Code of Behaviour

Code of Behaviour – St Finbarr’s Boys National School

The Aims of a code of behaviour are:-

  1. To help to create a positive learning environment in which every pupil can benefit from school
  2. To help pupils to become more self-disciplined and to encourage good standards of behaviour
  3. To help organise a large group so that school can operate smoothly for everyone benefit.
  4. To care in a practical way for pupils, staff, the school and create a safe environment for all.

Parents are required to sign up to the Code of Behaviour of the school. They are asked to agree to it on the school enrolment form. Failure to agree to the Code may exclude enrolment of child to the school. Referral will be made to the Board so clarification of reason for refusal to sign may be discussed at Board level and a decision will then be made by the Board and communicated to the parent..


The pupils are expected to behave in a responsible manner both to themselves and others, showing consideration, courtesy and respect for other pupils and adults at all times.

  • Respect must be shown to the person of the individual at all times
  • Respect must be shown for the property of the individual and of the school at all times.

The Code of Behaviour covers the following areas:-

  1. Behaviour in Class
  2. Behaviour in the yard
  3. Behaviour in the school environment
  4. Behaviour on school trips
  5. General School Rules

Attendance at school



Mobile phone use

Substance Misuse Policy

Healthy Eating Policy

  1. Bullying


The Code of Behaviour describes the school’s expectations about how each member of the school community(students, staff, BoM, parents) will help to make the school a good place for teaching and learning. The Code also describes how the school will respond to behaviour that interrupts, diminishes or prevents teaching and learning in the school. An effective Code makes clear that an orderly, harmonious school requires students to behave in accordance with the Code. The Board of Management, Principal, staff, parents and students have responsibilities at different levels for behaviour in the school.


Staff will support the code by:

– being familiar with the code

– implementing the code in a consistent manner

– communicating with other staff regarding the code

– supporting parents in implementation of the code

Board of Management

Board of Management have overall responsibility for the implementation of the code and they support the staff in the implementation of same.


Parental understanding and support for the implementation of the Code of Behaviour will be strengthened through the HSCL links, meetings, notes from school or teacher regarding son’s behaviour, liaison with Parents Association on policy development.

  • Parents will support the code by reading, accepting and cooperating with the Code. Parents are expected to be courteous and respectful to staff at all times
  • Parents will ensure that children will attend school regularly and punctually
  • Parents encourage their children to do their best and to take responsibility for their work
  • Parents are aware of and cooperate with the school’s rules and system of rewards and sanctions.
  • Parents must support the school regarding children telling on a bully and encouraging their child not to hit back but to inform a member of staff.
  • Parents attend meeting at the school if requested
  • Parents help their children with homework and ensure that it is completed by signing their son’s homework diary.
  • Parents ensure their children have the necessary books and materials for school

As the BoM is responsible for the Health and safety of all staff and students, parents are asked to refrain from approaching or reprimanding another person’s child on the school premises.

The Board will not tolerate any rude or threatening behaviour towards staff members. The Board of Management has a duty of care to protect their staff under the Health Safety & Welfare at Work Act 2005. Failure to comply with this request may result in an individual being asked to leave the premises and the Board will be informed. In serious cases the Gardaí may be called.

Posting of slanderous comments on social media platforms about members of staff will also be deemed as a serious breach of the Code and may result in the staff member and /or Board taking legal action.

Parents who have a serious difficulty or wish to make a complaint may do so following the grievance procedures that are set out in the CPSMA/INTO agreed parental procedures stages 1-5. Following these procedures is very rare as most difficulties can be resolved locally with the teacher and/or the Principal.

Meetings with teachers and Principal must be by appointment. Supervision and teaching cannot be interrupted as a staff member cannot adequately supervise children while at the same time speaking to a parent. Every effort will be made to facilitate a meeting with the parent after school. If a parent has an urgent message for teacher the message may be passed on via the secretary or Principal. Parents are asked not to go upstairs in the mornings to speak to a teacher but to relay the message via the Principal or secretary.


  • The Code of Behaviour works with the classroom rules and contracts made in each classroom every year.
  • Students participate in the drawing up of the class rules
  • Students will make every effort to follow the guidelines of the code.


There is a code of Behaviour in the school and each pupil is expected to aim at keeping it. They describe the good behaviours we want to see.

Encouraging high standards of behaviour among pupils and creating and maintaining an orderly atmosphere for learning in the school will result in good healthy relationships between teachers and pupils leading to effective teaching and learning.

Maintaining standards of behaviours will also involve in some instances, the application of sanctions to register disapproval of unacceptable behaviour. When sanctions are invoked pupils should understand that what they have done is unacceptable and it is the misbehaviour and not the child that is rejected.


