Code of Behaviour

St. Raphael’s Code of Behaviour

This policy was formulated over a number of meetings during 2005/06. Meetings included whole staff. A sub group from the staff then addressed aspects of policy which were then discussed, amended and agreed by the whole staff. BOM reviewed the draft policy and it was agreed. Parents on the BOM were consulted in relation to the policy.

This policy was reviewed and amended during 2007 following the publication of the Draft Guidelines of Educational Welfare Board. It was revised in 2017 and again in 2019 


It was decided to review the code as existing policy was due for amendment in the light of new guidelines and procedures. Anti-Bullying policy had been formulated which had implications for Code of Behaviour.

This policy supports the Dominican ethos of St. Raphael’s which emphasises the importance of developing the full potential of each child in our care in a Christian atmosphere of cooperation and teamwork. Values of justice, truth and fairness underpin this policy.


  • To create a safe, positive, secure and happy learning environment for children.
  • To create an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and consideration for others.
  • To promote positive behaviour and self-discipline recognising the differences between children and the need to accommodate these differences.
  • To ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the school community.
  • A strong sense of community and cooperation is required from staff, pupils and parents to implement the code of behaviour .We recognise the differences in children and seek to accommodate individual special needs where appropriate. Children are expected to be respectful of themselves and others.

Close cooperation with parents is essential. Teachers will inform parents about problems with children’s behaviour before a serious situation arises.

Emphasis is placed on positive behaviour at all times (Anti Bullying policy) and is reinforced through the SPHE programme and the methodologies employed. Rewards systems promoting and acknowledging positive behaviour are in place including: Class Dojo, golden time, circle time, sparkling moments diary, cooperative games, Best lines, membership of Green Scene, Active Schools, Student Council, Student of the week all support positive behaviour. Student of the week criteria are as follows:

  • Full attendance
  • Extra effort
  • Homework done
  • Punctuality
  • Uniform
  • Good behaviour/ cooperation

Relationships between parents and teachers

A positive relationship between parents and teachers is essential to the development of a safe, secure and happy learning environment. Teachers and parents working together will ensure a positive outcome when difficulties arise.  HSCL teachers have a positive role in fostering a positive home/ school relationship.

Teachers are available to meet with parents to discuss any concerns they may have.  Appointments need to be made in advance to allow adequate time for discussion and progress towards resolution.

Relationships between students and teachers and between students and SNAs

The quality of relationships between teachers and students is one of the most powerful influences on student behaviour.  For many students, their teachers are a major source of support, adult empathy and pastoral care and are hugely significant figure in their lives.

As adults and professionals, teachers have a strong capacity to develop good relationships with students and a greater responsibility for the relationship. Mutually respectful relationships balance warmth and empathy with objectivity, professional detachment, fairness and consistency.

School Rules (as in school journal)

  • Children are expected to respect themselves and others. They must be considerate of all and behave well at all times.
  • Do as requested without argument.
  • Show respect in words and actions to all adults and children and respect the school and other people’s belongings and property.
  • Be in school on time, 50 am
  • Come to school prepared.
  • Wear the correct uniform. Children wear the school tracksuit for PE days. Flat shoes or runners must be worn. Stud earrings are allowed. Rings are discouraged as they are a safety hazard.  In the interest of your child’s safety we request that children don’t wear raised rings.  No other facial jewellery is allowed.
  • Bring school books, pens, pencils rubbers, copies etc.
  • Children are not allowed mobile phones during the school day. If children bring mobile phones to school they must give them to the teacher and the phone will be returned at the end of the school day.

“Kind words, kind feet, kind hands.”

This will be signed by student and parent in the journal in September and checked by class teacher.  Class teachers will go through all school rules as part of their first SPHE lesson in September. 

Rules for yard

  • Children are considerate and kind to others.
  • Children are encouraged to play with their own class to encourage friendships to develop.
  • Children play safely in their own yard / Junior Yard for Junior and Senior Infants and 1st classes/ Senior yard for classes from 3rd to 6th and 2nd classes have their own section of yard. They do not enter the other yards.
  • Children are allowed play with PE equipment as organised by the active schools committee and in accordance with school policies.
  • Children line up when the bell rings and walk in an orderly fashion into their classrooms.

