School Policies

index

Jesus and Mary Secondary School,

Salthill, Galway

   

SCHOOL PLAN

   2016/2017

 

 INTRODUCTION

PART I: SCHOOL POLICIES 

  1. Welfare and Student Management

1.1 ADMISSION POLICY (from 2014 onwards)

1.2 Inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Roles and Functions                                                                                                                   

Individual Education Plan (IEP)                                                                                                                         

Teaching and learning in the inclusive school                                                                                         

1.3 Child protection and vetting of school personnel

1.4 Code of Behaviour Policy

Appendix

  1. 5 Anti-bullying Policy 74

Information for Students                                                                                                                                

Information for Parents                                                                                                                                      

1.5.2 LGBT Policy

1.5.3 RSE Policy

1.6 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

1.7 Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP)

1.8 SCHOOL TRIPS POLICY

PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED BY ALL STAFF ORGANISING SCHOOL TRIPS                     

1.9 ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION

1.10 The Buddy Programme

1.11 Book Scheme

1.12 Internet Acceptable Use

1.13 Student empowerment, involvement and representation

Class Prefects                                                                                                                                                           

Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl                                                                                                                       

Students’ Council                                                                                                                                                   

  1. Curriculum 153

2.1 Curricular Provision

2.2 Literacy and Numeracy Plan

2.3 Library Policy in Salerno

2.4 Homework Policy

2.5    Assessment Policy

2.6 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND FAITH FORMATION

2.7 Extra Curricular Activity

  1. School Management and Organisation 212

3.1 In-school management structures (September 2016)

Principal:   Sr Gerarda Lawler                                                                                                                

Deputy Principal:     Ms Marie Flannery                                                                                                              

Assistant Principals                                                                                                                                               

Special Duties Teachers                                                                                                                                          

3.2 Policy on Placement of Student Teachers

3.3 Sexual Harassment Policy

3.4 Links with the Local Community

3.4 Dignity at Work Policy and Code of Procedures

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This school plan falls into two parts:

(i) The first part contains all the policies that govern the way the school operates and cares for all members of its school community. These policies have been ratified by the school’s Board of Management. Many policies have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills and the Le Cheile Trustees. Policies will be regularly and formally reviewed.

Informing the governing of this school are the school’s Mission Statement, its aims, context factors, curriculum provision, care and management of students, staff organisation and development, community links and school management and organisation. Information on these elements is provided in this first section.

These policies are available for viewing on the school website. Hard copies are available, on request, from the Principal.

(ii) The second part of our school plan has school self-evaluation as its primary focus. This section recognises that the school must systematically examine its practices, procedures and performance to ensure that the best possible provision be made for all stakeholders within the context of the resources at the school’s disposal. It involves regular consultation with students, parents and staff to obtain feedback on how the school is perceived to be performing. This feedback will in turn shape the scope and nature of school policies and subject provision. A key component of self-evaluation will be the gathering of quantitative and qualitative  data to act as a guide for well-informed decision-making.

The development of the School Plan is a shared responsibility of students, parents, staff and BOM. To facilitate the continuing development of the school plan a School Planning Group has been set up. This group meet regularly to discuss and draft documents, liaise with school partners and update policies.
School policies are reviewed on a cyclical basis (usually every two to three years) or as required: changes in legislation, circulars from DES etc.

Mission Statement

The Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno, is a Christian community in keeping with the educational philosophy of St Claudine Thevenet.

We are committed to an education which fosters personal growth, self-worth and openness to the spiritual dimension of life for all its members.

We aspire to educate, to be educated and to promote responsibility. We aim to work together in a respectful, caring and just environment.

 

School Ethos

The school’s ethos is derived from the educational vision of St Claudine Thevenet which:

 

  1. encourages an education which fosters holistic development, personal growth and self work with an openness to the spiritual dimension of life for its members and
  2. aspires to educate, to promote responsibility, and to work together in a respectful, caring and just environment.

 

The education of young people in the Catholic faith was a ministry which had priority in all the works of St Claudine. Faith is nourished by prayer, reflection on the gospel message and the celebration of the liturgy. Religious Education classes continue to be valued as essential periods within the school timetable and the place of Retreats continue to be ensured.

All activities of the school, including the Admissions Policy are assessed against the stated ethos of the school, which aims to promote Catholic values in the life of the student.

 

The Board of Management

The Board of Management is responsible for the overall administration of the school although the day to day running of the school is vested in the Principal. The Board subscribes to and promotes the ethos of the school as laid down by the Religious and Educational Philosophy of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. The Board supports the underlying principles of:

 

  • Inclusiveness
  • Full participation for all pupils in the activities of the school.
  • Respect for diversity of languages, values and ways of life while maintaining the stated ethos of the school.

 

Salerno Secondary School operates within the regulations laid down by the Department of Education and Skills and the school follows the curricular programmes prescribed by the DES, which may be amended from time to time, in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act 1998. It is to be clearly understood that the school depends on the grants and teacher resources provided by the DES. All school policies must have regard to the resources and funding thereby made available.

 

School resources

 

Financial – the school obtains its financial resources from the following:

  1. i) Grants from the Department of Education and Skills and fundraising.

 

  1. ii) Voluntary Parental Contribution – These supplement the Department grants and allow the school to upgrade facilities for the students and broaden subject choice.

 

Teaching resources – our teacher allocation is based on the number of students we have and may vary from year to year. Part-time teachers may be employed by the school to provide additional tuition when and where required.

 

School Plan

The implementation of the school plan and school policy has due regard to the resources and funding available to the school.  Policy documents are constantly updated and reviewed.

 

 

 

School Details

Salerno Secondary School is a girls voluntary Catholic secondary school.  The Parents Committee, Leaving Cert Prefects and the Students Council make a valuable contribution towards enhancing the spirit of co-operation and harmony which exists in the school.

 

Our teacher allocation is determined by our overall enrolment. We do not have designated classes for special needs students. Remedial teaching and resource hours are allocated to students based on psychological assessment, DES approval and additional resources provided by the DES.

 

School begins at 9.00 each day and ends at 4.00 on Monday and Tuesday and 3.20 on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The school calendar is distributed to each parent at the beginning of every academic year. This will contain information about parent/teacher meetings and school holidays.

 

 

School Books and Accessories

Parents are responsible for the supply of school uniforms, school books, stationery etc. for their children. Book lists are supplied to students in the month of June each year.

The school also administers the Department of Education and Skills Book Grant Scheme for eligible families.

 

The Curriculum

The curricular programmes provided in Salerno Secondary School include the Junior Certificate, LCVP and the Leaving Certificate.

 

Extra-Curricular Activities

We believe that active participation in a wide range of extra-curricular activities further develops our students’ talents and interests. These include Educational Trips, Choir, Charity Fundraising projects, Business Awareness, STEM activities and workshops (science, technology, engineering and maths) and various sporting activities, including hockey, basketball, golf, equestrian, Gaelic football, soccer, athletics ,and other sports.

 

Code of Behaviour

 

The school has published, in accordance with the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, a Code of Behaviour. The Code of Behaviour, which emphasises a positive approach to behaviour and discipline and supports the ethos of the school, also contains an anti-bullying policy and prohibits harassment and sexual harassment in the school.

