St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
WHOLE SCHOOL BEHAVIOUR POLICY
Statement of intent
St. Patrick’s catholic Primary School believes that, in order to facilitate teaching and learning, acceptable behaviour must be demonstrated in all aspects of school life.
We are committed to:
- Promoting desired behaviour.
- Make clear its expectations of positive behaviour, through assemblies, school council meetings, use of behaviour committees (behaviour scouts).
- Promoting self-esteem, self-discipline, proper regard for authority, and positive relationships based on mutual respect.
- Ensuring equality and fair treatment for all.
- Praising and rewarding good behaviour. Awarding team points, individual class systems, Certificates of achievement, St. Patriack’s learner certificate etc.
- Challenging and disciplining bad behaviour.
- Follow and apply consistently clear guidelines e.g. behaviour ladder
- Providing a safe environment, free from disruption, violence, discrimination, bullying and any form of harassment.
- Encouraging positive relationships with parents/carers.
- Developing relationships with our pupils to enable early intervention. e.g. high alert children at playtimes.
- Promoting a culture of praise and encouragement in which all pupils can achieve.
- Treat every member of the community as individuals and respect their rights, values and beliefs.
- promote good relationships and a sense of belonging to the community.
1.Key roles and responsibilities
1.1. The governing body has overall responsibility for the implementation of this policy and the procedures of St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School.
1.2. The governing body has overall responsibility for ensuring that this policy, as written, does not discriminate on any grounds, including, but not limited to, ethnicity/national origin, culture, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation.
1.3. The governing body has responsibility for handling complaints regarding this policy, as outlined in the school’s Complaints Policy.
1.4. The head teacher will be responsible for the day-to-day implementation and management of this policy and the procedures of the school.
1.5. Staff, including teachers, support staff and volunteers, will be responsible for following the policy and for ensuring pupils do so too. They will also be responsible for ensuring the policy is implemented fairly and consistently.
1.6. Staff, including teachers, support staff and volunteers, will create a supportive and high quality learning environment, teaching positive behaviour for learning and implementing this policy.
1.7. Parents/carers will be expected to take responsibility for the behaviour of their child(ren) inside and outside of school.
1.8. Parents/carers will be expected to take responsibility for promoting positive behaviour for learning and modelling acceptable behaviour in the home.
1.9. Pupils are responsible for their own behaviour both inside school and out in the wider community.
1.10. Pupils are responsible for their social and learning environment and agree to report all undesirable behaviour to adults in school.
You may expect staff and other adults in the school to:
- arrive at lessons on time;
- plan and deliver good to outstanding lessons which engage and motivate you to achieve;
- allocate sufficient time for each task;
- be enthusiastic and develop positive working relationships with you and your peers in their classes;
- celebrate the success of pupils in lessons, after school activities and assemblies;
- encourage all pupils to contribute to the work in hand;
- communicate both successes and concerns with parents;
- have a well organised room;
- mark or give effective feedback on work as soon as possible;
- set homework appropriate for the age and abilities of each pupil;
- treat you fairly;
- eliminate or control hazards which may cause you harm;
- use a range of non-verbal and verbal cues to encourage good behaviour and limit inappropriate behaviour;
- be approachable and listen to you at appropriate times;
- always take seriously any complaints of bullying or inappropriate behaviour reported to them;
- display your work;
- set high expectations, clear boundaries and regularly agree classroom and behaviour expectations;
- use rewards and, where necessary, sanctions consistently;
- model the behaviours you wish to see.
Staff may expect you to:
- arrive at lessons on time;
- follow classroom rules and procedures and not disrupt the learning of other pupils;
- use appropriate language;
- Follow the schools golden rules.
- lead by example creating a good role model for younger pupils in the school;
- accept responsibility for your behaviour;
- use ICT in accordance with school policy;
- be responsible when using online technologies and not compromise the professional integrity of staff or other adults in the school community;
- report to a teacher or other adult any bullying behaviour by others including bullying with the use of technology (cyber bullying);
- behave appropriately when outside school;
- be an ambassador for the school.
You may expect your colleagues and other adults in the school to:
- treat you with respect;
- work and co-operate with you for the overall good of the school community;
- respect your values and individual beliefs;
- treat all pupil and staff issues with the highest standards of confidentiality;
- offer support when appropriate;
- be aware of your job remit and respect its boundaries;
- use ICT appropriately and in accordance with the school’s Acceptable Use Policy;
- be aware of and consider the possible implications for the school, colleagues and themselves when posting inappropriately on Social Network Sites.
- use on-line technology appropriately and not compromise the professional integrity of colleagues or other adults in the school community
Staff and other adults in the school may expect parents to:
- treat you and your colleagues with respect;
- treat other parents, pupils and visitors to the school with respect;
- behave responsibly whilst on school premises;
- report any incidents of bullying including cyber bullying as soon as they are discovered so that the issue can be dealt with promptly by school staff;
- ensure that their child arrives at school on time;
- ensure that their child is dressed appropriately, in school uniform with any necessary equipment e.g. p.e. kit;
- ensure that their child attends school regularly and contact the school in the event of an absence or lateness;
- encourage their child to achieve their very best in school;
- encourage their child to have high standards of behaviour in and out of school;
- support the school’s policies, strategies and guidelines for behaviour;
- work with school staff to help their child accept responsibility for their behaviour and actions;
- inform the school of any concerns or problems that may affect the child’s work or behaviour;
- support their child’s homework and other home-based learning activities;
- support the school in its use of rewards and sanctions;
- take some responsibility for the behaviour of their child;
- discuss any issues of concern with the class teacher or Head teacher in a calm and non-aggressive or threatening manner;
- consider the implications of posting inappropriate or defamatory details on Social Network sites and the detrimental effect inappropriate comments can have on individuals and the school as a whole;
- support the school’s approach to e-safety which includes not uploading or posting to the internet any pictures, video or text that could upset, offend or threaten the safety of any member of the school community or bring the school into disrepute;
- recognise the need for security and not create online media “on behalf” of the school without the Head teacher’s express permission.
