In accordance with the requirements of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000 and the code of behaviour guidelines issued by the NEWB, the Board of Management of St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S. school has adopted the following anti-bullying policy within the framework of the school's overall code of behaviour. This policy fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools which were published in September 2013.
The Board of Management recognises the very serious nature of bullying and the negative impact that it can have on the lives of pupils and is therefore fully committed to the following key principles of best practice in preventing and tackling bullying behaviour:
In accordance with the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools bullying is defined as follows:
Bullying is unwanted negative behaviour: verbal, psychological or physical, conducted by an individual or group against another person (or persons) and which is repeated over time. The following types of bullying behaviour are included in the definition of bullying:
Isolated or once-off incidents of intentional negative behaviour, including a once-off offensive or hurtful text message or other private messaging, do not fall within the definition of bullying and should be dealt with, as appropriate, in accordance with the schoolâ€™s code of behaviour. However, in the context of this policy, placing a once-off offensive or hurtful public message, image or statement on a social network site or other public forum where that message, image or statement can be viewed and/or repeated by other people will be regarded as bullying behaviour. Negative behaviour that does not meet this definition of bullying will be dealt with in accordance with the schoolâ€™s code of behaviour. Additional information on different types of bullying is set out in Section 2 of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools.
The relevant teachers for investigating and dealing with bullying will be the class teachers. The principal will also be informed of the incident.
The education and prevention strategies that will be used by the school are as follows:
The school's procedures for investigation, follow-up and recording of bullying behaviour and the established intervention strategies used by the school for dealing with cases of bullying behaviour are as follows:
A programme of support for working with pupils who have been affected by bullying is as follows:
Pupils who have been bullied may need counselling and/or opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise their self-esteem, to develop their friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience whenever this is needed.
A programme of support for those pupils involved in bullying behaviour will also be part of the school's intervention process. Pupils involved in bullying behaviour need assistance on an ongoing basis. For those with low self-esteem, opportunities will be developed to increase feelings of self-worth. The learning strategies applied within the school will allow for the enhancement of the pupil's self-worth. Pupils who engage in bullying behaviour may be encouraged to attend counselling to help them learn other ways of meeting their needs without violating the rights of others.
Pupils who observe incidents of bullying behaviour will be supported and encouraged to discuss them with teachers.
Our programme of support is intrinsically linked to our Prevention and Education Strategies (refer to section 5).
The Board of Management confirms that appropriate supervision and monitoring policies and practices are in place to both prevent and deal with bullying behaviour and to facilitate early intervention where possible.
The Board of Management confirms that the school will, in accordance with its obligations under equality legislation, take all such steps that are reasonably practicable to prevent the sexual harassment of pupils or staff or the harassment of pupils or staff on any of the nine grounds specified i.e. gender including transgender, civil status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race and membership of the Traveller community.
(Chairperson of Board of Management) (Principal)
Date: ______________ Date: __________________
Date of next review: _______________These policies are reviewed periodically
The following Code of Behaviour was drawn up by the staff of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S. Primary, Bóthar Brugha, Drogheda, Co. Louth. It was presented to the Parents Council in draft form in November 2018. Their observations and comments were presented along with the draft policy to the Board of Management in November 2018 when it was ratified. It was circulated to all parents in November 2018.
This Code of Behaviour was drawn up to ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of all children to education in a disruption-free environment.
The staff will make every effort to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school and ensure that the code is implemented in a fair, reasonable and consistent manner.
This code offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are used by teachers. In St. Brigid's school greater emphasis is placed on the affirmation of good behaviour rather than focussing on sanctions in the belief that this will give the best results.
The Code of Behaviour was reviewed to ensure a continued orderly climate for learning in the school in compliance with legal requirements and good practice as set out in Developing a Code of Behaviour: Guidelines for Schools, NWEB, 2008. This policy was formulated in accordance with The Education Act 1998, Section 15,(1),(2); Section 21 (1),(3),(4); Section 23 (2),(3):Education Welfare Act 2000, Section 23 (1); Section 23(2): The Equality Act 2004; Circular 20/90: Rule 130 Section (3) of the "Rules for National Schools".
