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Code of Behaviour


Admission of students into St. Joseph’s Secondary School is dependent on their adherence to and acceptance of this Code of Behaviour.
The Admissions Policy to St. Joseph’s Secondary School demands that this Code of Behaviour be signed before a place can be offered to any student seeking admission to St. Joseph’s Secondary School.

The Purpose of this Document

This document has been prepared by the Board of Management of St. Joseph’s Secondary School  in collaboration with the Parents, Teachers and Students of St. Joseph’s Secondary School and takes due cognizance of the Education Act 1998 the Education Act 2000, and circular M33/91 from Department of Education and Science. Its purpose is to outline the roles and responsibilities of The Board of Management, teachers, parents and students of St. Joseph’s Secondary School in relation to maintaining an environment in the school that is conducive to and supportive of teaching and learning and that allows the experience of school to be enjoyed by all.
The management and staff of St. Joseph’s Secondary School are happy to acknowledge the pride it takes from our student body the vast majority of whom are courteous and well behaved and who contribute positively to the school by their presence in St. Joseph’s Secondary School.

  • To create an environment that is safe, ordered happy and promotes the educational aims of the school
  • To engender respect for and courtesy for all.
  • To ensure that all members of the school community are treated fairly and equitably.
  • To enable the students to develop an enhanced sense of personal responsibility
  • To establish the standards of behaviour to be observed by each student attending the school.
  • To eliminate all forms of bullying
  • To foster a proper understanding and practice of rules of safety, etiquette, health, courtesy, good conduct and acceptable social behaviour.
  • To establish the measures to be taken when a student fails or refuses to observe those standards.

The Management and staff of St. Joseph’s Secondary School work in partnership with students and parents or guardians to create an environment that encourages students to achieve to their full potential and enjoy their time in school. Regular contact is maintained between teachers, students and the home in order to appraise the student and his or her parent or guardian of issues that may arise and of their progress generally.

Responsibilities of the Student

The primary responsibility for behaviour and adherence to good practice in relation to study, homework and classroom interaction rests with the student. All of the students in St. Joseph’s Secondary School are expected to respect the rights of their teachers, school staff, fellow students and visitors to the school and to treat all of the people associated with the school with courtesy and consideration.
Every student in St. Joseph’s Secondary School is expected to:

  • Allow the teacher to teach and fellow students to be taught
  • Do all of the work assigned to them to the highest standard possible
  • Be fully prepared for class
  • Comply with the school’s Uniform.
  • Attend regularly and punctually in accordance with the school’s Attendance Policy
  • To move without delay from class to class, in good order and in the appropriate direction.
  • Obey the safety rules and class rules as specified.
  • Comply with the school’s mobile phone policy.
  • Respect the school’s property and the property of others.
  • We are proud of our school; please keep it clean, do not litter or deface the school in any way.
  • Treat other’s property as you would treat your own. Do not interfere in any way with the property or belongings of students, teachers and school staff.
  • Attend all of their scheduled classes during the course of the school day.
  • Remain in school during their scheduled school time unless given permission by a Class Teacher, Year Head, Deputy Principal or Principal to leave. Book must be signed in and out at the secretary’s office.
  • Behave in an appropriate and respectful manner on school outings
  • Refrain from bullying or fighting in school, going to or coming from school or while in school uniform.
  • Comply with the school’s Substance Abuse Policy.
  • Electronic Musical devices can only be used during lunch hour.
  • To be respectful and courteous to any members of staff they may meet outside of school hours.

Failure to comply with the above will be dealt with according to the school’s disciplinary procedures.

Discipline Procedures

This schedule of sanctions aims to support the provision of education to each student of St. Joseph’s Secondary School in an environment that is free of disruption that is safe and allows teaching and learning to proceed in an orderly manner.
Through our Code of Behaviour we seek to foster the values of self-discipline, mutual respect and a sense of social responsibility in all our students.
Discipline in the school is administered after consultation.

Minor breaches of discipline

(are dealt with by the Subject Teacher)

  • not paying attention in class
  • not doing the required homework
  • not having the required books and equipment
  • talking in class which is of a disruptive nature
  • failure to attend class on time
  • use of a mobile phone in class time
  • use of chewing gum on the school premises
  • discrepancies in school uniform
  • use of a camera phone
  • use of all other electronic devices in class (e.g.: I-pods, MP3 players etc.)

Where a pupil is found using a mobile phone, the phone will be confiscated until a parent/guardian comes to collect it at the end of the school day in question or thereafter. (Note: If the camera phone is being used to take an image of /record a member of staff or another student, this will be considered to be a serious breach of discipline).