You may expect staff and other adults working in the school to:
- treat you with respect;
- set high standards of work and behaviour for all children in their care;
- encourage your child to do their best at all times;
- deal promptly with any incidents of bullying regardless of whether your child is seen as either the bully or the victim;
- impose sanctions consistently in accordance with this policy and the school system;
- promote positive behaviour and reward such behaviour in accordance with this policy and the school system;
- promote positive behaviour beyond the school gates and impose sanctions for inappropriate behaviour which reflects negatively on the school and its values;
- discuss your child’s actions with them, give a warning and ensure that your child knows what the penalty will be should they continue to misbehave. All penalties will be carried out;
- provide a balanced curriculum in order to meet the needs of each child;
- keep you informed about general school matters, and your child’s individual progress;
- let you know if there are any concerns about a child’s work, attendance or behaviour;
- support the child’s homework and other home-based learning activities;
2.1. For the purpose of this policy, the school defines “serious unacceptable behaviour” as: any behaviour which may cause harm to oneself or others, damage the reputation of the school within the wider community, and/or any illegal behaviour, including, but not limited to:
- Discrimination – not giving equal respect to an individual on the basis of disability, gender, race, religion, age, sexuality and/or marital status
- Harassment – behaviour towards others which is unwanted, offensive and affects the dignity of the individual or group of individuals
- Vexatious behaviour – deliberately acting in a manner so as to cause annoyance or irritation
- Bullying – a type of harassment which involves criticism, personal abuse or persistent actions which humiliate, intimidate, frighten or demean the individual
- Cyberbullying – the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature
- Possession of legal or illegal drugs, alcohol or tobacco
- Possession of banned items
- Refusing to comply with disciplinary sanctions
- Swearing, racist remarks or threatening language
- Fighting or aggression
- Spitting and biting
2.2. For the purpose of this policy, the school defines “low level unacceptable behaviour” as: behaviour which may disrupt the education of the perpetrator and/or other pupils, including, but not limited to:
- Shouting in class
- Talking when others are speaking
- Swinging on chairs
- Running around the classroom or school
- Inappropriate body language with others, such as not keeping hands to oneself
- Throwing items either in the classroom or on the playground
- Failure to complete classwork and not concentrating on tasks
- Rudeness and not using manners
- Telling lies
- Lack of correct equipment
- Refusing to complete homework, incomplete homework, or arriving at school without homework
- Not following classroom rules
- Disruption on public transport
- Use of mobile phones
2.3. “Unacceptable behaviour” may be escalated as “serious unacceptable behaviour” depending on the behaviour breach.
3. Training of staff
4.3 At the school we recognise that early intervention can prevent bad behaviour. As such, teachers will receive training in identifying problems before they escalate; this can be behavioural problems in the classroom or during playtime/lunchtime.
4.2 Teachers and support staff will receive training on this policy as part of their new starter induction.
4.3 Teachers and support staff will receive regular and ongoing training as part of their development.
4. Rewarding good behaviour
At our school we regularly celebrate the success of all pupils in a variety of ways as we recognise that focussing on success and positive outcomes is essential in developing a positive culture and ethos across the school. The many ways we celebrate success are listed below and will be reviewed by pupils, parents and staff during the academic year.
- Verbal praise in class
- Positive feedback in marking
- Sharing and celebrating success during lesson time
Sharing and celebrating success in assemblies. Celebration assembly each week. A child is rewarded a certificate in assembly from the teacher and is announced by the Head.
The children are allowed to be ‘finer diner’s and choose a friend to sit with them on the finer diner table that day.
- Team Points across the whole school. Each child belongs to a team and these are vertically grouped. All adults in school give team points. The points are recorded, for their team. Each Friday, totals are passed on to the Head for Celebrations assembly. These totals are recorded on a display in the school hall. At the end of each half term the winning team is announced and they win the Team cup and their ribbon colour is tied to the cup.
- Class Achievement systems
- Golden jumpers. The Golden Jumper is award to a children ro kindness and good manners each week. The children get to wear a ‘golden’ jumper to stand out from their peers for the day.
- Trophy for outstanding progress in Year 6, annually
5. Unacceptable behaviour
5.1. Unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated at the school
5.2. Breaking any of the rules laid out in our Code of Conduct will lead to sanctions and disciplinary action.
6. Sanctions and Consequences
6.1. There is no corporal punishment at the school
6.2. Where pupils display serious aggressive and/or threatening behaviour, or illegal activity is discovered, the school will not hesitate to take appropriate action.
6.3. At St. Patricks, teachers have the freedom to impose sanctions as they see fit depending on the behaviour, and age, of the pupil:
9.4 Although this school aims to focus on positives at all times, there are unfortunately occasions when a minority of pupils let themselves, the school and others down through their unacceptable or inappropriate behaviour.
9.5 There is a clearly defined process for issuing sanctions in this school. Where possible pupils are issued with a warning to enable them to rectify their behaviour though there are times when the nature of the behaviour does not warrant a warning as it is so serious. The school uses a wide range of consequences for poor behaviour which are outlined in more detail below.
- Failure to begin work in an acceptable amount of time
- Work that shows little effort and doesn’t reflect the child’s capabilities
- Work avoidance e.g. repeatedly leaving chair, wandering, asking to go to the toilet frequently
- Disrespect of the school building and resources e.g. graffiti, deliberately breaking resources
- Stealing other people’s belongings or deliberately damaging them
- Being unkind to others through their choice of words or actions
- Being impolite or rude to each other or adults
- Swearing/Inappropriate comments
- Defiance/Failure to respond to instructions
- Physically hurting other e.g. pinching, slapping, kicking, shoving, nipping
- Emotionally hurting others e.g. name calling, insults
- Violence towards an adult
- Bullying (Zero tolerance)
- In the first instance, the teacher will tell the pupil to stop the behaviour, explaining to the pupil why their behaviour is unacceptable.
- If the pupil does not stop immediately, the teacher will give a second warning.
- If the pupil continues to behave badly, the teacher will give a final warning, advising that if they continue, they will remove the pupil from the classroom.
- If the pupil continues the behaviour following the final warning, the teacher will complete a negative behaviour slipand may issue another sanction.
- Sanctions will be dependent on the seriousness of the misdemeanour.
- If a pupil is sent to another classroom, misses playtime or receives another sanction, the headteacher will contact the pupil’s parent/carer to advise them of this, and may invite them to discuss their child’s behaviour.
- If a pupil misbehaves on the playground, the same process will be followed and the pupil will be sent inside to spend the rest of their playtime/lunchtime indoors, after receiving a final warning.
- Any pupils that are sent indoors will be supervised by an adult at all times.
6.4. At St. Patrick’s we recognise that at primary level, pupils may not understand why their behaviour is inappropriate, and therefore, it may be unintentional.
6.5. Teachers will use their judgement when issuing sanctions, taking into account whether they believe the pupil’s behaviour was intentional, especially if it is the first time the pupil has displayed this behaviour.
6.6. At all times, teachers will discuss the behaviour with the pupil to ensure the pupil understands why it is inappropriate and to prevent any reoccurring behaviour.
6.7. The school will use a number of different sanctions, which will be used depending on the behaviour displayed by the pupil, including the following:
- Providing a verbal warning
- Missing minutes from golden time
- Losing playtime/lunchtime
- Using time-outs
- Removing the pupil to another classroom
- Reporting the behaviour to the headteacher
- Phoning or sending a letter home to parents/carers
- Speaking to parents/carers at the end of the school day
- Placing the pupil on written report for monitoring of behaviour
- Contacting external agencies such as social services
- Excluding the pupil
6.8. Any member of staff who witnesses a display of unacceptable behaviour, or who issues any sanction to a pupil, must report this to the headteacher using an incident reporting form.