 

A copy of the Code will be given to parents/guardians of prospective students. The school will require the student’s parents/guardians to confirm in writing that the Code of Behaviour is acceptable to them and that they will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that their child complies with its rules and regulations.

 

 

 

 

School Management

Members of the Board of Management 2014-2017

 

Michael Mooney         Chairperson

Maureen Cox              Parent Representative

Michael Prendergast   Parent Representative

Bridie Higgins                         Staff Representative

Gerry Heaney              Staff Representative

Dr Mary Fleming        Trustee Representative

Jane Hogan                 Trustee Representative

Sean Warnock             Trustee Representative

 

Principal

(Secretary, Board of Management) Sr Gerarda Lawler

 

Deputy Principal        Marie Flannery

 

 

 

 

 

PART I: SCHOOL POLICIES

 

 

 

 

1. Welfare and Student Management

1.1 ADMISSION POLICY (from 2014 onwards)

 

This Policy is drafted in accordance with section 15(2) (d) of the Education Act 1998.

 

This policy is set out in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Education Act, 1998 and the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000. The school provides the curricular programme set down by the DES in accordance with Sections 9 and 30 of the Education Act, 1998.

This policy is also set out in line with equality legislation. The Equal Status Acts, 2000 – 2011, apply to educational establishments and prohibit discrimination – be it direct, indirect or by association – on nine specific grounds:

 

  • Gender – being male or female.
  • Marital status – being single, married, separated, divorced or widowed.
  • Family status – being pregnant or having responsibility as a parent in relation to a person under 18 years or as a parent or carer to an adult with a disability.
  • Sexual orientation – being heterosexual, homosexual, transgender or bisexual.
  • Religion – having religious beliefs or having none.
  • Age – applies to everybody over 18.
  • Disability – covers all physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities.
  • Race – includes race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins.
  • Membership of the Traveller community – being a Traveller.

 

In setting out this Admission Policy, the BOM trusts that parents will be assisted in relation to admission matters.

Furthermore, the Principal, as Secretary to the BOM, will be happy to clarify any matters arising from this policy.

 

Salerno Secondary School is an all girls’ school which subscribes to the religious and educational philosophy of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary, as set out in the schools Prospectus and General Information document. Parents/Guardians are asked to indicate their willingness to have their daughter participate in the life of the school and to abide by the School Rules by signing an agreement to indicate their support.

 

 

Admission Process

The admission policy of the school is, subject to the requirements imposed by law, the responsibility of the Board of Management under the general supervision of the Le Cheile Trust.

 

The application process is by means of a form completed by Parents/Guardians.

Parent(s) Guardian(s) may apply to the school for a place in First Year at any stage after the child is born. The acceptance of an application form by the school is no guarantee of an offer of a place in the school being made to the student. Allocation of all places is at the absolute discretion of the Board of Management. Allocation of First Year places will begin in October of the year prior to entry.

 

Criteria for Admission

 

In deciding on the Acceptance of students, priority will be given to students in the following order:

 

1st –   Sisters of students who are attending or who have previously attended Salerno.

2nd –  Students from Jesus and Mary Primary School, Scoil Ide, Salthill.

3rd – Daughters of current and former non-casual staff, teaching and non-teaching, employed by the BOM.

4th – The Remainder of the First Year intake, the number of which is determined each year by the Board of Management, will be taken from the list of applications in the order in which they apply. Due to the restrictions of space, the numbers will vary each year.

 

In addition, the board reserves the right to deal with exceptional cases at its discretion having been informed of just reason by the Principal.

 

Applicants with Disabilities

Applicants with disabilities or with special educational needs are welcome, subject to the ability of the school to provide an appropriate education. Such applicants are interviewed to consider whether or not the school has available the facilities and resources to meet their special needs. The School will, where possible, access the applicant’s records from primary school in advance of entry to the school to enable the school make an application to the Department of Education and Skills for resources where necessary. While it is the policy of the school to make provision for such students, as far as it is reasonable and provided such provision gives rise only to a nominal cost, current constraints on plant and resources impose very real limitations on access and participation in regard to some such students. Applicants with special needs will be accepted unless the nature or degree of those needs is such that to do so would be inconsistent with:

  1. The best interests of the child as determined in accordance with any assessment carried out under the Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act 2004 or
  2. The effective provision of education for children with whom the child is to be educated (as per 2004 Act).

 

The school reserves the right to refuse to enrol a student where the enrolment would pose a threat to students, staff or property or where a disability is such that it would make the provision of appropriate education unattainable for the student.

 

Curriculum

As Salerno Secondary School is a recognised school under the Education Act 1998 the school’s academic curriculum is prescribed by the DES. Accordingly all students enrolled in the school are obliged to undertake the curriculum and are prepared for the State Examinations.

Students are expected to partake in the curriculum and extra curricular activities of the school in so far as this is practicable and within the limits of their ability.

 

Admission Procedures

 

First Year Applications

  • Applications must be submitted in writing and should be made on the official school Application Form.
  • In the month of October of the year prior to entry, offers are sent out in the order referred to above.
  • Those who cannot be accepted at that time are placed on a waiting list and are informed in due course if a vacancy arises.
  • At the time of the acceptance of a place, the applicant’s parents are provided with the school’s Code of Behaviour. Parents are required to confirm in writing their acceptance of this Code.
  • Applicants are called to the school for an Assessment Test in March of the year of entry.

If at the time of places being offered, there are more applications than there are places available, priority is given in accordance with the criteria for Admission above.

 

If there is reason for a student who may have enrolled for a particular school year, to not be in a position to take up a place in that school year, should it be offered, their application will be moved to the following year’s list in line with the date the application was received.

 

 

Mid Year Applications

Applications to join the school during an academic year will only be considered from students who have moved into the catchment area. Receipt of an application in such circumstances does not guarantee a place in the school and will be dependent on there being a vacancy in the relevant class group. In the event of more than one such application selection will be based on the Criteria for Admission above.

 

Applications for entry into a year other than First Year/ Transfers

Applications from students will be considered for all years.

Each applicant will be treated on its merits. Places will be offered only if vacancies have arisen and if the Principal, acting on behalf of the Board of Management, considers that it is advisable to do so. The applicant’s school record to date will be considered when deciding on suitability for a place in the school. The school being satisfied with the reasons for transfer will request information from the applicant’s former/present school concerning attendance, educational progress, etc.

 

Right to Postpone

The Board of Management reserves the right to postpone a decision to enrol where the school has been furnished with insufficient information e.g. where a child has special needs but the school has not been furnished with assessment reports or discipline records etc.

 

Right of Board to refuse an application for admission

The Board of Management reserves the right to refuse an application for admission in exceptional circumstances.

 

Parents have the right to appeal any refusal to enrol to the BOM. Such an appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the date of the letter refusing enrolment and is only admissible if it relates to the procedures involved in the implementation of the Admission Policy. Parents must state in their written appeal if they wish to have a personal hearing at any Board meeting called for the purpose of considering such appeals.

