This booklet contains information pertaining to behavioural issues and pathways to resolution in

Yellow Furze N.S.

It includes our policies on:

  • Code of Behaviour
  • Restorative Practices
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Suspension and Expulsion

Please read carefully and if you have any queries, please contact the school.

Behavioural Issues – the pathways to resolution.

The expectations and responsibilities relating to student behaviour are outlined in our Code of Behaviour and based on a system of rewards for good behaviour. However when misbehaviour occurs, it is managed using the strategies contained in the Code of Behaviour and its associated policies.

Type of behaviour In class – good behaviour In class – minor infractions In class -disrespecting others Bullying Gross Misdemeanour
Strategies to implement DFL DFL DFL DFL DFL



Steps to follow within the classroom setting Steps to follow within the classroom setting



Restorative practices Restorative practices




Stages of Anti Bullying Policy




Suspension & Expulsion Suspension & Expulsion
DFL Details in Code of Behaviour Policy Jan 2020
Steps to follow Anti Bullying Policy Jan 2020
Restorative Practices Restorative Practices Policy Jan 2020
Anti Bullying Stages Anti Bullying Policy Jan 2020
Suspension & Expulsion Suspension & Expulsion Policy Jan 2020

Yellow Furze N.S. Code of Behaviour

1. How the Code was developed:

Yellow Furze N.S. has used a positive system of Discipline for Learning (D.F.L) for a period of time in excess of 10 years. The DFL encompasses a system of positive reinforcement of good behaviour and a series of sanctions for inappropriate behaviour. It was decided by staff and management that a whole school approach to discipline and behaviour was required which would incorporate our Mission Statement, roles and responsibilities and expectations.

2. Mission Statement:

Yellow Furze National School seeks to promote the full potential achievement of all its pupils in all areas of the Curriculum while providing the children with the skills for continued learning and living. We would as far as possible promote this, taking fully into account the Christian values of the Community. We welcome the support and participation of all the members of the school community (e.g. parents, teachers, church leaders etc.) in helping us to achieve this objective. Finally we hope that all children have happy memories of their journey through childhood in Yellow Furze National School.

3: Aims:

  1. In devising the code, consideration was given to the particular needs and circumstances of this school. The aim is to create an ordered and orderly environment in which pupils can, through developing self-discipline, feel secure and make progress in all aspects of their development.
  2. Every effort will be made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school. It is as important that good behaviour is praised as inappropriate behaviour sanctioned.
  3. The Code of Behaviour will help students understand that inappropriate behaviour is unacceptable, that their actions and behaviour will have an effect on others and recognise that they have choices regarding their behaviour and that all choices have consequences.

The Code will:

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

Affirming Positive Behaviour

Positive reinforcement of good behaviour leads to better self-discipline and we place a greater emphasis on rewards and incentives than on sanctions. In conjunction with the DFL, we use a system called Restorative Practices which promotes empathy and self-regulation.

4: Principles:

  1. The school recognises the variety of differences that exist between children and the need to tolerate these differences.
  2. It is agreed that a high standard of behaviour requires a strong sense of community within the school and a high level of co-operation among staff and between staff, parents and pupils.
  3. Every effort will be made to ensure that the code of discipline is implemented in a reasonable, fair and consistent manner.

Before/After School

Parents are reminded that the staff of the school does not accept responsibility for pupils before official opening time of 9.20am or after the official closing time of 2pm (infants) or 3pm (other classes) except where pupils are engaged in an extra-curricular activity organised by the school and approved by the Board of Management. Pupils involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with the school code of behaviour during these times.

Board of Management’s Responsibilities

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

Principal’s Responsibilities

  • Promote a positive climate in the school.
  • Ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner.
  • Arrange for review of the Code, as required.
  • Support teachers in their efforts to implement the school code of behaviour.

Teachers’ Responsibilities:

Supporting and implementing the school’s code of behaviour.

