Cód Smachta/Code of Behaviour

Policy of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire on Pupil Behaviour


“The Code of Behaviour & School Guidelines”


This policy has been devised following collaboration and consultation with the following partners and interested parties, the teaching staff of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, the student’s council, the parents association and the schools trustees, ERST.


  • The Code of Behaviour describes Gaelcholáiste Mhuire’s expectations about how each member of the school community (students, staff and parents) help to make the school a good place for teaching and learning.
  • The Code describes how the school will respond to behaviour that interrupts, diminishes or prevents teaching and learning in the school.
  • Students who behave in accordance with this Code of Behaviour create and enjoy an orderly and harmonious atmosphere and climate in the school.
  • The school climate and atmosphere are created by the actions and behaviour of everyone in the school community. The behaviour of the adults in a pupil’s life – teachers and parents – is a major influence on how a pupil acts.
  • Gaelcholáiste Mhuire gives priority to promoting good behaviour and setting high*
  • The school recognizes that the educational needs of a pupil whose behaviour is unacceptable will be balanced with the educational needs of other pupils in the school.
  • The Code helps young people to experience the value of being responsible, participating members of the school community.
  • The Code of Behaviour promotes equality for all members of the school community.
  • The Code is based on a principle of fairness. It represents the principles of natural justice and, also, ensures a consistent approach to behaviour by all members of the school community.
  • The Code reflects the schools commitment to provide support for those students who are more vulnerable to behavioural problems.
  • The Code of behaviour of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire is based on a commitment to the welfare of every student – including the right to participate in, and benefit from, post-primary education.
  • Gaelcholáiste Mhuire’s Code of Behaviour helps to promote a positive and safe working environment for staff and pupils.
  • The Code promotes the conditions for learning and teaching, dignity and freedom from the threat of violence for both students and staff.
  • Each pupil who accepts a place in Gaelcholáiste Mhuire undertakes a commitment to always give of her/his best in all aspects of her/his development.
  • All pupil conduct is based on the principles of honesty, politeness, consideration for others and on respect for themselves and all other members of the school community.



  • Respect for all members of the school community, fellow pupils, parents/guardians, staff and visitors as well as manners, politeness, courtesy and above all self-respect are basic requirements of the school. Pupils are requested to obey all legitimate instructions from members of staff or other pupil supervisors & all pupils are responsible for their behaviour in the school building, the school yard or any part of the grounds.


  • All pupils have the right to an education without any form of interference from others. Any form of intimidation or bullying is not allowed and will be dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the school’s Anti-Bullying Policy adhering to the Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary schools which were published by the Department of Education and Skills in September 2013, and circular letter (045/2013).


  • Pupils must respect all school property, and the property of fellow pupils including materials, desks and the building itself. Pupils must respect the environment and each individual pupil is responsible for her/his litter and must deposit it in the bins provided.  Failure to observe this guideline may lead to suspension, expulsion or fines.


  • All classes must be attended regularly and punctually at all times – morning and afternoon and a note must be presented in the school journal with an explanation if a pupil is late. Sanctions may be applied if a pupil is late without a valid explanation.


  • If a pupil is absent for any reason parents / guardians are requested to telephone the school on the morning / afternoon of the absence. A signed note from parents/guardians must be presented at the school when the pupil returns even where a phone call has been made.


  • No pupil may leave the school during school hours unless a signed written request by a parent/guardian is presented to and authorised by the class teacher, and the Deputy Principal or Principal or the parent/guardian makes a personal appearance at the school. If for any reason (example illness) a pupil wishes to leave school, permission must be sought from the subject teacher and the Deputy Principal or the Principal and all communication with parents must be made through the school office and not personally by the pupils.     B. The “Attendance Book” /  “Out Book” in the school office must be signed by the pupil before leaving the school.  A lunch-time form must be filled by parent’s/guardians and access to the canteen in the other secondary school is not allowed.

7)  All homework assignments, both written and learning, must be completed on time and to the satisfaction of the subject teacher and in accordance with the homework policy of the school.  Homework must be written in the school journal and a pupil must have her/his journal in school each day which must be kept in a neat clean condition free of slogans, graffiti or any other writing except homework or notes from or to school.


  1. (a)All pupils must be neat and well groomed and must wear the full school uniform on all schooldays, except by special permission. The wearing of all facial, mouth or nose jewellery, as well as other jewellery which may constitute a danger is prohibited. No badges or adornments except official school badges may be worn on the school uniform.


  • If a pupil, for any reason, does not have the full uniform, a written explanation must be presented on that day at school.


  • If for any reason, the correct black shoes are not being worn, a written explanation must be presented and medical evidence may be needed if the problem is ongoing.


  • No caps, hats or other headgear may be worn inside the school building.


