Code of Behaviour

Eglish National School Code of Behaviour and Discipline

As a staff, our aim is to respect and to try, in so far as is possible, to cater for the needs of each individual pupil, to create a happy, secure environment for all pupils,

in which there is a sense of good order, and a reasonable approach to discipline.

In order to protect the rights of children, this Code of Behaviour and Discipline must be adhered to. Staff should consider themselves responsible at all times for the behaviour of children within sight or sound of them, and should respond promptly with acknowledgement and specific praise of good behaviour and firmly to any instances of unacceptable behaviour.

The Board of Management of the school has ultimate responsibility for behaviour in the school. Within the school, the overall day to day responsibility for behaviour rests with the Principal. Each teacher has the responsibility for the maintenance of good behaviour and good order within his/her classroom while sharing a common responsibility for good behaviour within the school premises. The adults encountered by the children at school have an important responsibility to model high standards of behaviour, both in their dealings with the children and with each other, as their example has an important influence on the children.

The Principal will promote a positive climate in the school, ensure that the Code of Behaviour is implemented in a fair and consistent manner and arrange for review of the Code, as required.

Parents/guardians can support the school by encouraging their children to understand the need for school rules, and by communicating any relevant concerns to the school. Parents are encouraged to communicate with the school in relation to any problems which may affect child’s progress/behaviour and always report any incident of bullying to the teacher or Principal immediately.

Aims of the code

To create a safe, positive learning environment that encourages and reinforces good behaviour

To promote self-esteem and positive relationships

To encourage consistency of response to both positive and negative behaviour

To foster a sense of responsibility and self-discipline in pupils and to support good behaviour patterns based on consideration and respect for the rights of others

To facilitate the education and development of every child

To foster caring attitudes to one another and to the environment

To enable teachers to teach without disruption

To encourage the involvement of both home and school in the implementation of this policy.

The standards of behaviour that shall be observed by each student attending the school are based on:




This code of behaviour will apply at all times during the school day and while children are on outings organised by the school staff. A set of rules based on this Code of Behaviour and Discipline will be displayed in each classroom and explained to the pupils at the beginning of each school year.


1.We show respect for self and others

2.We show respect for our own property and the property of others

3.We show respect for other students and their learning

4.We are kind and willing to help others

5.We follow instructions from staff immediately

6.We walk quietly in the school building

7.We show courtesy and good manners

8.We address each other by name and teacher

9.s by their title eg. Miss, Mr. Ms.

10.We come to school on time

11.We take care of our personal cleanliness and hygiene

12.We try to use respectful ways of resolving difficulties and conflict

13.We ask permission to leave the classroom/school.

14.We do our best in class

15.We take responsibility for your own work

16.We wear the appropriate uniform.

17.We follow our Healthy Eating Policy.

These can be summed up as 3 Golden Rules:


1.Work together

2.Do our best

3.Respect each other.


  • We never bully others.
  • We never allow others to bully us, and if it happens, we tell our parents and our teacher or another responsible adult immediately. Bullying is always unacceptable.

Rules will be applied in a fair and consistent manner, with due regard to the age of the pupils and to individual difference. Where difficulties arise, parents will be contacted at an early stage.

The Stay Safe Programme will be used in school.

Incentives/Reward System

Part of the vision of Eglish National School is to help children achieve their personal best and thus prepare them for further education, life and work. We recognise that there are many different forms of intelligence and similarly that children use a variety of approaches to solve problems. Our reward system seeks to provide encouragement to all children of all abilities and talents. Children will be encouraged, praised and listened to by adults in the school. Praise is earned by the maintenance of good standards as well as by particularly noteworthy personal achievements. Rates of praise for behaviour should be as high as for work.

Strategies for improving Behaviour:

The following are some samples of how praise might be given:

A quiet word or gesture to show approval

A comment in a pupil’s copy or homework journal

A visit to another member of Staff or to the Principal for commendation

A word of praise in front of a group or class

Delegating some special responsibility or privilege

A mention to parent, written or verbal communication

Displaying excellent work in a prominent place in school

‘Bualadh Bos’ in class or special mention at assembly.


‘Dalta na Míosa’, ‘Gaelgeoir na Míosa’

The ‘Traffic Lights’ system of Discipline operates within the school as follows:

Each child begins each day ‘on green’

Due to incidences of minor misbehaviour, a child will be moved to ‘amber’

Incidences of good behaviour will result in the child going back to ‘green’

A child will be put ‘on red’ for an incidence of serious misbehaviour or repeated incidences of minor misbehaviour. At this stage, a sanction will be applied, eg removal of a privilege.