6.9. The headteacher will keep a record of all reported incidents.
6.10. The school does not take serious unacceptable behaviour lightly. We will not hesitate to act in the best interest of the pupils within the school.
6.11. Following an allegation of serious unacceptable behaviour, the pupil will be placed in isolation in another classroom whilst an investigation by the headteacher takes place.
6.12. If, following an investigation, the allegation is found to be true, the headteacher will issue the appropriate disciplinary action.
7. Items banned from school premises
7.1. Fire lighting equipment:
- Matches, lighters, etc.
7.2. Drugs and smoking equipment:
- Cigarette papers
- Electronic cigarettes (e-cigs)
- Any form of illegal drugs
- Any other drugs, except medicines covered by the prescribed medicines procedure
7.3. Weapons and other dangerous implements or substances:
- Guns (including replicas and BB guns)
- Laser pens
- Knuckle dusters and studded arm bands
- Whips or similar items
- Pepper sprays and gas canisters
- Dangerous chemicals
7.4. Other items:
- Liquid correction fluid
- Chewing gum
- Caffeinated energy drinks
- Offensive materials (i.e. pornographic, homophobic, racist, etc.)
- Aerosols including deodorant and hair spray
- Mobile phones
- Any other toys which are deemed hazardous.
8.1. Staff members may use common law to search pupils, with their consent, for any item, including their pockets, backpacks, lockers and classroom trays.
8.2. Under part 2, section 2 of the Education Act 2011, teachers are authorised by the headteacher to search for any prohibited item including, but not limited to, tobacco and cigarette papers, illegal drugs, and alcohol, without the consent of the pupil, provided that they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the pupil is in possession of a prohibited item.
8.3. Searches will be conducted by a same-sex member of staff, with another same-sex staff member as a witness, unless there is a risk that serious harm will be caused to any person(s) if the search is not done immediately, and it is not practicable to summon another member of staff.
8.4. Staff members may instruct a pupil to remove outer clothing, including hats, scarves, boots and coats.
8.5. A pupil’s possessions will only be searched in the presence of the pupil and another member of staff, unless there is a risk that serious harm will be caused to any person(s) if the search is not done immediately, and it is not practicable to summon another member of staff.
8.6. Staff members may use reasonable force, given the circumstances, when conducting a search for alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco products.
8.7. Any staff member, except for security staff, may refuse to conduct a search.
8.8. Following a search, the headteacher will contact the parents/carers to advise them of the procedures which were undertaken.
9.1. A staff member carrying out a search can confiscate anything they have reasonable grounds to suspect is a prohibited item.
9.2. If the pupil has possession of illegal items, the police will be called for the removal of the item(s).
9.3. Parents/carers will be informed of any confiscated item and may be required to collect the item (unless the item relates to alcohol, illegal drugs or tobacco), from the school office.
10. Outside school and the wider community
10.1. Pupils at the school must agree to represent the school in a positive manner.
10.2. The guidance laid out in the Code of Conduct applies both inside school and out in the wider community, particularly if the pupil is dressed in school uniform.
10.3. Complaints from members of the public about bad behaviour by pupils at the school, are taken very seriously and will be dealt with in accordance with the Complaints Policy.
- Monitoring and review
11.1. This policy will be reviewed by the headteacher and governing body on an annual basis, who will make any necessary changes and communicate this to all members of staff.
11.2. This policy will be made available for inspection and review by the chief inspector, upon request.
12. Smoking and drug policy
2.1 In accordance with part 1 of the Health Act 2006, our school is a smoke free environment. This includes all buildings, out-buildings, playgrounds, playing fields and sheltered areas.
2.2Parents/carers, visitors and staff must not smoke on school grounds and should avoid smoking in front of pupils and/or encouraging pupils to smoke.
2.3Pupils are not permitted to bring smoking materials or nicotine products to school. This includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, lighters, matches or pipes.
2.4In the interest of health and hygiene, we request that people refrain from smoking outside the school gates.
2.5Pupils and staff are required to follow the school’s Drug and Alcohol policy.
Home School behaviour logs
Where the pupil does not respond to warnings, they are issued with a Behaviour Log that communicates between school and home in order to monitor behaviour and progress.
Screening, Searching and Confiscation
The school follows Government advice when confiscating items from pupils which is outlined in their document “Screening, Searching and Confiscation – Advice for Head teachers, Staff and Governing Bodies – April 2012 (A copy of this document is available from the school on request or to download from the DfE Website).
The following items are what are termed ‘Prohibited Items’ and their presence on school premises or if found on an individual pupil will lead to the highest sanctions and consequences:
- Illegal drugs
- Tobacco and cigarette papers
- Pornographic images
- Stolen items
- Any article that the member of staff (or other authorised person) reasonably suspects has been, or is likely to be, used:
- i) to commit an offence,
- ii) to cause personal injury to, or damage to the property of, any person (including the pupil)
Head teachers and authorised staff can also search for any item banned by the school rules which has been identified in the rules as an item which may be searched for.
The following are items which are banned by the school under the school rules
- Mobile phones used in class
- MP3 players or similar used in class
- Lighters or matches
The school will confiscate any electronic items being used inappropriately on the premises such as mobile phones, MP3 players etc.
Staff in this school have the right to confiscate, search and ultimately delete any media which they “reasonably suspect” is being used to bully or otherwise cause an individual harm.
Pupils wearing any accessories or jewellery will be reminded of the school jewellery policy and reminded to remove them.
Where items are ‘prohibited’ as outlined above, these will not be returned to pupils and will be disposed of by the school according to the DfE advice and statutory guidance ‘Screening, Searching and Confiscation – Advice for Head teachers, staff and Governing Bodies’. Pupils must not bring any of the items listed above on to school premises. The school will automatically confiscate any of the ‘prohibited’ items and staff have the power to search pupils without their consent for such items. There will be severe penalties for pupils found to have ‘prohibited’ items in school. In certain circumstances this may lead to permanent exclusion.
Removal from Class
Where a pupil fails to respond to repeated warnings and reminders to improve an aspect of behaviour which disrupts the learning of others, they can be removed from class and sent to Senior Leader/Deputy head teacher/Head teacher. This would only occur in extreme circumstances.
We will endeavour to avoid exclusion from school at all costs. A decision to exclude a pupil for a fixed period is taken only in response to very serious breaches of the school’s Whole School Behaviour Policy, including persistent disruptive behaviour, where these are not serious enough to warrant permanent exclusion and lesser sanctions such as detention are considered inappropriate.