  1. (a) Lockers may be hired for one school at a cost. The locker is the property of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire.  In some cases pupils may share a locker.


    (b)    Pupils must keep their lockers tidy and in good order, and must keep them locked.


    (c)    The School authorities may inspect lockers from time to time, and may at any time ask a student to open her/his locker for inspection. 


   (d)     A pupil is in breach of the rules if she/he has any unauthorised or banned substances, materials, utensils, tools or weapons in her/his locker. 


  • The privilege of having a locker may be revoked at any time for breach of these rules.


  • The Board of Management does not accept responsibility for loss or damage to a student’s property.


  1. (a) Smoking is prohibited inside the school grounds and on all school related activities ; possession of alcohol or any illicit substances are also  strictly forbidden inside the school grounds and on all school related activities. Possession of matches, or any form of lighter or laser beams or materials which may constitute a danger to others is not allowed.  The use of bottled tippex is not allowed.   Failure to comply with this guideline may lead to heavy sanctions including suspension or expulsion being applied.


    (b)   The supply of tobacco products, alcohol or any illicit substances to other pupils in school, within the school environs or in the vicinity of the school may lead to heavy sanctions up to and including expulsion.


     (c)   Possession of, chewing or eating any type of gum is prohibited within any of the school buildings, on the grounds of the school, on any school activities, in buses or accommodation used by or hired by the school.


Note:           In the interests of health and safety, if any pupil is found to be in possession of any illicit substances or is found to have used illicit substances they may be requested to undergo a drugs test and will be requested to join a rehabilitation programme at some specialised rehabilitation centre.  The pupil will have to attend the programme; show certificate of (i) attendance (ii) rehabilitation before she/he is allowed back to school.





11.(a)   Cycling within the grounds is not allowed for reasons of safety.

  • Pupils who may wish to use mechanically propelled vehicles in the school must bring this to the notice of the school authorities beforehand and seek permission from the school authorities.



  1. Gaeilge – Gaelcholáiste Mhuire, An Mhainistir Thuaidh is an All-Irish post-primary. school. Pupils must be willing to fully adhere to the ethos of the school and to the promotion of the Irish Language in all school related activities.


  1. The use of mobile phones is strictly prohibited during the school day and must be turned off before entering school.   Mobile phones may not be used within the school building at any time.  Any breach of this guideline may lead to the confiscation and holding of the appliance for up to a week and/or a ban on the particular pupil from possession of the phone in school time.


  1. The Principal reserves the right to suspend any pupil for non-adherence to school guidelines and may advise the Board of Management to expel a student for continuous interference with the rights of others, or other serious misconduct.


  1. The school authorities are the final arbitrators in what constitutes acceptable

              standards of conduct, neatness, dress and appearance.


  Remediation Schedule.


A detailed and graduated series of school actions/responses will apply to deal with breaches of school guidelines.  This will be paralleled by pastoral guidance and a high level of home-school communication from the earliest stage.


Breach 1.  Details of the incident will be accurately recorded in the class discipline book and signed by the reporting staff member [i.e. 1st booking].  At the end of the same school-day, the head of discipline for the relevant class will despatch a letter [Litir 1A] to the parent(s) guardian(s) notifying them of the discipline breach and the student is also interviewed by the head of discipline.


Breach 2.  When /if a 2nd booking is incurred, a second letter [litir 2A] is sent to parent(s) guardian(s).  The facility of a meeting with the relevant head of discipline is extended to parent(s)/guardian(s) though not insisted upon.


Breach 3. A third letter [Litir 3A] is posted to parent(s)/guardian(s) notifying them of the 3rd booking. The student is interviewed by the head of discipline and placed on a Monitoring Card[yellow] for a period of 5 full school-days. Parent(s)/guardian(s) may also be spoken with via telephone or at a personal meeting.


  •  The MonitoringCard system is central to the administration of Gaelcholáiste Mhuire’s monitoring/promotion of behaviour/improvement and must be afforded the highest level of respect by any involved pupil .




A student on a Monitoring Card is obliged to

  • keep the card neat and tidy and on her/his person for the duration.
  • afford it the privacy of a private document between the student, parent(s)/guardian(s) and the school.
  • place it on the teacher’s desk at the start of each class and invite the teacher to mark and initial the appropriate slot at the end of class.
  • ensure that the card is signed each night by parent(s)/guardians and that the card is presented to the head of discipline the following morning before 11.45a.m. for countersigning.

The classroom teacher is obliged to award a mark according to the criteria set out below:

A : for all below: B  two of three  C one of three. D  poor response to all three.

1) Student is attentive and participates fully in class.

2) Courteous behaviour shown towards subject teacher and fellow students.

3) Uniform dress code and class materials/books presented as per standard required by school   code of conduct.


An E grade will be given if there is an unsatisfactory response to the above.