Where repeated incidences of misbehaviour are recorded, the teacher will meet with the child’s parents/guardian

If there is no improvement following parent/teacher meeting, the class teacher and Principal will meet with parent/guardian to develop a behaviour management plan

  • If there is no improvement at this stage the parent/guardian will be called to meet with the Principal and the Chairperson of the Board of Management where the situation will be discussed in detail. Guidelines will be drawn up for future behaviour in the school and playground.
  • The school reserves the right to arrange a meeting with the parents/guardians of a child at any time, should the child’s behaviour be deemed to be unacceptable.
  • If a parent refuses to meet with a class teacher the matter will be referred to the Principal. Any refusal to meet with the Principal and/or Chairperson will automatically be referred to the Board of Management and regarded as a serious breach of co-operation in our school behaviour policy.

Unacceptable Behaviour

Three levels of misbehaviour are recognised: Minor, Serious and Gross. All everyday instances of a minor nature are dealt with by the class teacher, or the supervising teacher at break-times. In cases of repeated serious misbehaviour or single instances of gross misbehaviour parents will be involved at an early stage and invited to meet the teacher and/or the principal to discuss their child’s behaviour.

Examples of minor misbehaviour include:

Bringing electronic equipment or mobile-phones to school

Not wearing appropriate uniform;

Not following instructions.

Use of ‘Bad Language’ eg. Profanities

Behaviour that interferes with teaching and learning

Examples of serious misbehaviour include:

Behaviour that is hurtful (including bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation)

Behaviour that constantly interferes with teaching and learning

Threats or physical hurt to another person

Damage to property


Bringing dangerous equipment to school

Leaving school/school activities without permission.

Examples of gross misbehaviour include:

Assault on a teacher or pupil

Serious Theft

Serious Damage to property

Bullying (See ‘Anti-Bullying Policy)

Carrying drugs, alcohol, cigarettes

It should be noted that this list consists of examples only. It is not an exhaustive list.

Bullying is repeated aggression – physical, verbal or emotional - conducted by an individual or group against another or others.

PHYSICAL: includes pushing, shoving, punching, kicking, poking, tripping, etc.

VERBAL: name calling which hurts, insults or humiliates.

EMOTIONAL: threats or persistent hurtful remarks regarding sensitive areas e.g. appearance, dress, progress, colour, culture and disability. Isolating or shunning a child. Threats to extort money or possessions. “Cyber/text” bullying.

The school takes particular care to intervene early in responding to the needs, fears or anxieties of individual members in a sensitive manner.

Issues in relation to Bullying are explored continually during SPHE lessons and using Circle Time, Drama etc.Should a parent/guardian have any concerns which need to be discussed with a teacher, all staff members are more than willing to facilitate a meeting, made through the proper channels i.e. a phone call to the office, or a note to the class teacher to arrange a convenient time for both parties.

The first person to be informed should be the class teacher. This arrangement ensures that all concerns are dealt with in a dignified, meaningful manner, without infringing on valuable teaching time. Isolated incidents of aggressive behaviour, while not to be condoned, cannot be described as bullying.

In the case where a parent reports a bullying incident, the school reserves the right to inform the relevant parties of the identity of the person making the complaint, when this is deemed necessary.


The purpose of a sanction is to bring about a change in behaviour by:

helping students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable

helping them to recognise the effect of their actions and behaviour on others

helping students (in ways appropriate to their age and development) to understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences

helping them to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.

A sanction may also:

reinforce the boundaries set out in the code of behaviour

signal to other students and to staff that their wellbeing is being protected.

In instances of more serious breaches of school standards, sanctions may be needed to:

prevent serious disruption of teaching and learning

keep the student, or other students or adults, safe.

The aim of any sanction is to prevent the behaviour occurring again and if necessary to help the pupil devise strategies for this. The following steps will be taken when a child behaves inappropriately. The list is by no means exhaustive.

