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Code of Behaviour

The Board of  Management and Staff of Abbey Community College / Coláiste na Mainistreach would like each student to be happy at school and to benefit fully from his / her post primary education.  School rules are intended to protect the values we seek to uphold.  Each pupil can make a positive contribution towards building up the caring atmosphere in our school by observing those rules.

      It is expected that every student passing through our care will develop responsible attitudes 
      and respect for self and others.  This requires careful and continuous guidance from home and
      school.   We in Abbey Community College / Coláiste na Mainistreach will take every
         opportunity to provide each student with a set of values which will embrace respect and


·         To promote a sense of community within the school.
·          To develop highly motivated, responsible, mature, independent and self
       disciplined  young people.
·          To create an orderly environment conducive to teaching and learning.
·         To conform to the statutory obligation in Section 23 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000
       which obliges recognised schools to prepare, for the information of students and their
       parents / guardians, a Code of Behaviour in respect of students registered at the school.
·         To inform students and their parents / guardians of the procedures used by the school to
       address issues of discipline in the school, to define standards of behaviour for students,
       to inform students and their parents / guardians of the measures that the school may take
       to address student misbehaviour, to inform students and parents / guardians of school
       procedures that will be followed before a student is suspended or expelled, to explain
       the grounds on which a suspension imposed on a student may be lifted and to
       inform  parents / guardians of their legal responsibilities relating to occasions when their
       child is absent from school.
·        To ensure the safety of all members of the school community both on the school premises
       and on school activities.
·        To help students to acquire good habits of discipline and behaviour.
         Guiding Principles
            Respect must be shown at all times.  Every pupil has a right to an education which suits
            his /her needs and abilities and encourages each student to develop his / her full potential. 
            Everyone has corresponding responsibilities to ensure that the rights of others are upheld at all
            times.  Admission to Abbey Community College / Coláiste na Mainistreach implies acceptance of
            its rules.  Each student and parent / guardian will be required to sign a declaration
                            (a)       the Code of Behaviour is acceptable to them
                            (b)       that they will make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance with the
                                       Code of Behaviour.


        i)   Endeavour to generate a spirit of excellence in the School in academic
             spiritual, social and physical aspects of education.
       ii)   To help each student to fully develop their talents and to achieve the
             highest standards in work and behaviour
     iii)    To recognise good work and behaviour and to seek modification of
             behaviour which disadvantages other students or interferes with their learing       
     iv)    To cultivate a sense of pride in the School through good example, professional standards
             and recognition and reward for students contribution to life in the School
     v)     To promote close co-operation with parents / guardians for the benefit of each
             student’s education. 


i)          To show by example that they support the school in setting the highest
            standards in all it tries to do.
ii)         To make sure that students come to school regularly, on time, suitably
            presented, appropriately dressed and ready to work.
iii)        To take an active and supportive interest in their son’s / daughter’s work
            and progress.
iv)        To show support for the authority of and discipline within the School, by
            helping their son’s / daughter’s to achieve maturity, self-discipline and self-
v)         To support the School in whatever way they can in all its endeavours to
            promote and improve the education of their son(s) / daughter(s).


i)          To aim at the highest standards of academic achievement, commensurate
            with his / her ability and to contribute positively to all aspects of life in the
ii)         To attend school on time, with the required equipment,  well prepared,
            suitably presented, appropriately dressed, ready to learn and to take a
            positive and active part in all aspects of school life.
iii)        To ensure that, in regard to other student, their behaviour never
            disadvantages or interferes with their rights to learn and participate in
            school life.
iv)        To co-operate with all staff and to accept the authority and rule of the
v)         To take into consideration and have respect for themselves and the
            feelings and the property of all in the school community.


The positive behaviour of students will be recognised and rewarded in the school.  The great majority of students demonstrate by their behaviour a sense of pride in themselves and a sense of community with all others in the school by upholding their responsibilities as students of Abbey Community College.  This is a source of considerable satisfaction both to parents / guardians and to the school.


In order for students to participate fully in the learning process within the classroom it is the Policy of this school that teachers use Rewards Systems.

In our school teachers may use the following methods to reward students for upholding the Code of Conduct:-

·         Verbal praise to student either in class or privately

·         Positive comment to class tutor / year head.

·         Positive note home to parents / guardians in homework journal

·         Lunch time reward

·         Display of students work

·         Leadership roles given to student

·         Subsidised extra curricular activities


The following are some examples of misbehaviour considered unacceptable on school premises or on school related activities elsewhere and the sanctions that may apply.

This list is not exhaustive either as to types or degree of misbehaviour listed or as to the sanctions which will apply.