This policy is closely linked to our school's philosophy and spirit where we strive to create and nurture an inclusive child-focused environment. Our Mission Statement inspires all staff to celebrate individuality and encourage all children to reach their potential as lifelong learners. This hope shall be realised in a safe, respectful and trusting environment where diverse opinions are valued and a strong commitment to our Catholic ethos is developed.
Rather than listing all the possible behaviours that might be unacceptable, there are instead clear definitions of the differing roles and expectations of the people involved in the everyday life of the school.
School uniform to be worn every day except on P.E days.
School tracksuit and runners are necessary for P.E.
Pupils hair should be tied neatly
Please put your child's name on all school items including clothing and school bag.
School commences at 8.50am. In the interest of safety children should be punctual but not arrive too early for school. If there is any change to your child's routine, please inform the school.
For Health and Safety reasons we do not allow the following;
As part of our Healthy Eating Policy, we do not allow sweets (including cough sweets), crisps, chocolate or chewing gum.
The following sections outline the different strategies that may be used to deal with unacceptable behaviour. It is the responsibility of the teacher using their professional judgement, in consultation with the principal where necessary, to decide which strategy is appropriate at a particular time. The strategies are not listed in any particular order and they are not intended to be chosen in sequence.
Occasionally a child need not proceed through the various stages listed above dealing with suspension issues. The following appropriate action may be taken by the Principal or by the Board of Management.
Where the school and the Board of Management have exhausted all interventions it may as a last resort expel a pupil.
In the process of expelling a student the school will follow procedures prescribed under the Education Welfare Act 2000. Where a preliminary assessment of the facts confirms serious misbehaviour that could warrant expulsion, the procedural steps will include:
Parents and students are informed at all times about their right to appeal the decisions of the Board under Section 29 of the Education Act.
The Board of Management will review the school's Code of Discipline and also procedures concerning the use of suspension/ expulsion in the school at regular intervals.These policies are reviewed each year
Positive Strategies in the Classroom:
Other positive Strategies:
Rewards and Sanctions:
Strategies for dealing with unacceptable behaviour:
The Guidelines for Behaviour in School:
Whole school approach to promoting positive behaviour:
Every member of the school community has a role to play in the implementation of the code of behaviour.
Positive strategies for managing behaviour:
We have implemented many strategies for managing behaviour within our school. In accordance with Incredible Years ideology, the school believes that the key to achieving good behaviour standards is to prevent opportunities for unsatisfactory behaviours occurring. Such proactive strategies are essential to the running of our school. The strategies that we use are to be found in Appendix A.
The strategies in question, however, are whole-school based. The entire school community are responsible for their implementation.
The Role of the Staff:
The Role of the Board of Management:
The Role of the Parents:
The Role of the Pupils:
Involving parents in management of problem behaviour:
It is important at the start of the year to develop a positive relationship with as many parents as possible so that the first point of contact is not in relation to a problem and so that a level of trust is built between teacher and parent. If, however, a child is presenting with persistent problem behaviour, every effort will be made by the class teacher to devise a simple behaviour plan for that child in collaboration with the child's parent. Particular behaviours will be pin-pointed by the teacher and worked on consistently with the child. Reports of progress will be given frequently to the child's parent and they can be encouraged to develop similar behaviour plans at home.
Children with Specific Toileting/Intimate Care Needs:
Communication, Monitoring and Review:
This policy will be communicated to staff and school community as appropriate, and will be subject to review every three years, unless there is a compelling reason to review it earlier.
Chairperson, Board of Management
The Board of Management brings to the attention of its staff the following arrangements for safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of those employed and working in the school.
This policy requires the co-operation of all employees. It shall be reviewed annually or more frequently if necessary, in the light of experience, changes in legal requirements and operational changes. A safety audit shall be carried out annually by the Board of Management Safety Officers and a report made to staff. All records of accidents and ill-health will be monitored in order to ensure that any safety measures required can be put in place to minimise the recurrence of such accidents and ill-health.
The Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S wishes to ensure that as far as is reasonably practical:
The Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S recognises that its statutory obligations under legislation extends to employees, students, to any person legitimately conducting school business, and to the public.
The Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S undertakes to ensure that the provisions of the safety, Health and welfare at Work Act 1989 are adhered to:
Duties of Employees
It is the duty of every employee while at work:
No person will intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse any appliance, protective clothing, convenience or other means or thing provided in pursuance or any of the relevant statutory provisions or other wise, for securing safety, health or welfare or persons arising out of work activities.
