Donabate Community College Code of Positive Behaviour.


This code is explained to students at the beginning of every school year and as necessary during the year. Students with learning difficulties will have this code explained to them by their learning support teacher also.


1.Introduction


At Donabate Comminity College. Community College, we are committed to maintaining a caring, learning community where each person is valued and accorded respect and dignity.


Our Aims are:

• To provide a calm, friendly, disciplined and safe environment.

• To provide a broad, diverse curriculum relevant to the needs of all our students.

• To promote the development of the whole person and to afford the opportunity to develop his/her full potential.

• To foster in each person a positive self-image and a sense of responsibility and personal integrity.

• To promote respect for the rights and beliefs of others, and to encourage all to be tolerant, caring and responsible members of society.




  1. Rationale


At Donabate Comminity College. we believe that this Positive Behaviour Policy should be framed in such a way as to encourage co-operation and independence. An essential element of this is good open communication between the partners. We believe that such an approach will be beneficial for students, teachers, parents/guardians and the Board of Management alike and that it will also encourage students to take a positive view of co-operation and interdependence into their adult life.



The objectives of this policy are:

• To enable the efficient operation of the school in a manner which allows the school’s overall mission statement to be realised.

• To maintain good order throughout the school, respect for each person in the school and the school environment.

• To foster self-discipline in students with the aim of developing positive behaviour patterns based on respect and tolerance of others.

• To develop interpersonal skills which will help students to work co-operatively, give them the ability to solve problems, develop relationships and resolve conflict in a positive manner.



Role of Students


Students should:

• Attend school each day according to the school calendar, in their full school uniform.

• Be punctual for both school and classes.

Make up is not allowed and students will be asked to remove it if they arrive to school with make-up on. Continued breech of this rule will result in students being sent home.

• Should attend all timetabled classes.


Role of Parents/Guardians


Parents have an increasingly important role to play in the education process. The more a parent participates in the education of his/her child, the more likely that the child will succeed at school.


We ask all parents of children in the school to:

1. Be aware of all policies/guidelines which are published by the school.

2. Ensure that their children adhere to the school rules.

3. Help their children to develop a good habit of attendance and punctuality.

4. Check Journals to see that all homework – written and learning – is completed.

5. Ensure their children arrive to school each day in full uniform.

6. Respond to any comments that are written by teachers on end of term reports.

7. To attend Parent-Teacher meetings.


• If your child needs to leave school early for an appointment please inform the school in writing.


• If you need to contact your child in school please do so by ringing the office. You may be asked to put your query in writing especially if you suspect a case of bullying. (c.f.Bullying Policy).



  1. Before school.


• Get up early. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for the school day.

• Make sure to have your full uniform ready for wearing. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum. Girls and Boys are allowed to wear 1 pair of stud earrings. Large earrings, bolts etc., are not allowed. Face / body piercing is not allowed. Any note from a parent / guardian excusing a lack of uniform is only acceptable for a 24 hour period and must be dated. Repeated lack of uniform will result in increased detention after school and eventual suspension.

Hoodies are forbidden. If a student brings/wears a hoodie to school it will be confiscated and only returned to a parent / guardian. Refusal to hand up a hoodie will result in suspension.

• Do not bring valuable items such as MP3 players and I-Pods into school. The school cannot be held responsible for the disappearance of or damage to any such items.


Switch off mobile phones when you enter the school building. The use of mobile phones for whatever purpose within the school or mobile phones going off accidentally, will lead to their confiscation for one week (c.f. mobile phone policy). Refusal to hand up a mobile phone will result in suspension. Under no circumstances may mobile phone cameras or recording devices be used in the school or in the classroom. Repeated misuse of phones will result in students being forbidden to bring phones to school.

• Have all homework done and books ready for the day. Make sure that both written and learning homework is done for the day ahead. By looking at your timetable for the day you can ensure that no relevant books/copies are left at home.

• Arrive on time.

If you arrive late for school you must present yourself to the secretary. It is important that the school authorities know what students are in the building in case of an accident or fire drill. If you arrive late you must have a note to explain the late arrival. Detention will be given to students after school if they do not have a ‘late note’. Notice of detention will be issued to parents 24 hours prior to detention taking place. The duration of detention will be dependant on the lateness of arrival into school, but will not exceed 1 hour.