Mobile Phone Policy – See Phone Policy Attached

No child is allowed to use a mobile phone during school time. 

Phones (switched off) must be handed up to the teacher at the beginning of the school day.

Phones will be returned at the end of the school day.

Any child in possession of a mobile phone will have it confiscated.

This will only be returned when a parent/ guardian comes to collect it.

Sanctions will apply.

Incidents involving mobile phones in school will be investigated and followed up appropriately.

Incidents involving mobile phones and social networking sites occurring outside school (reported to the school ) will be reported to the appropriate parents/guardians.  The school will recommend appropriate follow up, in line with mobile phone policy and social media policy.

Managing Challenging Behaviour

Inappropriate behaviour denies children the right to a safe and secure learning environment. Staff too are denies due respect as well as the right to work in a positive environment.  Every effort will be made to ensure consistency and fairness when dealing with inappropriate behaviour.

The management of challenging behaviour links in with the Anti Bullying policy.

Unacceptable behaviour, which can be described as repetitive behaviour in the following categories

  • Aggressive behaviour, which can include pushing, punching, kicking, biting, scratching and threatening behaviour.
  • Disruptive behaviour which can include screaming, tantrums, verbal abuse, non cooperation, running away
  • Destructive behaviour which can include destruction of property and the environment
  • Withdrawn behaviour which can include failure to respond, or avoidance of people and activities
  • Self injurious behaviour, including head banging, scratching and poking

This list is not exhaustive.

Most of the children will respond to positive reinforcement.

Strategies for dealing with the minority children who do not respond to the aforementioned are as follows

  • Reasoning with the child
  • Temporary separation from peers in class
  • Removal to another classroom.
  • Loss of privileges e.g. stars, expulsion from golden time, loss of place on school tour/ musical
  • Behaviour management plan: this may be devised by the class teacher, resource teacher and parent.
  • Where appropriate advice and support will be sought from external agencies: NEPS, Cherry Orchard Child and Family clinic, CAHMS, SCP, ISPCC, Barnardo’s, EWO
  • Supervised time out- takes place at lunch time at teacher’s discretion in conjunction with Principal or Deputy Principal
  • Prescribing additional work
  • Referral to Deputy Principal/ Principal
  • Teachers will follow the continuum of support guidelines NEPS

In the vast majority of cases the sanctions above will be appropriate.  However some serious incidents of unacceptable behaviour such as leaving the school grounds without permission may require an emergency response such as notifying the Gardaí.  Gross or continuous inappropriate behaviour may result in suspension or expulsion. See below.

Communication with parents to address problems.

The teacher contacts the parent before problems escalate. This relationship happens initially with the classroom teacher as outlined in the anti bullying policy.

Involvement of the principal/ deputy principal or other named teacher may be necessary.

Methods of recording breaches of behaviour

Teacher incident book

Yard incident sheets

Report of Bullying incident



  1. Suspension is defined as requiring the pupil to absent him/herself from the school for a specific limited period of time. During the period of suspension, the pupil will retain his/her place in the school.
  2. The principal/ BOM may consider and carry out suspension for serious incidents of misbehaviour such as aggressive, violent or threatening behaviour towards teachers, SNAs or pupils; bullying pupils, supply or use of illegal drugs; stealing; persistently disruptive behaviour; repeated instances of misbehaviour; assault of a staff member; leaving the school without permission from a senior staff member. This list is not exhaustive and other serious misbehaviour may result in a suspension. Parents may appeal a decision to suspend a pupil.
  3. The BOM has authorised the principal/ deputy principal to exclude a pupil from the school for a maximum of 3 days. This may be as a result of continuously disruptive behaviour or a single serious breach of discipline as outlined above.
  4. When suspension is being considered the parents will be invited to the school to discuss the misbehaviour with the principal/ deputy principal and the class teacher.
  5. Immediate suspension may be imposed when preliminary investigations are carried out and if 1. The continued presence of the pupil would represent a serious threat to the safety of students and staff, 2. A pupil leaves the school grounds without the permission of a senior member of staff, 3. A member of staff is assaulted. In the case of immediate suspension the pupil will be supervised by the principal or deputy principal and the parents will be called to collect him/her.  The parents will be given a letter outlining the reasons, duration etc.
  6. On returning to the school a plan will be developed to help the pupil to take responsibility for worked missed. A member of staff will be appointed to support the pupil in settling back in and the pupil will be given every chance for a fresh start.
  7. A student should not be suspended for more than 3 days except in exceptional circumstances where the principal considers that a period longer than 3 days is needed in order to achieve a particular objective.