                        8.1.      MISBEHAVIOUR

                                    a)  not bringing the books, homework for clas
                                    b)  homework or class work unsatisfactory                               
                                    c)  talking, eating, inattentive in class
                                    d)  possession or use of solvents (e.g. tippex)
                                    e)  late without a note from home
                                     f)  littering the School 

8.2.       SANCTIONS   

These instances may be dealt with by the Subject Teacher who may

·         correct the student
·         impose repeat work or extra work
·         withdraw privilege
·         set penalty sheet
·         write a note in the Journal
·         detain at morning break
·         call in parents / guardians
·         detain at lunchtime with note to parents / guardians  in advance
·         refer to Year Head
                                    The Year Head main role is positive support and encouragement but when dealing
                                    with a misbehaviour, may further 
     (a)   impose a report car
     (b)   impose a detention with notice to parents / guardians 
     (c)   impose a second or double detention with notice to parents / guardians
     (d)     refer to Deputy Principal.

·         Failure to obey reasonable instruction from school personnel
·         Smoking
·         Insolence
·         Bad language
·         Missing classe
 ·     Firing projectiles
  • Continuous non co-operation with staff
  • Deliberate graffiti / misuse / destruction of property of the College or Staff
  • Truancy, stealing, bullying, intimidation
  • Physical or verbal abuse of students / staff in or out of school
  • Assault
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour
  • Possession of inappropriate sexual or violent material
  • Possession, consumption of alcohol
  • Inappropriate use of any electric device in the school or on school related activities
  • Possession, trafficking or use of proscribed drugs or illegal substances
  • These instances may be dealt with by Year Head 


                     The procedures the school may/will use for responding to breaches of the school rules will

                      include some or all of the following

9.1.      Reasoning with the pupil

9.2.      Reprimand / warning by the teacher with advice on how to improve

9.3.      Relocation in class.

9.4.      Note in student’s Journal to be signed by Parents /Guardians.

9.5       Detention during Breaks / Lunchtime

9.6.      Prescribing additional work

        (a)         Teacher may make complaint on D1 Student Behaviour Form

        (b)         Three complaints on D1 sheet filled by the teacher warrants a D2 sheet
                     which is passed to the Year Head. Parents/guardians will be informed.        

        (c)         Student may be placed on report by Year Head/Deputy  Principal/Principal.

        (d)         The Year Head may refer the complaint to the Deputy Principal
                     or Principal.    A formal meeting may be arranged and communication may
                     be made with parents or guardians.
        (e)        Major breaches are recorded immediately on D2 sheet and passed to
                    Principal/Deputy Principal.
        (f)         Referral to Pastoral Care Team (year heads, designated staff members
                    Chaplain, Guidance Counsellor)
       (g)         Loss of privileges e.g. permission to leave school grounds for lunch
                    or  representing the school in competitions/extra curricula
       (h)         Temporary withdrawal from class with appropriate
                    work assigned  and communication with parents/guardians
        (i)         After school detention (with advance notice sent to parents/guardians)

                    (j)         Temporary suspension
        (k)         Expulsion 
        Parents/guardians may appeal to the Board of Management a decision to suspend or
        expel a student.
                        The Policy may be added to, taken from or otherwise amended at short notice to respond
                        to unanticipated events, and if so the changes will be notified to students and
                        parents /guardians in writing as soon as possible.


No two disciplinary situations are ever precisely the same.  The personalities, circumstances and particular needs of students, teachers and others will vary together with the particular conditions in which breaches of discipline may occur.  It is essential therefore that the Board of Management and the Principal retain the flexibility to judge each case as it arises.


Suspension and Expulsion are the penultimate and ultimate sanctions available to a Board of Management in dealing with disciplinary issues which arise in a school.

11.1.    Suspension

      There are two forms of Suspension

(a)   the withdrawal of permission from a pupil to attend school for a specified period of time or pending the completion of a particular event or instruction.

(b)    Suspension from some or every activity but the student is in school. Withdrawal from a particular class or subject for a period of time is a legitimate sanction which may be used in some circumstances. 

      11.2.   Period of Suspension

                The Principal of the school is obliged under the Education (Welfare)
                Act,  Section  21, to inform the Educational Welfare Officer in writing if a pupil is
                suspended for six days or more or it the pupil is absent for an aggregate of
                twenty days in the school year.  All suspensions will be reported to the Board
                of Management for noting and review.              

     11.3.   Suspension as a Sanction

   The authority to suspend a pupil rests with the Principal of the school subject to       the right of the parents / guardians (or of a pupil who is over eighteen years)
    to appeal to the Board of Management. 

    Suspension is a serious sanction and will only be imposed where other efforts to     resolve a disciplinary situation have failed or where the nature of the incident        dictates that the student be removed from the school immediately. 

    Circumstances in which suspension might be considered could include:- 

    11.3.1.      Repeated incidents of indiscipline in spite of warnings
                    and counselling by staff.

    11.3.2.      Failure to recognise and submit to legitimate authority.

    11.3.3.      Behaviour which is considered to interfere with the right to learn of
                    other students.
    11.3.4.      Particularly serious incidents which endanger the welfare of the
                    student or of others. 

These are examples for information purposes and the circumstances are not restricted to these instances. 

Contemporaneous notes will be kept of all incidents or events which might be called upon to support a decision to suspend.