  1. Classroom code of behaviour.


Arrive to class on time and enter the classroom quietly with your teachers permission.

Put all class materials including your school journal neatly on the desk.

Remain attentive and silent when the teacher is teaching.

Permission to ask questions will be given by the teacher.

Do nothing to distract others during class time.

Moving around the classroom without the teacher’s permission is not allowed.

All homework should be written carefully in your homework journal.

Ask for permission if you need to leave the classroom and only if absolutely necessary. Leaving the classroom without permission is a serious offence and may result in detention or suspension.

Keep the classroom tidy. Any damage to school property whether accidental or deliberate MUST be made good by the student/ parents of the student.

Failure to comply with the above code will lead to a verbal warning from the teacher initially. Continuation of misbehaviour may lead to extra punishment work given to the student by the subject teacher. Parents will be contacted if misbehaviour continues.


Lunchtime.


All students must stay in school during lunchtime. Failure to do so, will result in suspension.

• Leave your area tidy after you have finished lunch.

• Be on time for afternoon class.


Behaviour on Corridors in-between classes.

• Move quickly and carefully to your next class.

• Obey the one- way system.

• If you have permission to go to the toilet you must have a note in your journal from your teacher.


After school ends.

Make sure you leave the room tidy and clean.

• Smoking outside the school gates is forbidden.

• Any student who arranges for a large group to congregate at the school gate after school will be suspended.

• Do not litter the vicinity of the school.

• Stay on the footpath and be careful of the cars on the road.



Code of Behaviour during extra-curricular activities.


Representing the school in any extra-curricular activity, either as a participant or spectator, should be seen as a privilege and an honour for the pupils involved. Pupils must have a positive behaviour record within the school to be considered for such activities.

All pupils involved in representing the school should adhere to the following rules.

Pupils must return signed permission forms to be eligible to take part in extra-curricular activities. These forms are handed out at the beginning of term 1 and are included in the welcome pack. All school rules apply during extra-curricular activities.

School uniform must be worn to all extra curricular activities unless otherwise specified by a teacher.

Pupils involved must follow the instructions of the teacher(s) in charge at all times. Failure to do so will result in removal from the activity and a possible ban from taking part in the activity in the future. Where pupils are traveling to an event, behaviour on the mode of transport must show respect for the property of the company involved and follow the guidelines within the law e.g. wearing seat belts. Where pupils are visiting another school or any other companies/organisations buildings/properties, any guidelines set out by the owner/management involved should be followed.

Any malicious damage or theft of property by a pupil on extra-curricular activities will result in a ban from such activities for duration set out by the school and may also result in an official school detention or suspension, depending on the seriousness of the incident. Any school equipment lent to a pupil in relation to the activities must be used carefully and any deliberate damage or loss paid for by the pupil or parent. In relation to finals of competitions, any pupil who has been given permission by the Principal/Deputy Principal to watch the event should be aware that they are representing the school and must follow all the rules of extra-curricular activities. Any such pupils misbehaving will be banned from attending such events.

With regard to sports activities, violence either verbal or physical towards teammates, opponents, officials or supporters will not be tolerated. The school will deal with each case individually and punishments may involve a student being banned for a number of games, a complete exclusion from school teams, detention/detentions or a school suspension may be invoked.

Participation in extra-curricular activities is always at the discretion of the school management.





Applauding positive behaviour.


In accordance with the mission statement and college motto positive student behaviour at Donabate Community College, is applauded and encouraged.

Most students will complete their education without ever receiving any sanction for misbehaviour. These students make an invaluable contribution to school life and we will acknowledge and celebrate this every year at an awards night during the first term. Students will be awarded certificates and prizes on the basis of a Merit system. Awards are given for attendance, IT, Academic achievement, the most improved student and for Sporting contribution and achievement. A Student of the Year Award will be conferred on the student who has obtained the highest number of merits and been nominated by the greatest number of teachers.

The Principal will conduct assemblies with student year groups throughout the school year. The emphasis is motivational with practical advice on study skills, organisational skills and behavioural strategies. Students’ improvements and achievements will be noted and applauded. Periodically during the year, class groups will be rewarded for their positive contribution and at the end of the school year class groups will enjoy a fun day out with their class tutor. Continued effort will be encouraged in all areas of the students’ personal, social and educational development. If any student experiences difficulties they will be fully supported.


