are learning goals:

Standards of behaviour are goals to be worked towards. Just as schools measure progress towards academic goals, the standards of behaviour provide a yardstick for measuring students’ progress towards behavioural goals. Students need opportunities to think and talk about behaviour, learning and rules, so that they can understand what the rules mean for them.

 

Through the Learn Together programme, Social Personal &Health Education, Morning meetings, Circle Time and through the use of daily opportunities as they arise, children will be given the opportunity to:

 

Š               Discuss how to incorporate the standards into school rules and classroom rules

Š               Cover issues including respect for and celebration of difference in terms of appearance, culture and viewpoints, and, awareness of gender issues and of racism.

 

2.    Relationships between students and teachers & all staff:

The quality of relationships between teachers, other staff members and children is one of the most powerful influences on children’s behaviour. For many children, their teachers are a major source of support, adult empathy and pastoral care, and are significant figures in their lives. As adults and professionals, teachers have a strong capacity to develop good relationships with children, and a greater responsibility for the relationship. Mutually respectful relationships between staff and children balance warmth and empathy with objectivity, professional detachment, fairness and consistency.

 

3.    School and classroom rules:

Rules are guidelines that support the values and vision we promote. Rules translate standards into practical guidance about the behaviour expected of children. Rules provide clear boundaries and help provide clarity for children, families and staff about standards.

The standards and values outlined above, and developed below in our rules apply in all circumstances; whether children are in the classroom, in the yard, around the building, on trips or in the building outside of school hours.

 

Classroom Rules

The following rules are examples of those that teachers and children will establish.

 

1.             Respond co-operatively to the teacher, SNAs, other staff, volunteers and peers.

 

2.             Use positive body language. i.e. listen attentively and respectfully to adults and peers.

 

3.             Work and collaborate positively with other children.

 

4.             Talk at appropriate times.

 

5.             Settle down to work quickly and have everything needed for class.

 

6.             Keep your personal space and belongings tidy.

 

 

Corridor and outdoor rules

 

1.             Show courtesy and consideration to teachers, SNAs, other staff, volunteers and peers.

 

2.             Walk quietly on the stairs; hold the banisters with one hand.

 

3.             Walk calmly from the exit door to the playground

 

4.             At the end of break freeze on bell1, walk quietly to your line on bell 2 and stand in the correct order.

 

5.             Stay within the boundary lines of your play area during yard time.

 

6.             Keep our school a litter free area.

 

7.      At the end of the school day, leave the school premises and yard calmly and promptly.

 

 

While the standards and rules apply to everyone in the school, the application of the rules will reflect the age and stage of development of the children.

 

Š      The school rules and students with special educational needs:

Class Teachers, Support Teachers and Special Needs Assistants will check that standards and rules are communicated in a way that children with special educational needs can understand. This will be done on an on-going basis, especially where a student with special needs is acting in a way that would be seen as being in breach of the rules. Staff will use an appropriate behaviour management style that has been found to work best in individual cases.

 

Š      Reward systems:

For adherence to rules and for effort in schoolwork, pupils can receive rewards as appropriate to the age and stage of their development and in keeping with the spirit of the Positive Behaviour Policy. Teachers use a variety of positive reward systems, e.g. Golden Time, Tokens, Quiet Time, Special Stickers, Stars, Merit Certificates, special responsibilities etc.

 

Š      Balancing needs:

Where a child’s behaviour disrupts the teaching and learning of other children, our school management has to weigh the needs of that child with the needs of other children and staff. This can be a difficult balance, and achieving it requires the application of professional skill and judgement in each individual case.  All available professional advice will be sought in our efforts to support the child, the staff and parents/guardians.

 

Š      Responding to inappropriate behaviours:

Despite our best efforts, inappropriate behaviour occurs. Even minor breaches of the Positive Behaviour Policy can be disruptive, particularly if they are persistent. Serious misbehaviour can have damaging and long-lasting effects including disruption of the student’s own learning and the learning of others. It can cause distress and anxiety or even pose a threat to the safety of children and teachers.

 

 

Š               Sanctions: The purpose of sanctions

The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by helping children to:

Š      learn that their behaviour is unacceptable

Š      recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others

Š      understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences

Š      learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.

 

Š               In instances of more serious breaches of school standards, sanctions may be needed to:

Š      Prevent serious disruption of teaching and learning

Š      Keep the student, or other students or adults, safe.

 

Š               Early warnings:

In the daily work of the school some of the following sanctions will be used, where appropriate, until the issue is resolved:

Š      Verbal reprimand

Š      Quiet space in the class

Š      Time out in the yard

Š      Withdrawal of privileges

Š      Withdrawal from the particular lesson or peer group

Š      Carrying out a useful task in the school, e.g. tidying school equipment

 

 

4.   Applying sanctions in response to behaviour that takes place outside school:

The standards and rules contained in the Positive Behaviour Policy apply in any situation where the child, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school. Examples include:

Š      School tours, games and extracurricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school.

Where a student is alleged to have engaged in serious misbehaviour outside school, when not under the care or responsibility of the school, a judgement will have to be made that there is a clear connection with the school and a demonstrable impact on its work, before the code of behaviour applies.

5.   Graded Responses to inappropriate behaviour:

Where less serious or consistent inappropriate behaviours occur, initial sanctions will be applied as outlined in steps 1-4 below. Where more serious behaviours occur or where the usual sanctions are not leading to a positive outcome, more in-depth work will be done using a Problem Solving approach and the early involvement of parents/guardians and other professionals where necessary. At this stage more serious sanctions will be considered including steps 5-8.

 

For minor matters, each day, pupils begin with a clean sheet and only lose privileges if they infringe the rules on that day.  As can be seen from the procedure set out below, repeated misbehaviour carries an increasingly serious sanction.  However, in the case of a single instance of serious misbehaviour, steps 1 to 3 will be skipped.

 

Smaller rule infringements or on-going minor infringements:

1.    For the first instance of rule infringement the child is given a warning (i.e. a reminder of the rule he/she has broken). Following this his/her name may be recorded.

 

2.    If there is a second instance of misbehaviour, the child misses an age appropriate number of minutes of activity time and has to stay apart for that time before joining peers, e.g. working at a quiet table.

 

3.    For a third instance of misbehaviour, the pupil is removed from his/her peers for an age appropriate amount of time (Time Out).  This would normally involve removal to a quiet part of the classroom.  If the behaviour has disrupted the class the pupil may spend the Time Out, supervised, out of the classroom. If the behaviour occurs in the yard, a Time Out may be given for an age appropriate amount of time.

 

4.    For further instances of misbehaviour or for one serious instance of misbehaviour, contact is made with the parent either through a note or telephone call. Where a note is sent, the parent/guardian is asked to sign that note and it is filed by the class teacher or the Principal in more serious cases.  These steps are frequently sufficient to settle the behaviour.

 

 

 

Serious misbehaviour:

5.    For certain instances of serious misbehaviour the class teacher, the Principal and where relevant, the Support Teacher work together with the parent/guardian to establish how the child might be supported in learning more appropriate behaviours that meet our standards. This may involve exploration of learning, physical or emotional needs that may not have been identified or met to date.

 

6.    Suspension is considered only as a last resort where serious difficulties exist and when regular sanctions and strategies have not been successful. See Appendix 1.

 

7.    Expulsion will only be considered in extremely serious cases. See Appendix 2.

 

Examples of Serious Misbehaviour:

 

Š      Verbal abuse of a teacher, an SNA, a volunteer or others

Š      Disruption of the teaching and learning process

Š      Very aggressive behaviour

Š      Behaviour that poses a threat to safety

Š      Theft

Š      Serious damage to property

Š      Bullying/alienation/intimidation, either physical, verbal/non-verbal or in written form (including all forms of technology).

 

 

A problem-solving approach

An important element of the approach to a child’s inappropriate behaviour is a problem-solving approach where the teacher and the school respond to the unwanted behaviour using these steps.

1.    Gather information:

a.             We will work toward understanding the context and the factors that may be affecting behaviour using the National Educational Psychologists Service (NEPS) publication: Behavioural, Emotional and Social difficulties: A Continuum of Support and other relevant professional publications as a basis.

b.             Learning needs will also be considered using the National Educational Psychologists Service (NEPS) publication: Special Educational Needs: A Continuum of Support and other relevant professional publications. 

c.              Communication with involved staff, parents/guardians, external professionals and accurate record keeping are an essential part of this process.

 

2.    Generate ideas: Possible solutions that take account of the reasons why the behaviour may be occurring will be explored.