A decision to exclude a pupil permanently will be taken only:
- a) In response to serious breaches of the school’s Whole School Behaviour Policy; and
- b) If allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in the school
A decision to exclude a pupil permanently is a serious one and will only be taken where the basic facts have been clearly established on the balance of probabilities and taking into account all the circumstances, the evidence available and the need to balance the interests of the pupil against those of the whole school community. It will usually be the final step in a process for dealing with disciplinary offences following a wide range of other strategies which have been tried without success. It is an acknowledgement by the school that it has exhausted all available strategies for dealing with the pupil and will normally be used as a last resort.
There will, however, be exceptional circumstances where, in the Head teacher/Principal’s judgement, it is appropriate to permanently exclude a pupil for a first or ‘one-off’ offence.
Depending on the type of exclusion, in most cases, parents have the right to make representations to the governing body (or discipline committee). In all cases of permanent exclusion, parents have the additional right to appeal to an independent appeal panel.
The school has a duty to provide suitable full-time education for the excluded pupil from the sixth school day of any fixed period of exclusion of more than five consecutive school days. Local Authorities are under a duty to provide suitable full-time education from the sixth school day of a permanent exclusion. (see 6th day exclusion policy)
We are required to have, and to ask parents to sign, a Home School Agreement that outlines the responsibilities of the parent and the school; including those around behaviour and attendance.
The school is required by law to keep a record of pupil attendance. In an emergency, such as a fire, it is essential that we have an accurate record of who is in school. Good attendance and punctuality are essential for good learning.
If pupils are late or do not attend:
- parent/carer/guardian should telephone the school in the morning on the first day of their child’s absence
- any absence needs to be explained, on return to school, by a letter from parent/guardian
- parent/carer/guardian should contact the school again if an absence is more than three days. If they do not do so, the school will make attempts to contact them. In some circumstances this may also involve a home visit
We strongly discourage parents/carers/guardians from taking their children out of school for holidays or family outings during the school term. In most cases, unless there are extenuating circumstances, these will count as an unauthorised absence. Any such absences may only be taken following authorisation by the Head teacher.
Individual teachers decide on the appropriate amount of homework for their class. Copies of homework schedules are handed to the head teacher. Parents are informed as to how much homework their child will receive and when it is due to be handed in. Homework is regularly marked. The Head teacher has copies of homework days and information for each class.
Teachers have a statutory power to discipline pupils for misbehaving outside of the school premises. Section 89(5) of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 gives Head teachers a specific statutory power to regulate pupils’ behaviour in these circumstances “to such extent as is reasonable.”
Subject to the school’s behaviour policy, the teacher may discipline a pupil for:
- any misbehaviour when the child is:
- taking part in any school-organised or school-related activity; or
- travelling to or from school; or
- wearing the school uniform; or
- in some other way identifiable as a pupil at the school.
- or misbehaviour at any time, whether or not the conditions above apply, that:
- could have repercussions for the orderly running of the school; or
- poses a threat to another pupil or member of the public; or
- could adversely affect the reputation of the school.
This school is committed to ensuring our pupils act as positive ambassadors for us. Taking the above into account, we expect the following:
- Good order on all transport (including public transport) to and from school, educational visits or other placements such as work experience or college courses.
- Good behaviour on the way to and from school.
- Positive behaviour which does not threaten the health, safety or welfare of our pupils, staff, volunteers or members of the public.
- Reassurance to members of the public about school care and control over pupils in order to protect the reputation of the school.
- Protection for individual staff and pupils from harmful conduct by pupils of the school when not on the school site.
The same behaviour expectations for pupils on the school premises apply to off-site behaviour.
We aim to support all our pupils to ensure that every child succeeds during their time at St Patrick’s School. Where it becomes clear that a child is having on-going difficulties in managing their behaviour, there are a wide range of strategies which are used to support pupils.
- Monitoring cards with targets to promote success in lessons
- Increased communication between home and school
- Individual support plans
- Referral to the school mentor
- Support from the Inclusion Support Team which consists of the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), teaching assistants, school mentor
- Small group work or 1:1 support in self-esteem, emotional literacy, anger management, nurture group sessions etc.
- Additional literacy or numeracy support where this is identified as a barrier to learning and impacts on the child’s behaviour
- Alternative curriculum provision
- Reduced/Adjusted timetable
- Referral to outside agencies such as Educational Psychologist, Mental Health Worker, LA Behaviour Specialists etc.
In order to maintain the safety and welfare of our pupils, it may sometimes be necessary to use reasonable force on a pupil, as permitted by law.
The Governing Body have taken account of advice provided by the DfE - Use of reasonable force:
advice for head teachers, staff and governing bodies and the school’s public sector equality duty set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
Force is generally used for two different purposes, either to control pupils or to restrain them.
Control can mean either passive contact (standing between two pupils or blocking a pupil’s path) or active physical contact (leading a pupil by the hand or arm, ushering a pupil away by placing a hand in the centre of the back).
All members of school staff have a legal power to use reasonable force. This power also applies to people whom the Head teacher has temporarily put in charge of pupils such as unpaid volunteers or parents accompanying pupils on a school organised visit.
Any use of force by staff will be reasonable, lawful and proportionate to the circumstances of the incident and the seriousness of the behaviour (or the consequences it is intended to prevent). Reasonable force will be used only when immediately necessary and for the minimum time necessary to achieve the desired result and in order to prevent a pupil from doing or continuing to do any of the following:
- committing a criminal offence
- injuring themselves or others
- causing damage to property, including their own
engaging in any behaviour prejudicial to good order and discipline at the school or among any of its pupils, whether that behaviour occurs in a classroom or elsewhere.
Force will never be used as a punishment.
Whether it is reasonable to use force and to what degree, also depends on the age and understanding of the pupil and whether they have Special Educational Needs or disabilities. Medical advice will always be sought about the safest way to hold pupils with specific health needs, special educational needs and disabilities.
All staff including teaching assistants, lunchtime supervisors, admin staff and the site management have the right to defend themselves from attack, providing they do not use a disproportionate degree of force to do so. Similarly in an emergency, if for example, a pupil was at immediate risk of injury or at the point of inflicting injury on someone else, any member of staff is entitled to intervene. A volunteer helping in school would not be expected to work with a child who is known to need physical restraint as indicated in their Behaviour Management Plan.
Circumstances in which reasonable force might be used include the following:
- Pupils found fighting will be physically separated.
- Pupils who refuse to leave a room when instructed to do so may be physically removed.
- Pupils who behave in a way which disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit may be physically removed from the situation.
- Restraint may be used to prevent a pupil leaving a classroom where allowing him or her to do so would risk their safety or lead to disruptive behaviour. This may also include leading a pupil by the arm out of a classroom.
- Pupils at risk of harming themselves or others through physical outbursts will be physically restrained.