Class teachers use the student school journals and the daily class report sheet to record positive behaviour on a daily basis.

Students’ successes both in school and outside school will be lauded during the Principals’ daily announcements.


























STAGES IN APPLYING SANCTIONS FOR STUDENT MISBEHAVIOUR


It is our aim to ensure that sanctions are imposed in a fair, reasonable and consistent manner. Students will be encouraged by their teachers to correct inappropriate behaviour, without recourse to formal sanctions. Teachers may use a variety of sanctions to address misbehaviour and lack of co-operation in their classes.

Persistent misbehaviour and lack of co-operation on the part of students will result in the imposition of formal sanctions under the school Code of Positive Behaviour.

 

Classroom Teacher Stage 1


Teachers must be allowed to teach and deliver their subject according to Department of Education guidelines.

Students must be allowed to learn in a positive environment.

In order for this to take place students must contribute to a positive learning environment by ensuring that they have all their necessary equipment and materials in class and homework must be completed on time and to the best of the students ability.


Some interventions that can be made by the class teacher.

Discuss the matter with the student.

Reprimand/warn the student and advise the student on what aspect of their behaviour they need to improve on.

Change the students seating arrangement.

Issue extra homework.

Arrange unofficial detention during school time: either as part of lunch time or after school for less than one hour.

Contact the parent/ guardian by phone

Issue a written report to class tutor.


Class Tutor Stage 2



Class Tutor receives a written report with accompanying details of remedial steps taken by the class teacher. The class tutor fulfills a pastoral care role and encourages the student to alter their behaviour and monitors and documents the student’s behaviour for the following week.


Year Head Stage 3


If the students behaviour has not improves the class tutor will issue a formal official reports to the year head, this report may include details of incidences such as:

• Persistent misbehaviour that is interfering with learning and teaching in the classroom.

• Student not attending specific class(es)

• Persistently arriving late to class without a valid excuse.

• Leaving classroom without permission.

• Persistently not bringing necessary materials to class.



The Year Head will talk to the student and may

i) put the student on Report,

ii) Give the student official detention (1-2hrs) after school (with 48 hour notification of parents), Official Detention will take place once a week and lasts for 1-2 hours.

Parents/Guardian are given notice of the time, date and duration of the official detention so arrangements for collecting students can be made.


iii) Arrange for Parents/ Guardians to call to the school and discuss the matter,

iii) Refer the matter to the Principal / Deputy Principal.

Official Year Head/Guardian Communication System.


Examples of Incidences to be reported to the Year Head/Deputy Principal directly:

• Student directing unacceptable language towards a teacher.

• Bullying of a student by another student.

• Racial or sexual harassment of any member of the school community.



 

Principal/Deputy Principal Stage 4


The Principal/Deputy Principal may decide to suspend the student for a period of time.

The Principal, and in his absence the Deputy Principal, has the final authority in dealing with matters of discipline in the day to day running of the school.

The Principal/Deputy Principal will deal with Serious Breaches of the Code of Positive Behaviour, referred by the Subject Teachers or Year Head.

Serious Breaches of the Code of Discipline will normally result in a pupil being suspended.

The Principal/Deputy Principal, may also authorise the Year Head to suspend a student for repeated Breaches of the Code of Positive Behaviour.

A principal may suspend a student for up to ten days without referring the matter to the Board of Management.

The Principal/Deputy Principal has the right to refer matters to the Gardai when the law has been broken.




Suspensions (c.f. Policy on Suspension and Exclusion.)

Students who have been suspended because of breaches of the Code of Positive Behaviour, may not be allowed to return to school (in the case of serious breaches), until a Parent/Guardian has come to the school to meet with the Principal/Deputy Principal/Year Head.



Any student found smoking will be automatically suspended. By law smoking is prohibited in schools and school yard/grounds. Responsibility for the enforcement of this regulation rests with the School Authorities.

The number of days for which a student may be suspended will vary and will be appropriate to the degree of seriousness of the incident. The Principal or Deputy Principal will make this decision in a fair and equitable manner and this will be explained to parents/ guardians in a letter of suspension.

Some Examples of Serious Incidents which will result in suspending a student.


Physical aggression including fighting (all parties involved in fighting will be suspended).

Possession of illegal substances for private use or supply to others.

Smoking on school premises including at the school gate.

Verbal abuse of staff/ use of improper language in class or in the presence of a staff member.