11.4.   Suspension Procedure

11.4.1.     Parents/Guardians will be informed, in writing, of the reason for the
               suspension, the period of suspension and the requirements which must
               be fulfilled to gain reinstatement. 
11.4.2.     Parents/Guardians will be informed of their right to appeal the decision
               to suspend and the procedure to be followed in making such an
11.4.3.     Pupils will not be dismissed from school unless and until arrangements
               are made for their safe return to the care of their families.
11.4.4.      Records will be kept of all meetings and/or telephone calls in
                connection with the suspension.
11.4.5       Upon completion of a suspension, the following proceduresmay apply
                for the formal re-introduction of the pupil into the school.  
  • Parents / Guardians  may be requested to attend with the pupil   upon their return to school.
  • A written apology may be required from the pupil co-signed by parent /guardian.
  • The pupil may be required to enter into a contract of good behaviour and signed by the parent / guardian or other conditions that may be specified before returning to school.

11.5.   Expulsion

Expulsion is the most severe sanction of the school’s disciplinary procedures against a student.  It will only be imposed for very serious breaches of school rules or in cases where the rights of a greater number of students are being denied because of the continual disruptive behaviour of an individual.
If the Principal is going to recommend to the Board that a student should be expelled, the student will first be suspended by the Principal.  During the suspension period the parents / guardians can make a case on behalf of their child to the Board of Management.  It is the decision of the Board to impose the expulsion. 
Each step in the process will be conducted in the presence of a witness and contemporaneous notes will be kept.  The following steps will be followed. 
a)        The case against the student will be put to her/him and s/he will be
           given  an opportunity to respond.  The parents/guardians will be informed
           of the grounds upon which expulsion is being considered, and the nature
           of evidence being relied upon. 
b)        The parents/guardians will also be provided with an fair opportunity to
           consider the evidence and to offer evidence in rebuttal.
                                     c)        Having considered all aspects of the case, if the Principal decides
                                                to  recommend to the Board of Management that the student be expelled,
                                                s/he will inform the student’s parents/guardians in writing of the decision,
                                                the reason/s for it and of their right to make representations to the Board of
                                    `           Management on behalf of the student.  In the interest of the student,
                                                parents/guardians will be required to give notice to the Secretary of the
                                                Board of Management of their intention to make such representations no
                                                later than a specified date to enable an early hearing by the Board of
                                    d)        The parents/guardians are entitled to seek access to the student’s file and
                                                to documentation relevant to the expulsion save for any part of same that
                                                infringes the right of privacy of another or other students or is privileged.
                                    e)         Arrangements will be made at the earliest possible date for a
                                                joint meeting of the Board of Management with the Principal and the
                                                parents/guardians.   No  information which had not previously been made
                                                known to the parents/guardians will be introduced at this meeting.  The
                                                student may need to stand suspended from school pending the decision of
                                                the Board of Management.
                                    f)          When the Board of Management has heard all the evidence, the    
                                                parents/guardians  and the Principal will withdraw to allow the Board to
                                                consider the case.   Even though the Principal is Secretary to the Board,
                                                s/he will not be party to the consideration of the case as s/he is an involved
                                                party.  Further the Board will ensure that any member of the Board who
                                                might have a conflicting interest will be excused and not participate in the
                                    g)                  To ensure its independence as the final authority in the case, the Board of
                                                Management will not be involved in the process leading to the decision of
                                                the Principal to recommend the expulsion of the student.
                                    h)         If the recommendation of the Principal is rejected, it is a matter for
                                                the Board to decide on what conditions, if any, the student will be allowed
                                                back to school.
                                    i)          If the recommendation of the Principal is approved the parents/guardians  
                                                or, (in the case of a student over eighteen years) the student will be
                                                informed of their right to appeal the decision to the Chief Executive Officer,
                                                County Roscommon Vocational Education Committee, Lanesboro Street,
                                                Roscommon and subsequently, if necessary, to The Secretary General of
                                                the Department of Education and Science under Section 29 of the
                                                Education Act 1998.
                                    k)         Where a Board of Management has taken the decision to expel a student,  
                                                the designated Educational Welfare Officer will be informed of its opinion
                                                and the reason therefore.  A student shall not be considered expelled
                                                before the passing of twenty school days from the receipt of
                                                such notification by the Educational Welfare Officer.  The student will
                                                remain suspended for the twenty days until the Expulsion Order
                                                takes  effect.
    Protocol and Procedure for excluding a Student from School by a Board  of Management Section 24          Subsection C Education Welfare Act and Section 29 Education Act
   A decision by the Board of Management to expel a student will be communicated by the Secretary to       the parents or guardians by registered post as soon as possible after it has been taken.  At the
   same time the decision will be communicated to the Educational Welfare Officer.  The expulsion will
   take effect once twenty school days have passed after the Education Welfare Officer has received this
   notice,  pursuant to the provisions of Section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.  Parents /
   guardians will be notified in writing of the precise date.









Form D1







STUDENT:   ……………………………………………        CLASS: ………...

TEACHER:  ……………………………………………



Details of Incident

Action taken by Teacher


























Teacher Signature : ……………………………….                Date: …………….





Form D2







STUDENT:  _________________     TEACHER:___________________

CLASS:       ____________                      DATE: ______________




Further Action (if appropriate) ____________________________________________________________