- In order to prevent a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil
- To prevent a pupil causing injury or damage by accident, by rough play, or by misuse of dangerous materials or an object
In addition to the general power to use reasonable force, the Head teacher and authorised staff can use such force as is reasonable given the circumstances to conduct a search for ‘prohibited items’. See Section 6.2 above.
The type of force which will never be acceptable in our school includes:
- holding round the neck or any other hold that might restrict breathing;
- kicking, slapping or punching;
- forcing limbs against joints (e.g. arm locks);
- tripping or holding by the hair or ear;
- holding face down on the ground.
Members of staff will receive training about the use of reasonable force appropriate to their role to enable them to carry out their responsibilities. This will include training on any restraint techniques which must not be used because they are known to present an unacceptable risk when used on children and young people. Some staff will receive additional training on the appropriate techniques which may be used to physically restrain pupils. The training will be to an approved nationally acceptable level and will be regularly refreshed.
A pupil with a known challenging behaviour, a medical condition which affects behaviour patterns or who has special educational needs may be the subject of a Behaviour Management Plan. This Plan sets out specific ways in which the behaviour is controlled whilst on school premises and during any off-site visit. It may also include details on managing the pupil’s behaviour whilst travelling to school on organised home-school transport.
In such circumstances, parents will always be made aware of their child’s Behaviour Management Plan and will be asked to contribute to the content and control measures implemented in an attempt to apply consistency of sanctions and rewards both in school and at home. Wherever possible and appropriate, the child concerned will also be involved in creating the Behaviour Management Plan.
In accordance with current good practice, the school will speak to parents about serious incidents involving the use of force and will record such serious incidents.
In making a decision about informing parents, the following will be taken into account:
- The pupil’s behaviour and level of risk presented at the time of the incident.
- The degree of force used.
- The effect on the pupil or member of staff concerned; and
- The child’s age.
All incidents when ‘physical restraint’ as opposed to ‘physical control’ is used will be recorded as soon as possible and details passed on to the Head teacher (or deputy in the absence of the Head teacher) who will follow up the incident where necessary. The following must be recorded:
- all incidents where unreasonable use of force is used;
- any incident where substantial force has been used e.g. physically pushing a pupil out of a room;
- use of restraint;
- an incident where a pupil is clearly distressed though clearly not overreacting.
The following criteria will be used when considering the need for recording:
- Did the incident cause injury or distress to a member of staff or pupil?
- Even though there was no apparent injury or distress, was the incident sufficiently serious in its own right? Any use of restrictive holds, for example, fall into this category;
- Did the incident justify force? This is particularly relevant where the judgement is finely balanced;
- Does recording it help to identify and analyse patterns of pupil behaviour?
If the answer to any of the questions is ‘yes’, a written record should be made using the bound Record of Physical Intervention book (blue) and all other notes taken at the time are to be kept.
In all instances of the use of physical restraint, parents will be informed the same day, by phone and in writing, and invited into the school to discuss the incident unless to do so would result in significant harm to the pupil, in which case, the incident will be reported to the social care at the Local Authority.
All injuries will be reported and recorded in accordance with school procedures.
Serious incidents can create upset and stress for all concerned. After the incident ends it is important to ensure all staff and pupils are given first aid treatment for any injuries. Emotional support may also be necessary. Where required, immediate action will be taken to access medical help for any injuries that go beyond basic first aid. The school will then make a decision about how and when to contact the parents of the pupil to engage them in discussing the incident and setting out subsequent actions. After the incident the Head teacher and/or other staff will:
- ensure the incident has been recorded;
- decide whether multi-agency partners need to be engaged and, if so, which partners;
- hold the pupil to account so that he or she recognises the harm caused or which might have been caused. This may involve the child having the chance to redress the relationship with staff and pupils affected by the incident. It may also mean the child is excluded. See Section 6.2 above.
- help the pupil develop strategies to avoid such crisis points in the future and inform relevant staff about these strategies and their roles;
- ensure that staff and pupils affected by the incident have continuing support as long as necessary in respect of:
- physical consequences
- emotional stress or loss of confidence
- analysis and reflection of the incident
In many cases there will be a follow-up meeting of key personnel to discuss the restraint incident and review the Behaviour Management Plan or other plans for pupils. It might also be appropriate to review the whole school behaviour policy.
This school does not operate a ‘no touch policy’. There are occasions when physical contact, other than reasonable force, with a pupil is proper and necessary.
- Holding the hand of the child at the front/back of the line when going to assembly or when walking together around the school;
- When comforting a distressed pupil;
- When a pupil is being congratulated or praised;
- To demonstrate how to use a musical instrument;
- To demonstrate exercises or techniques during PE lessons or sports coaching;
- To administer first aid;
- To apply sunscreen to the arms, face or lower legs of very young pupils or those with special educational needs who might struggle to apply it appropriately themselves
All children and adults have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. All allegations of abuse will be taken seriously.
The Governors of St Patrick’s School have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children and create and maintain a safe learning environment (section 175 of the Education Act 2002). Our policy is to identify where there are child welfare concerns and take action to address them, in partnership with other organisations where appropriate, and in accordance with local inter-agency procedures.
School staff have a positive role to play in child protection, as their position often allows them to be able to observe outward signs of abuse and changes of behaviour in children. Because of their role however, they are also open to accusations of abuse. Such allegations may be true, but they may also be false, misplaced or malicious.
In order to fulfil its commitment to the welfare of children, this School has a procedure for dealing with allegations of abuse against members of staff and volunteers.
The procedure aims to ensure that all allegations are dealt with fairly, consistently and quickly and in a way that provides protection for the child, whilst supporting the person who is the subject of the allegation.
In the event that a member of staff does not wish to report an allegation directly, or they have a general concern about malpractice within the School reference can also be made to the school’s Whistleblowing policy.
The procedure complies with the framework for managing cases of allegations of abuse against people who work with children, as set out in relevant DfE statutory guidance and the Cumbria LSCB procedures.
If an allegation is determined to be unfounded or malicious, the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) will be informed and will refer the matter to local authority children’s social care services to determine whether the child concerned is in need of services, or may have been abused by someone else. In the event that an allegation is shown to have been deliberately invented or malicious, the Head teacher will consider whether any disciplinary action is appropriate against the pupil who made it, or the police will be asked to consider whether any action might be appropriate against the person responsible, including situations where the individual concerned was not a pupil. Such cases may be dealt with under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.
The disciplinary action taken against a pupil might include detention, fixed term or permanent exclusion. Whatever action is taken will be discussed with the parent/carer of the pupil concerned at an early stage.
According to the DfE document ‘Preventing and Tackling Bullying – Advice for Head teachers, staff and Governing Bodies, bullying may be defined as:
‘’Behaviour by an individual or group, repeated over time, that intentionally hurts another individual or group either physically or emotionally’’.