  • Create a safe working environment for each pupil within the classroom.
  • Recognise and affirm good work by:
  • A quiet word or gesture to show approval.
  • Stamp in Furzey Book.
  • A comment in a pupil’s exercise book.
  • A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation.
  • A word of praise in front of a group or class.
  • Delegating some special responsibility or privilege.
  • A mention to parent, written or verbal communication
  • Make class list of rules / expected behaviour in September each year and refer to regularly.
  • Prepare school work and correct work done by pupils.
  • Recognise and provide for individual talents and differences among pupils.
  • Be courteous, consistent and fair.
  • Keep opportunities for disruptive behaviour to a minimum.
  • Deal appropriately with misbehaviour according to agreed DFL / Unacceptable behaviour/ Restorative practice procedures.
  • Keep a record of instances of serious misbehaviour or repeated instances of misbehaviour in DFL class folder. The teacher must file all Think Sheets / Consequence Sheets in the Incident Book in the Principal’s Office together with a brief report.
  • Provide support for colleagues.
  • Communicate with parents when necessary and provide reports on matters of mutual concern.

Parents / Guardians’ Responsibilities:

Children mirror their parents’ behaviour, so we ask that all staff be treated with respect by parents and guardians. We also ask parents to:

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

Pupils’ Responsibilities

  • Attend school regularly and punctually.
  • Wear correct uniform
  • Listen to teachers and act on instructions / advice.
  • Show respect for all members of the school community. .
  • Respect all school property and the property of other pupils
  • Avoid behaving in any way that would endanger others.
  • Avoid all nasty remarks, swearing and name-calling.
  • Include other pupils in games and activities.
  • Bring correct materials/books to school, ensure books are kept in good condition.
  • Follow school and class rules & always do your best.
  • Ensure that all notes from school or teachers are shown to parents and signed if necessary.
  • Bring nutritional lunch as per healthy food policy.

Safety: For my own safety and that of others-

  1. I should be careful coming to and going from school
  2. I should remain seated at all times in class and while eating lunch.
  3. I should always show respect for my fellow pupils.
  4. I should never leave the school grounds without the permission of the Principal.

5: Homework

It is the policy of the school to assign homework on a regular basis as per the homework policy.

Parents are strongly advised to take an active interest in their child’s homework and to sign his/her Homework Journal (1st -6th classes) each night (ensuring that it is completed).

The sanction for incomplete homework is detention in a designated classroom between 11-11.10am supervised by Mrs Rooney.

6: School rules – Be Smart -as printed in Furzey Book.

  1. Say please and thank you
  2. Make good choices
  3. Arrive on time and be prepared
  4. Respect others and yourself
  5. Try your very best

Recite daily

Classroom Rules/Contract – SEPTEMBER

Individual classroom rules will be drawn up between the teacher and pupils keeping the following in mind:

  1. Keep rules to a minimum.
  2. Use clear simple language.
  3. Keep positive tone ‘do’ rather than ‘don’t’
  4. Explain, agree and communicate and refer to regularly.

Playground Rules –as printed in Furzey Book

  • Play together
  • Include everyone.
  • Play nicely, speak nicely and no rough play.
  • Play on grass only when permission is given
  • Play in your class section of the yard.
  • Line up on First Bell.
  • Silence on Second Bell
  • Walk silently to class

Toilets:

Use outdoor toilets during break-times.

Uniform Rules

A uniform helps a child feel that they belong to a school. It also helps to prevent undesirable competition in clothes especially amongst older children. The uniform in Yellow Furze is as follows and must be worn every day:

  • Grey pinafore or skirt or trousers. (elasticated waist not zips for Junior Infant boys please!)
  • Grey shirt
  • Wine jumper or cardigan and wine tie
  • School tracksuit for PE and swimming – this can be ordered from Call Us Ltd on the day they visit the school or directly at 01 -2921540 / 074 9732185 or online from www.schoolwearhouse.ie . A red polo t-shirt must be worn with the tracksuit.
  • Please note that pupils are expected to be neatly turned out in their uniform at all times.
  • Children are expected to have long hair either tied back or in a hair band, hair should be neat and inappropriate dying of hair is not permitted for either boys or girls.
  • During cold weather, girls may wear grey trousers.
  • In very warm weather, black or red shorts may be worn (boys & girls).
  • Children need a pair of slippers for indoor wear so for the younger students please ensure that you buy shoes and slippers that they can put on and take off by themselves!
  • Children are not allowed wear jewellery to school with the exception of a watch and 1 pair of plain gold or silver coloured stud earrings only. Multiple piercings are not allowed.

PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR CHILD’S BELONGINGS ARE CLEARLY LABELLED –Jumpers/cardigans/tracksuits/coats/slippers/books/pencils/pencilcases/schoolbag/lunch boxes/bags etc.

  1. DFL – Discipline for Learning

In Yellow Furze, we use this system to focus on good behaviour rather than inappropriate /poor behavioural choices. Please see below for details on how this system works:

Classroom Discipline D.F.L. – Discipline for Learning Explained

The D.F.L. System is part of our Code of Behaviour. This system applies to the pupils’ behaviour within school time, in the classroom, inside the school, on the yard and trips beyond the environs of the school.

In September, the School Rules are explained to the pupils.

D.F.L. is two-sided:

(a) Rewarding Positive Behaviour (Using Furzey Books and Stamps)

(b) Chastising Negative Behaviour (Class List/Reflection/Think Sheets /Consequences/Black Book)

Rewarding Positive Behaviour

Each pupil is given a Furzey Book at the start of the year. Pupils may use their Furzey Book from the previous year and carry on. Stamps are given to the pupils on a daily basis. These stamps can be awarded on the basis of good behaviour (not being marked up on the DFL list, correct uniform/tracksuit, observing the Rules, doing a job etc.) A Pupil receives a Lucky Dip after he/she has collected 30, 60 or 90 stamps. 90 stamps represent a Full Book and in addition to The Lucky Dip, the child also receives a Principal’s Award. This award should be presented as soon as possible; contact the Principal by phone to see if it suits for the pupil to visit the office straightaway. The Lucky Dip may consist of Homework Passes, Computer Passes, Sweets, Toys and Stationery.

Chastising Negative Behaviour

Each teacher has a Class DFL list in the classroom. This list is a record of the Pupil’s/Class’ behaviour and must be kept. The following are the steps that are used during a single school day and are generally administered by the class teacher but in the case of an indiscretion outside the classroom; on the yard, as an example, any another teacher may administer the steps in conjunction with recording the incident in the Yard Book

SEE APPENDED EXCEL DOC FOR 10 STEPS OF DFL

It should be noted that these lists consist of examples only: It is not meant to be a totally comprehensive list of misdemeanours.

Examples of minor misdemeanours:
Interrupting class work. Arriving late for school. Running in school building. Talking in class line. Leaving seat without permission at lunch time. Leaving litter around school. Not wearing correct uniform. Being discourteous/unmannerly. Not completing homework without good reason
Examples of serious misdemeanours:
Constantly disruptive in class Telling lies Stealing Damaging school property Bullying Back answering a teacher Leaving school premises during school day without appropriate permission Using unacceptable language Endangering self/fellow pupils in the school yard at break time.
Examples of Gross Misdemeanours: Setting fire to school property. Bringing weapons to school Deliberately injuring a fellow pupil or staff member. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher/pupil.

Students with special educational needs:

Sanctions will be tailored to help a student with SEN to learn about appropriate behaviour and skills, as in the case of any student.

However, teachers should take particular care that they help the student with special needs to understand clearly the purpose of the sanction and the reason why their behaviour is unacceptable. The school and classroom practices that support good learning behaviour are valid for all students including those with identified special educational needs.

  1. Bullying:

Formal lessons are taught, every other year, according to our SPHE plan but anti-bullying surveys are annually conducted and assessed/addressed accordingly.

See Appendix 1 for Restorative Practices Policy/guidelines/conflict resolution used in conjunction with

Appendix 2 for School Anti – Bullying Policy January 2019.