Minor breaches of discipline will result in the Pupil’s name, the breach of discipline involved and the date of same being recorded in an Incident Sheet, with the approval of the Year Head. After four Incident Sheets the Pupil will be detained for specific periods after school hours.  A second detention will be imposed after a further four Incident Sheets.  At this stage the Parents/Guardians will be invited to the school to meet the Year Head. They will be advised of the consequences if the student’s behaviour does not improve.
The student will then be put On Report for two weeks, during which time he/she will be suspended from all extra-curricular activities/trips, and privileges may be withdrawn.

If the behaviour is still such that teaching and learning is being hindered, the student will be isolated from the class and placed in a separate classroom, an Isolation Unit where s(he) will work under the supervision of a member of staff on a day-to-day basis, until s(he) is ready to return to class and behave in an acceptable manner.

Should the breaches of discipline continue, the Pupil’s name and a summary of the incident will be recorded again and on the third incident the Year Head will contact the Student’s Parents/Guardians once again and advise them that the Student may be suspended if there are any further incidents.
If there are further incidents or if matters have not improved and if the situation remains unresolved the Discipline Committee will meet the student and his or her parents or guardians will be asked to attend the meeting. The student will be suspended until such time as the meeting can be convened. The Discipline Committee will consist of a minimum of three of the following: Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Head, Guidance Counsellor and Class Teacher.

All students reporting late in the morning or afternoon will be noted at the office. Two late entries will constitute one entry in the Detention Book.

Serious breaches of discipline

(will result in suspension of the student!)

  • showing disrespect for a member of Staff
  • wilfully harming another student or bullying him/her
  • wilfully harming property
  • gross misbehaviour at any time
  • use, sale or possession of alcohol, cigarettes or drugs
  • continuous disregard of other school rules
  • leaving the school in school time without internal authorisation and written permission from home
  • failure to report for detention without a written approved reason

First suspensions will normally be of three days duration.
When a second suspension is warranted the duration of that suspension may be five days. Further warranted suspensions will be referred to the Board of Management.

Where a Student is in serious breach of discipline, the following procedures shall apply:

  • The Pupil shall be informed of the complaint and the Parents/Guardians of the Student shall be contacted immediately and invited to make oral or written representation in relation to the complaint
  • The Principal Teacher or his nominee and/or Year Head, in consultation with the Discipline Committee shall, in the light of the complaint made and the representations made by the Student and the Parents/Guardians arrive at a decision which shall be communicated to the Parents/Guardians at the earliest opportunity.
  • Parents are encouraged to avail of the opportunity of making representations, written and/or oral, and meeting with the Principal or his nominee and/or Year Head as ignoring the complaint will inevitably result in suspension.

The Principal may make a recommendation to the Board of Management immediately if an incident of a very serious nature occurs. This includes situations where a student abuses/endangers a member of staff, a fellow student, a visitor to the school or a member of the public either verbally or physically. This also applies in the case of substance abuse.

The Board of Discipline may recommend to the Board of Management that a Student be expelled for gross misconduct and/or for showing repeated disregard of the school rules.  The Board of Management shall consider the matters contained in the Discipline Book, the reports from the Teachers involved, together with the report of the Principal Teacher and shall notify in writing the Parents/Guardians of the Pupil of the complaint made against the Pupil and the recommendation, if any, of the Principal on the matter.

In the event that a student is suspended or expelled, it is the policy of St. Joseph’s Secondary School to inform parents or guardians of their rights of appeal under the Education Act 1998 and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

The Parent/guardian will have the right to make representations to the Board of Management in support of the student. (A student over 18 years of age may make representations on his/her own behalf).

The Board shall advise the Parents/Guardians and the Pupil concerned of the date and the time of the meeting at which the matter of the complaint and possible expulsion of the Student will be considered.

The Board shall invite the Parents/Guardians and the Pupil to make written representations to the Board in advance of the meeting and shall further invite the Parents/Guardians and the Pupil to attend at the meeting to make such oral representations as they may wish to make on the matter.  The Board may, at the request of the Parents/Guardians, postpone the meeting for such period as the Board may decide.  Following consideration by the Board of all the relevant circumstances, including the nature of the complaint, the oral evidence and submissions, oral and written, on behalf of the Student, the Board shall decide whether or not the Pupil shall be expelled.  Where the Board decides to expel a Pupil, it shall convey its decision, in writing, to the Parents/Guardian without undue delay.

(to be reviewed in May 2012)


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