 

A decision not to enrol a girl into the school may be appealed within 42 days of receipt of the BOM’s decision to the DES under the terms of Section 29 of the Education Act, 1998 (Section 29 Appeals Unit, Department of Education and Skills, Friars Mill Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. Telephone: (044) 9337008. Web: www.education.ie)

 

 

 

1.2 Inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN)

Introduction

Salerno Secondary School commits itself to the inclusion of all students with special educational needs as well as general learning needs.  Such inclusion in mainstream education is supported by both national and international reports e.g. the Special Education Review Committee 1993, the UNESCO World Conference on Special Needs Education 1994 and the Council of Europe Political Declaration 2003 and Action Plan 2006.  The school also operates within the legislative framework set out by the following:

  • The Education Act, 1998
  • The Equal Status Act, 2000 and Equality Act, 2004
  • The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000
  • The Data Protection Acts, 1988-2003
  • The Freedom of Information Acts, 1997-2003
  • The Education for Persons with Special Education Needs Act, 2004

The school follows the Inclusion of Students with Special Educational Needs Post – Primary Guidelines 2007.

The principle of inclusion is embedded in the School Plan and is particularly relevant in policies relating to admission, the health promoting school, behaviour, anti-bullying and attendance.  The values in the school’s mission statement relate in equal measure to the student body.  Salerno sees itself as a community in which a framework exists to accommodate and celebrate the differences between individuals.

Definition of Special Educational Needs

For the purpose of this policy, the definition used for special educational needs is from the Education for Person with Special Educational Needs Act (2004).  In this act, the term “special educational needs” is defined as: “a restriction in the capacity of the person to participate in and benefit from the education on account of an enduring physical, sensory, mental health or learning disability or any other condition which results in a person learning differently from a person without that condition.”

Aims and principles

The broad aims and principles of education for students with special educational needs reflect those that are relevant to all students and include:

  • Enabling the student to live a full life and to realise her full potential as a unique individual through access to an appropriate broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Enabling the student to function as independently as possible in society through the provision of such educational supports as are necessary to realise that potential.
  • Enabling the student to continue learning in adult life.

 

Services and accommodations

Specific services and accommodations are presently in place in the school for students with special educational needs, as follows:

  • The Visiting Teacher Service for students with visual impairment or who are deaf/hard of hearing.
  • Grants for assistive technology.
  • Exemption from the study of Irish.
  • Scheme of Reasonable Accommodation in Certificate Examinations organised by the SEN Co-ordinator and the SEN team.
  • Special Transport, organised by the Principal.
  • On-going referral to the school counsellors, where necessary.

Transfer from primary school to secondary school

Prior to the enrolment of a student in the school, all parents are asked to complete a Health Declaration Form in respect of their daughters.  One of the sections of this form invites parents to inform the school of any special educational needs.  Any such information provided is viewed by the Principal/Deputy-Principal to establish what, if any, support needs to be applied for or provided as the student moves into secondary education.

Classroom Settings

Salerno provides a variety of classroom settings for students with special educational needs, as follow:

  • Placement in mainstream mixed-ability classes- this is the normal practice for all 1st year classes and for all classes thereafter with the exception of Irish, English and Maths.
  • Setting the timetable- this occurs for Irish, English and Maths from 2nd to 6th year inclusive and sees these classes being formed within the mainstream on the basis of the ability or attainment of the students.
  • Withdrawal of students for individual or small group teaching – this occurs
  • Some co-operative teaching is taking place where the resource teacher is going into the classroom with the mainstream teacher.  We aspire to increase this model of teaching.

Assessment

All 1st year students are given standardised group tests prior to their admission into the school each March.  Combined with various informal methods of assessment e.g. teacher observation, monitoring of homework, observation of social development, it generally becomes possible to identify students with special education needs.

In identifying students for learning support, the school gives priority to those performing at or below the tenth percentile on standardised tests of literacy and mathematics.

The school’s SEN team will, where necessary and with written parental permission, arrange for individualised diagnostic assessment and may seek to obtain reports from other professionals e.g. educational psychologists, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and social workers.

Because the range of tests available to the school is restricted in accordance with professional practice, Salerno Secondary School cannot guarantee that it will identify all cases of special educational need.  It is for this reason that it is vital that parents would bring any outside professional assessments to the earliest attention of the school.

Roles and Functions

The following is a summary of the roles and functions of the different groups and individuals involved in the provision of resource and learning support in Salerno Secondary School.

The Board of Management

  • Responsibility for overseeing the development, implementation and review of school policies and services in relation to the inclusion of students with special educational needs.
  • Protecting the rights of parents as prescribed in legislation.
  • Co-operating fully with the National Council for Special Education.

The Special Educational Needs Support Team (SENST)

This team in Salerno Secondary School is made up of:

  • Principal – Sr G Lawler
  • Deputy Principal– Mrs M Flannery
  • SEN Co-ordinator – Ms Celina Long
  • Guidance Councillor – Mrs T Wade
  • SEN Teachers– Ms P. Joyce, Mrs S. Maguire, Mrs A. Tansey, Ms L. Tighe, Ms Niamh Cummins
  • One representative of mainstream teachers– Mr Jonathan McDonnell
  • Chaplain– Sr A Maughan

This team will be responsible for the drawing up, monitoring, implementation, and review of whole-school policies and procedures in relation to special education.

The team has weekly scheduled meetings.

 

 

The Principal

The Principal has overall responsibility for ensuring that the special education needs of students are met. In this regard, she will work in close co-operation with the SENST. She must also ensure that all teachers are aware of their responsibilities in relation to students with special educational needs and must also arrange for continuous professional development of staff in this regard.

In practice, much of this work in Salerno Secondary School is delegated to the SEN co-ordinator / SEN Team with the ongoing support and involvement of the Principal and the entire teaching staff.

Mainstream Teachers

Mainstream teachers are obliged to make themselves aware of the special needs of students in their classes. They have access to information that is relevant to the teaching or supervising of such students, via files that are kept in the secretary’s office and psychological reports which are kept in the co-ordinator’s office.  A list of all students with Special Educational Needs is given to mainstream teachers.

 

The Resource / Learning Support Teachers

The Resource teacher is allocated hours to support, teach, assess and keep records of an individual student in accordance with her individual education plan. This teacher must also liaise closely with the SENST and all teachers working with the individual student.

The role of the Learning Support teacher in Salerno is to provide additional teaching support to students with low achievement in literacy or mathematics and to those with mild or transient difficulties in such areas as language, motor co-ordination, behaviour, socialisation and attention. Priority will be given to students who are performing at or below the 10th percentile on standardised tests or literacy or mathematics.

The class teacher and in-school management post holder

The Principal of the school, has responsibility for liaising with the feeder national schools each year in an attempt to obtain any relevant background information on all incoming students, especially those with special educational needs.

She will be assisted in this task from September each year by the SEN co-ordinator and the SEN team.

The guidance counsellor

The Guidance Counsellor will assist students with special educational needs in making career decisions.

Parents

A the primary and natural educator of the child, parents must ensure that Salerno Secondary school is provided with timely access to professional reports that are critical to collaborative planning for students with special educational needs.

Parents should ensure that they are active participants in the formulation and review of individual educational plans (IEP) and should attend all parent-teacher and general information meetings arranged by the school.