 

3.    Agree strategies: Specific strategies will be explored and agreed.

 

4.    Implement strategies: Agreed strategies will be applied consistently.

 

5.    Review progress:  The impact and effectiveness of the intervention will be evaluated.

 

6.    Maintain relationships: Throughout, the relationship with the child will be kept as positive and supportive as possible. The needs of the child will be the centre of this process.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Charter

In North Bay:

I have a right to be happy and to always be me.

I have a responsibility to be sure others are happy because of me.

 

I have the right to be happy and treated with understanding in this school.

I have the responsibility not to laugh at others or to hurt their feelings.

 

I have the right to be safe in this school.

I have the responsibility to keep my hands and feet to myself and follow the school rules.

 

I have the right to be myself in this school.

I have the responsibility to treat all others equally and fairly.

 

I have the right to hear and to he heard in this school.

I have the responsibility to listen to others and wait my turn to be heard.

 

I have the right to learn in this school and to be free to express my feelings, opinions and ideas.

I have the responsibility to do the best I can and to respect others' opinions, feelings and ideas.

 

I have the right to quiet times to learn and study in this school.

I have the responsibility to be respectful of other peoples' time.

 

I have the right to a reasonable amount of teacher attention and help when needed in this school.

I have the responsibility not to be demanding of others and to use self-control.

 

I have the right to use materials and property of this school.

I have the responsibility to respect people and their property and to share what is ours.

 

I have the right to discuss homework or class work assigned to me that I am not certain about with my parents/guardians and teacher.

I have the responsibility to complete all homework and class assignments.

Conclusion

 

The spirit of the Positive Behaviour Policy in the school is that pupils will be given encouragement and strategies to learn appropriate behaviour and to improve any inappropriate behaviour.  Ability level, emotional maturity and special circumstances are taken into account when managing pupils.  In order to preserve a pupil’s self-esteem the emphasis is always on the behaviour and how it can be changed.  Each pupil is encouraged to take responsibility for his/her own behaviour.  The emphasis during behaviour management is on what he/she will do in similar situations in the future that will be more appropriate.

 

There will, at times, be pupil behaviours that do not interfere with others, but which, impede a pupil's progress academically or socially. In these cases, teachers will work with pupils on an individual basis and have agreed means of communication with parents/guardians and agreement on rewards and sanctions, which are considered to be suitable to the individual pupil.

 

Record Keeping:

Records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003 and records regarding their own child will be available to parents/guardians on receipt of a written request.

 

Managing concerns or complaints:

Staff, parents/guardians and children may wish to seek redress when a decision is made about behaviour. We focus on early intervention, support and the direct involvement of children (where appropriate) and parents/guardians in an open approach with a view to reducing concerns. However, difficulties can arise and there is a Complaints Procedure (see Appendix 3) in place. Despite this, we would at all times seek to resolve concerns openly through positive communication.

Š      Where a parent/guardian is concerned about the outcome of a process the first response is to seek resolution with the teacher.

Š      If the parent/guardian feels the issue remains unresolved further meetings may take place with the teacher and the Principal to seek to bring about a positive outcome.

Š      Where needed, the Chairperson of the Board of Management can support the resolution process.

Š      If, having exhausted all possibilities and no resolution is agreed, then the next step is to make a formal complaint in writing to the Board of Management and to seek to use the formal Complaints Procedure.

Š      If a staff member is concerned about the process s/he can first talk over the matter with the Principal and any other involved staff in an attempt to ensure that agreed procedures have been followed and that they are being heard. Every effort should be made at this stage to resolve the matter. Ultimately, there are Grievance Procedures and a Dignity at Work Policy that can be brought to bear and staff can seek redress through the Board of Management.

 

Notification of a child’s absence from school:

The Education Welfare Act 2000 indicates that the Positive Behaviour Code must describe the procedures to be followed by parents when they are notifying the school about a child’s absence. Good attendance at school is a requirement for all pupils if they are to reach their potential.  Good attendance is encouraged and affirmed in North Bay ETNS as it ensures equity for all pupils in accessing all aspects of the curriculum.

 

Good attendance and punctuality will be encouraged and supported for individual cases where necessary through individual attendance plans.

North Bay ETNS follows the procedure below:

Š      The class teacher is informed by note when a child has been absent, stating the actual reason for the absence and the date/dates.

Š      Notes are filed and used to record each child’s history of absences.

Š      Absences of 20 days or more in any one academic year are referred to the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB) each quarter as required and end of year reports are made.

Š      The Educational Welfare Officer may choose to make contact with a family on receipt of an absence report.

Š      Where extenuating circumstances have been made known to the school they are included in the report to the NEWB.

Š      The school also keeps a record of lateness, early collection and or return in the office. Parents are asked to sign children in if they are brought in late and out if collected early during the school day.

 

 

 

Suspension and Expulsion-Overview

 

 

All schools are required to have a policy on suspension and expulsion

 

Access to education shapes the life chances of children and young people in a fundamental way. For this reason, a proposal to exclude a child, through suspension or expulsion, is a serious step, warranted only by very serious misbehaviour.

 

Time and timeliness:

The Board of Management and Principal will strive to ensure that there are no undue delays in an investigation and in making decisions about the imposition of suspension or expulsion and that they are dealt with in confidence. Criminal matters will be referred to the Gardaí.

 

Suspensions and expulsions:

Fair procedures based on the principles of natural justice:

Schools are required to implement fair procedures which have two essential parts:

Š      the right to be heard:

o   the right to know about the investigation, what it is about and  how it will be decided,

o    the right to respond  and be heard

Š      the right to impartiality:

o   the right to an impartial investigation and decision maker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Suspension

Suspension: Definition, approach and procedures

Suspension is, requiring the child to absent himself/herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days or part days. Suspensions cannot be open-ended. Parents/Guardians may be informed by phone or in writing. During the period of a suspension, the child retains their place in the school.

 

Authority to suspend

The Board of Management has the authority to suspend a child. This authority is delegated to the Principal in writing by the Board of Management. Suspensions of longer than 3 days are decided by the Board of Management. All suspensions will be reported to the Board of Management.  

 

 

The grounds for suspension

Suspension will be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern. Normally, other interventions will have been tried, including the problem solving approach, before suspension, and school staff will have reviewed the reasons why these have not worked. The decision to suspend a child requires serious grounds such as that:

Š      the child’s behaviour is having a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students

Š      the child’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety

Š      the child is responsible for serious damage to property.

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

 

The following factors will be considered before suspending a child:

     The impact of the behaviour:

Š      The affect on other children and staff of the student’s behaviour

Š      The impact of the behaviour on the teaching and learning of the class/other classes

Š      Particular or greater impact on some children or teachers

Š      The child’s understanding of the impact of their behaviour on others

     Review the following:

Š      Interventions tried and the period of those interventions

Š      Records, monitoring and the outcome of interventions

Š      Involvement of the parents/guardians

Š      Involvement of NEPS or other psychological assessment or counselling or support services

Š      Support from services or agencies already supporting the family

Š      Other agencies that could be asked for assistance, e.g. NEWB/NCSE.

 

     Suspension as part of a behaviour management plan

Suspension or on-going part suspension can be part of an agreed plan to address the child’s behaviour in order to:

Š      enable the school to set behavioural goals with the child and their parents

Š      support the child in learning self-management

Š      give school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions

Š      impress on a child and their parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

 

Immediate suspension

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

 

The period of suspension

A child should 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. If a suspension longer than three days is being proposed by the Principal, the matter will be referred to the Board of Management for consideration and approval, outlining the circumstances and the expected outcomes.

 

However, the Board of Management may wish to authorise the Principal, to impose a suspension of up to five days in circumstances where a meeting of the Board cannot be convened in a timely fashion. Where a child has been suspended for a total of 20 days in any one school year the matter will be reported to the Educational Welfare Officer.

 

 

Appeals

A parent/guardian may make an appeal to the Board of Management regarding a decision to suspend their child.  Where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days, the parents, may appeal to the suspension to the Department of Education under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

 

Implementing the suspension

Written notification: The Principal will notify the parent/guardian of the student in writing of the decision to suspend where the suspension is planned to take place within e.g. the next week. Where an immediate removal from the school is required, a telephone call will be necessary. Records will be kept of all suspensions and reports will be made to the Board of Management.

 

Engaging with child and parent/guardian

In all cases of suspension the Principal or another staff member delegated by the Principal will engage with the parent/guardian to discuss and support the parent/guardian in helping the child learn appropriate behaviours and in advising about support, care and learning services. In the majority of cases the school and the parent/guardian will work together to find a solution that will keep the focus of the child’s needs at the centre. Every effort will be made by school staff to maintain the child’s privacy and dignity.