Employees using available facilities and equipment provided should ensure that work practices are performed in the safest manner possible (see section 9 of safety, health and welfare at Work Act 1989).
Consultation and Information
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S to consult with staff in preparation and completion of hazard control forms, to give a copy of the safety statement to all present and future staff, and to convey any additional information or instructions regarding health, safety and welfare at work to all staff as it becomes available. Health, safety and welfare at work will be considered in any future staff training and development plans.
Hazards shall be divided into two categories. Those which can be rectified will be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Those that cannot will be clearly indicated and appropriate procedures listed beside them. All hazards shall be eliminated in so far as resources and circumstances allow.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that:
The following hazards (in so much as can be identified) are considered by the Board of Management to be a source of potential danger and are brought to the attention of all concerned.
To minimise these dangers the following safety/ protective measures must be adhered to (see duties of employee pages 1-2 of this document):
Machinery, Kitchen equipment, Electrical appliances.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that machinery, kitchen equipment and electrical appliances are to be used only by competent and authorised persons. Such appliances and equipment will be subject to regular maintenance checks.
Arrangements will be made for all appliances to be checked on a regular basis at least annually by a competent person (i.e.) maintenance person, the supplier or his agent. Before using any appliance the user should check that:
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that all chemicals, photocopier toner, detergents etc be stored in clearly identifiable containers bearing instructions and precautions for their use and shall be kept in a locked area, and protection provided to be used when handling them. (Secretary/Cleaner/Principal where appropriate).
Drugs And Medication
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's National School that all drugs, medications, etc be kept in a secure cabinet, locked at all times and the key kept in a separate and secure place and used only by trained and authorised personnel.
To ensure the continued welfare of the staff and children, toilet areas are provided. A Staffroom separate from the work area is provided, where tea and lunch breaks may be taken. Staff must co-operate in maintaining a high standard of hygiene in this area.
A high standard of hygiene must be achieved at all times. Adequate facilities for waste disposal must be available. An adequate supply of hot and cold water, towels and soap and sanitary disposal facilities must be available.
Members of staff and students are reminded:
Highly Polished Floors
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that every attempt will be made to avoid the creation of slippery surfaces. The washing of floors shall be conducted, as far as is possible, after school hours to eliminate as far as possible, the danger of slipping. Where floors are wet, warning signs regarding wet floors shall be used. Attention is drawn to the possibility of outside floors and surfaces being affected by frost in cold weather, and staff and pupils shall be told to use handrails when going up or down stairs. Step edges shall be fitted with clearly marked edges of a non-slip nature wherever practical.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that the school shall be a non-smoking area to avoid hazard to staff and pupils of passive smoking.
The Board of Management shall minimise the danger arising from broken glass. Staffs are asked to report broken glass to the Principal so that it may be immediately removed.
Visual Display Units
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that the advice contained in the guidelines on the safe operation of visual display units, issued by the Health and Safety Authority be carefully followed. Any up-to-date information regarding hazards relating to the use of VDU's will be studied and recommendations and directives implement
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S that all infectious diseases shall be notified and steps taken to ensure the safety of staff and students against all such diseases. The Board of Management will endeavour to minimise the risk by adherence to sound principals of cleanliness, hygiene and disinfection and have provided disposable gloves for use in all First Aid applications, cleaning tasks, etc. Toilets and washrooms shall be provided at all times with an adequate supply of water, soap, towels and a facility for the safe disposal of waste.
It is the policy of the Board of Management of St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S. that a member of staff shall be trained to provide First Aid to staff and pupils.
Safety Officer will see that there will be maintained in the school a properly equipped First Aid Box available to staff at all times containing:
Disposable gloves must be used at all times in administering First Aid
Access To School
In as much as is compatible with the practical layout of the school premises, anyone entering the school premises shall be required to identify themselves to the Principal or the Secretary as relevant before gaining admittance to the school. Any contractor must make direct contact with the Principal before initiating any work on the premises and shall be shown a copy of the safety statement applying to the school and shall agree to its provisions.
While work is in progress, any noise shall be avoided wherever possible during school hours and shall at all times be reduced to the minimum necessary. The contractor and his workmen shall not create any hazard, permanent or temporary, without informing the principal or his nominated agent and shall mark such hazard with warning signs or other suitable protection.