Students with special educational needs

Insofar as appropriate, students with special educational needs should be involved in the development, implementation and review of their IEP. This is likely to have a positive effect on the relationship between the student and her teachers.

 

The school community and the student body

Salerno, as a health promoting school, places value on difference and diversity and on the promotion of good relations between all members of the school community. These values are to the core of teaching, in SPHE and CSPE classes and are actively supported by student leadership in the form of the Students’ Council.

 

Special needs assistants

The school has an allocation of special needs assistants (SNA) whose brief is to provide care assistance to named students following the approval of the local SENO and whose specific duties are set out by the Principal.

The SNAs (2016/17) are as follows: Mrs M.Kelly, Mrs N. Lenihan, Ms A. Culligan, Ms M. Rabbite, Ms I Docherty.

Bodies outside the school

  • The Department of Education and Skills (DES)
  • The National Council for Special Education (NCSE)
  • The National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
  • The Special Education Support Service (SESS)
  • The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA)
  • The National Educational Welfare Board (NEWB)
  • The Health Service Executive (HSE)

 

Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Individual learning plans are being developed by teachers and parents for students in the school.

With the implementation of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004, these and all future plans will be referred to as individual education plans.  These plans will be put in place following consultation between the school, parents, students and relevant bodies outside the school  Their objective is to bring about effective teaching and learning and improved outcomes for students with special educational needs.

The Principal is responsible for ensuring the preparation and implementation of each IEP.  In this task she will be assisted primarily by the SEN team.

Each IEP will be prepared in accordance with the Guidelines on the Individual Education Planning Process (2006) as issued by the National Council for Special Education.

In summary, the stages in the preparation of an IEP will be:

  1. Gathering information.
  2. Statement of level of performance including strengths, needs and impact on learning.
  3. Identification of priority learning needs and time frame for attainment of targets.
  4. Setting targets for each priority learning need.
  5. Identification of the strategies and resource required.
  6. Setting date for review.

 

Teaching and learning in the inclusive school

All teachers involved in the education of students with special educational needs are expected to adopt a variety of teaching methods and strategies e.g. co-operative teaching, active learning, heterogeneous grouping, co-operative learning, direct instruction, so as to maximise the educational, personal and social outcome for these students.

Teachers are to be mindful that such students tend to learn best in a teaching and learning environment that is characterised by structure and organisation.

Future aims:

  • Continue to raise teacher awareness of students with learning difficulties and to provide professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • Increase literacy and numeracy levels across the school community.
  • Further development of in-class learning support/team teaching:
  1. This would be voluntary for teachers.
  2. Meet all interested teachers.
  3. Follow up with one-to-one meetings with the SEN team and mainstream teacher to plan approach.
  4. Planning time, as required, is essential:
    1. To implement and follow up on 1st year assessments.
    2. To draw up and Individual Education Plan (IEP) for each SEN student.
    3. To brief new staff on filing process and reading Education Reports from NEPS.
    4. To meet with the SEN team to assign learning objectives and prevent overlap.
    5. To meet relevant mainstream teachers.
  5. To increase resources available for the teaching of students with SEN.

 

This policy has been ratified/reviewed by the Board of Management at its meeting  on   ___________________ (date)

Signed:  _____________________________________ Chairperson

 

Next review date: ________________________

 

 

1.3 Child protection and vetting of school personnel

Section 1: Introduction

The Board of Management recognises that child protection and welfare considerations permeate all aspects of school life and must be reflected in all of the school’s policies, practices and activities. Accordingly, in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Education and Skills’ Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools, the Board of Management of Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno, Salthill, has agreed the following child protection policy:

 

  1. The Board of Management has adopted and will implement fully and without modification the Department’s Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools as part of this overall child protection policy.

 

  1. The Designated Liaison Person (DLP) is Sr Gerarda Lawler (Principal).

 

  1. The Deputy Designated Liaison Person (Deputy DLP) is Ms Marie Flannery (Deputy Principal).

 

  1. In its policies, practices and activities, all staff will adhere to the following principles of best practice in child protection and welfare:

 

The school will:

 

  • recognise that the protection and welfare of children is of paramount importance, regardless of all other considerations;

 

  • fully co-operate with the relevant statutory authorities in relation to child protection and welfare matters

 

  • adopt safe practices to minimise the possibility of harm or accidents happening to children and protect workers from the necessity to take unnecessary risks that may leave themselves open to accusations of abuse or neglect;

 

  • develop a practice of openness with parents and encourage parental involvement in the education of their children;
  • fully respect confidentiality requirements in dealing with child protection matters. The school will also adhere to the above principles in relation to any adult pupil with a special vulnerability.

 

  1. The following is a list school policies, practices and activities that are particularly relevant to child protection:

 

  • Mission statement
  • Transition Year
  • Student progress and levels of attainment
  • Internet Acceptable Use
  • Extra-curricular activity
  • Code of behaviour
  • Anti-bullying
  • Class tutor system, Year heads and Student Care Co-ordination team
  • Guidance
  • Student empowerment, involvement and representation (Student Council/Prefect
  • System)
  • Positive Mental Health
  • Substance use
  • Contingency procedures
  • Student attendance
  • Communication structures between home and school
  • Health and safety statement/fire drill procedure

 

The Board has ensured that the necessary policies, protocols or practices as appropriate are in place in respect of each of the above listed items.

 

  1. This policy has been made available to school personnel and the Parents’ Association and is readily accessible to parents on request. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department and the patron, Le Chéile, if requested.

 

  1. This policy will be reviewed by The Board of Management once in every school year.

Formal training for all employees in child protection matters was conducted in June/ July 2016.

 

The BOM complies with Circular 0063/2010 issued by the DES for the vetting of teaching and non- teaching staff in schools.

 

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on _______________________.

 

On this date, the Board also formally approved the protocol authorizing immediate action under section 5.2 of the “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools”.

 

 

Signed: _____________________`                            Signed: _______________________

 

Chairperson of Board of Management                      Principal

 

Date:__________________________                       Date: __________________________

 

Formally reviewed: _______________________

 

 

 

Section 2: Annual  review

The Board of Management must undertake an annual review of its child protection policy and the following checklist shall be used for this purpose.

 

The checklist is designed as an aid to conducting this review and is not intended as an exhaustive list.

 

As part of the overall review process, Boards of Management should also assess other school policies, practices and activities vis a vis their adherence to the principles of best practice in child protection and welfare as set out in the school’s child protection policy.

 

Yes No
Has the Board formally adopted a child protection policy in accordance with the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?
As part of the school’s child protection policy, has the Board formally adopted, without modification, the

‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?