The BOM of St. Raphael’s NS has authorised the principal/acting principal with the approval of the chairperson to impose a suspension of up to 5 days in circumstances where the board cannot be convened in a timely fashion.  A maximum of 10 days has been agreed for any one period of suspension.

  1. Where the principal is proposing suspensions for longer than 5 days or proposing subsequent suspensions for the same pupil the matter will be referred to the BOM.  The BOM will act in accordance with the NEWB guidelines for schools.

Records and reports

Formal written records should be kept of

  • The investigation /notes of all interviews held
  • The decision making process
  • The decision and rationale for the decision
  • The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension

Report to the BOM

The principal should report all suspensions to BOM with the reasons, duration etc

Report to the NEWB

The principal is required to report suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines.

Review of use of suspensions

The BOM should 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 school and to ensure that use of suspension is appropriate and effective.


A pupil is expelled from our school when the BOM makes a decision to permanently exclude him/her from the school having complied with the provisions of section 26 of the Ed. Welfare Act 2000.  The authority to expel a pupil rests with the BOM.  Expulsion may happen after the school authorities have tried a series of other interventions and believe that they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the pupil’s behaviour.  Expulsions will be a proportionate response to the student’s behaviour and require serious grounds such as:

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

(This list is not exhaustive.)

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

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

Procedures in respect of expulsion

St. Raphael’s school is committed to following fair procedures as well as procedures under the Ed. Welfare Act 2000 when proposing to expel a student.  Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal
  • A recommendation to the BOM by the principal
  • Consideration by the BOM of the principal’s recommendation and the holding of a hearing
  • Consultations arranged by the EWO
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel

These procedures assume that the BOM is the decision making body in relation to expulsions.


A parent may appeal a decision to expel a pupil to the Secretary General of the DES (Education Act 1998 section 29 ).  The BOM will act in accordance with the NEWB guidelines for schools.

Success Criteria

Positive feedback from teachers

Observation of behaviour in class rooms, corridors, yard.

Roles and Responsibilities

Class teachers have particular responsibility as outlined in policy.

Special Needs Assistants

Deputy and Principal have responsibility as outlined.


There will be an annual review and on going implementation and review with particular responsibility delegated to Deputy Principal.


Managing challenging behaviour in classroom and yard.

The following procedure was agreed at the staff meeting in October 2007. 

The following is to be used in conjunction with St. Raphael’s Anti-Bullying Policy and Code of Discipline

The following types of behaviour are considered to be unacceptable in St.

Raphael’s .

  1. Deliberately hurting and causing injury to another child
  2. Using bad language to a teacher or staff member
  3. Continually disrupting class and/or spoiling playtime for other children
  4. Disrespectful and insolent behaviour to teacher in class/yard
  5. Unsafe and dangerous play
  6. Continually engaging in bullying behaviour
  7. Refusal to obey an instruction by teacher in class/yard*


Refusal to obey an instruction

Example A

A teacher calls child over in yard to explain an incident that has occurred.

Example B

A teacher asks a child to leave the classroom to explain an incident.  Teacher asks child to explain the incident.

     If child refuses to respond the teacher repeats her request for the child to explain the incident

  If child refuses to obey an instruction the second time the class teacher may at this point inform the principal/Deputy Principal. of the situation and together they will decide what form of action is warranted.

Procedure for detention once agreed by teacher and principal/Deputy Principal

    Class teacher sends a note home to parents to explain to them why their child will be doing detention the following day. This note is to be signed by the parents.

    If the situation arises whereby an incident has occurred early on in the day and warrants a child doing detention on the particular day in question a modified version of Appendix 8 will be sent to parents to sign explaining why their child did a detention on that day.

     A phone call may be made to parents to inform them that a note is being sent home. This will be at the teacher’s discretion.

     Detention will only take place in extreme circumstances and as agreed by staff , the normal course of action will be for child to be excluded from their own designated  yard area and walk with a teacher on another yard for the duration.

     Ratified by the BOM on ___________________


      Chairperson BOM