Specific types of bullying include those relating to:
- race, religion, culture or gender;
- SEN or disabilities;
- appearance or health conditions;
- sexual orientation;
- young carers or looked after children or otherwise related to home circumstances;
- sexist or sexual bullying.
It can take place between pupils, between pupils and staff, parents and staff or between staff; by individuals or groups; face-to-face, indirectly or using a range of cyber bullying methods.
Acts of bullying can include:
- making offensive comments;
- taking belongings;
- inappropriate text messaging and emailing;
- sending offensive or degrading images by phone or via the internet e.g. via Social Networking sites;
- producing graffiti;
- excluding people from groups;
- spreading hurtful and untruthful rumours.
Cyber bullying can be defined as the use of information and communications technology particularly mobile phones and the internet, deliberately to upset someone else. Cyber bullying that occurs while pupils are under the schools direct supervision will be dealt with in line with this Policy (Whole School Behaviour Policy).
In cases where cyber bullying occurs while pupils are outside our direct supervision (i.e. at home), parents will be encouraged to report these incidents to the police as criminal laws (such as those pertaining to harassment, threatening and menacing communications) may apply. The school wherever possible will support parents in this, and may impose a sanction upon the bully where this individual is recognisable.
St Patrick’s School endeavours to comply with the legal requirements placed on schools and the Governing body to determine detailed measures (rules, rewards, sanctions and behaviour management strategies) that ‘’encourage good behaviour and respect for others on the part of pupils and in particular preventing all forms of bullying among pupils’’ Education and Inspections Act 2006 , section 89. The school will exercise its legal powers (as outlined in section 89/5) and (section 91, Education and Inspections Act 2006) as deemed appropriate and practicable.
Schools are required to comply with the new equality duty ‘The Equality Act 2010’. The public sector equality duty has three aims:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and any other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.
Pupils and parents are encouraged to report bullying to any member of staff. Incidents are in the first instance referred to the pupil’s Class teacher to be investigated, appropriate action taken and parents will be informed promptly using usual school procedures. Pupil voice is important at this school and pupils are encouraged through various means to report any incidents of bullying behaviour which they encounter personally or become aware of. This is reinforced via assemblies, Anti-Bullying Week, PSHCE and during class/circle time. The Whole School Behaviour Policy also reinforces the school’s expectation as to how members of the school community should conduct themselves. A log will be maintained of racist incidents and information on incidents of bullying.
The aim of any anti-bullying intervention is to safeguard and support the victim, discipline and modify the behaviour of the bully with a view to prevent, de-escalate and stop further incidents of harmful behaviour.
- Ensuring that there is a promotion of an open and honest anti-bullying ethos in the school
- Investigate all allegations of bullying
- PSHCE programme that discusses issues such as diversity and anti-bullying messages
- Calendared anti-bullying week
- Poster and leaflet campaigns – designed and written by pupils
- Assemblies both whole school and class/form that promote a sense of community
- Class discussions and role plays in Drama, English and RE that draw out anti-bullying messages
- Circle time
- Access to worry boxes
- Acceptable Internet Use policy is signed by all and e-safety is discussed in ICT lessons.
- On-going staff induction and training programme
- Adequate staff supervision at lunch and break times
- Clear and consistently applied policies for Behaviour and Uniform
- Home school agreement signed by all pupils and parents
- Disciplinary sanction imposed either exclusion or period of time in the inclusion room
- Engage promptly with parents to ensure their support and involvement
- Restorative justice approaches taken as appropriate
- One to one interviews with staff or peer mentors
- Counselling offered
- Work with the educational psychologist or other outside agency
- Anger management strategies discussed
- Disciplinary sanctions as appropriate applied to the bully
- Counselling offered
- Out of lesson support passes issued
- Short term modification of school timetable
- One to one parental interview, parental support and involvement
- Private diaries given
- Self-assertive strategies discussed
A drug is a substance which, when taken into the body, changes the way we feel, the way we see things and the way the body works. This section covers a range of drugs including medicines, tobacco, alcohol, solvents, novel psychoactive substances (so called ‘legal highs’), volatile substances and illegal drugs and describes the school’s approach to dealing with incidents of drug misuse. Apart from medicines prescribed to an individual, all other items listed above are classed as ‘prohibited items’ with respect to screening, searching and confiscation – Section 6.2 refers.
Drugs Education forms part of the PSHCE programme delivered in discrete sessions for all pupils.
- Current research indicates that drug use, both legal and illegal, is rising amongst young people.
- We do not support the misuse of tobacco, alcohol, solvents, illegal drugs and medicines by members of the school.
- Under no circumstances will the supply or sale of illegal drugs on the school site will be tolerated.
- The school believes it has a duty to inform and educate young people on the consequences of drug use and misuse.
- Fundamental to our school’s values and practice is the principle of sharing the responsibility for education of young people with parents and carers by keeping them informed and involved at all times.
- Whilst we acknowledge that some young people will use and misuse substances, it is seen as important to recognise that the remainder of young people are choosing not to use or misuse substances. We will help individual learners according to their differing needs.
The Head teacher has responsibility for supporting other members of staff in the implementation of these procedures. Emma Jackson is named as the designated senior member of staff with responsibility for the drug related procedures in this school and for disseminating any information on drug-related education.
Drug prevention is a whole school issue. All staff, both teaching and support staff, will be made aware of these procedures and how they relate to them should they be called upon to deal with a drug-related incident.
The site-manager regularly checks the school premises – any substances or drug paraphernalia found will be reported to the Head teacher and Senior Leadership Team and dealt with in accordance with these procedures.
The following provides our framework for dealing with incidents surrounding the use, suspicion of use and finding of drugs and substances. We recognise that drug use can be a symptom of other problems and, where appropriate, we will involve or refer pupils to other services. Within our school the following guidelines apply to the possession or use of drugs, alcohol and tobacco on school premises:
Where pupils are prescribed medicines, cases will be dealt with on an individual basis and appropriate procedures will be followed (e.g. safe storage and administration of medicines in line with national guidance). Information for parents/carers on this issue is available on request from the school.
In line with legislation, the school has a policy of No Smoking in the building and on the school site.
No alcohol is consumed during the course of the normal school day. Those hiring the school premises are not allowed to consume alcohol on site unless it has been authorised by the Governing Body and forms part of the Lettings Contract.
The school will ensure that potentially harmful substances are stored safely, and pupils will be supervised carefully where such substances are used in the course of their work. The use of aerosol deodorants will be discouraged because of the potential risks to people with asthma or other bronchial problems.
No illegal or illicit substances should be brought to school or used on school premises.
- Take possession of the drug/substance and inform the Head teacher/Senior Leadership Team member who will inform the Head teacher at the first available opportunity.
- In the presence of a witness the article should be packed securely and labelled with the date, time and place of discovery.
- The package should be signed by the person who discovered it and stored in a secure place.