 

Are there both a DLP and a Deputy DLP currently appointed?
Are the relevant contact details (HSE and An Garda Síochána) to hand?
Has the DLP attended available child protection training?
Has the Deputy DLP attended available child protection training?
Have any members of the Board attended child protection training?
Has the school’s child protection policy identified other school policies, practices and activities that are regarded as having particular child protection relevance?
Has the Board ensured that the Department’s “Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools” are available to all school personnel?
Has the Board arrangements in place to communicate the school’s child protection policy to new school personnel?
Is the Board satisfied that all school personnel have been made aware of their responsibilities under the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’?
Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any child protection reports made to the HSE/An Garda Síochána by the DLP?
Since the Board’s last annual review, was the Board informed of any cases where the DLP sought advice from the HSE and as a result of this advice, no report to the HSE was made?
Is the Board satisfied that the child protection procedures in relation to the making of reports to the HSE/ An Garda Síochána were appropriately followed?
Were child protection matters reported to the Board appropriately recorded in the Board minutes?
Is the Board satisfied that all records relating to child protection are appropriately filed and stored securely?
Has the Board ensured that the Parents’ Association (if any), has been provided with the school’s child protection policy?
Has the Board ensured that the school’s child protection policy is available to parents on request?
Has the Board ensured that the Stay Safe programme is implemented in full in the school? (applies to primary schools)
Has the Board ensured that the SPHE curriculum is implemented in full in the school?
Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements for Garda Vetting have been met in respect of all school personnel (employees and volunteers)?
Is the Board satisfied that the Department’s requirements in relation to the provision of a child protection related statutory declaration and associated form of undertaking have been met in respect of persons appointed to teaching and non-teaching positions?
Is the Board satisfied that, from a child protection perspective, thorough recruitment and selection procedures are applied by the school in relation to all school personnel (employees and volunteers)?
Is the Board satisfied that the ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’ are being fully and adequately implemented by the school?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s child protection policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan containing appropriate timelines to address those aspects of the school’s child protection policy and/or its implementation that have been identified as requiring further improvement ?
Has the Board ensured that any areas for improvement that that were identified in any previous review of the school’s child protection policy have been adequately addressed?

 

 

Signed:______________________ Date: ______________________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed:______________________ Date:  ______________________________

Principal

 

 

 

 

Notification regarding The Board of Management’s annual review of the child protection policy

 

To: Salerno Parents’ Council

 

The Board of Management of Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno wishes to inform you that:

 

  • The Board of Management’s annual review of the school’s child protection policy was completed at the Board meeting of ___________________.

 

  • This review was conducted in accordance with the checklist set out in Appendix 2 of the Department’s ‘Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools’

 

Signed: _______________________                  Date: __________________

Chairperson, Board of Management

 

Signed: _______________________                  Date: __________________

Principal

 

 

 

Section 3:

 

  1. Action plan following (insert date) annual  review:

 

Action: The Principal and Deputy Principal will make arrangements to familiarise all staff with these new procedures prior to ……………………

 

Outcome:  This was completed at a staff meeting on ______________________.

 

Action:  The Board of Management will place Child Protection matters and the on-going review of associated policy on the agenda at every future meeting of the Board.

 

Outcome: Child protection has been on the agenda at every Board meeting since __________.

 

  1. Action plan following __________________annual review:

 

Maintain all existing practices.

 

  1. Action plan following annual review:

 

Maintain all existing practices.

 

 

Section 4: Summary of procedures

 

What now follows is a summary of the main points contained in the Procedures as issued by the DES:

 

Forms of child abuse

Child abuse can be categorized into four different types:

 

  • Neglect can be defined in terms of an omission, where the child suffers significant harm or impairment of development by being deprived of food, clothing, warmth, hygiene, intellectual stimulation, supervision and safety, attachment to and affection from adults, medical care.

 

Symptoms of neglect include:

 

  • Inadequate supervision – where children have a lot of freedom they may be prey for those who will abuse;
  • Habitually dirty;
  • Seeming to be lethargic and lacking sleep;
  • Unhealthy appearance;
  • Inadequate clothing;
  • From conversation seem to be left alone for long periods or overnight;
  • Permitted to engage in adult/dangerous activities – consume alcohol, work long hours, drive cars underage.

 

  • Emotional abuse occurs when a child’s need for affection, approval, consistency and security are not met. It is normally to be found in the relationship between a caregiver and a child rather than in a specific event or pattern of events.

 

Symptoms of emotional abuse include:

  • Over compliance;
  • Seeking attention / affection to an unusual extent;
  • Anger / resentment; Constant guardedness;
  • Bullying or domineering relationship;
  • Victim role;
  • Running away from home.

 

Physical abuse is any form of non-accidental injury or injury which results from wilful or neglectful failure to protect a child.

 

Symptoms of Physical Abuse include:

 

Bruising, especially in unusual places which would not result from normal accidents; Grip marks / black eyes / burns.

 

  • Sexual abuse occurs when a child is used by another person for his/her gratification or sexual arousal or for that of others.

 

 

Symptoms of Sexual Abuse include:

 

  1. Speech or drawings which indicate children have inappropriate knowledge;
  2. Victims experience distorted sexual development, carry a sense of stigma (feel different from peers in a negative way);
  3. Experience a sense of betrayal where the abuser has been a ‘carer’;

 

  1. Victims feel powerless – the result of abuser’s exercise of power in the course of the abuse and in enforcing secrecy.

 

 

Responsibility to report child abuse

Every member of staff in Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno, must be alert to the possibility that students with whom they are in contact may be being abused.

 

The school will do everything possible to protect students from abuse or risk of abuse.  Because they are in regular and frequent contact with students, members of school staff are particularly well placed to observe outward signs of abuse or to be aware of unexplained changes in behaviour or performance which may indicate abuse.  All members of staff are asked to exercise vigilance in their observations of students so that important signs are not overlooked.

 

Any staff member with concerns about the safety of any student in her care should keep a written record of same and report them without delay to the Designated Liaison Person, Sr Gerarda Lawler (Principal). In her absence, the Deputy Principal, Ms Marie Flannery (Deputy Designated Liaison Person), should be contacted.

 

Students or parents should not be interviewed in detail about the suspected abuse. Under no circumstances should a student’s clothing be removed. Confidentiality must never be promised to a person making a disclosure and the requirement to report to the Health Service Executive (HSE) must be explained in a supportive manner.

 

The Designated Liaison Person shall then decide whether or not reasonable grounds exist to report the case to the HSE.

 

 

The following examples would indicate reasonable grounds for concern:

 

  • Specific indication from the student that she was being abused.
  • An account by a person who saw the student being abused
  • Evidence, such as injury or behaviour, which is consistent with abuse and
    which is unlikely to be caused another way.

 

A suspicion that is not supported by any objective indication of abuse or neglect would not constitute a reasonable suspicion or reasonable grounds for concern.

 

If a decision is made to report a case of suspected abuse, the Designated Liaison Person shall make personal contact with the Duty Social Worker to whom the Standard Reporting Form will be submitted. In the event of an emergency, or the non-availability of health board staff, the report will be made to An Garda Síochána.

 

The student’s parents will be informed by the Designated Liaison Person if a report is to be made to the HSE unless doing so is likely to endanger the student.

 

As soon as possible thereafter, the Designated Liaison Person will inform the BOM of such a report. The school will keep detailed written records of all suspected cases of child abuse.

 

 

General points

  • The school’s SPHE programme develops an awareness among students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd years of child protection matters.

 

  • Parents who have any concerns about the behaviour of a member of staff or about the safety of a child in the school should make their concerns known to the Designated Liaison Person. If the suspicion is regarding the Designated Liaison Person, parents should contact the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

 

  • Salerno’s School Development Plan contains the school’s policy on peer abuse and bullying.