Bullying of another student or a staff member.

Leaving school grounds without permission or failing to provide a note of absence from parent(s).

Causing a disturbance on corridors during class time.

Failure to attend detention.

Disruption of classes or exams.

Unauthorised use of fire doors or interfering with any Health and Safety equipment.

Leaving class without permission or not attending classes according to the class timetable. Failure to attend for class without a valid reason.

Causing damage to or defacing of school property.

Persistent failure to wear school uniform.

Causing damage to another student’s property or stealing another student’s property.

Refusing to hand over a mobile phone/ recording device/ hoodie when requested to do so by a teacher.

The above list is not exhaustive nor are the sanctions meant to be prescriptive. The Principal and Deputy Principal will make the final decision on the seriousness of an incident, as the context in which an incident occurs will determine the degree of seriousness and thus the appropriate sanction.


A student suspended for breaches of the Code of Positive Behaviour may be required to give an undertaking in writing that such behaviour will not happen again.

The principal may decide to refer a student directly to the Board of Management where the student has been involved in an illegal activity, or when the students behaviour presents a grave danger to others in the school.



Board of Management Stage 5


i) Meeting of parents with Board of Management.

ii) Further suspension(s)/Exclusion.



Stage 4: Board of Management, V.E.C., Department of Education & Science.

The Co. Dublin V.E.C. “Policy on Discipline” document, based on the Department of Education’s “Guidelines towards a Positive Policy for School Behaviour and Disciplines” (C/L M 33/91), set out a “Policy Statement” and “Discipline Procedure”. This document has now been superseded by the Education Act, 1998. The Department of Education’s “Guidelines towards a Positive Policy for School Behaviour and Disciplines” clearly stated:

“Expulsion should be resorted to only in the most extreme cases of indiscipline and only after every effort at rehabilitation has failed and every other sanction has been exhausted”



The following points from the original V.E.C. “Policy on Discipline” are still pertinent:

1. “The Co. Dublin V.E.C. reserves to itself the sole right to expel a student from its school and colleges”

2. “The Principal, when internal sanctions have failed, shall bring all disciplinary matters to the attention of the Board of Management.”

3. “Pupils may not be excluded from the school by the Principal for any period in excess of 10 school days without first convening a Board of Management meeting and receiving its approval.”

4. “No Board of Management may dismiss, or otherwise disbar from attendance at school, a student for more than a total of 28 calendar days or until the next meeting of the V.E.C.”

Note: How this will now be interpreted is open to question in light of the Education Act, 1998. (See below).

5. “Parents/Guardians must be informed of their rights to appeal to the Board of Management where dismissal or suspension is invoked”

6. “Where a student and her/his representatives fails to convince a Board of Management of their resolve to conform to a School’s disciplinary code or where the Breach of Discipline is so grave that the Board consider it in the best interests of staff and fellow students that attendance be forthwith and permanently forbidden, then the matter must immediately be brought to the attention of the Committee.

In the interim between communication to and the meeting of the committee, the student may be given schedules of work/study to minimise any disruption of studies pending the decision of the committee”

7. “In dealing with serious cases of indiscipline principals/staff are expected to make every effort to consult all professional services available.”


Education Act. 1998

Section 29 of the Education Act 1998, gives parents (and students who have reached the age of 18) the right to appeal a decision made by a Board of Management to: permanently exclude/expel a student from the school for a period which would bring the cumulative period of suspension to 20 school days in any one school year.

Information on procedures for making an appeal are set down in the document “Procedures for Hearing and Determining Appeals under Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998” and the leaflet “Making an Appeal to the Department of Education and Science.”

The following are key points from these documents: All appeals made under Section 29 of the education act will be processed and administered by the appeals Administration Unit of the Department of Education and Science.

In the case of a V.E.C. school the appeal against the decision of the Board of Management should be made in the first instance to the V.E.C. An appeal must be made within 42 calendar days of the parent/student being notified of the Board of Management’s decision. This period may, be extended, in exceptional circumstances only. Where an appeal has been heard by the V.E.C. a student may make a further appeal to the Department of Education and Science.

The Appeals Administration unit will refer the case to an Appeals Committee who will decide whether it will be referred for facilitation, or whether a hearing will be held. When facilitation is not considered possible or where it doesn’t resolve the problem, the Appeals Committee will hold a hearing and on the basis of the hearing will decide the appeal.