  1. Suspension & Expulsion:

Suspension and Expulsion are usually the end processes in a long chain of disciplinary events but suspension can also be triggered by a single incident of serious or gross misdemeanour which threatens the health, safety and welfare of the student concerned, the rest of the student body, or staff members. In this regard, the Principal is authorised by the Board of Management to take immediate action and suspend the student concerned for a maximum period of three days. In the event of persistent failures to comply with the Code of Behaviour, the Principal follows the guidelines for Suspension or Expulsion as detailed in pages 70– 86 in the NEWB Guideline for Developing a Code of Behaviour in accordance with the Education Welfare Act 2000, and will factor in the context of the behaviour, age and cognitive ability of the student, the impact of the behaviour and the interventions used to date in dealing with the student and behaviour in reaching a decision. See Appendix 3 for YFNS Suspension & Expulsion Policy and DFL stages 6 – 10.

APPENDIX 1

Restorative Practices Policy – Jan 2020

An important part of our school approach to behaviour is the concept ‘Restorative Practices’. Our Behaviour Policy is focussed on the positive aspects of behaviour rather than on punishments or sanctions, although these are included in the appropriate section of our Behaviour Code.

We promote the notion of a school community where everything we do is based on mutual respect: ‘We sail our ship together’.

Pupils are expected firstly to respect themselves and then to treat each other and staff members with respect. Teachers and staff members are expected to treat children with respect. We take the view that pupils (other than some pupils with very special needs) choose their behaviour to a great degree – they always have an alternative. Therefore, they must take responsibility for their behaviour. If they treat others poorly, they may be acting out their own anger and frustrations, but they can also learn to choose differently and more positively. We ask children to treat others as they want to be treated themselves.

The Rules of Anger are:

It’s ok to be angry.

When I become angry:

  • I don’t hurt others.
  • I don’t hurt myself
  • I don’t hurt (damage) property
  • I talk about how I feel.

Mending Relationships – Rationale:

If I become angry and hurt someone with my words or actions, I must try to make things right. I will do this by:

  • talking with the person I hurt,
  • being prepared to offer an apology
  • being prepared to guarantee that I will not hurt that person again.
  • Trying to realise myself what it feels like to be hurt with words or actions.
  • Recognising the damage my poor behaviour causes to others.

By doing this, I help myself to mend and I help the person I hurt to mend.

What does ‘Restorative Practice’ involve for our school?

Restorative Practices is a process to involve, to the extent possible, those who have a stake in a specific offence and to collectively identify and address harms, needs and obligations, in order to heal and put things as right as possible. Resource: www.transformingconflict.org

Restorative Practice:

  • Creates an ethos of respect, inclusion, accountability and taking responsibility.
  • Creates a commitment to relationships, impartiality, being non-judgemental.
  • Encourages collaboration, empowerment and emotional articulacy.

Key Skills of Restorative Discipline are:

  • Active listening
  • Facilitating dialogue and problem-solving
  • Listening to and expressing emotion
  • Supporting others in taking ownership of problems.

An important element of Restorative Practice is Fair Process:

Expectations – everyone knows what is expected of them

Engagement – involved individuals in decisions / listens to views

Explanation – clarify how decisions are reached

Individuals are most likely to trust and co-operate freely with systems – whether they themselves win or lose by those systems – when fair process is observed. Kim & Mauborgne, Harvard Business Review, July- August 1997.

People who have been harmed need:

  • Someone to listen to my story
  • Time to calm down
  • A chance to ask – why me? What did I do to deserve this?
  • The person concerned to understand and acknowledge the impact their behaviour has had on me
  • A sincere spontaneous apology
  • Things put right if possible
  • Reassurance it won’t happen again

Offenders are asked the following questions

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking about at the time?
  • What have your thought about since?
  • Who has been affected by what you have done? In what way?
  • What do you need to do to make things right?

School Group Conferences can be held to deal with issues:

  • Offenders tell what they did
  • Everyone talks about what impact this has had on them
  • The group reaches an agreed understanding of the harm that has been done
  • The group negotiates an agreement about how to repair the damage and minimise further harm.

APPENDIX 2

Anti-Bullying Policy – Jan 2020

1. In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of Yellow Furze National School has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school’s overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.

2. The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:

(a) A positive school culture and climate which

  • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
  • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment using the restorative practices approach and
  • promotes respectful relationships across the school community;

(b) Effective leadership

(c) A school-wide approach

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

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

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

(f) Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils

(g) Supports for staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Parents need to exercise their own responsibility in this area.