Revision of This Safety Statement
This statement shall be regularly revised by the Board Of Management of St Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S in accordance with experience and the requirements of the Health and Safety Act and the Health and Safety Authority.
Signed on behalf of the Board of Management:
Nominee of BOM
Nominee of Staff
Members of the Board of Management:
Chairman: Niamh Black
Fr. Paul Murphy,
Safety Officer: TBA
Staff Nominee: Niamh Redden
Prepared by representatives of the Board of Management, in consultation with parents and teachers in accordance with the safety, Health and Welfare Act at Work Act 1989
What is Whistleblowing?
Whistleblowing is the term used when a worker raises a concern about a relevant wrongdoing such as possible fraud, crime, danger or failure to comply with any legal obligation which came to the worker's attention in connection with the worker's employment. Relevant wrong doings are broadly defined in the relevant Act and include the following:
It is important to note that a matter is not regarded as a relevant wrongdoing if it is a matter which it is the function of the worker or the worker's employer to detect, investigate or prosecute and does not consist of or involve an act or omission on the part of the employer.
In St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S, whistleblowing may occur when a staff member raises a concern or discloses information which relates to wrongdoing, illegal practices or unethical conduct which has come to his/her attention through work.
Our school's whistleblowing policy is intended to encourage and enable staff members to raise concerns within our school rather than overlooking a problem or â€œblowing the whistleâ€ externally. Under this policy a staff member is entitled to raise concerns or disclose information without fear of penalisation or threat of less favourable treatment, discrimination or disadvantage.
St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S., in accordance with our school vision and ethos, is committed to maintaining an open culture with the highest standards of honesty and accountability where our staff members can report any concerns in confidence.
Who does the policy apply to?
This policy applies to all staff members.
It is important to note that if a staff member has a concern in relation to his/her own employment or personal circumstances in the workplace it should be dealt with by way of the relevant Grievance Procedure (i.e. INTO grievance procedure for teachers; IMPACT grievance procedure for relevant staff members and his/her contractual grievance procedure for contracted staff members). Likewise, concerns arising in regard to workplace relationships should generally be dealt with through our Adult Bullying, Harassment and Sexual Harassment policy and / or the Working Together: Procedures and Policies for Positive Staff Relations document agreed by INTO and school management bodies.
It is also important to note that this whistleblowing policy does not replace any legal reporting or disclosure requirements. Where statutory reporting requirements and procedures exist, these must be complied with fully.
Aims of the Policy
What types of concerns can be raised?
A concern or disclosure should relate to a relevant wrongdoing such as possible fraud, crime, danger or failure to comply with any legal obligation which has come to a staff member's attention in connection with his/her employment and about which he/she has a reasonable belief of wrongdoing.
What types of concerns should not be raised under this Procedure?
A personal concern, for example a grievance around a staff member's own contract of employment, would not be regarded as a whistleblowing concern and would be more appropriately processed through the relevant Grievance Procedure
Safeguards and Penalisation
A worker who makes a disclosure and has a reasonable belief of wrongdoing will not be penalised by the school, even if the concerns or disclosure turn out to be unfounded.
Penalisation includes suspension/dismissal, disciplinary action, demotion, discrimination, threats or other unfavourable treatment arising from raising a concern or making a disclosure on the basis of reasonable belief for doing so. If a staff member believes that he/she is being subjected to penalisation as a result of making a disclosure under this procedure, he/she should inform the Principal or Chairperson of the Board of Management immediately.
Staff members who penalise or retaliate against those who have raised concerns under this policy will be subject to disciplinary action
Staff members are not expected to prove the truth of an allegation. However, they must have a reasonable belief that there are grounds for their concern. It should be noted that appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against any staff member who is found to have raised a concern or raised a disclosure with malicious intent.
This school is committed to protecting the identity of the staff member raising a concern and ensures that relevant disclosures are treated in confidence. The focus will be on the wrongdoing rather than the person making the disclosure. However, there are circumstances, as outlined in the Act, where confidentiality cannot be maintained, particularly in a situation where the staff member is participating in an investigation into the matter being disclosed. Should such a situation arise, the school will make every effort to inform the staff member that his/her identity may be disclosed.