 

In a minority of cases a parent/guardian may not engage appropriately with the school regarding the suspension. In such cases, the procedures below will be followed:

Š      The parent/guardians will be requested to meet the Principal and the Chairperson at the school at a specified time.  The parents/guardians will be required to give an undertaking, in the presence of the Principal, the Chairperson and the class teacher that the child will behave in an acceptable manner in future.  In appropriate cases, the child will also be required to give such an undertaking.

Š      If the parent/guardian fails to attend the school to meet the Principal and Chairperson and fails to provide a reasonable excuse for not doing so, the child may be suspended until they do so.

Š      When the parent/guardian has visited the school and has failed to give an acceptable undertaking, the Principal should inform the parent/guardian in writing as soon as   possible afterward, that a period of suspension has been imposed, or that the existing period has been extended until the Board of Management has considered the matter.  The Board should meet within 10 days and the parent/guardian should be informed that they have a right of appeal to the Board.

Š      When the parent/guardian has visited the school and has given an acceptable undertaking, the Principal will give the parent/guardian, as soon as possible afterward, a statement in writing of the terms of the undertaking and the date of the termination of the suspension.

 

Re-integrating the child

Clean slate: When any sanction, including suspension, is completed, the child will be given the opportunity and support for a fresh start. Once the sanction has been completed the school will expect the same behaviour of this child as of all other students.

 

Review of use of suspension

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 2: Expulsion.

Expulsion: Definition, approach and procedures

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

 

Authority to expel:

The Board of Management of a recognised school has the authority to expel a child. As a matter of best practice, that authority will be reserved to the Board of Management and will not be delegated.

 

The grounds for expulsion:

Expulsion will be a proportionate response to the child’s behaviour. Expulsion of a child is a very serious step, and one that will only be taken by the Board of Management in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school will have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a child including, as appropriate:

Š      meeting with parents and the child to try to find ways of helping the child to change their behaviour

Š      making sure that the child understands the possible consequences of their behaviour, if it should persist

Š      ensuring that all other possible options have been tried

Š      seeking the assistance of support agencies (e.g. National Educational Psychological Service, Health Service Executive Community Services, the National Behavioural Support Service, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, National Council for Special Education, National Educational Welfare Board and  relevant others).

 

Expulsion

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

Š      the child’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process

Š      the child’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety

Š      the child 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, school authorities have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the child’s behaviour.

 

Expulsion for a first offence

There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a child 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:

Š      a serious threat of violence against another child or member of staff

Š      actual violence or physical assault

Š      supplying illegal drugs to other children in the school

Š      sexual assault.

 

Determining the appropriateness of expelling a child

Given the seriousness of expulsion as a sanction, the Board of Management should undertake a very detailed review of a range of factors in deciding whether to expel a child.

 

 

Factors to consider before proposing to expel a child:

The nature and seriousness of the behaviour:

Š      The precise description of the behaviour

Š      The persistence of the unacceptable behaviour and the period of time

Š      Escalation in spite of the interventions tried

 

The context of the behaviour:

Š      The circumstances of the incidents of serious misbehaviour (e.g. in class, in the yard, in a group)

Š      The factors that may have triggered or provoked incidents of serious misbehaviour (e.g. bullying, cultural or family factors)?

Š      Factors that may be associated with the behaviour (e.g. particular home circumstances, special educational needs)?

 

The impact of the behaviour:

Š      How other students and staff are affected by the child’s behaviour

Š      The impact of the behaviour on the teaching and learning of the class/other classes

 

The interventions tried to date:

Š      Interventions tried and the period of the interventions

Š      Recording, monitoring and outcome of interventions

Š      Involvement of parents/guardians in finding a solution to the problem behaviour

Š      Intervention of NEPS or other psychological assessment or counselling

Š      Advice and support sought from services or agencies the family may be involved with (e.g. Child Guidance Clinic, Child and Adolescent Mental Health services)

Š      Whether the Board is satisfied that no other intervention can be tried or is likely to help the child to change their behaviour

 

Whether expulsion is a proportionate response

Š      Is the child’s behaviour sufficiently serious to warrant expulsion?

Š      Is the standard being applied to judging the behaviour the same as the standard applied to the behaviour of any other child?

 

The possible impact of expulsion

Š      To what extent may expulsion exacerbate any social or educational vulnerability of the child?

Š      Will the child be able to take part in, and benefit from, education with their peers?

Š      In the case of a child who is in care, what might be the implications of expulsion for the care arrangements?

 

However, any behaviour that is persistently disruptive to learning or 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.

 

 

 

Procedures in respect of expulsion

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

Š      A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal.

Š      A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal.

Š      Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing.

Š      Board of Management deliberations and actions following the hearing.

Š      Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.

Š      Confirmation of the decision to expel.

 

It is a matter for the Board of Management to decide which of the tasks involved in these procedural steps requires separate meetings and which tasks can be accomplished together in a single meeting, consistent with giving parents/guardians due notice 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:

Š      inform the child (where appropriate) and their parent/guardian about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion

Š      give the parent/guardian and the child every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.

 

Engaging with the child and his/her parents/guardians

Parents/guardians will be informed in writing of the alleged misbehaviour and the proposed investigation ensuring clarity about what their son or daughter is alleged to have done and that it is on record. It also serves the function of underlining to parents/guardians the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.

 

Parents/guardians and the child will be enabled to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made about the veracity of the allegation, and before a sanction is imposed.

 

If a child and their parents/guardians fail to attend a meeting, the Principal should write advising of the gravity of the matter, the importance of attending a re-scheduled meeting and, failing that, the duty of the school management to make a decision to respond to the inappropriate behaviour.

 

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

Where the Principal forms a view that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion. The Principal will:

Š      inform the parents/guardians and the child (where appropriate) that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion

Š      ensure that parents have records of:

o   the allegations against the child;

o   the investigation;

o   and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion

Š      provide the Board of Management with the same comprehensive records as are given to parents/guardians

Š      notify the parents/guardians of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to that hearing

Š      advise the parents/guardians that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management

Š      ensure that parents/guardians 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

It is the responsibility of the Board to review the initial investigation and satisfy itself that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures by undertaking its own review of all documentation and the circumstances of the case. No party that has had any involvement with the circumstances of the case will be part of the Board’s deliberations (for example, a member of the Board who may have made an allegation about the child). Where the Board of Management decides to consider expelling a child, it will hold a hearing, which will be properly conducted in accordance with Board procedures. At the hearing, the Principal and the parents/guardians put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Each party will be allowed to question the evidence of the other party directly. The meeting may also be an opportunity for parents/guardians to make their case for lessening the sanction. In the conduct of the hearing, the Board must take care to ensure that they are, and are seen to be, impartial as between the Principal and the child. Parents may wish to be accompanied at hearings and the Board should facilitate this, in line with good practice and Board procedures.

After both sides have been heard, the Board should ensure that the Principal and parents/guardians 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 is of the opinion that the child should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion (Education Welfare Act 2000). The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO) receives this written notification (Education Welfare Act 2000).

The Board should inform the parents/guardians in writing about its conclusions, that the EWO will be informed, and the next steps in the process.

 

Step 5: Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)

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

Š      make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parents/guardians of the child, and anyone else who may be of assistance

Š      convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend.

The purpose of the consultations and the meeting is to ensure that arrangements are made for the child to continue in education. However, where the possibility of continuing in the school is not an option, at least in the short term, the consultation should focus on alternative educational possibilities. Pending these consultations about the child’s continued education; a Board of Management may take steps to ensure that good order is maintained and that the safety of children is secured. A Board may consider it appropriate to suspend a child during this time. Suspension should only be considered where there is likelihood that the continued presence of the child during this time will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other children 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 child should be expelled, the Board of Management will formally confirm the decision to expel (this task might be delegated to the Chairperson and the Principal). Parents/guardians should be notified immediately that the expulsion will now proceed. Parents/guardians and the child will be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal. A formal record will be made of the decision to expel the child.

 

Appeals

A parent/guardian may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 Section 29). An appeal may also be brought by the National Educational Welfare Board on behalf of a child.  

 

The Appeals Process

The appeals process under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998 begins with the provision of mediation by a mediator nominated by the Appeals Committee (Department of Education and Science (DES)). For further details about the Appeals Process, including requirements for documentation, and the steps in the process, refer to current DES guidance.

 

Review of use of expulsion

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

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix 3

Irish National Teacher’s Organisation (INTO)/Management Complaints Procedure

 

 

The INTO and Primary School Management reached agreement in 1993 on a procedure for dealing with complaints by parents against teachers. The purpose of this procedure is to facilitate the resolution of difficulties where they may arise in an agreed and fair manner. The agreement lays out five stages of the process to be followed in progressing a complaint and the specific timescale to be followed at each stage. Please note this is a non-statutory procedure.