Parents please note:

The legal age for having a Facebook account is 13 years. Other social networking sites including Stardoll, Instagram, Snapchat, Kick, Tumblr, Ask.fm, Twitter, You Tube and all others , have associated risks and dangers to your child and others.

Parental supervision is essential.

Parents acknowledge that the school has safeguards in place with regard to pupil internet website access. Use outside of school falls under parental responsibility.

The school and parents association organises information evenings on cyberbullying. Parents are requested to attend such important events bearing in mind the ever changing world of cyberspace.

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

Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools. See below

The list of examples below is non exhaustive.

Examples of bullying behaviours


General behaviours which apply to all types of bullying
Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc. Physical aggression Damage to property Name calling Slagging The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person Offensive graffiti Extortion Intimidation Insulting or offensive gestures The “look” Invasion of personal space A combination of any of the types listed. Exclusion – being left out of groups.

Cyber
Denigration: Spreading rumours, lies or gossip to hurt a person’s reputation. Harassment: Continually sending vicious, mean or disturbing messages to an individual. Impersonation: Posting offensive or aggressive messages under another person’s name. Flaming: Using inflammatory or vulgar words to provoke an online fight. Trickery: Fooling someone into sharing personal information which you then post online. Outing: Posting or sharing confidential or compromising information or images. Exclusion: Purposefully excluding someone from an online group. Cyber stalking: Ongoing harassment and denigration that causes a person considerable fear for his/her safety. Silent telephone/mobile phone call. Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls. Abusive text messages. Abusive email. Abusive communication on social networks e.g. Facebook/Ask.fm/ Twitter/You Tube or on games consoles. Abusive website comments/Blogs/Pictures. Abusive posts on any form of communication technology.
Identity Based Behaviours Including any of the nine discriminatory grounds mentioned in Equality Legislation, (gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community).

Homophobic and Transgender
Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation. Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation. Name calling e.g. Gay, queer, lesbian…used in a derogatory manner. Physical intimidation or attacks. Threats.

Race, nationality, ethnic background and membership of the Traveller community
Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background. Exclusion based on any of the above.



Relational
This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include: Malicious gossip. Isolation & exclusion. Ignoring. Excluding from the group. Taking someone’s friends away. “Bitching”. Spreading rumours. Breaking confidence. Talking loud enough so that the victim can hear. The “look”. Use or terminology such as ‘nerd’ in a derogatory way .
Sexual Unwelcome or inappropriate sexual comments or touching. Harassment.
Special Educational Needs, Disability Name calling. Taunting others because of their disability or learning needs. Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to recognise and defend themselves against bullying. Taking advantage of some pupils’ vulnerabilities and limited capacity to understand social situations and social cues. Mimicking a person’s disability. Setting others up for ridicule. Exclusion

Relevant Teachers:

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

bullying, homophobic and transphobic bullying) that will be used by the school are as follows (see Section 6.5 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools):