  • Highlighting good behaviour (verbal reinforcement)
  • Class rules created between teacher and class and agreed by all
  • Interventions that promote positive behaviour e.g. breakfast club, assemblies, peer mentoring etc.)
  • Communicating positive behaviour with parents ie. Verbally, Happygram from Principal, note in diary from teacher
  • SPHE programmes such as Walk Tall, Circle Time, Fun Friends, Friends for Life, Talkabout etc
  • Encouraging self-monitoring of behaviour
  • Individual behavioural programmes supported by LSRT and SCP eg. Stop, Think, Do

Reward Systems

  • Realta na Miosa – one per class
  • Liona na Miosa – yard
  • End of year award ceremony
  • In-class reward systems e.g. homework vouchers, bonus points, notes home, golden time etc.
  • Pupils are expected to respect the right of other pupils to learn and avoid disrupting the work of the classroom. Any behaviour that distracts, disrupts or undermines the work of the class will not be allowed
  • .Pupils are expected to attend class punctually
  • Pupils are expected to wear the school tracksuit on PE days only and their school uniform on the other days.
  • Pupils are expected to show kindness and willingness to help others
  • Pupils are expected to follow the class rules as decided at the beginning of the year and sign the contract.
  • Pupils are expected to have respect for all school staff and follow instructions given by them.
  • Pupils are expected to do their best in class attend to what is being taught and follow the direction of the teacher.
  • Pupils are expected to respect each other’s property and the property of the school
  • Pupils are expected to go to and from their classrooms in an orderly manner
  • Pupils are expected to show courtesy and respect towards other pupils.
  • Pupils are expected to raise their hands to request permission to ask a question or make a comment. Bad language or inappropriate comments are not allowed
  • Pupils must take personal responsibility for their actions and consider the impact of their actions on others
  • Pupils are expected to have respect for all staff and follow all instructions given to them
  • Pupils are expected to play safely and in a friendly manner. If hit by another child they must not hit back but immediately report the behaviour to a member of staff
  • Pupils are expected to include other pupils in their games
  • Pupils are not allowed to bring any personal property to the yard.
  • Pupils are not permitted to take PE equipment to the yard
  • Pupils may use school playground equipment with permission
  • Pupils must not swing from goalposts, basketball stands or fences
  • Pupils must play within the designated areas of the yard
  • Pupils must get permission to leave the yard
  • Pupils must line up in an orderly fashion when the bell rings
  • Pupils are expected to move about the school in an orderly manner – no running on corridors
  • Pupils shall not remain on the school premises after school activities are finished
  • Pupils are expected to show respect for school property
  • The behaviour that is expected in school is also expected on school trips.


Daily attendance is expected from 8.40 until 2.20 (or 1.20 at infant level) Attendance is recorded on the electronic Aladdin system at 9:40 a.m. If a child comes to school after this time he will be recorded as absent for the day. These records are sent to the Educational welfare office termly.


Pupils are expected to complete homework and present it signed by parent / guardian in homework diary (1st-6th)


All children are expected to be in uniform each day except on P.E. days when he may wear the school tracksuit. The school uniform consists of a generic wine jumper, grey trousers and a grey shirt or polo shirt. An optional crested polo is also available. Sanction notes will be sent home for boys who do not comply with this rule. Boys may be required to put on spare second hand uniforms at the discretion of the Principal. Use of the excuse that it is in the wash is not acceptable as every boy should have a spare uniform.


Mobile phones must be switched off at all times. If boys take mobile phones into school they do so at their own risk. Handheld computers are also banned & must not be brought to school. If any pupil is found using their mobile phone for whatever reason it will be confiscated by the teacher and given to the Principal. The phone must then be collected by his parent/guardian only.


Pupils are not allowed to be in possession of illegal substances. See substance misuse policy for more details.


Pupils are expected to follow the guidelines as laid down in our Healthy Eating Policy from September 2010. Exceptions to this policy will only be made on medical grounds and must be supported by a letter from a GP or consultant. Boys are given a school lunch and they decide on the content from a menu of healthy options.

  • Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal/ psychological or physical conducted by an individual or group against others
  • Bullying will not be tolerated as is always regarded as a serious offence.
  • Pupils are encouraged to tell if they are being bullied
  • Parents and other teachers will be informed if a case of bullying comes to light
  • All classes shall be taught about bullying – Walk Tall & Prim Ed
  • Both victim and bully shall be helped and a restorative justice model will be employed in trying to resolve the issue.

Bullying behaviour will be sanctioned and addressed in line with the sanctions outlined below. Parents / Guardians of bullies will be informed by the Principal immediately so that they are given the opportunity of discussing the matter. It is expected that no repetition will occur.

See also Policy on Bullying Behaviour.


The procedure and sanctions outlined below are what occur where there is persistent minor misbehaviour or serious misbehaviour by pupils. The particular state used will depend on the seriousness of the misbehaviour.

Stages of Sanctioning

  • At class level teachers may use the following sanctions for dealing with inappropriate behaviour
  • Reasoning with the pupil
  • Reprimand (including advice on how to improve)
  • Temporary separation from peers, friends or others e.g. time out zone
  • .Loss of privileges e.g. time out box, hall etc.
  • Prescribing additional written work and detention from break times.
  • Teachers may communicate with parents in the homework journal to inform them of persistent minor misbehaviours.
  • Speaking to parent at home time pick up
  1. Referral to the principal teacher

Pupils may be referred to principal for persistent minor misbehaviour or any incident of serious misbehaviour e.g. aggressive behaviour, serious disruption of class activity or bullying.