  1. Reasoning with pupil
  2. Verbal reprimand including advice on how to improve.
  3. Temporary separation from peers within class and/or temporary removal to another class
  4. Yellow Card / Red Card during break
  5. Incidences of Serious and Gross misbehaviour recorded in the Incident Book
  6. Prescribing extra work/ writing out the story of what happened (age-appropriate reflection)
  7. Loss of privileges
  8. Detention during break
  9. Communication with parents
  10. Referral to Principal
  11. Principal communicating with parents
  12. Exclusion (Suspension or Expulsion) from school (in accordance with Rule 130 of the Rules for National Schools as amended by circular and Education Welfare Act 2000)

Usually sanctions will relate as closely as possible to the behaviour.

Suspension and Expulsion

Before serious sanctions such as detention, suspension or expulsion are used, the normal channels of communication between school and parents will be utilised. Where it is proposed to detain a pupil after school hours, the parents or guardians will be notified. Communication with parents may be verbal or by letter depending on the circumstances.

For gross misbehaviour or repeated instances of serious misbehaviour suspension may be considered. Parents concerned will be invited to come to the school to discuss their child’s case. Aggressive, threatening or violent behaviour towards a teacher or pupil will be regarded as serious or gross misbehaviour.

Where there are repeated instances of serious misbehaviour, the Chairperson of the Board of Management will be informed and the parents will be requested in writing to attend at the school to meet the Chairperson and the principal. If the parents do not give an undertaking that the pupil will behave in an acceptable manner in the future the pupil may be suspended for a period. Prior to suspension, where possible, the Principal may review the case in consultation with teachers and other members of the school community involved, with due regard to records of previous misbehaviours, their pattern and context, sanctions and other interventions used and their outcomes and any relevant medical information. Suspension will be in accordance with the Rules for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000.

In the case of gross misbehaviour, where it is necessary to ensure that order and discipline are maintained and to secure the safety of the pupils, the Board may authorise the Chairperson or Principal to sanction an immediate suspension for a period not exceeding three school days, pending a discussion of the matter with the parents.

Expulsion may be considered in an extreme case, in accordance with the Rule for National Schools and the Education Welfare Act 2000. Before suspending or expelling a pupil, the Board shall notify the Education Welfare Officer in writing in accordance with Section 24 of the Education Welfare Act.

Removal of Suspension (Reinstatement)

Following or during a period of suspension, the parent/s may apply to have the pupil reinstated to the school. The parent/s must give a satisfactory undertaking that a suspended pupil will behave in accordance with the school code and the Principal must be satisfied that the pupil’s reinstatement will not constitute a risk to the pupil’s own safety or that of the other pupils or staff. The Principal will facilitate the preparation of a behaviour plan for the pupil if required and will re-admit the pupil formally to the class.

Children with Special Needs

All children are required to comply with the code of behaviour. However the school recognises that children with special needs may require assistance in understanding certain rules. Specialised behaviour plans will be put in place in consultation with parents and the class teacher, learning support/ resource teacher, and or Principal. The Class Teacher, Special Needs teachers and Principal will work closely with home to ensure that optimal support is given. Cognitive development will be taken into account at all times. Professional advice from psychological assessments and / or Speech and Language reports will be sought where deemed necessary.

The children in the class or school may be taught strategies to assist a pupil with special needs adhere to the rules and thus provide peer support. This will be done in a supportive and safe way, acknowledging and respecting the difference in all individuals.

Communicating with Parents

Communicating with parents is central to maintaining a positive approach to dealing with children. Parents and teachers should develop a joint strategy to address specific difficulties, in addition to sharing a broader philosophy which can be implemented at home and in school.

A high level of co-operation and open communication is seen as an important factor encouraging positive behaviour in the school. Structures and channels designed to maintain a high level of communication among staff and between staff, pupils and parents have been established and are being reviewed regularly.

Parents are encouraged to talk in confidence to teachers about any significant developments in a child’s life (in the past or present), which may affect the child’s behaviour.

The following methods of communication are to be used within the school:

Informal/formal parent/teacher

Through children’s homework journal

Letters/notes from school to home and from home to school

School notice board


TextaParent service.

The Education Welfare Act 2000 requires that, the Principal, before registering a child as a student of Eglish National School, provides the parents/guardians with a copy of the Code of Behaviour, and may also, as a condition of so registering such child, require his/her parents to confirm, in writing, that the Code of Behaviour is acceptable to them, and that they shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure compliance by the child to this Code.

Every effort will be made by the Principal and staff to:

  1. Ensure that parents are kept well informed.
  2. That the school provides a welcoming atmosphere towards parents, and that
  3. Parents are not only told when their child/children are in trouble, but also when they have behaved particularly well.