Official College Parent/ Guardian Communication System.


Operation of official College /Guardian Communication System.


No.

Official

Complaints Action to be taken by Class Tutor/Principal.


1. Reprimanded by Class Tutor, when official written complaint form

is received from class tutor.

2. Second reprimand by Class Tutor and first written communication to

parents.

3 Internal Suspension may occur. Students will be required to get class work from all classes that day and complete this work away from their normal class.


4. Official Detention. Class Tutor communicates with Parent / Guardian

and records an agreed strategy for students improved behaviour.


5. The Principal writes to Guardian outlining the reasons for a 1 day

Suspension.


6. The Principal writes to Guardian outlining the reasons for a 2 day

Suspension.

 

7. The Principal writes to Guardian outlining the reasons for a 3 day

Suspension. Before returning to school after the suspension the

Parent/ Guardian and student meet with Deputy Principal/Year Head

by appointment. Written agreement signed guardian and student

regarding acceptable code of behaviour.


  1. The Principal writes to Guardian outlining the reasons for a one day

suspension Meeting takes place between Guardian/Parent/Year Head

and Principal.


9. The Principal writes to Guardian outlining the reasons for a two day

Suspension. Referral of case formally to Board of Management.


10. The Principal write to Guardian outlining the reasons for suspension.

Possible Exclusion may now occur.


The Principal is required to report all suspensions to the Board of Management.

Countering Bullying Behaviour at
Donabate Community College


School Motto: Excellence through Encouragement and Effort.


School Values: Caring and compassionate community where justice and truth will be central elements

Introduction:

Our motto at Donabate Community College is “Excellence through Encouragement and Effort " and the core value of our philosophy is based on the concept of Delivering Education through Courtesy, Respect and Responsibility".

In this context we believe that everyone in the school, both students and staff have a right to a safe, respectful and caring environment, which is free from threats, harassment or intimidation.

The purpose of this policy is to protect all members of our school community from being bullied (including teachers and other people working in the school, students and parents). In September 1993 the Department of Education and Science issued Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary schools. The guidelines state:

"The role of the school is to provide the highest possible standard of education for all its pupils. A stable secure learning environment is an essential requirement to achieve this goal. Bullying behaviour, by its very nature, undermines and dilutes the quality of education and imposes psychological damage. As such, it is an issue, which must be positively and firmly addressed through a range of school-based measures and strategies through which all members of the school community are enabled to act effectively in dealing with this behaviour"
Donabate Community College supports this view.

Definition:

Bullying is repeated aggression; verbal, psychological or physical conducted by an individual or a group against others.

Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, which should not be condoned, can scarcely be described as bullying. However, when the behaviour is systematic and ongoing it is bullying.

Types of Bullying:


Extract from Department of Education Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour: Pupil Behaviour

(i) Physical Aggression
This behaviour is more common among boys than girls. It includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking and tripping people up. It may also take the form of severe physical assault. While boys commonly engage in 'mess fights', they can often be used as a disguise for physical harassment or inflicting pain.



(ii) Damage to Property:
Personal property can be the focus of attention for the bully; this may result in damage to clothing, school books and other learning material or interference with a pupil's locker or bicycle. The contents of school bags and pencil cases may be scattered on the floor. Items of personal property may be defaced, broken, stolen or hidden.



(iii) Extortion:
Demands for money may be made, often accompanied by threats (sometimes carried out) in the event of the victim not promptly "paying up". Victims' lunches or lunch money may be taken. Victims may also be forced into theft of property for delivery to the bully. Sometimes, this tactic is used with the sole purpose of incriminating the victim.

(iv) Intimidation:
Some bullying behaviour takes the form of intimidation: it is based on the use of very aggressive body language with the voice being used as a weapon. Particularly upsetting to victims can be the so-called 'look' - a facial expression which conveys aggression and/or dislike.

(v) Abusive Telephone Calls/Texts/ taking pictures without permission of students or staff :
The abusive anonymous telephone call is a form of verbal intimidation or bullying. The anonymous phone call is very prevalent where teachers are the victims of bullying.

(vi) Isolation:
This form of bullying behaviour seems to be more prevalent among girls. A certain person is deliberately isolated, excluded or ignored by some or all of the class group, This practice is usually initiated by the person engaged in bullying behaviour. It may be accompanied by writing insulting remarks about the victim on blackboards or in public places, by passing around notes about or drawings of the victim or by whispering insults about them loud enough to be heard.