 

Only those complaints about teachers which are written and signed by the parents/guardians of the pupils concerned may be investigated formally by the Board of Management, except where those complaints are deemed by the Board to be:

Š      on matters of professional competence and which are to be referred to the Department of Education and Skills;

Š      frivolous or vexatious complaints and complaints which do not impinge on the work of a teacher in a school; or

Š      complaints in which either party has recourse to law or to another existing procedure.

 

Unwritten complaints, not in the above categories, may be processed informally as set out in Stage 1 of this procedure.

 

Stage 1:

1.    A parent/guardian who wishes to make a complaint should, unless there are local arrangements to the contrary, approach the class teacher with a view to resolving the complaint.

2.    Where the parent/guardian is unable to resolve the complaint with the class teacher s/he should approach the Principal with a view to resolving it.

3.    If the complaint is still unresolved the parent/guardian should raise the matter with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.

 

 

 

Stage 2:

1.    If the complaint is still unresolved and the parent/guardian wishes to pursue the matter further s/he should lodge the complaint in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

2.    The Chairperson should bring the precise nature of the written complaint to the notice of the teacher and seek to resolve the matter between the parties within five days of receipt of the written complaint.

 

Stage 3:

1.    If the complaint is not resolved informally, the Chairperson should, subject to the general authorisation of the Board and except in those cases where the Chairperson deems the particular authorisation of the Board to be required:

a.    supply the teacher with a copy of the written complaint; and

b.    arrange a meeting with the teacher and, where applicable, the Principal teacher with a view to resolving the complaint. Such a meeting should take place within 10 days of receipt of the written complaint.

 

Stage 4:

1.    If the complaint is still not resolved, the Chairperson should make a formal report to the Board within 10 days of the meeting referred to in Stage 3.1(b).

2.    If the Board considers that the complaint is not substantiated the teacher and the complainant should be so informed within three days of the Board meeting.

3.    If the Board considers that the complaint is substantiated or that it warrants further investigation it proceeds as follows:

 

a.    the teacher should be informed that the investigation is proceeding to the next stage;

b.    the teacher should be supplied with a copy of any written evidence in support of the complaint;

c.     the teacher should be requested to supply a written statement to the board in response to the complaint;

d.    the teacher should be afforded an opportunity to make a presentation of case to the Board. The teacher would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting;

e.    the Board may arrange a meeting with the complainant if it considers such to be required. The complainant would be entitled to be accompanied and assisted by a friend at any such meeting; and

f.      the meeting of the Board of Management referred to in (d) and (e) will take place within 10 days of the meeting referred to in Stage 3.1(b).

 

Stage 5:

1.    When the Board has completed its investigation, the Chairperson should convey the decision of the Board in writing to the teacher and the complainant within five days of the meeting of the Board.

2.    The decision of the Board shall be final.

 

In this agreement 'days' means school days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Behaviour Code: Policy No. 2

 

Anti-Bullying Policy

The Anti-Bullying Policy had been audited in light of the Department of Education’s Anti Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools (2013) and fully complies with its requirements including the use of the template provided in the review of our existing Anti Bullying Policy.

 

North Bay ETNS is committed to ensuring that the school is a safe and happy learning and teaching environment for all who learn, teach and work here.  Therefore, we are committed to ensuring, to the best of our ability, that the children, who learn and play in the school and the staff that work here, are not bullied or intimidated in any way. (For staff matters please refer to the Dignity at Work Policy which is incorporated in Positive Behaviour Code).

 

This policy must be read in conjunction with other supportive school policies and documents:

 

Our Positive Behaviour Code incorporates the Anti-Bullying Policy and the following:

Š      Positive Behaviour Policy including the Students’ Rights and Responsibilities Charter,

Š      De-escalation and Management of Extremely Challenging Behaviour

Š      Acceptable User Policy (for use of technology and personal devices)

Š      Dignity at Work Policy

 

Procedures outlined in other policies within our Positive Behaviour Code may need to be applied where bullying is very severe or where bullying continues despite being reported and fully processed, i.e. Suspension or Expulsion.

 

The following statement is contained in our Positive Behaviour Policy:

 

“Applying sanctions in response to behaviour that takes place outside school:

The standards and rules contained in the Positive Behaviour Policy apply in any situation where the child, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school.

 

Examples include:

Š      school tours, games and extra-curricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school.

Where a student is alleged to have engaged in serious misbehaviour outside school, when not under the care or responsibility of the school, a judgement will have to be made that there is a clear connection with the school and a demonstrable impact on its work, before the code of behaviour applies”.

 

Bullying that takes place outside the school can have a serious effect on the work of the school and problems can emerge in school as a result of bullying that has been initiated outside of school.

 

We are fully committed to best practice in preventing and tackling bullying through:

Š      A positive school culture and climate which:

o   is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity

o   encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment and

o   promotes respectful relationships across the school community

Š      Effective leadership

Š      A school-wide approach

Š      A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact

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

o   build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils and

o   explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Š      Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

Š      Supports for staff

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

Š      On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy. 

 

 

 

 

Definition of Bullying:

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

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

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

Š      deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,

Š      cyber-bullying and

Š      identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

 

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

 

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

 

Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be managed in accordance with the school’s Positive Behaviour Code.

 

Education and Prevention Strategies:

The education and prevention strategies (including strategies specifically aimed at cyber- bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows:

Š      The core element of bullying prevention and reporting is our commitment to positive relationships between the staff and the children so that the best possible atmosphere exists to encourage the children to communicate concerns and observations. Respectful behaviour toward all members of the school community will be modelled.

Š      Observation and supervision by staff together with strong links with families are highly prioritised throughout the school, and on school related activities, thus enabling staff to note concerns as early as possible. We strive to pre-empt difficulties by observing changes in the behaviour of children as well as noting incidents.

Indications of Bullying / Behaviour – Signs and Symptoms that may be present:

o   Anxiety about travelling to and from school – requesting parents/guardians to drive or collect them, changing route of travel, avoiding regular times for travelling to and from school.

o   Unwillingness to go to school, refusal to attend, truancy.

o   Deterioration in educational performance, loss of concentration and loss of enthusiasm and interest in school.

o   Pattern of physical illnesses (e.g. headaches, stomach aches, etc.)

o   Unexplained changes either in mood or behaviour.  It may be particularly noticeable before returning to school after weekends or more especially after longer school holidays.

o   Visible signs of anxiety or distress – e.g. stammering, withdrawing, nightmares, difficulty in sleeping, crying, not eating, vomiting, bedwetting.

o   Spontaneous out-of-character comments about either pupils or teachers.

o   Possessions missing or damaged.

o   Increased requests for money or stealing money.

o   Unexplained bruising or cuts or damaged clothing

o   Reluctance and /or refusal to say what is troubling him /her.

 

These signs do not necessarily mean that a child is being bullied.  If repeated, or occurring in combination, these signs do warrant investigation in order to establish what is affecting the child.

 

Š      We have had a Care Team in the school for some years now that meets monthly to monitor issues of emotional safety among the children. The staff reports a wide range of matters of concern and the Care Team seeks to follow up appropriately.

Š      The social and personal development of children is a core element of our ethos and as such is prioritised in all interactions between staff and children and among children. We devote a great deal of time and energy to care in relationships and care in the learning process throughout the school to enable us to build an appropriately positive school culture and climate that is welcoming of difference and diversity, and based on inclusivity and respect. Desired respectful behaviour will be noticed and acknowledged by providing positive attention.

Š      Each school year begins with a Friendship Fortnight that is part of our Anti- Bullying strategy. During this two week period we explore the nature and importance of friendship, how friendship begins, develops, changes and, sometimes ends and moves on to new friendships. We also explore negative elements of some ‘friendships’ where an individual may not be respected appropriately by the other or others. Bullying is defined and discussed and examples are explored.

Š      A group of children from 3rd to 6th class are trained as Anti-Bullying Ambassadors and are now in place as a conduit for children to bring issues to the attention of staff where the child/children would be more comfortable talking to another child. The Ambassadors report directly to the Principal and, for their own protection, are trained not to get involved in any way but simply to pass on information.

Š      The social and personal development of children also forms part of the learning process through the following programmes:

o   Learn Together Programme,

o   Social Personal and Health Education Programme,

o   Relationships and Sexuality Education programme,

o   Stay Safe Programme

o   Walk Tall Programme

o   Circle time and Morning meetings

Teachers choose elements of the above programmes appropriately according to the age and stage of development of the children.