Homework must be presented to the satisfaction of the subject teacher at all times while on a monitoring card. Failure in this regard will earn an E grade.


An E grade at any time will necessitate the pupils removal from class and may result in suspension.


Failure to comply with any of the schools guidelines while on a monitoring card may also result in suspension.


Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are obliged to sign the card each night and to support the school’s behaviour modification/improvement efforts by continually monitoring the grades -performance.


A sustained pattern of low grades on the monitoring card may require:

  1. a short-notice meeting with parent(s)/guardian(s)
  2. the application of a period of suspension from school.


An E grade will apply if a student is in breach of any school rule that would in normal circumstances, merit a discipline or letters.


At the end of five full school-days, the relevant head of discipline will acknowledge positive/satisfactory student performance by taking the student off the monitoring-card.   The relevant head of discipline, if unconvinced by the grades on the card, has discretion to recommend an extension of the monitoring-card period pending evidence of significant/sustained improvement.


A pupil is seriously advised/obliged to maintain a very positive behaviour pattern in the post- monitoring-card period and for the remainder of her/his time in the school. Parental/guardian support for this requirement is critically important.

Should the pupil(s) re-enter the “letters” 1,2,3, monitoring-card cycle at a future date, the urgency of parent/guardian meetings may arise: issues of responsibility for behaviour on the part of the pupils(s) and parent(s)/guardian(s) may be raised ; the rights of compliant pupils to a disruption-free education may be invoked and consideration may have to be given to more extended terms of suspension from school or other serious sanctions.


Short-Circuit Offence.Form F.S.A.   If a student is involved in behaviour which is unacceptable to any teacher/staff member, (especially any form of disrespect), instant action may be taken.  Another pupil(not the student involved) may be sent to the staff-room to ask another teacher to stand in while the subject teacher or teacher on supervision duty brings the student to the relevant Head of Discipline/ Deputy Principal who will investigate the incident getting clear statements from the parties involved and other witnesses.(The Principal is involved only when all investigations are complete as she/he must impartially review the evidence before taking any action)   All work in class must stop, as an exemplary protest against such behaviour.   The relevant head of discipline will consult with the Principal as to the length of term of suspension which may apply.  This procedure should remove the necessity of placing students outside the door, a practice which for reasons of accountability and safety must never be used.


Exclusion of a student from school will only be considered as a last resort and in circumstances where:

  • A sustained pattern of misbehaviour is paralled by evidence of an apparent unwillingness to positively respond to the school’s pastoral and punitive approaches.
  • The school believes that its best efforts at rehabilitation of the student’s offending behaviour pattern have failed and where the belief is that no realistic possibility of rehabilitation exists in the future.
  • The school’s professional judgement is that the teaching/learning environment for compliant pupils is continually and seriously jeopardised by a particular pupils behaviour.
  • The health and safety of students and/or staff is placed at risk.
  • The support and co-operation of parent(s)/ guardian(s), as expressed in the school’s enrolment contract, is withdrawn.


Procedural Requirements.

(1)        Suspension:


  • The Principal is empowered to suspend a student from school, ideally for periods of short-term duration but not for a cumulative period greater than 20 calendar days in any one school-year.
  • In the case of such Principal-applied suspensions, notification to the parent(s) / guardian(s) will be by formal letter with the right of appeal to the Board of Management enshrined.
  • Appeals to the Board of Management – Procedure…

…….. a full meeting of the Board will be convened.

……… the parent(s)/guardian(s)(and /or student if 18 years or over) and the

Principal will be offered equal segments of time to present respective cases and clarify any points raised by the Board.

……… both parties will then withdraw to allow the Board to adjudicate fairly and

objectively on the matter.


In the event of an appeal being successful, the implementation/consequence of this will be the removal of the formal suspension letter from the student file as short-term suspension will actually/realistically be served before a full Board of Management meeting can reasonably be expected to convene.


  • Longer-term or Exclusion Decisions in this category are the responsibility of the Board of Management.  The Principal is empowered to recommend such a course of action but the decision will be a decision of the Board.   Any exclusion decision of the Board will be communicated by the Board Secretary, by registered letter, to the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the right of appeal to the Secretary-General of the Department of Education and Science, will be notified by the inclusion of a standard appeal form.  In the event of an appeal to   the Secretary-General of the Department of Education and Science being successful, the school will be compelled to restore the student(s) to full schooling with immediate effect and without prejudice.


Finally in considerations relating to suspension and exclusion of student(s), Gaelcholáiste Mhuire must ensure that:


  1. accurate records are kept of incidents, correspondence, phone calls, minutes of meetings, etc.
  2. all reports of breaches of school rules are incident-focused and not prejudicial to any broader considerations and possible outcomes.
  • The principle of natural justice must apply at all times/stages in the process.