- The Head teacher will always involve the school's link community liaison police officer in the case of suspected drugs or illegal substances in school
- In the event of discovering a hypodermic needle, the incident should be recorded and the following procedure should be observed in order to protect all persons:
- Do NOT attempt to pick up the needle.
- If possible, cordon off the area to make it safe.
- Inform the Head teacher/Senior Leadership Team member.
- The needle should be placed in a sharps box or other secure metal box and disposed of via a local medical surgery
7.5 What to do in the event of finding or suspecting a pupil is in possession of a drug/drug paraphernalia
- Request that the pupil hand over the article(s).
- Having taken possession of the substance/paraphernalia, the procedure should be followed as above.
- EXTREME CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN IF HYPODERMIC NEEDLES ARE INVOLVED.
If a pupil refuses to hand over articles a search may be required - it should be noted that in accordance with current DfE advice:
- The Head teacher and other authorised staff can search lockers etc. without the permission of the pupil when looking for prohibited items.
- Teachers can search a pupil‘s outer clothing so long as a witness is present without the consent of the pupil. The personal search must be undertaken by a teacher of the same sex with the witness being the same sex wherever possible. Reasonable force may be used in order to complete the search.
- Pupils should be given the opportunity to empty their pockets, bag, etc. in the presence of a witness.
Stay calm, place the pupil in a quiet area, do not leave on their own and seek medical advice from the school's first aider who will assess the situation and act appropriately, the Head teacher/Senior Leadership Team member must also be informed.
Any suspected substances found should travel with the pupil if removed from the school for treatment. Vomit should be safely collected where possible by the school's First Aider and also taken with the pupil (for analysis).
All drug related incidents will be recorded.
The police will always be contacted in situations where controlled drugs are found. Any decisions made on the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken will take the police advice into consideration.
- Where controlled drugs are found, these will be delivered to the police as soon as possible.
- Alcohol will be disposed of. Under no circumstances will be returned to the pupil.
- Tobacco or cigarette papers will also be disposed of in the same way as alcohol.
- If other substances are found which are not believed to be controlled drugs, these will be confiscated and disposed of in accordance with the school’s procedures. This would include, for example, so called ‘legal highs’. Where staff suspect that a substance may be a controlled drug, they will treat them as controlled drugs and follow the procedure above.
In the event of a drug-related incident in the school, the school would co-operate with the police should they wish to search the premises.
As a result of a drug-related incident, the pupil(s) concerned will be subject to disciplinary action. This action may result in a fixed term exclusion and in the most serious of cases would result in permanent exclusion.
The following examples are situations where concerns about drug misuse or related behaviour involve a parent or other adult rather than pupils:
- Adults may attend school premises under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- A parent or adult may attempt to remove a child from school premises during or at the end of the school day whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- An adult may behave aggressively, intimidate or threaten staff or assault school staff or pupils whilst appearing to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- School staff may be concerned that a parent or family member’s drug misuse may put the child at risk.
- An adult may be involving pupils in drug misuse or the supply of drugs to pupils.
These examples are not exhaustive and in each case, the Head teacher will take into account the safety of the whole school community including staff when determining the appropriate course of action.
Where, in the opinion of school staff, it is thought that an adult is unable to provide appropriate care and supervision of a child because they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will first attempt the contact an alternative adult carer for the child before contacting the LA Social Care Services and, if necessary, the police.
Where there are concerns over the safety of the child, school staff will attempt to persuade the adult not to leave the premises with the child until appropriate assistance arrives. If the adult insists on leaving the school, staff will immediately contact the police. This will also be the case if an adult becomes threatening or aggressive.
If school staff have concerns about an adult or adults supplying drugs on or near school premises, or to any of the pupils outwith school premises, the Head teacher or other member of staff will consult with the police.
St Patrick’s School encourages close links with parents/carers and the community. We believe that pupils benefit when the relationship between home and school is a positive one. The vast majority of parents, carers and others visiting our school are keen to work with us and are supportive of the school. However, on the rare occasions when a negative attitude towards the school is expressed, this can result in aggression, threatening behaviour, written, verbal and/or physical abuse towards a member of the school community.
Violence, threatening behaviour and abuse against school staff or other members of the school community will not be tolerated. When formulating our procedures, reference was made to the DfES document ‘A Legal toolkit for schools – Tackling abuse, threats and violence towards members of the school community’. A poster indicating that such negative behaviour is not acceptable is displayed in the school reception area.
Our school expects and requires staff to behave professionally in these difficult situations, and to attempt to defuse the situation where possible, seeking the involvement as appropriate of other colleagues. However, all members of the school community (including other parents/carers and visitors) have the right to visit and work without fear of violence and abuse, and the right in an extreme case, of appropriate self-defence.
We expect parents/carers and other visitors to behave in a reasonable way towards other members of the school community. The following outlines the steps that will be taken where parent/carer or visitor behaviour is unacceptable.
The following list outlines the types of behaviour that are considered serious and unacceptable and will not be tolerated towards any member of the school community. This is not an exhaustive list but seeks to provide illustrations of such behaviour:
- Shouting, either in person or over the telephone.
- Speaking in an aggressive/threatening tone.
- Physical intimidation e.g. standing very close to her/him.
- The use of aggressive hand gestures/exaggerated movements.
- Physical threats.
- Shaking or holding a fist towards another person.
- Hitting, e.g. slapping, punching or kicking.
- Racist or sexist comments.
- Sending inappropriate or abusive e-mails to school staff or to the general school e-mail address
- Publishing or posting derogatory or inappropriate comments which relate to the school, its pupils or staff/volunteers on a social networking site
- Breaking the school’s security procedures
Unacceptable behaviour may result in the Police being informed of the incident.
When a parent/carer or member of the public behaves in an unacceptable way during a telephone conversation, staff at the school have the right to terminate the call. The incident will be reported by staff to the Senior Management Team. The school reserves the right to take any necessary actions to ensure that members of the school community are not subjected to verbal abuse. The school may warn the aggressor, ban them from the school, and/or contact the police.
When any parent/carer or visitor behaves in an unacceptable way in person towards a member of the school staff a member of the Senior Management Team will seek to resolve the situation through discussion and mediation. If necessary, the school’s complaints procedure should be followed. Where all procedures have been exhausted, and aggression or intimidation continues, or where there is an extreme act of violence, the discussion will be terminated and the visitor will be asked to leave the school immediately. It is also an offence under section 547 of the Education Act 1997 for any person (including a parent) to cause a nuisance or disturbance on school premises. The police will be called if necessary. The perpetrator may also be banned from the school premises for a period of time, which will be determined by the school.
Prior to a ban being imposed, the following steps will be taken:
- Depending on the severity of the incident, the parent/carer/visitor may first be issued with a written warning stating that if a similar incident occurs, the individual concerned will be banned from the school premises.