 

 

 

Section 5: School Protocols

 

The following protocols in relation to child protection form part of a wider school policy on child protection and vetting of school personnel.

 

Dressing Rooms

 

It is the intention of the school that all students should be afforded privacy whilst using dressing rooms and shower areas. Where it appears that the well-being or safety of students require intervention by an adult, The Board of Management authorises such intervention which would, except in an emergency, be preceded by a vocal alert telling students that an adult is entering a dressing room after a brief period to allow students dress themselves to a level of decency. Where possible, such intervention should be by a female teacher. A male teacher intervening in such a manner is required to be particularly prudent.

 

All such interventions must be recorded briefly by the intervening adult in an incident book kept for that purpose in the Principal’s office.

 

In the case of all matches, it is preferable if the first person into a dressing room is a female teacher or female voluntary adult supervisor. She must also be the last to leave the dressing room.

 

Where possible a female teacher or female voluntary adult supervisor should check the dressing room and ensure that all students are dressed to a level of decency before a male teacher may enter the dressing room to give a team talk.

 

Matches

 

Every effort will be made to have two supervising teachers at all matches involving school teams, preferably one of whom will be female.

 

Cars

 

Except in the case of an emergency, teachers must not take students in their cars unless they have specific business or work-related insurance cover to so do. The Board of Management will provide financial assistance to any member of staff taking out such business or work-related insurance.

 

Teachers must never put themselves in a position of being alone in a car with a student, except in exceptional circumstances.

 

One-to-one situations

 

It is preferable for male teachers not to be in a one- to- one situation with female students. Where this does happen e.g. learning support, special examination centres, the male teacher must be visible at all times through an open door or a clear glass panel.

 

Where female teachers need to talk privately with an individual student, the teacher should be clearly visible to others at all times while the student can be afforded privacy.

 

Trips out of school

 

It is preferable that there be at least one female teacher on every trip.

 

Interventions by teachers should only take place in the manner set out above for dressing rooms. Teachers intervening in such situations must be fully clothed. Less than full clothing may be necessary in the case of fire, medical emergency.

 

First Aid

 

First Aid must only be administered by a qualified person. A list of such staff is on public display in the school.

 

It is preferable that First Aid be administered by a female teacher. Where this is not possible, a male teacher may do so provided that he is clearly visible to others at all times.

 

Exceptional emergency

In cases of exceptional emergency, all teachers and voluntary adult supervisors are authorised by the Board of Management to do what must be done. Details of such emergency must be recorded in the incident book as set out above.

 

Acceptance of policy

 

All members of the teaching and non-teaching staff, as well as any voluntary adult supervisors, must sign a declaration stating that they have been provided with a copy of the school’s child protection and vetting policy and that they agree to be bound by the contents thereof. This practice will be repeated every third year or more frequently if policy changes in the intervening period.

 

 

 

Section 6: Vetting of school personnel

 

Introduction

 

This policy has been adopted by the BOM for the following reasons:

 

  • To give lived expression to the term’s of the school’s mission statement
  • As part of its commitment to the care and protection of its students and all who work in the school
  • To govern its application of garda vetting as part of its recruitment practice

 

This policy has been framed in compliance with:

  • DES circular letter 0063/2010
  • DES Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools 2011
  • The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003
  • Employment Equality Acts 1998 and 2004
  • Equal Status Act 2000
  • Industrial Relations Act 1990
  • The Garda Central Vetting Unit’s code of practice

 

Goals

 

  • To ensure that the school is a safe and secure environment
  • To ensure that vetting of school personnel is carried out to the highest standards of good practice, in compliance with all legal and ethical obligations, in an open, transparent and just manner and with the highest standards of confidentiality

 

Procedures

 

Vetting applies to all new staff recruited on or after 1 September 2006 who had not been employed in a recognised post-primary school at any time since 1 September 2003.

 

New staff means all personnel working in a full-time, part-time, voluntary or student capacity who will have unsupervised access to children and vulnerable adults.

 

Vetting commences when the preferred candidate for a position has been selected. Unless written clearance from the Garda Central Vetting Unit is presented to the Principal, s/he will be obliged to complete a Garda Vetting Application Form. Failure to complete this form or to disclose a conviction will disqualify the candidate and no offer of employment will be made to him/her. The provision of inaccurate information on this form may also disqualify.

 

All offers of employment to a preferred candidate will be subject to satisfactory vetting.

 

In deciding whether a particular conviction, pending prosecution or unsuccessful prosecution renders a candidate unsuitable for appointment, the school will have regard to:

 

  • The nature of the offence and its possible relevance to the position
  • The age of the offence
  • The frequency of the offence
  • The age of the preferred candidate at the time of the offence

 

School policy renders the following as subject to automatic disqualification from employment:

  1. Murder
  2. Manslaughter Sexual offences
  3. False imprisonment
  4. Abduction
  5. Assault causing harm
  6. Non-fatal offences against the person including threats to kill, syringe attacks, endangering traffic
  7. Robbery
  8. Aggravated burglary
  9. Theft
  10. Arson
  11. Possession of drugs for sale or supply
  12. Firearms offences
  13. Fraud offences Firearms offences Explosives offences
  14. Money laundering
  15. Trafficking of illegal immigrants
  16. Terrorist offences

 

Roles and responsibilities

 

The Principal will be designated as the Line Manager and will be responsible for the implementation of this policy. She will conduct the process on behalf of the school in conjunction with the JMB and, through it, with the Garda Central Vetting Unit.

 

The Principal will be authorised to determine if the outcome of the vetting has been satisfactory or not, such determination being made in accordance with school policy. Where necessary, the Principal may consult with the Chairperson of the BOM.

 

Should the vetting reveal a disclosure, the Principal will meet the preferred candidate in person and in private. The candidate will be informed of the nature of the disclosure and will be given an opportunity to respond to it. The Principal may wish to be accompanied to this meeting by the Chairperson, BOM. In such an event, the candidate will be informed that the Chairperson will be present and she will also be afforded the option of being accompanied to the meeting.

 

The only circumstances in which a disclosure of convictions or prosecutions would be made known to the BOM would be with the consent of the candidate.

 

Any candidate requesting to see the Garda vetting disclosure document will be provided with the original document. The school will retain a copy.

 

Implementation and review

 

This policy will take effect from September 2014 and will be reviewed as necessary in light of any relevant legislative changes.

 

The policy will be placed on the school website and will be made available to all candidates when applying for a position in the school. All candidates will be expected to confirm in writing their acceptance of this policy. Candidates who fail to give such acceptance will not be considered for appointment to any position in this school.

 

 

 

1.4 Code of Behaviour Policy

In Salerno, we aim to create an atmosphere where pupils can develop their full potential and learn to value and respect themselves and others. Besides a strong academic programme, the school also provides a wide range of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The aim is to provide a rich variety of experiences to promote the holistic development of each girl. The school hopes that each pupil finds in the school a just and caring community in which she can explore and attain her potential. The school expects each girl to gradually take responsibility for her own growth and development and to contribute to the life of the school. We provide opportunities for the girls to exercise that responsibility as they mature in the school.

 

Fundamental to this spirit is an acceptance by all of the need for courtesy and co-operation within the school community. Management, staff and parents must work together to achieve these aims.