Raising a Concern Anonymously
A concern may be raised anonymously. However, on a practical level, it may be difficult to investigate such a concern. The school would encourage staff members to put their names to allegations, with an assurance of confidentiality where possible, in order to facilitate appropriate follow-up. This will make it easier for the school to assess the disclosure and take appropriate action including an investigation if necessary.
Raising a Concern
Who should you raise your concern with?
As a first step, appropriate concerns should be raised with the Principal or Deputy Principal. However should a staff member not wish to use this route, for example given the seriousness and sensitivity of the issues involved, he/she should approach the Chairperson of the Board of Management.
How to raise a concern
Concerns may be raised verbally or in writing. Should a staff member raise a concern verbally, a discussion will take place between him/her and the Principal/Deputy Principal/Chairperson of Board of Management, and the staff member may be advised to put the concern in writing, if it is decided between both parties that there is merit to the concern or disclosure. The written concern/disclosure should give the background and history of the concern, giving relevant details, insofar as is possible, such as dates, sequence of events and description of circumstances.
The earlier the concern is expressed, the easier it will be for the school to deal with the matter quickly.
Having received the written concern, representatives from the Board of Management will arrange a meeting to discuss the matter with the staff member on a strictly confidential basis. It will need to be clarified at this point if the concern is appropriate to this procedure or is a matter more appropriate to other procedures, for example the Grievance or Adult Bullying procedures. The staff member can choose whether or not he/she wants to be accompanied by a colleague or a trade union representative. In regard to confidentiality, it is important that there should be an awareness of respecting sensitive school information, which, while unrelated to the disclosure, may be disclosed in the course of a consultation or investigation process.
Dealing with the disclosure
Having met with the staff member in regard to his/her concern and clarified that the matter is in fact appropriate to this procedure, the Board of Management or its representatives will carry out an initial assessment to examine what actions are needed to be taken to deal with the matter. This may involve simply clarifying certain matters, clearing up misunderstandings or resolving the matter by agreed action without the need for an investigation.
If, on foot of the initial assessment, it is concluded that there are grounds for concern that cannot be dealt with at this point, an investigation will be conducted which will be carried out fairly and objectively. The form and scope of the investigation will depend on the subject matter of the disclosure.
Disclosures may, in the light of the seriousness of the matters raised, be referred immediately to the appropriate authorities. Likewise, if urgent action is required (for example to remove a health and safety hazard), this action will be taken.
It is important that staff members feel assured that a disclosure made under this policy is taken seriously and that the staff member is kept informed of steps being taken in response to the disclosure. In this regard the school undertakes to communicate with the relevant staff member as follows:
It is possible that in the course of an investigation the staff member may be asked to clarify certain matters. To maximise confidentiality, such a meeting can take place outside of the school and he/she can choose whether or not to be accompanied by a colleague or trade union representative.
Where a concern is raised or a disclosure is made in accordance with this policy, but the allegation is subsequently not upheld by an investigation, no action will be taken against the staff member making the disclosure and the staff member will be protected against any penalisation. It is important to note that if an unfounded allegation is found to have been with malicious intent, then disciplinary action may be taken.
How the matter can be taken further
The aim of this Policy is to provide an avenue within this school to deal with concerns or disclosures in regard to wrongdoing. The Board of Management is confident that most issues can be dealt with at school level and strongly encourages staff members to report such concerns internally.
It is acknowledged that there may be circumstances where a staff member wants to make a disclosure externally and the legislation governing disclosures - The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 - provides for a number of avenues in this regard.
It is important to note, however, that while a staff member needs only have a reasonable belief as to wrongdoing to make a disclosure internally, if he/she is considering an external disclosure, different and potentially more onerous obligations apply depending on to whom the disclosure is made.
Communication, Monitoring and Review
This policy will be communicated to staff and the school community as appropriate and will be subjected to regular review in accordance with the systematic cycle of review of policies adopted in St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S.
Chairperson, Board of Management
St. Brigid's & St. Patrick's N.S. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all our staff and a safe learning environment for all our pupils. To ensure that, we have developed the following COVID-19 Response Plan. The BOM and all school staff are responsible for the implementation of this plan and a combined effort will help contain the spread of the virus. We will:
All school staff will be consulted on an ongoing basis and feedback is encouraged on any concerns, issues or suggestions.
This can be done through the Lead Worker Representative(s), who will be supported in line with the agreement between the Department and education partners.