Education and prevention strategies

School-wide approach A school-wide approach to the fostering of respect for all members of the school community. The promotion of the value of diversity to address issues of prejudice and stereotyping, and highlight the unacceptability of bullying behaviour. The fostering and enhancing of the self-esteem of all our pupils through both curricular and extracurricular activities. Pupils will be provided with opportunities to develop a positive sense of self-worth through formal and informal interactions. Whole staff professional development on bullying to ensure that all staff develops an awareness of what bullying is, how it impacts on pupils’ lives and the need to respond to it-prevention and intervention. An annual audit of professional development needs with a view to assessing staff requirements through internal staff knowledge/expertise and external sources Professional development with specific focus on the training of the relevant teacher(s) School wide awareness raising and training on all aspects of bullying, to include pupils, parent(s)/guardian(s) and the wider school community. Supervision and monitoring of classrooms, corridors, school grounds, school tours and extra- curricular activities. Non-teaching and ancillary staff will be encouraged to be vigilant and report issues to relevant teachers. Supervision will also apply to monitoring student use of communication technology within the school. On wet days, one of the on-duty teachers will remain down the senior end with constant supervision of 6th class, while the other teacher will patrol from 3rd class down to junior infants. The third teacher will ‘float’, moving between classes as required. Development and promotion of an Anti-Bullying code/ Pupil’s responsibilities for the school-to be included in student journals and displayed publicly in classrooms and in common areas of the school. The school’s anti-bullying policy is discussed with pupils and all parent(s)/guardian(s) are given a copy as part of the Code of Behaviour of the school (every year). The implementation of regular whole school awareness measures e.g. a dedicated notice board in the school and classrooms on the promotion of friendship, and bullying prevention; Friendship Week, student surveys, school or year group assemblies by principal and staff. Encourage a culture of telling, with particular emphasis on the importance of bystanders. In that way pupils will gain confidence in ‘telling’. This confidence factor is of vital importance. It should be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not considered to be telling tales but are behaving responsibly. Ensuring that pupils know who to tell and how to tell, e.g.: Direct approach to teacher at an appropriate time, for example after class. Hand note up with homework. Get a parent(s)/guardian(s) or friend to tell on your behalf. No such thing as an innocent bystander. Identify clear protocols to encourage parent(s)/guardian(s) to approach the school if they suspect that their child is being bullied – parents should phone to make an appointment to talk to the class teacher in the first instance. An Acceptable Use ICT Policy is in place in the school. The supports currently being used in the school include: Talks on Cyber safety, Walk Tall, Stay Safe – programme available on line at staysafe.ie, Prim Ed Series for lower, middle, upper, Socially Speaking ( 6 – 9yrs), stopbullying.gov, Circle time books. Aspects of the Grow in Love program.
Implementation of curricula The full implementation of the SPHE and CSPE curricula and the RSE and Stay Safe Programmes. Continuous Professional Development for staff in delivering these programmes. School wide delivery of lessons on bullying from evidence based programmes, e.g. Cool School Lessons, #UP2US, Stay Safe Programme, The Walk Tall Programme, On My Own Two Feet. Prim Ed Series. School wide delivery of lessons on Relational aggression and Cyber, Diversity and Interculturalism, using the resources detailed above. Delivery of the Garda Programmes at primary level. These lessons, delivered by Community Gardaí, cover issues around personal safety and cyber-bullying The school will specifically consider the additional needs of SEN pupils with regard to programme implementation and the development of skills and strategies to enable all pupils to respond appropriately.
Links to other policies The school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to bullying, e.g. Code of Behaviour, Child Safeguarding policy, Supervision of pupils, Acceptable Use policy, Attendance, Sporting activities.

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

Reporting bullying behaviour

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

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

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

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

When an issue is brought to our attention we decide on the best course of action which may include:

  • Teacher interviews with all pupils
  • Negotiating agreements between pupils and following these up by monitoring progress. This can be on an informal basis or implemented through a more structured mediation process
  • Working with parent(s)/guardian(s)s to support school interventions
  • No Blame Approach
  • Circle Time
  • Restorative interviews
  • Restorative conferencing
  • Confidential class survey
  • Peer mediation
  • Strengthening the victim
  • The Support Group Method

Detailed notes must be kept in the INCIDENT BOOK in the office.

The SECTION 5 process can take a considerable length of time –up to 2/3 weeks of discussion, intervention and coping strategies, while highlighting expected behavioural changes.

  1. When an obvious case of bullying has been established the following stages are invoked:

STAGE I

  • The pupil(s) concerned is given a severe warning to stop,
  • A think sheet is issued, which must be signed by a parent, returned the next day and filed in the Incident Book.
  • Pupil is informed that a repetition of this type of behaviour will result in the sanctions moving up to Stage II.

STAGE II

  • The above procedure is repeated. The parents of the pupils concerned are contacted to discuss the issue.
  • Supervised detention(by ISM team) for two days (both breaks) is issued to the pupil/pupils concerned – during which the pupil(s) is required to complete an exercise from the S.P.H.E. Curriculum on Bullying
  • List of Privileges drawn up which may be lost if matters proceed to Stage III.
  • Pupil is informed that a repetition of this type of behaviour will result in the sanctions moving up to Stage III.