 

The formal Code of Behaviour provides a framework for a positive approach to behaviour and discipline within the school. It aims to:

  • Encourage pupils towards self-discipline.
  • Encourage pupils to have respect and consideration for one another.
  • Create an appropriate learning environment for pupils.
  • Prepare pupils for the responsibilities of the adult world.

 

When their daughters enter the school, parents are asked to sign a form declaring that they have read the Code of Behaviour and that they agree to its contents.

Development of the Code of Behaviour

The Code of Behaviour was developed in accordance with the NEWB Guidelines on Developing a Code of Behaviour (2008). The Code was developed through consultation and collaboration with representatives from the whole school community. The Principal, Deputy Principal, Board of Management, Parents’ Council, Students’ Council and all staff have been included in the planning process. An evaluation of behavioural policies has been conducted through discussion and reflection. An audit of existing behavioural procedures and policies has been carried out, which highlighted areas in need of review. Action plans have been devised and implemented which has led to the application of the reviewed Code of Behaviour. The review and development of the Code of Behaviour has been done in a manner that takes full account of the good practice set out in the NEWB Guidelines while maintaining the ethos and character of the school community.

 

Vision for Relationships and Behaviour in the School

The educational philosophy of the school recognises the importance of each student recognising her full potential. Pastoral care is a priority in Salerno. We endeavour to create a school community where each one feels a sense of belonging and is respected and valued. Chaplaincy involves being there to listen to and support students in all that life brings up for them. Throughout the year, we celebrate the presence of God journeying with us as a school community.

All members of the school community have been engaged in the task of shaping the school environment in order to keep it a happy place for teaching and learning. It is through this inclusive approach of collaboration that the Code of Behaviour has been developed, in the aim of maintaining the best possible educational environment.

As part of this collaborative process, the school’s Ladder of Referral (relating to discipline) was developed and provides a clear framework and guidelines regarding breaches of the Code of Behaviour and the appropriate actions (see Appendix at the end of this section).

To promote the learning environment in the school, pupils are encouraged to set goals for themselves regarding their relations with each other, their relations with people in authority and progress in their work. Each pupil will be encouraged to seek excellence in doing their own personal best in these three areas. The school has a positive pastoral concern for all pupils, encouraging them through personal and group contact.

The ethos of the school is based on respect for all members of the school community.

  • A calm, trustful and respectful school environment facilitates positive teaching and learning for all.
  • Pupils are expected to move quietly throughout the school and to welcome and be courteous to all visitors.
  • Pupils are expected to be polite at all times and understand that aggressive, disrespectful and anti-social behaviour are not tolerated.
  • Insulting or offensive remarks are unacceptable and are treated very seriously.
  • Bullying will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in a fair, firm and understanding manner, in accordance with the Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • The school promotes equality of opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment on the following nine grounds (as set out in the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004): gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.

Behaviours that do not comply with the expectations set out in the Code of Behaviour will be regarded as a breach of the spirit of the school and will be dealt with accordingly.

The Promotion of Good Behaviour

The active promotion of good behaviour is central to the ethos, policies and practices in Salerno. We, as the adult community strive to create a healthy and respectful atmosphere for our students, through their experience of the life lived here. Students are encouraged to behave in a manner that supports their learning and development.

School management and teachers consistently implement strategies to promote positive behaviour and mutually respectful relationships for the whole-school community.

The following strategies are used to promote positive behaviour and relationships:

  • Students are given responsibility in the school and have been involved in the development of the Code of Behaviour. The standards of behaviour are clear, fair and widely understood.
  • A comprehensive pastoral and guidance team adopt an open, collaborative and consultative approach to the behaviour of individual students.
  • Students are taught the skills and knowledge to behave well through communication with Year Heads and in class subjects.
  • Positive behaviour is reinforced through praise, encouragement, feedback and mutually respectful relationships. Praise is based on the effort of each individual student.
  • The annual elections of the Student Council and Prefects encourage responsibility and positive relationships between staff and students.
  • A ‘buddy system’ is in place whereby first year and leaving certificate students are paired up. This promotes positive relationships among students.
  • Annual award ceremonies are held to acknowledge students that have shown positive behaviour e.g. The Claudine Thévenet Award, The Emily Feeney Generosity of Spirit Award and The Creativity Award.
  • The school website and magazine are updated to acknowledge positive achievements.
  • A ‘Good Behaviour Report’ is presented to a student that has made a significant effort to behave well. The teacher that issues the report writes detail about the effort made.
  • A student may be instructed to carry and complete a ‘Behaviour Report Card’ if there is a need for improvement in their behaviour. The Deputy Principal gives the student her card each morning. It is the responsibility of the student to ask teachers to fill in categories on their card regarding their behaviour. The card is then signed by parents / guardians. This promotes responsibility and self-motivated behavioural improvement.
  • Parents / guardians are provided with a copy of the Code of Behaviour, which must be signed on the enrolment of their daughter. This promotes compliance with the high behavioural standards expected in the school.
  • Teachers provide constructive comments to parents / guardians about each student’s behaviour in regular reports. Written communication in a student’s journal and annual parent-teacher meetings allow for constructive communication regarding behaviour. If there is a particular behavioural concern, appropriate contact will be made.

Salerno endeavours to balance warmth and empathy with objectivity, professionalism, fairness and consistency. The high quality of behavioural standards and relationships is evaluated and reviewed regularly.

 

How Students, Staff and Parents can help each other to meet the Standards expected in the School

 

The successful education of all students is dependent on an active, consistent and mutual partnership between students, staff and parents. Each must embrace their rights, responsibilities and expectations.

Students are expected to:

  • Treat all members of the school community with respect and courtesy.
  • Be aware of the school rules and behave in a responsible way, both in school and when travelling to and from school.
  • Attend every class, every day. Pupils must not leave the school grounds during school hours without permission from the Principal or Deputy Principal (excluding lunch hour when pupils may leave school grounds). Pupils must sign the appropriate register at the office when arriving late or leaving the school within school hours.
  • Be punctual at all times.
  • Report to the school office immediately if she is feeling sick.
  • Wear school uniform at all times.
  • Share responsibility for the school environment by respecting school property.
  • Work to the best of their ability and complete all course requirements.
  • Complete homework and assignments on time.

 

Staff members are expected to:

  • Treat all members of the school community with respect and courtesy.
  • Be professional and show respect for the interests and welfare of students.
  • Provide a quality education to all students in a safe and secure environment.
  • Provide an education based on high expectations.
  • Provide regular class work and homework that is appropriate to the age and ability of each student.
  • Promote positive attitudes regarding self-worth, social justice and equality.
  • Provide equality of opportunity without discrimination based on any of the following nine grounds: gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the travelling community.
  • Communicate with parents through written reports, at parent / teacher meetings and at any other appropriate time if necessary.
  • Teachers have a professional duty of care to address bullying in accordance with the Anti-Bullying Policy.
  • Maintain a well disciplined school environment.
  • Consistently implement the rewards and sanctions of the Code of Behaviour with impartiality and using fair procedures.

