Discipline Policy

The harmonious relationship between home and school is most valuable. Parents and carers are urged to get in touch with the school if they have any problem or worry over their child’s school life. Similarly, the school will contact parents where there is concern over matters such as attendance, homework, behaviour or progress. Pupils are, of course, encouraged to make school life more enjoyable by behaving in a proper manner and showing consideration for others. Unfortunately when this is not done the working environment and school ethos are endangered. These breaches of discipline are dealt with in the following ways.


Departmental Procedures

Within each subject department, there will be agreed rules and known sanctions which reflect whole school procedures. These sanctions can range from a warning to the issuing of punishment exercises. Frequent or more serious offences are reported to the Principal Teacher. Extra exercises, detention or temporary extraction from that class may be utilised.


Referral System

The purpose of our referral system is the early identification in pupils of changes in attitude, work rate, behaviour pattern and attainment. With this early identification we should be able to adopt certain strategies to alter behaviour or arrest any subsequent deterioration. In this regard early communication with parents is important. We therefore endeavour to keep parents informed and to encourage links between the home and the school. The creation and maintenance of such home/school links is the domain of the Pupil Support staff. 

Our referral system can be summarised as follows:-

Stage 1 - Demerit

Purpose
This is designed to give all teachers the opportunity to inform Pupil Support staff of any behaviour pattern considered worthy of their attention.
 
Use
Demerits may be generated in response to incidents in the classroom detrimental to good order. They allow Pupil Support staff to build up a whole-school picture of a pupil. Pupil Support staff will use their discretion and react as appropriate according to the agreed procedures. This could involve counselling a pupil, arranging detention and/or contacting parents.

It should be noted that Pupil Support staff have a pastoral rather than a punitive role to play in any response to information contained in a referral.

Stage 2 - Formal Referral

Purpose
This is for action and guarantees contact with the home by a member of the SMT.

Use
This referral may be generated in response to:

  • any serious incident
  • verbal or physical abuse of a teacher
  • verbal or physical abuse between pupils
  • persistent refusal to comply with departmental sanctions

Such incidents will be communicated to the Year Head via an electronic referral. With the exception of incidents occurring outside departmental areas, each referral will come from a Principal Teacher and will outline the departmental measures already taken. The Year Head will act as appropriate to the agreed procedures and will respond electronically outlining action taken. These will include interviewing the pupil, counselling, arranging detention, contacting parents or progressing an Initial Assessment Team meeting to look more closely at reasons for the unacceptable behaviour.

Stage 3

In certain instances a pupil may be referred by the Year Head to the Head Teacher who may exclude the pupil until the parents have signed an assurance of co-operation. Repetition of misconduct may lead to further exclusion in terms of Local Authority Guidelines.


Pupil Support Base

We have established a Pupil Support Base within the school for pupils who are experiencing difficulties across the curriculum. These can be manifested via disruptive behaviour and poor application in class. Such pupils may be referred to the Pupil Support Base where all of the other support systems for pupils (e.g. Pupil Support counselling, parental involvement, discipline sanctions, etc.) have failed to effect a change. Pupils can be referred to the Pupil Support Base for up to 3 days and parents will be contacted for any referral over one day.

While attending the Pupil Support Base, pupils continue with normal classwork and are given support and counselling by Pupil Support staff and Support for Learning staff to encourage more positive behaviour once they return to normal classes. Restorative practice is a key feature of this support. There is also regular use of Circle Time to allow pupils to discuss openly and with each other their responses to difficult situations and to share strategies to help them manage better when they return to classes.