Š      The concept of cyber bullying and general safety while using electronic devices is taught by staff members and/or invited speakers each year and children with special needs are given particular attention through resource teaching and SNA support. Procedures for dealing with all forms of cyber-bullying are outlined in our Acceptable User Policy which is incorporated in this Positive Behaviour Code. The appropriate use of social media, mobile phone and internet use will be taught.

Š      Learning regarding homophobia and transphobia will form part of our Learn Together and Social Personal and Health Education programme. In general, it will be dealt with in the context of human rights and family structure in an age appropriate way. Work will also involve discussion of the nine grounds of equality legislation. These are: gender (including transgender), civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the travelling community. 

Š      Language use, in the context of the nine grounds above, and its appropriateness, will be discussed and clear guidelines as to the avoidance of negative terminology will be given. Where these guidelines are not followed, this will be managed in the same way as the use of other negative language. Where bullying is found to be happening, it will be dealt with appropriately following the procedures below. Discriminatory and derogatory language will be tackled in the school – this includes homophobic and racist language and language that is belittling of individuals. The children will be taught what respectful language and respectful behaviour looks like, acts like, sounds like and feels like in class and around the school.

Š      Key respect messages will be displayed in classrooms, in assembly areas and around the school and the children will be involved in the development of these messages.

Š      The right of every member of the school community to be safe and secure in school will be actively taught.

 

Investigation/Follow-up/Recording and intervention:

Š      Initial issues brought to the attention of the class teacher/Learning Support/Resource teacher will be investigated by the class teacher and or the Learning Support/Resource Teacher (LSRT). SNAs and ancillary staff will inform the class teacher of concerns brought to their attention.

Š      Where incidents meet the criteria for bullying or where the staff member is unsure, the incident will be brought to the attention of the Principal for discussion and clarification. Where bullying is found to have taken place the teacher will make a report of the bullying behaviour using the standardised recording template (Appendix 1) and will give a copy of that report to be held by the Principal in the office. Every effort will be made to resolve the issue as quickly as possible or within 20 school days. 

Š      The Principal will investigate the allegation of bullying. Contact will be made as early as possible with the parents/guardians to inform them, to seek their support and to clarify any actions that may need to follow. The purpose of the investigation will be to establish what occurred and to resolve any issues and, as far as possible, to restore relationships.

Š      The overall number of bullying cases reported, investigated and resolved will be reported to the Board of Management at every Board of Management meeting through the Principal’s report.

Š      The Board of Management will review bullying cases annually using the checklist in appendix 2 and will give a written report to school personnel, publish it on the school’s website and provide copies to the PTA and the Patron Committee. Appendix 3 contains a standardised form for this purpose.

Š      Children affected by bullying will be supported by their class teacher and/or by SNAs, by Resource teachers and the Care Team. Where it is agreed that counselling or therapy is needed, a recommendation will be made to parents/guardians either to bring the child privately or for the school to make a referral.

Š      Where the bullying is having a very serious effect the Principal will seek advice from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) or the Health Service Executive (HSE) regarding support and resolution.

Š      Where necessary, a referral may need to be made to the Gardaí.

Š      Children who have engaged in bullying will need support to understand their behaviour and to develop empathy. This will be done through the programmes that are in place and through the ongoing work that support our aim to ‘live out’ our ethos. These children may also need to be referred for counselling/therapy or we may need to seek advice from NEPS or the HSE.

Š      All complaints against a teacher are handled under the agreed Complaints Procedure (see Positive Behaviour Policy Appendix 3 in this Positive Behaviour Code).

 

 

If you’re being bullied what can you do?

Š      Always remember – It’s not your fault!  Don’t put up with bullying. Ask for help.

Š      Believe in yourself.  Don’t believe what the bullying person says of you.  You know that it is not true.

Š      Say ‘no’ emphatically, then walk away

Š      Check out your body language.  Practise walking with confidence, standing straight with head held high and taking deep breaths.

Š      Practice assertiveness.  Stand tall, look the bully in the eye, breathe steadily, speak calmly and firmly.  This can help you to feel stronger, and also makes you appear more confident.

Š      Don’t suffer in silence – talk to someone you trust. It always helps to share a problem and to know that you are not alone. 

Š      If an adult is bullying you, then look for help from another adult you can trust.  You have rights, and you must insist on them. If you are too nervous, take along a friend.

Š      Do not use violence.  It never solves anything, and makes the situation worse.

Š      Keep a diary.  Keep a record of details – who, where, when, how – as this will make it easier for you when you tell your story.

Š      Try not to show you are upset or angry (even if you are).  Reacting to the bullying person does not help you.

Š      Ask your friends to support you.

Š      Try to make new friends if the ones you have at the moment seem to make you feel bad.

 

Responsibilities:

Responsibilities of the Board:

The Board of Management is responsible for ensuring that all members of the school community are enabled to deal effectively with bullying. The Board is committed to providing time and resources for the implementation of the policy. The Board will ensure that proper supervisory and monitoring measures are in place to prevent bullying and to deal with incidents appropriately as they arise.

 

Responsibilities of the staff:

Š      To acknowledge that bullying is a shared responsibility within the school

Š      To draw upon Restorative Justice practices, taking into account the age of the students

Š      To implement prevention and intervention strategies which build and maintain a safe learning environment for the whole school community

Š      To empower students to deal with conflict in constructive ways using Restorative Justice practices

Š      To take all reports of bullying seriously and to report them to the Principal where bullying is found to be taking place.

Š      To document any serious bullying incidents using the Bullying Incident Recording Template (Appendix 1).

 

Responsibilities of Pupils

Š      To show consideration, respect and support towards others

Š      To be able to identify bullying behaviour

Š      To not bully others

Š      To tell if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied

Š      To engage in responsible reporting when witnessing or experiencing bullying behaviour

Š      To be aware that the bystander has a duty to report bullying behaviour

 

Responsibilities of Parents

Š      To support the school in the implementation of the policy

Š      To watch out for signs that their child may be being bullied

Š      To speak to the class teacher immediately if their child is being bullied or they suspect that this is happening

Š      To support their children to tell if they are bullied or if they have seen other students being bullied

Š      To notify the school if they think that their child is displaying bullying behaviour and to work with the school in addressing this problem

Š      To be aware that the recommended age for children using Facebook and some other social media is 13. Children can circumvent this by altering their date of birth on the application.

Š      To be aware of the risks and dangers associated with their child using forms of social media and that parental supervision is required in this area.

Š      To be aware that the school has safeguards in place with regard to pupil internet/website access at school and that use outside school requires parental supervision.

Š      To be aware of the dangers of cyber bullying and to undertake to inform themselves regarding this issue.

Š      To never directly approach a student or communicate directly with the parent of a student at the school to intervene in behavioural issues.

 

 

 

 

Appendix 1: Bullying Incident Recording Template-Staff:

1:Name: _____________________________ Class: ______Teacher:_______________________

 

Names and classes of children involved in bullying behaviour:

 

 

3.Source of bullying concern/report (tick)                            4. Location of incidents (tick)               

                                             

Pupil/s concerned

 

Other Pupil

 

Parent/Guardian

 

Teacher/other staff member

 

Other

 

 

Playground

 

Classroom/ Toilets

 

Wider school

 

School bus

 

Other

 

                                                     

 

 

 

 

5.Name of person who reported the bullying concern:

 

 

6.Type of Bullying Behaviour (tick)

Physical Agression

 

Cyber-bullying

 

Damage to Property

 

Intimidation

 

Isolation/Exclusion

 

Malicious Gossip

 

Name Calling

 

Other (specify)

 

 

7. Where the behaviour is regarded as identity-based bullying, indicate the relevant category:

Homophobic

Disability/SEN related

Racist

Membership of the Travelling Community

Other (Specify)

 

 

 

 

 

7.     Brief description of bullying behaviour and its impact.

 

 

 

8.     Details of actions taken

 

 

 

 

Signed: _______________________________ Date: _____________________

 

Submitted to Principal on: Date: ______________________________________

Staff: Please use the back and attach additional pages where needed.

Appendix 2

Board of Management checklist for annual review of implementation of Anti Bullying Policy.

The Board of Management will undertake an annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation. The following checklist will be used for this purpose.

 

Yes /No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?

 

Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents’ association?

 

Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?

 

Is the Board satisfied that school staff is sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?

 

Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?

 

Has the policy documented the prevention and education strategies that the school applies?

 

Have all of the prevention and education strategies been implemented?

 

Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have been implemented been examined?

 

Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?

 

Has the Board received and minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?

 

Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?

 

Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bullying incidents?

 

Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?

 

Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations, into the school’s handling of a bullying case, been initiated or completed?

 

Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?

 

Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?

 

 

Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

 

 

 

Appendix 3

Board of Management Notification of the annual review of the implementation of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy.