The Principal may phone the parents to speak to the parents about this matter and may call them in for a meeting.

Aggressive threatening or violent behaviour towards a child/teacher will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour depending on the circumstances.

Communication with parents / guardians may include the following steps as outlined above:-

  1. Note in journal/copy and/or phone call/ meeting with teacher
  2. Letter/phonecall from Principal
  3. Meet Principal
  4. Registered Letter from BoM (in relation to suspensions and expulsions)


(With reference to Chapters 10, 11, and 12 of NEWB Guidelines)

All suspensions and expulsions will be carried out with reference to “Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools NEWB 2008” and related documents.

Authority: (Ref P70 NEWB Guidelines)

While the BOM has the authority to suspend, they may delegate this authority to the principal, for periods of up to three days.

Grounds for Suspension (ref P70-71 NEWB Guidelines)

  • Suspension will be a proportionate response to the behaviour causing concern.
  • Usually other interventions will have been tried.
  • Grounds for suspension include:-

Ø Student’s behaviour that has had a seriously detrimental effect on the education of other students.

Ø The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.

Ø The student is responsible for serious damage to property

Procedures in respect of Suspension. (Ref p77 NEWB Guidelines)

The school will endeavour to ensure fair procedure to include the right to be heard and to impartiality.

The process will include the following stages:

  • Investigation of the facts to confirm serious misbehaviour.
  • Parents will be in formed by phone or in writing about the incident
  • Parents will be given an opportunity to respond.

If suspension is still decided upon

Principal notifies parent 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.
  • The provision for appeal to the Board of Management or secretary general of DES. ( Only where the total number of day for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches 20 days)
  • Where the cumulative total of days reached is 6, the NEWB will be notified.

In exceptional circumstances an immediate suspension may be necessary. Fair procedure will still apply.

Period of suspension: (Ref p75 NEWB Guidelines)

This shall not be for more than three days except in exceptional circumstances.

Records and reports (ref p78 NEWB Guidelines)

Formal written records will be kept of:

  • The investigation (including 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.

EXPULSION: (Ref p82 NEWB guidelines)

Authority: The Board of Management has the authority to expel a student.

Grounds: (Ref NEWB Guidelines P 80-81)

Expulsion will only be used in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour. The school will have taken other significant steps to address the misbehaviour except in exceptional circumstances.

Due process and fair procedure will apply in all circumstances.

Procedures in respect of expulsion (ref NEWB Guidelines P83-86)

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal.
  • Inform parents in writing of alleged misbehaviour, how it will investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
  • Give parents and student the opportunity to respond before a decision is made.
  • A recommendation to the BOM by the principal (see page 84 NEWB guidelines)
  • Consideration by the BOM of the principals’ recommendations and the holding of a hearing (see page 84 NEWB Guidelines)
  • BOM deliberations and actions following the hearing. (page 85 NEWB Guidelines)

If BOM is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer (EWO)in writing, of its opinion and the reason for this opinion. The intention to expel a student does not take effect until 20 school days have elapsed after NEWB have received written notification. The NEWB should be notified using a Notice of Intention to Expel form which is available on or from NEWB help-line (1890 363666) This form should be completed and sent to School Return Section, National Educational Welfare Board, 16-22 Green St, Dublin 7.

  • Consultations arranged by the EWO
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.


Parents will be informed of their legal right to appeal.

  • A parent may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Science (Education Act 1998 section 29)

Records and report (ref p78 NEWB Guidelines)

Formal written records will be kept of :

  • The investigation (including notes of all interviews held)
  • The decision-making process
  • The decision and rationale for the decision.

Review: The board will review its procedures regarding suspension and expulsion at regular intervals.


Parents must inform the school of the reasons for a child’s absence from school either by phone call, note or text no later than the child’s return to school. This note should be sent to either the class teacher or the school secretary. In certain circumstances the principal may contact the parent / guardian on the day for reasons of absence. Should no note or call be received the principal will follow up.

Absences of 20 days or more will be reported to the Education Welfare Officer, as obliged under the Education Welfare Act

Parents will be informed by letter when a boy reaches 15 days absence at the time of quarterly return.

Parents / teacher to sign children out if removed from school early

Parents will be contacted about repeated incidents of late arrival.


– Teachers maintain records relating to behaviour in the class record diary/Aladdin

– All serious breaches of conduct shall be recorded in the Incident Book maintained

by the principal in the office and/or Aladdin system

– Principal maintains a record of students continuously misbehaving and any

interventions or meetings with parents


Policy on Bullying Behaviour

Substance Abuse Policy

Acceptable Use Policy

Attendance Policy


Ratified by the Board of Management

Signature Anne Garvey (Chairperson)

Reviewed and Ratified: 15th February 2017

Review date: February 2020