(vii) Name Calling:
Persistent name-calling directed at the same individual(s), which hurts, insults or humiliates should be regarded as a form of bullying behaviour; most name-calling of this type refers to physical appearance, e.g. 'big ears', size or clothes worn.

Accent or distinctive voice characteristics may attract negative attention.

Academic ability can also provoke name-calling. This tends to operate at two extremes; first, there are those who are singled out for attention because they are 'dummies', 'dopes' or 'donkeys'. At the other extreme are those who, because they are perceived as high achievers, are labelled 'swots', 'brain-boxes', 'licks', teachers' pets'", etc.

(viii) Slagging
This behaviour usually refers to the good-natured banter which goes on as part of the normal social interchange between people. However, when this slagging extends to very personal remarks aimed again and again at the one individual about appearance, clothing, personal hygiene, home enviornment or involves reference of an uncomplimentary nature to members of one's family, particularly if couched in sexual innuendo, then it assumes the form of bullying. It may also take the form of suggestive remarks about a pupil's sexual orientation

(ix) Bullying of School Personnel:
Bullying of school personnel by means of physical assault, damage to property, verbal abuse, threats to people's families etc.



Teacher Behaviour:
A teacher may, unwittingly or otherwise, engage in, instigate or reinforce bullying behaviour in a number of ways:-
- Using sarcasm or other insulting or demeaning forms of language when addressing pupils; making negative comments about a pupil's appearance or background;
- Humiliating directly or indirectly, a pupil who is particularly academically weak or outstanding, or vulnerable in other ways;
- Using any gesture or expression of a threatening or intimidatory nature, or any form of degrading physical contact or exercise.




The rights of pupils with respect to bullying at school:
Each child has a right to an education free from fear and intimidation. The purpose of this policy is to protect that right. Bullying will not be tolerated.


The responsibilities of pupils who witness bullying:
It will be made clear to all pupils that when they report incidents of bullying they are not telling tales but behaving responsibly. Moreover we make it clear that remaining silent very often compounds the situation and can unwittingly send the wrong message to the bully.

Preventative Strategy:
The school will work proactively to ensure as far as it can that bullying does not take place. Bullying can be prevented by raising awareness of all in the school community about the reality of bullying and is detrimental effects. The school uses the following approaches.

Teachers regularly stress to students the importance of reporting matters of concern.
The mentor programme encourages and teaches first year students the importance of reporting matters of concern.
The school seeks opportunities to enhance the self-worth of all pupils.
The school provides a wide range of extra-curricular activities that are open to all pupils.
Teachers use aspects of the curriculum to raise awareness of the inappropriateness of bullying behaviour as outlined below

Workshops in Donabate Community College:
A programme of workshops on Bullying will be arranged for each classes by a member of staff as part of overall Pastoral Care (S.P.H.E. - Social Personal & Health Education Programme.) These workshops are explored further in SPHE classes.

Staff Development:
Issues of Bullying will be regularly discussed during workshop sessions

Counselling Services:
Parents and pupils are also advised that they may use the counselling services in the college if they have any concerns in the understanding that they will be listened to, advised in a supportive environment.

Senior Management Meeting - (Year heads)
At regular meeting of year heads and senior management issues relating to our behaviour code (including our Policy on Bullying) are discussed and reviewed on a regular basis.





Procedures for investigating and dealing with bullying:


All interviews should be conducted with sensitivity and with due regard to the rights of all pupils involved.

A record will be kept of bullying incidents. Pupils are made aware that if they are involved in bullying the following will happen:
1. If you are involved you will be warned to stop.
2. Furthermore your parents may be informed.
3. Subsequent sanctions may include suspension or the Board of Management being notified.
4. Moreover the College recognises the importance of providing the necessary support structures to a student(s) involved in bullying in order that they can move forward.




Dealing with a case of Bullying: Guidelines for Staff.

The first thing to do is to assure the victim that the problem lies with the bully and not with them. This removes the shame many people feel when they are bullied.

A written record of the incidents should be kept with date, time, people and brief details.

Should a teacher come across an incident of bullying behaviour, the following procedure is recommended

1. Speak separately to the person who appears to be bullying, the person who appears to be the victim and if possible somebody not directly involved, nut who saw what happened. It can be useful to get all those involved to write an account of what happened. This is best done in private.