 

Notification regarding the Board of Management’s annual review of the anti-bullying policy:

 

 

To: The Patron Committee, staff, PTA and Parent Body

 

 

The Board of Management of North Bay ETNS wishes to inform you that:

Š      The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s anti-bullying policy and its implementation was completed at the Board meeting of __________________________ [date].

 

 

Š      This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 2 of the school’s Anti Bullying Policy which complies with Department of Education and Skills’ Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.

 

 

 

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

 

 

Signed _____________________________________ Date ________________

Principal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Behaviour Code: Policy No. 3

 

De-Escalation and Management of Extremely Challenging Behaviours

 

Procedures for Dealing with Serious Incidents involving Children:

These procedures are used in the rarest of cases where extremely challenging behaviour is being exhibited.

 

The management of the behaviour of children in general and particularly children with Special Educational Needs is based around positive reinforcement of acceptable, desirable behaviour. The classroom will have a system of praise and rewards to motivate the child and encourage positive behaviour as outlined in the Positive Behaviour Policy.

 

On rare occasions some children may have extreme difficulty with appropriate behaviour despite the supportive atmosphere in the classroom and school.

 

In the class or in the yard, where possible, the teacher, or SNA where available, will deal with an incident initially with the child. Depending on the level of seriousness of the incident (e.g. violent behaviour) the teacher or SNA will inform the class teacher or others on yard duty. The class teacher or the teacher on yard duty can become involved in the incident if necessary. The teachers and the SNAs will confer to resolve the situation and support the child.

 

In the school, in general, the procedures in the Positive Behaviour Policy apply in all cases. The class teacher will implement the Positive Behaviour Policy supported by the SNA, where available. However, persistent incidences of challenging behaviour or a single incident of serious misbehaviour can bypass the graded system of warnings and the SNA, where available, class teacher or resource teacher may need to take the child out of the room immediately.

 

If the class teacher is alone with the class when an incident occurs and the child needs to be removed from the room, the class teacher will ask another child to fetch the resource teacher or the principal. Failing this they can ask the teacher in the adjoining class to supervise their class if this is possible.

If the child cannot be guided safely from the classroom and where the child is exhibiting very challenging behaviour in the presence of the other children in the class it may be necessary to bring the other children out of the room to a calm, safe area of the school with the support of another staff member to allow the situation to be resolved. In this case two staff members will remain with the child exhibiting the challenging behaviour and one staff member will go with the class.

 

Where the child is taken out of the classroom, the person who takes the child out to a public area will try to calm the child in a non-confrontational manner. When the child is ready, the adult will examine the circumstances surrounding the incident with a view to helping the child understand the circumstances and consequences of the incident. They will also try to identify strategies to avoid or deal with this type of incident in future. When appropriate, the class teacher will initiate a pre-emptive intervention schedule.  This may involve the child’s parents accompanying them on trips or the child not going on the trips.

 

Dealing with a Crisis and using Physical Intervention:

In any situation where a child is being violent, threatening violence, behaving in a loud, disruptive manner, or using inappropriate offensive language and a risk assessment indicates that there is a threat to safety there are procedures to follow.

                             Stay calm and do not over react.

                             Stay out of the child’s personal space if they are acting out.

                             Ask questions to clarify what the problem is.

                             Adopt non-challenging body language and tone of voice.

                             Allow verbal venting if this is possible.

                             Set reasonable limits for the child and other’s safety

                             Ignore challenge questions.

                             Use physical intervention as a last resort where there is a threat to safety.

 

Guidelines for using Physical Intervention:

                             Use the minimum level of physical intervention possible.

                             Try not to squeeze or constrict the child.

                             Try to move the child to a public area where they can vent safely as quickly as possible.

                             Always have another adult with you until situation is calm.

                             Be conscious of your own and the child’s personal safety.

 

Positive Behaviour Code: Policy No. 4

 

Acceptable User Policy

(Policy for acceptable use of technology including personal devices)

 

The aim of this Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) is to ensure that children will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s Internet resources in a safe and effective manner. Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if the school AUP is not adhered to, this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions, as outlined in the AUP and or the Positive Behaviour Code, will be imposed.

 

The use of the internet or personal devices in the school environment is covered directly by this policy.

Also, Our Positive Behaviour Policy states:

 

“Applying sanctions in response to behaviour that takes place outside school:

The standards and rules contained in the Positive Behaviour Code apply in any situation where the child, although outside the school, is still the responsibility of the school.

Examples include: school tours, games and extracurricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school.

Where a child is alleged to have engaged in serious misbehaviour outside school, when not under the care or responsibility of the school, a judgement will have to be made that there is a clear connection with the school and a demonstrable impact on its work, before the code of behaviour applies.”

The use of technology outside of the school can have direct implications for the work of the school and each case will be judged individually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School’s Strategy

The school employs the following strategies in order to maximise learning opportunities and reduce risks associated with the Internet:

 

General

Š      Internet sessions will always be supervised by a teacher.

Š      Filtering software and/or equivalent systems will be used in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.

Š      The school will regularly monitor children’s Internet usage.

Š      Children and teachers will be provided with training in the area of Internet safety.

Š      Uploading and downloading of unapproved software and material will not be permitted.

Š      Virus protection software will be used and updated on a regular basis.

Š      The use of personal memory sticks, DVD/CD-ROMs, or other digital storage media in school requires a teacher’s permission.

Š      Children will treat others with respect at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

 

World Wide Web:

Š      Children will not intentionally visit Internet sites that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.

Š      Children will report accidental accessing of inappropriate materials in accordance with school procedures.

Š      Children will use the Internet for educational purposes only.

Š      Children will not copy information into assignments and fail to acknowledge the source (plagiarism and copyright infringement).

Š      Children will not post inappropriate material, text, images or other forms of communication relating to any members of the school community on social networking or other sites. (See Positive Behaviour Policy and Anti-Bullying Policy).

Š      Children will never disclose or publicise personal information.

Š      Downloading materials or images not relevant to their studies, is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.

Š      Children will be aware that any usage, including distributing or receiving information, school-related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

Email and other forms of communication:

       Children will use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.

       Children will not send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.

       Children will not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.

       Children will never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they only know through emails, social networking sites or the internet.

       Children will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

       Children will only have access to chat rooms, discussion fora, messaging or other electronic communication fora that have been approved by the school.

       Chat rooms, discussion fora and other electronic communication fora will only be used for educational purposes and will always be supervised.

       Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.

       Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via Internet chat will be forbidden.

 

Websites:

       Children will be given the opportunity to publish projects, artwork or school work on the World Wide Web in accordance with clear policies and approval processes regarding the content that can be loaded to the school’s website.

       The websites will be regularly checked to ensure that there is no content that compromises the safety of children or staff.

       Website facilities such as guest books, noticeboards or weblogs will be checked to ensure that they do not contain personal details.

       The publication of children’s work will be co-ordinated by a teacher.

       Children’s work will appear in an educational context on Web pages with a copyright notice prohibiting the copying of such work without express written permission.

       The school will endeavour to use digital photographs, audio or video clips of focusing on group activities. Content focusing on individual children will not be published on the school website without parental permission. Video clips may be password protected.

       Personal pupil information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.

       The school website will avoid publishing the names of individuals in a photograph in a manner that will identify them.

       The school will ensure that the image files are appropriately named – will not use children’s names in image file names or tags if published on the web.

       Children will continue to own the copyright on any work published.

 

 

 

Personal Devices

Children using their own technology in school, such as leaving a mobile phone turned on or using it in class, sending nuisance text messages or the unauthorized taking of moving or still images using a camera on a mobile phone or other device is in direct breach of the school’s acceptable use policy.

 

Legislation:

Teachers, children and parents should familiarise themselves with:

                               • Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003

                               • Child Trafficking and Pornography Act 1998

                               • Interception Act 1993

                               • Video Recordings Act 1989

                               • The Data Protection Act 1988

 

Support Structures:

The school will inform students and parents of key support structures and organisations that deal with illegal material or harmful use of the Internet.

 

Sanctions:

Misuse of the Internet may result in disciplinary action as outlined in the Positive Behaviour Policy. The school also reserves the right to report any illegal activities to the appropriate authorities. 

 

 

 

 

 

Positive Behaviour Code: Policy No. 5

 

5.   Dignity at Work Policy

 

The School recognises the right of all to be treated with dignity and respect and is committed to ensuring that all are provided with a safe working and educational environment which is free from all forms of bullying, sexual harassment and harassment.

 

This Policy protects staff and students from bullying, sexual harassment and harassment regardless of whether it is carried out by a work colleague, child, parent, member of the public, business contact or any other person with whom staff and children might come into contact during the course of their work.  It also sets out a complaints procedure which ensures that complaints are dealt with promptly and with sensitivity. 