- In more serious cases, the parent/carer/visitor will be informed, in writing, that she/he is banned from the premises temporarily, subject to review, and what will happen if the ban is breached.
- Extreme incidents will result in a permanent ban being enforced. The individual will be informed in writing of the permanent ban but will be given the right to appeal in writing against the decision.
- In all cases, parents/carers will still have the opportunity to discuss any issues relating to their child with school staff.
- Incidents of verbal or physical abuse towards staff may result in the police being informed, and may result in prosecution.
If a parent/carer/visitor is intimidating, threatening or aggressive towards a member of the school community any interaction will be terminated immediately and the person will be instructed to leave the premises. Further action may be taken by the school.
St Patrick’s School will take action where behaviour is unacceptable or serious and breaches this Whole School Behaviour Policy.
St Patrick’s School takes the issue of unacceptable use of technology by any member of the school community very seriously.
We expect parents and other adults within the school community to act responsibly when using on-line technologies. The expectation of parents is set out on page 4. Failure to comply with these expectations could similarly result in parents and/or other adults being banned from the school site, and the incident may be reported to the police.
ENSURING GOOD BEHAVIOUR IN SCHOOLS -
A Summary for Head Teachers, Governing Bodies, Teachers, Parents and Pupils
The role of the Government is to give schools the powers they need to provide a safe and structured environment in which teachers can teach and children can learn.
The Government expects:
- All pupils to show respect and courtesy towards teachers and other staff and towards each other;
- Parents to encourage their children to show that respect and support the school’s authority to discipline its pupils;
- Head teachers to help create that culture of respect by supporting their staff’s authority to discipline pupils and ensuring that this happens consistently across the school;
- Governing bodies and Head teachers to deal with allegations against teachers and other school staff quickly, fairly and consistently in a way that protects the pupil and at the same time supports the person who is the subject of the allegation; and
- That every teacher will be food at managing and improving children’s behaviour.
This document summarises the legal powers and duties that govern behaviour and attendance in school and explains how they apply to teachers, governing bodies, pupils and parents.
The Behaviour Policy
Every school must have a behaviour policy. The Governing body is responsible for setting general principles that inform the behaviour policy. The Governing body must consult the Head teacher, school staff, parents and pupils when developing these principles.
Head teachers are responsible for developing the behaviour policy in the context of this framework. They must decide the standard of behaviour expected of pupils at the school and how that standard will be achieved, the school rules, any disciplinary penalties for breaking the rules and rewards for good behaviour. The behaviour policy must include measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. Head teachers must publicise the school behaviour policy, in writing, to staff, parents and pupils at least once a year.
Powers to discipline
Teachers, teaching assistants and other paid staff with responsibility for pupils have the power to discipline pupilswhose behaviour is unacceptable, who break the school rules or who fail to follow reasonable instruction.
Their power to discipline applies to pupil behaviour in school and outside school, in certain circumstances.
Teachers, teaching assistants and other paid staff with responsibility for pupils can impose any reasonable disciplinary penalty in response to poor behaviour. Reasonable penalties can include: confiscation, retention or disposal of a pupil’s property; and detention. Head teachers can also decide to exclude a pupil for a fixed period (to suspend) or to permanently exclude them.
School staff can search pupils with their consent for any item. A pupil’s ability to give consent may, however, be influenced by the child’s age or other factors.
Head teachers and staff authorised by the head teacher have the power to search pupils or their possessions, without consent, where they suspect the pupil has a “prohibited item”. Prohibited items are:
- Knives and weapons
- Illegal drugs
- Stolen items
- Tobacco and cigarette papers
- Pornographic images
- Any article that has been or is likely to be used to commit an offence, cause personal injury or damage to property
- Any item banned by the school rules which has been identified in the rules as an item which may be searched for
Use of Reasonable Force
All school staff have the power to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing an offence, injuring themselves or others or damaging property, and to maintain good order and discipline in the classroom.
Head teachers and staff authorised by the Head teacher can use such force as is reasonable when searching a pupil without consent for prohibited items except where the search is for an item banned by the school rules.
Allegations of abuse against staff
Allegations of abuse must be taken seriously, but schools should ensure they deal with allegations quickly in a fair and consistent way that provides effective protection for the child and supports the person who is the subject of the allegation. Every effort must be made to maintain confidentiality and guard against unwanted publicity while an allegation is being investigated. Suspension must not be used as an automatic response when an allegation has been reported.
The school’s behaviour policy should set out the disciplinary action that will be taken against pupils who are found to have made malicious accusations against school staff.
The Head teacher decides whether to exclude a pupil, for a fixed term or permanently, in line with the school’s behaviour policy, taking into account all the circumstances, the evidence available and the need to balance the interests of the pupil against those of the whole school community.
Parents have the right to make representations to the governing body (or discipline committee) about an exclusion and the Governing body must review the exclusion decision in certain circumstances, which includes all permanent exclusions. Where a governing body upholds a permanent exclusion, parents have the right to appeal the decision to an independent appeal panel. (Please note – changes to this particular legislation will come into force in September 2012)
Schools are under a duty to provide suitable full-time education for an excluded pupil from the sixth school day of any fixed period exclusion of more than five consecutive school days. Local authorities are under a duty to provide suitable full-time education from the sixth school day of a permanent exclusion.
(References to parent or parents are to fathers as well as mothers, unless otherwise stated)
Schools are required to have, and to ask parents to sign, a Home School Agreement that outlines the responsibilities of the parent and the school; including those around behaviour and attendance.
Parents are under a legal duty to ensure that their child (aged 5-16) receives suitable full-time education either at a school or by making other suitable arrangements.
Where a child is not a registered pupil and other suitable arrangements are not made, the parent may receive a school attendance order from the local authority requiring them to register their child at a school.
For school registered pupils or those attending Pupil Referral Units (PRUs), parents must ensure that their child attends punctually and regularly. If they do not, the school or local authority may ask them to sign a parenting contract or may issue a penalty sanction of £50 (rising to £100). The local authority may also prosecute a parent who fails to ensure their child’s regular school attendance or apply to the courts for an education supervision order in respect of the pupilhimself/herself.
Parents have a clear role in making sure their child is well behaved at school. If they do not, the school or local authority may ask them to sign a parenting contract or may apply for a court-imposed parenting order.
Parents must take responsibility for their child, if excluded, and ensure that they are not in a public place without good reason during school hours within the first five school days of any exclusion. If they do not, the school or local authoritymay issue a penalty sanction of £50 (rising to £100).
Parents must also ensure that their child attends the suitable full time education provided by the school Governing body or the local authority from the sixth day of exclusion.
Parents are expected to attend a reintegration interview following any fixed period exclusion from primary school and any fixed period exclusion of more than give days from secondary school. Failure to attend may make it more likely that the court will impose a parenting order if the school or local authority applies for one.