  • Year Heads who have a disciplinary role & Class Tutors who have a counselling role should be made aware of any ongoing misbehaviour so that they may intervene positively to resolve a situation.


                                           Re.Monitoring Cards

All “bookings” may be wiped clean at the end of the school term.  Where a pupil had received a monitoring card, the booking/s may be carried over to the next school term.


Litir 1                                                                                                                                                    Dáta:  

Ainm an Dalta:  ________________________________                        Rang: ______________________



A thuistí/chaomhnóirí,


I regret to inform you that _____________________ ‘s behaviour/performance has been less than satisfactory .It is essential that each pupil behaves in a proper  manner and does not interfere with the learning of others (or with his or her own) by distracting the teacher or other pupils in the class.


We expect a high standard of courtesy and consideration for others at all times in school and pupils must realise that by disrupting the teaching or learning in the class in any way that they are interfering with the educational  rights of classmates.


I am seeking your help in ensuring that there will be no repeat of this behaviour; that there will be a significant improvement in your daughters/son’s behaviour/performance, so that the teaching and learning of all pupils can take place without unnecessary interruption to the benefit of all.                  


   The reason for this note is:

A             *              Disregarding teachers instructions                                 (    )

B             *              Lack of courtesy                                                                                  (    )

C              *              Not having (a) class material(s)                                                      (    )

D             *              Other __________________________________________

Comments:                   ___________________________________________


Múinteoir: _______________________                                                                                   Dáta: ___________

(Please sign the attached slip,detach and return to the Year Head)




Litir 1                    Dáta Eisiúna(Date of Issue): ___________________


We have read the attached letter detailing ___________________’s behaviour/performance in school.

Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature:  ______________________________________________


It is the responsibility of the above student to return this slip to his/her Year Head the day after receipt. Failure to do so is a serious breach of discipline.



Name of student:  ___________________________________    Rang:_________________









 Litir 2                                                                                     Dáta:


Ainm an Dalta:  ___________________________   Rang: ______________________


A thuistí/chaomhnóirí,


This notice is to convey that   _____________________________________ has received a second warning as to his/her behaviour/performance.



The reason for this note is:

A         *          Disregarding teachers instructions                                (    )

B          *          Lack of courtesy                                                          (    )

C          *          Not having (a) class material(s)                                                (    )

D         *          Other                                                                           (    )


Recording Teacher’s Comments and Initials:




I would welcome your input in securing an improvement in your son’s/daughter’s  general behaviour/performance, as failure to improve may carry serious sanctions.


If you feel the need to discuss this matter with me, please contact me in the school for an appointment.


Sínithe ag /Signed by:   _____________________________       Dáta:  ______________


(Please sign the attached slip, detach and return to the Year Head)


Litir 2                                                  Dáta Eisiúna(Date of Issue): ________________


I/We have read the attached letter detailing ___________________’s  behaviour / performance  in  school.


Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature:  ____________________________________________.


It is the responsibility of the above student to return this slip to his/her Year Head the day after receipt. Failure to do so is a serious breach of discipline.



Litir 3


A notice of serious concern at the ongoing behaviour/performance of a pupil:


Reason for Litir 3:  _________________________________________________



Signature of Reporting Teacher:  ______________________________________  

A thuistí/ a chaomhnóirí,

______________________’s  behaviour /performance is not at all satisfactory. Please make an appointment to see me as soon as possible to discuss this matter of serious concern. It is very important that the appointment is made promptly as you may be requested to keep your son/daughter at home until a meeting regarding this matter has taken place.

He/ She will be placed on a report card as soon as the matter has been discussed. This card monitors the student’s  behaviour /performance for a week assessing his /her performance in each class. The card must be carried by the student at all times and must be signed by the parents/guardians every night and checked to see that the performance/behaviour is up to acceptable standards.

I must emphasise that failure by pupils to respond to demands in accordance with school guidelines may lead to more serious sanctions being imposed, including suspension or in very serious cases, dismissal from the school. Your active co-operation and influence will be vital in ensuring that this will not be necessary.

Is mise le meas,

_________________________________                                    Dáta:  _________________        

Cinnire Bliana


(Please sign the attached slip, detach and return to the Year Head)

—————————————————————————————————————–Litir 3                                        Dáta Eisiúna (Date of Issue): ___________________


I/We have read the attached letter detailing ___________________’s  recent behaviour / performance  in school as well as the enclosed school’s guidelines and code of behaviour.

Parent’s/Guardian’s Signature:

  1. ___________________________________ 2. ______________________________


It is the responsibility of the above student to return this slip to his/her Year Head the day after receipt.

Failure to do so is a serious breach of discipline.








Foirm Speisialta “A”


Dalta_______________________________      Rang _______________A.G.



Múinteoir_________________________      Dáta_____________________



Cuntas ar an eachtra