 

Under this policy all staff and children, regardless of their position, have a responsibility to treat each other with dignity and respect and to maintain a working environment where bullying and harassment is not tolerated.  The Board of Management of the School have a particular responsibility to promote dignity in the workplace by being alert to inappropriate behaviour and dealing promptly with incidents or complaints of bullying and harassment. 

 

 

Statutory Redress

Nothing in this policy is designed to prevent a person from exercising his or her statutory entitlements under the Employment Equality Act, 1998 and the Industrial Relations Act, 1946-2001.  Complaints under the Employment Equality Act must be brought within 6 months of the last act of discrimination.

 

Dignity at Work Charter

Principles:

A core employment value of North Bay Educate Together National School is the commitment to ensuring that each staff member is guaranteed a working environment which recognises that individual’s right to be treated with dignity by management, work colleagues, parents or children as well as suppliers of goods and services to the school.

 

This approach places a positive emphasis on the importance of each individual and the contribution he or she makes to the success of the school.  It seeks to guarantee the optimal working conditions that allow individual staff members to maximise their role in the school with confidence.  The creation and maintenance of a positive working environment through a supportive management ethos provides the leadership that encourages individual staff members in this regard.  Integral to the school’s employment value is the principle of mutual respect in a workplace free from bullying and harassment.  This ethos also extends to promoting mutual respect between and among members of the constituent representative and governing bodies of the school.

 

Objectives

       To create and maintain a positive working environment that recognises and protects the right of each individual to dignity at work.

       To ensure that all Staff members, Board of Management, Patron Committee, and Parent/Teacher Association members are aware of and committed to the principles set out in this charter.

 

What is Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment?

This section contains the definitions of bullying, harassment and sexual harassment as set out in the following code of practice:

 

       The Health and Safety Authority’s Code of Practice on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying

 

       The Labour Relations Commission’s (LRC) Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace

 

       Equality Authority’s Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at work

 

What Workplace Bullying is..:

“Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work.

 

An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once off incident is not considered to be bullying.”

 

This definition is understood to include the use of any form of technology or social network.

 

A key characteristic of bullying is that it usually takes place over a period of time.  It is regular and persistent inappropriate behaviour which is specifically targeted at one employee or a group of employees.  It may be perpetrated by someone in a position of authority, by staff against a supervisor/ manager or by staff in the same grade as the recipient.

 

What bullying is not..:

An isolated incident of inappropriate behaviour may be an affront to dignity at work but, as a once-off incident, is not considered to be bullying, e.g. an occasional bout of anger or conflict of views.

 

Š      Fair and constructive criticism of an employee’s performance, conduct or attendance does not constitute bullying. 

Š      Complaints relating to instructions issued by a supervisor/manager, assignment of duties, terms and conditions of employment or other matters which are appropriate for referral under the normal grievance procedure do not constitute bullying.

Š      Legitimate management responses to crises situations which require immediate action or which arise from staff shortages, increased workload, etc.

Š       Complaints that are appropriate for referral under the normal grievance procedure do not constitute bullying.  Complaints that are appropriate for referral under the normal grievance procedure are usually relatively straightforward to formulate as they refer to a specific issue or incident.

 

Š      Bullying on the other hand is repeated inappropriate behaviour which is specifically targeted at the recipient in order to undermine his/her dignity.

Š      Complaints of bullying are sometimes difficult to articulate as it may involve a series of small, seemingly innocuous incidents which culminate to create an intimidating and hostile working environment. 

 

Examples of Bullying:

The following are some examples of the type of behaviour which may constitute bullying.  These examples are illustrative but not exhaustive:

 

Š      Constant humiliation, ridicule, belittling efforts – often in front of others

Š      Verbal abuse, including shouting, use of obscene language and spreading malicious rumours

Š      Showing hostility through sustained unfriendly contact or exclusion

Š      Inappropriate overruling of a person’s authority, reducing a job to routine tasks well below the person’s skills and capabilities without prior discussion or explanation

Š      Persistently and inappropriately finding fault with a person’s work and using this as an excuse to humiliate the person rather than trying to improve performance

Š      Constantly picking on a person when things go wrong even when he/she is not responsible

 

What is Harassment?

Harassment is a form of discrimination in relation to conditions of employment on any of the eight grounds (other than gender) covered by the Employment Equality Act.  These grounds are:

Š      Marital status

Š      Family status

Š      Sexual orientation

Š      Religious belief (or none)

Š      Age

Š      Disability

Š      Race

Š      Colour

Š      Nationality or ethnic or national origin or membership of the Traveller community.

 

Harassment is defined in the Act as follows:

Any act of conduct including spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation or written words, pictures or other material if the action or conduct is unwelcome to the employee and could reasonably be regarded as offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

 

Harassment is inappropriate behaviour based on the relevant characteristic of the staff member or student such as race, religion, age or any of the other grounds covered by the Act.  Inappropriate behaviour that is not linked to one of the eight discriminatory grounds is not covered by this definition.  It may be targeted at one staff member/student, or group of staff/students.

 

Harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated in appropriate behaviour.

 

The following are examples of inappropriate behaviour which may constitute harassment.

 

These examples of harassment are illustrative but not exhaustive:

                             Verbal harassment, e.g. jokes, derogatory comments, ridicule or song

                             Written harassment, e.g. faxes, text messages, e-mails or notices

                             Physical harassment, e.g. jostling or shoving

                             Intimidatory harassment, e.g. gestures or threatening poses

                             Visual displays, e.g. posters, emblems or badges

                             Persistent negative body language

                             Ostracising a person

 

An act of harassment may occur outside the work premises or normal working hours provided the perpetrator was acting in the course of employment, for example, at a training course, conference or work-related social event.

 

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination on the gender ground in relation to conditions of employment and is defined by the Employment Equality Act 1998 as follows:

 

Any act of physical intimacy, request for sexual favours, other act or conduct including spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material that is unwelcome and could reasonably be regarded as sexually offensive, humiliating or intimidating.

 

Sexual harassment may consist of a single incident or repeated inappropriate behaviour. It may be targeted at one staff member/student or a group thereof.

 

The following are some examples of inappropriate behaviour which may constitute sexual harassment.  These examples are illustrative but not exhaustive:

 

Š      Physical conduct of a sexual nature, e.g. unwanted physical contact such as unnecessary touching, patting or pinching or brushing against another employee’s body

Š      Verbal conduct of a sexual nature, e.g. unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or pressure for sexual activity, continued suggestions for social activity outside the school after it has been made clear that such suggestions are unwelcome, unwanted and offensive flirtations, suggestive remarks, innuendos or lewd comments.

Š      Non-verbal conduct of a sexual nature, e.g. the display of pornographic or sexually suggestive pictures, objects, written materials, e-mails, text-messages or faxes.

Š      Unwanted or derogatory comments about dress or appearance

Š      Leering and suggestive gestures

 

An act of sexual harassment may occur outside the school premises or normal school hours provided the perpetrator was acting in the course of employment, for example, at a training course, conference or work/school related event.

 

How does Sexual Harassment and Harassment differ from Friendly Workplace Banter?

It is the unwanted nature of the conduct which distinguishes sexual harassment and harassment from friendly behaviour which is mutual and welcome.  It is up to each staff member to decide what behaviour is unwelcome, irrespective of the attitude of others, and from whom such behaviour is unwelcome.  The fact that the staff member/child has previously tolerated the behaviour does not stop him/her from deciding that it has now become unwelcome and objecting to it.

 

Is Motive Relevant?

The intention of the person engaging in the unwelcome behaviour is irrelevant – the effect of the behaviour on the member of staff/child is what is important.

 

 

 

Bullying/Harassment by Non-Staff Members or Children:

This policy protects staff members and children from bullying, sexual harassment or harassment perpetrated by a parent, supplier, visitor or any other person with whom staff and children may come into contact during the course of the school day.  Bullying/harassment by non-employees may result in the termination/non-renewal of business contracts, the suspension/non-renewal of services, exclusion from the premises or the imposition of other appropriate sanctions.

 

If a staff member or child feels that s/he has been subjected to inappropriate behaviour by a non-employee, s/he should bring the matter to the attention of the Principal or Staff Representative so that the matter can be investigated and appropriate action taken.