STAGE III

If the actions taken and sanctions imposed during STAGES I & II are unsuccessful and the behaviour persists, Stage III sanctions are as follows

  • Three days detention during which the pupil(s) is required to complete an exercise from the S.P.H.E. Curriculum on Bullying.
  • Parents called in and the situation re detention and further loss of privileges explained to them.
  • Withdrawal of privileges.

STAGE IV:

If the problem behaviour persists, SUSPENSION (see DFL stages 6 – 9)

Follow up and recording

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

– Whether the bullying behaviour has ceased;

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

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

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

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

7. The school’s programme of support for working with pupils affected by bullying is as follows

(see Section 6.8.16 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools) :


All in-school supports and opportunities will be provided for the pupils affected by bullying to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop friendships and social skills and build resilience e.g. – Pastoral care – staff are made aware of children who may need support and will informally monitor these children and offer positive reinforcement. – Group work such as circle time
If pupils require counselling or further supports the school will endeavour to liaise with the appropriate agencies to organise same with parental consent. This may be for the pupil affected by bullying or involved in the bullying behaviour.

8. Supervision and Monitoring of Pupils

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

9. Prevention of Harassment

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

10. This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron if requested.

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

Appendix 3

Yellow Furze N.S.

Policy on Suspension & Expulsion 2020

Suspension: BOM considers the following:

  1. Factors to be considered before suspension of a student:
  1. Precise description of behaviour is it persistent and has it escalated?
  2. Context of behaviour: where it occurs (classroom / yard etc.), what triggers the incident (culture / bullying / family or other factors)
  3. Age and cognitive ability of the student.
  4. Impact of behaviour:
  1. Are other students or staff affected by the behaviour?
  2. Is the behaviour impacting on teaching and learning in the class?
  3. Is the behaviour directed towards a particular student or teacher?
  4. Does the student understand the impact of their behaviour?
  5. Interventions tried to date:
  1. DFL rules (involving class teacher and principal)
  2. Record of incidents in yard copy and / or incident book.
  3. Seek advice from NEPS or other professional bodies.
  4. The possible impact of suspension:
  1. Will suspension allow additional or alternative interventions to be made?
  2. Will suspension help the student change the inappropriate behaviour?
  3. How will suspension help teachers or other students affected by the behaviour?
  4. Will suspension exacerbate any educational vulnerability of the student?

Forms of Suspension:

  1. Immediate Suspension: In exceptional circumstances, the Principal may consider an immediate suspension to be necessary where the continued presence of the student in the school at the time would represent a serious threat to the safety of students or staff of the school, or any other person. Fair procedures must still be applied.
  2. Automatic Suspension: A Board of Management may decide, as part of the school’s policy on sanctions, and following the consultation process with the Principal, parents, teachers and students, that particular named behaviours incur suspension as a sanction. However a general decision to impose suspension for named behaviours does not remove the duty to follow due process and fair procedures in each case.

Procedures in respect of suspension:

Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures when proposing to suspend a student. Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant suspension, the school should observe the following procedures.

  • Inform the student and parents

Let the student and their parents know about the complaint, how it will be investigated and that it could result in suspension.

Parents may be informed by phone or in writing, depending on the seriousness of the matter. Informing parents in writing has the benefit of ensuring that there is a formal and permanent record of having let parents know. It also ensures that parents are clear about what their son or daughter is alleged to have done. It serves the important function of underlining to parents the seriousness with which the school views the alleged misbehaviour.

  • Give an opportunity to respond

Parents and student should be given an opportunity to respond before a decision is made and before any sanction is imposed.

A meeting with the student and their parents provides an opportunity for them to give their side of the story and to ask questions about the evidence of serious misbehaviour, especially where there is a dispute about the facts. It may also be an opportunity for parents to make their case for lessening the sanction, and for the school to explore with the parents how best to address the student’s behaviour. If a student and their parents 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 authorities to make a decision to respond to the negative behaviour. The school should record the invitations made to parents and their response.