2. If the teacher considers the incident to be serious, it should be written down on a bullying incident form and also reported to the Class Tutor, Year head or the Deputy Principal /Principal.

3. The Year head or the Deputy Principal /Principal should make contact with the parents if they consider it necessary.

4. The teacher should assure the person who has been the victim of bullying of ongoing support with the encouragement to report back any further attempts at intimidation.

5. Speak to the student(s) who have allegedly instigated the bullying and inform her/him/them firmly but in a non-aggressive manner that such behaviour will not be tolerated. Remind her/him of the existing Code of Positive Behaviour they she/he signed when enrolling in the College. Remind them that there are pastoral supports for them in the College to assist them with the situation.

6. The person who has been the victim of bullying should be kept informed of all developments after the incident(s) have been reported and of any further action that is going to ensue. Where appropriate the college will endeavour to keep them involved in the decision making process.

7. Teachers should talk to colleagues, particularly when difficult situations arise.




Parents:


Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the school as soon as they suspect their son/daughter is being subjected to or is engaging in bullying behaviour. Parents should keep a record of incidents and give them in writing to the Principal/ Deputy Principal or Year Head. Parents are assured that the matter will be dealt with seriously and according to agreed guidelines.

What Parents need to know about our anti-bullying policy:

The school takes the issue of bullying seriously

Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their son/daughter does not engage in this behaviour.

The school does have a policy on bullying which was drawn up with reference to the Department of Education Guidelines on "Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary Schools" published in September 1993. i.e. there are procedures for preventing, investigating and dealing with incidents of bullying behaviour.

When the school has investigated and established that bullying behaviour has occurred, a written record will be kept of bullying incidents.

The school has a programme of support for those affected by bullying behaviour and for those involved as perpetrators of bullying behaviour.

The school does impose sanctions in the event of ongoing bullying. A record will be kept of bullying incidents.

In promoting our mission of a caring and supportive environment, parents should feel confident about noticing the signs and symptoms of bullying behaviour. Furthermore they should make contact with the school quickly but should give the school the opportunity to investigate the matter fully. Parents need to have confidence in and support for the procedure operated by the school. Early contact with the school is the best approach.

Dealing with Bullying Behaviour: Guidelines for Parents.
Our school community believes that each student has a right to an education free from fear and intimidation. Bullying is not tolerated. Bullying is a secret activity and difficult to detect. In order to ensure that no student suffers in this way communication between the home and the school is most important.

The vast majority of students at school are unaffected by bullying behaviour. There is no need for parents/guardians to worry unduly. However the following signs/symptoms may suggest that a student is being bullied.

a. A student who has been happy at school losing interest and enthusiasm for school. This may be reflected in deterioration in school performance.

b. Anxiety about travelling to and from school - requesting parents to drive or collect them.

c. Unwillingness to attend school. Worrying about the route to school.

d. Damage to bicycles or personal property e.g. clothes, books or loss of same.

e. A student returning from school in a very bad humour but reluctant to say why.

f. Unexplained changes of mood. These will often occur before the restart of school - e.g. at the end of the weekend or the end of holidays.

g. Frequent minor illnesses, especially headaches and stomachaches, difficulty in sleeping, not eating. These often accompany the mood changes mentioned above.

h. An increase in requests for money.

i. Unexplained cuts and bruises.

j. Recurrent nightmares.

k. Loss of contact with friends,

Theses signs do not necessarily mean that a pupil is being bullied. However, if repeated or occurring in combination these signs do need investigation.

Making contact with the School
The best way to make contact with the school about bullying is by letter. Thereafter an appointment will be made to discuss the mater with the parents.


General Points:

A child who has high self-esteem is most unlikely to be the victim or the perpetrator of long-term bullying. Parents can help to build up self-esteem in their children, by encouraging them, by making them feel good about their appearance and getting them involved in activities inside and outside school. Any activities, which lead to a sense of achievement, will help build self-esteem.

This Document has been drawn up in accordance with the Department of Education and Science. "Guidelines on Countering Bullying Behaviour in Primary and Post Primary Schools" published in September 1993.

By enrolling their child at Donabate Community College, parents are acknowledging acceptance and support of the College Policy on Countering Bullying Behaviour