 

 

Procedure for Dealing with Allegations of Bullying, Sexual Harassment and Harassment

 

Making a Complaint:

Any staff member or child who feels that s/he is being subjected to behaviour which undermines his or her dignity should let his or her objections be known, otherwise the person engaging in the unwelcome behaviour may be unaware of the effects of his/her actions.  The staff member or child may either, approach the alleged perpetrator directly and make the person aware that the behaviour in question is unwelcome, or request the Principal or Staff Representative to approach the person on his or her behalf.  Sometimes the alleged perpetrator is genuinely unaware that his or her behaviour is unwelcome and causing distress.  An informal discussion is often sufficient to alert the person concerned to the effects of his or her behaviour and can lead to greater understanding and an agreement that the behaviour will stop.

 

An employee who feels he/she is being bullied or harassed may seek information and advice regarding the policy and procedure on a confidential basis from any of the following:

                             A Colleague

                             The Principal

                             Staff Representative

                             The Health and Safety Representative of the Board of Management

 

If, having consulted with the appropriate person, the staff member decides to pursue the matter; s/he may approach the alleged perpetrator directly or request the intervention of the Principal.  In a case involving the Principal, the intervention of the Board of Management can be requested.

 

Approach the Alleged Perpetrator Directly

In this case the staff member may find it helpful to rehearse what s/he intends saying to the person concerned so that s/he feels more confident about initiating the discussion and articulating the precise nature of the offending behaviour and its effects.

 

Request the Intervention of an appropriate Staff Representative

Where the staff member is not confident about approaching the alleged perpetrator or where a direct approach has not resolved the matter, s/he should request the intervention of the Principal or Staff Representative.

The Principal/Staff Representative will attempt to resolve the matter in an informal low-key and non-confrontational manner by making the alleged perpetrator aware of the effects of his/her behaviour.  Where this does not bring about a satisfactory outcome, the matter may be referred to the Health and Safety Representative of the Board of Management, who will make every effort to resolve the matter between the parties.

Where the matter remains unresolved, the Health and Safety Representative of the Board of Management may request both parties to consider mediation.

 

Mediation

Mediation is the preferred method under Dignity at Work Policy for the resolution of complaints of bullying and harassment which are not capable of being resolved by school staff.  The objective of mediation is to resolve the matter speedily and confidentially without recourse to a formal investigation and with the minimum of conflict and stress for the individuals involved.  Mediation requires the voluntary participation and co-operation of both parties, usually separately to begin with, to discuss the alleged offending behaviour.  The mediator will then bring both parties together to reach a common understanding and agreement on acceptable future behaviour.  A mediated agreement seeks to reach an accommodation between the parties and thereby restore harmonious working relations.  A mediated solution will not result in the issue being dealt with under the disciplinary policy.  Minimal paperwork and/or records will be generated by this process.

 

Mediation may be attempted at any/all points in the procedure to try to resolve the matter.  The parties will be requested to attempt mediation before alleged offending behaviour is the subject of a formal investigation.  If the mediation process does not produce a satisfactory outcome, the complainant may seek to have the matter resolved through formal investigation.  Any information that emerges during the course of the mediation process remains strictly confidential and cannot be disclosed as part of the formal investigation.

 

Mediation may be attempted again during the formal investigation or following the outcome of the investigation.

 

Formal Investigation

If the matter cannot be resolved at local level or through mediation, it may be the subject of a formal investigation.

 

The complaint will be clearly formulated in writing setting out details of the offending behaviour (including dates and witnesses if any) and the context in which it occurred.

 

The alleged perpetrator will be advised that the complaint is the subject of a formal investigation.  S/he will be given a copy of the written complaint and invited to respond to the allegations in writing within 2 weeks.  A copy of the response will be forwarded to the complainant.

 

Principles Governing the Investigation Process

       The investigation will be conducted thoroughly and objectively and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator.

       Both parties will be required to co-operate fully with the investigation. 

       Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigation to the greatest extent consistent with the requirements of a fair investigation.  It is not possible however to guarantee the anonymity of the complainant or any other person who participates in the investigation.

       Notwithstanding the difficult circumstances, both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator may be expected to continue with their normal duties and maintain a professional working relationship during the course of the investigation.  The Board of Management will however have due regard at all times for its obligations to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of staff and students. 

       The investigator may interview anyone who they feel can assist with the investigation. The Staff are expected to co-operate fully with the investigation and will be fully supported throughout the process. 

       Employees who participate in the investigation process will be required to respect the privacy of the parties involved by refraining from discussing the matter with other work colleagues or persons outside the school.

       It will be considered a disciplinary offence to intimidate or exert pressure on any person who may be required to attend as a witness.

 

Conducting the Investigation:

       The investigation will be conducted by a designated person(s) nominated by the Board of Management who is not connected to the complaint in any way.

       The investigation will be governed by clear terms of reference based on the written complaint and any other matters relevant to the complaint.  The terms of reference shall specify the following:

o   The investigation will be conducted in accordance with the Dignity at Work Policy;

o   The timescale within which the investigation will be completed

o   The investigator(s) may set time limits for the completion of various stages of the procedure to ensure the overall timescale is adhered to;

       The scope of the investigation i.e. the investigator(s) will determine whether or not the behaviour complained of falls within the definition of bullying/harassment, whether the complaint has been upheld and recommend an appropriate course of action in the circumstances;

       Both Parties will be given copies of all relevant documentation prior to and during the investigation process, i.e.

o   Complaint

o   Written response from the alleged perpetrator

o   Witness statements (if any)

       Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator may provide details of witnesses or any other person whom they feel could assist in the investigation

       The investigator(s) will conduct separate interviews with the complainant and the alleged perpetrator with a view to establishing the facts surrounding the allegations.  Both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator may be accompanied by a staff representative or work colleague if so desired.

       The investigator(s) will interview any witnesses to the alleged incidents of bullying/ harassment and other relevant persons.  Confidentiality will be maintained as far as practicable. 

       Persons may be required to attend further meetings to respond to new evidence or provide clarification on any of the issues raised.

       On completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) will submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Principal and Board of Management. 

       Both parties will be given a copy of the investigation report and an opportunity to comment before any action is decided upon by the Board of Management.

 

Outcome

       If the complaint is upheld, the matter may be further progressed through the disciplinary procedure or other appropriate action may be taken, such as counselling or mediation.

       The complainant and alleged perpetrator will be informed in writing of the management’s decision.

       Where a complaint is not sustained, no action will be taken against the complainant provided that the complaint was made in good faith. 

       In the interests of all staff members and children, any malicious or vexatious complaints will be treated very seriously and may lead to disciplinary action against the complainant.

       Victimisation or retaliation against a complainant, witness or any other party will constitute a serious disciplinary offence.

 

Non-Employees

Where complaints against non-employees are the subject of a formal investigation, the alleged perpetrator will be expected to co-operate fully with the process and will be afforded fair procedures and an opportunity to respond fully to the complaint.  Where the complaint is upheld, appropriate sanctions will apply which may include:

       Exclusion of the individual from the premises.

       Suspension or termination of service or other contract.

 

Declaration

 

“We at North Bay Educate Together National School commit ourselves to working together to maintain a workplace environment that encourages and supports the right to dignity at work.  All who work here and who are members of the Board of Management, Patron Committee and Parent/Teacher Association are expected to respect the right to dignity in their working life. 

 

Each staff member will be treated equally and be respected for their individuality and diversity.  Bullying or harassment in any form and from any party within or without the school is not accepted by us and will not be tolerated. 

 

Our policies and procedures will underpin the objectives of this charter.  All individuals, whether directly employed or contracted by North Bay Educate Together National School or serving on the Patron Committee, Board of Management of the School, or Parents Association, have a duty and responsibility to uphold this Dignity at Work Charter.”

 

In order to underpin this declaration it is agreed that the following codes of practice are incorporated as policy of North Bay Educate Together School.

 

                             Code of Practice on Sexual Harassment and Harassment at Work (S.I. No.78 of 2002)

                             Code of Practice detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace (S.I. No.17 of 2002)

                             Code of Practice on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying (Health & Safety Authority 2002)

 

Nothing in this Charter overrules a person’s legal and statutory rights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When this policy has been fully reviewed by our staff, our Committees and our parent body it will be brought to the Board of Management for ratification. This is intended to happen at the May 2014 meeting. After that stage it will be signed into policy by the Board of Management and co-signed as set out below.

 

This set of policies, the Positive Behaviour Code, is ratified by the Board of Management of North Bay ETNS and fully support by the Patron Committee, The Parent Teacher Association and the staff.

 

Ratified and Signed by:

 

 

__________________________________     Date: ______________

Chairperson, B.O.M

 

 

 

__________________________________     Date: ______________

Principal

 

Co-signed by:

 

__________________________________     Date: ______________

Chairperson, Patron Committee

 

 

 

__________________________________     Date: ______________

Chairperson, Parent/Teacher Association

 

 

 

__________________________________     Date: ______________

Staff Representative