  • Procedures in relation to immediate suspension

Where an immediate suspension is considered by the Principal to be warranted for reasons of the safety of the student, other students, staff or others, a preliminary investigation should be conducted to establish the case for the imposition of the suspension. The formal investigation should immediately follow the imposition of the suspension. All of the conditions for suspension apply to immediate suspension. No suspension, including an immediate suspension, should be open-ended.

In the case of an immediate suspension, parents must be notified and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected. The school must have regard to its duty of care for the student. In no circumstances should a student be sent home from school without first notifying parents.

  • The period of suspension

A student should not be suspended for more than 3 days, except in exceptional circumstances where the Principal considers that a period of suspension longer than 3 days is needed in order to achieve a particular objective. If a suspension of longer than 3 days is being proposed by the principal, the matter should be referred to the BOM for consideration and approval, giving the circumstances and the expected outcomes.

However, a BOM may wish to authorise the Principal, with the approval of the Chairperson of the Board, to impose a suspension of up to 5 days in circumstances where a meeting of the Board cannot be convened in a timely fashion, subject to the guidance concerning such suspensions.

The BOM should normally place a ceiling of 10 days on any one period of suspension imposed by it.

The BOM should formally review any proposal to suspend a student, where the suspension would bring the number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year to twenty days or more. Any such suspension is subject to appeal under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

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

  • Appeals

Section 29 Appeal:

Where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days, the parents, or a student aged over 18years, may appeal the suspension under Section 20 of the Education Act 1998, as amended by the Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2007.

At the time where parents are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student should be told about their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 and should be given information about how to appeal.

If a student is attending a school under the management of the VEC, the appeal must be made in the first instance to the VEC. Where an appeal to the VEC is concluded, parents, or a student aged over 18years, may appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills.

Implementing the Suspension:

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

  • The period of the suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
  • The reasons for the suspension
  • Any study programme to be followed.
  • The arrangements for returning to school, including any commitments to be entered into by the student and the parents ( for example, parents might be asked to reaffirm their commitment to the code of behaviour)
  • The provision of an appeal to the Board of Management
  • The right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1998, section 29)

The letter should be clear and easy to understand. Particular care should be taken in communication with parents who may have reading difficulties, or whose first language is not the language of the school.

Expulsion:

The authority to expel is reserved for the Board of Management. Expulsion is a sanction which is used only in exceptional circumstances when all other avenues have been exhausted. However, we have a duty of care to all pupils and employees and must, under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005, conduct our business in ways that prevent improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the health, safety and welfare at work of employees or the health and safety of pupils, parents or visitors at risk.

Expulsion must be a proportionate response to the student’s behaviour and the following steps should be undertaken to address misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion:

  1. Meeting with parents and pupils to try to help change the behaviour.
  2. Ensuring that the parents and pupils understand the possible consequences of the behaviour.
  3. Exhausting all other possible options.
  4. Seeking the help of support agencies (NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service), HSE (Health Service Executive), NCSE (National Council for Special Education) and NBSS (National Behaviour Support Service)

Grounds for Expulsion:

  1. The pupil’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or the teaching process.
  2. The pupil’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to pupil safety.
  3. The pupil is responsible for serious damage to property.

Difference between Suspension and Expulsion:

While the grounds may be similar there would be additional factors:

  1. The degree, seriousness and persistence of the behaviour.
  2. Where expulsion is considered a series of interventions should have been tried by the school.
  3. All possibilities of changing the pupil’s behaviour should have been exhausted.

Expulsion for a first offence:

A BoM can impose automatic expulsion for certain prescribed behaviours or in exceptional cases for a first offence. These behaviours may include, according to the National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB)

1) Sexual assault

2) Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school

3) Actual violence or physical attack

4) Serious threat of violence against another pupil or member of staff.

Procedures in respect of Suspension / Expulsion:

  1. Detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the Principal
  2. Recommendations by the Principal to the BoM
  3. BoM considers Principal’s recommendations and holds hearing.
  4. BoM deliberates and proposes action following the hearing.
  5. Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer.
  6. Confirmation of the decision to expel.

Updated May 2020

School has a duty to respond to Daily Incidents of Negative Behaviour.