 

Parent (s) / Guardian (s) are expected to:

  • Treat all members of the school community with respect and courtesy.
  • Encourage their children to attend school in a way that derives maximum benefit from their time in school. Necessary appointments should be made for students outside school hours where possible. Parents should inform the school appropriately if their child will be absent and provide a note on the child’s return. (See Attendance Policy).
  • Ensure that their daughter is punctual for school commitments.
  • Encourage and support their daughter with school work.
  • Check the progress of their daughter’s homework assignments and sign any notes sent by teachers.
  • Provide their daughters with the required textbooks and resources necessary for school.
  • Communicate effectively with the school where appropriate. Parents are expected to attend parent / teacher meetings and / or any special appointments if requested.
  • Support school policies.

 

Attendance

In order to derive meaningful benefit from their education, a key element of pupils’ experience is the quality time they spend in school. Since the Education Welfare Act (2000), schools have a legal obligation to monitor attendance and report to the National Education Welfare Board pupils who have more than 20 days absence during a school year. The school, parents and pupils are encouraged to co-operate to ensure that pupils gain maximum benefit from their education. The following procedures are designed to facilitate this.

  1. The School

 

  1. The school keeps a record of each pupil’s attendance and reports this to parents when necessary.

 

  1. A half-day will not be given without at least one day’s notice.

 

  1. The school will contact the home in the case of unexplained absences, or in the event that a pupil is absent over a period of time.

 

The school organises a number of co-curricular activities to promote the holistic experience of the pupil. This may sometimes require a pupil to miss specific classes (field trips, sports or debates, in-school activities). The school monitors the level of participation of individual pupils.

 

  1. Parents

 

Parents have the responsibility to encourage their children not only to attend school, but to do so in a way that derives maximum benefit from their time in school. To facilitate this, medical/dental or other appointments should be made outside school hours when possible. However, there will be times when students are legitimately absent from school or particular classes.

  1. When a child is sick and unable to attend school, a parent should inform the school that morning, before 9.30 a.m.

 

  1. In the case of continued absence, the parent should give regular updates to the school and keep the school informed of any problems that might impact on the child’s progress.

 

  1. On the child’s return to school the parent should send a written note. Each pupil has an official attendance book to facilitate this process.

 

  1. When prior knowledge exists of an appointment during school hours, e.g. medical or dental, an attendance slip or note should be presented the day before. In the case of unforeseen appointments, arrangements can be made through direct contact with the school.

 

  1. Pupils

 

  1. Pupils must attend every class, every day.

 

  1. No pupil may leave the grounds during school hours, without permission from the Principal or Deputy Principal. When permission is given for legitimate absence, a permission slip will be signed. On leaving the school, and on their return, the pupil should sign a register at the office.

 

Note. Pupils have permission to leave the school grounds during lunch hour. The school cannot be responsible for pupils when they are off the premises. However, the expectation is that pupils behave in a manner that ensures each person’s safety. When on the premises, pupils are supervised. Parents are advised to discuss with their children where and how they spend lunch hour.

  1. When a pupil arrives late to school in the morning or after lunch, she should sign the register at the office in order to remove an absent mark.

 

  1. If a pupil has to leave class for any reason, she should obtain a permission slip from the teacher and should return to class without any undue delay. Pupils may be asked to show this permission slip outside the classroom.

 

  1. If a pupil is sick during the day, she should report immediately to the school office.

 

 

Rules and Expectations for Pupils

 

School and classroom rules set out practical guidelines and clear boundaries for pupils so that they can maintain the high standards of behaviour expected from them. A summary of these rules is placed in every classroom in the school.

 

Fundamental Principles

 

  • All members of the school community are expected to treat each other with respect and courtesy. It is expected that students behave with dignity and respect the authority of staff members at all times.
  • It is expected that all members of the school community respect the positive learning environment in Salerno. All pupils are expected to commit to their own learning and respect the right of their peers to learn in a safe, positive and participative environment.
  • Each pupil is expected to take pride in their behaviour at all times so as to uphold the spirit and ethos of the school community.

 

In Salerno, we aim to create an atmosphere where pupils can develop their full potential and learn to value and respect themselves and others. The following standards set out in a positive manner our expectations of all pupils in the school.

 

 

Courtesy and Respect for all Members of the School Community

 

All students are expected to behave with courtesy and good manners towards others. This is the embodiment of our Mission Statement meaning that:

 

  • Students treat their fellow students in a fair and respectful manner at all times.
  • Students cultivate a sense of responsibility towards their own property.
  • Students treat the school property and that of fellow students with respect.
  • Salerno Secondary School does not tolerate bullying or harassment in any form.
  • Students must show courtesy, consideration and good manners in their behaviour while travelling to and from school, in school and while representing the School on outings or trips.
  • Students afford politeness, respect and courteous co-operation to all school staff, fellow students, visitors to the school, local residents at all times.

 

 

The School Uniform

 

The official school uniform must be worn at all times and consists of:

  • Green Salerno school jumper with crest.
  • Plain white cotton shirt or white polo shirt with collar.
  • Existing plain green school skirt or new Salerno tartan skirt.
  • New Salerno trouser – optional.
  • Black or skin-coloured tights or plain black socks.
  • Plain black flat shoes.
  • New Salerno school jacket with crest and hood available. Students may wear existing Salerno full zip jacket.

 

HALF ZIP JACKET IS NO LONGER PART OF SALERNO UNIFORM.

BOOTS OR RUNNERS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO BE WORN WITH SKIRT OR TROUSER.

Option – New Salerno school scarf

 

FOR SPORT:

  • Green Salerno tracksuit pants
  • New Salerno sweatshirt with crest
  • Plain white runners to be worn with tracksuit pants No boot runners allowed.
  • Tracksuit pants may only be worn on sports day.

 

  • One pair of sleepers/stud earrings may be worn in the lower ear only. No other facial, oral or body piercings are allowed for health and safety reasons.
  • Particular fashion trends may be deemed to be inappropriate for school by school management.
  • Each item of uniform must be clearly labelled with the student’s name.
  • Full school uniform must be worn for all school related activities.

 

The above is the uniform agreed to by parents, students and the school authorities. The school image is a responsibility for all the school community. Health and Safety of students is paramount. Any deviation from the above may only take place with the prior approval of the Principal.

 

 

School Work and Class Work

 

We believe that as a community of learners:

 

  • Each student has a right to learn in an environment that supports the learning process.
  • Each teacher has the right to teach in an environment which is conducive to learning.
  • Each student has the right to an education free from fear and intimidation (see Anti- Bullying Policy and Positive Behaviour Policy/ Statement).
  • Homework is an essential part of the learning process for each student.

 

It is the responsibility of each student to:

 

  • Come properly prepared and on time for every subject.
  • Listen to and co-operate with their teachers.
  • Do the assigned homework each night.
  • Never knowingly seek to disturb the learning process of fellow students.
  • Carry the school journal with them to all classes.
  • Adhere to health and safety guidelines in all classes but especially so with practical activity based classes.

 

The School Environment

All students must respect the school environment in order to promote learning in a tidy, peaceful and supportive atmosphere. Students are expected to appreciate their surroundings and to take pride in the environmental ethos of the school.

Students are expected to be responsible for the tidiness of their allocated space in their base classroom, as well as their surroundings at all times while on school grounds and outings.

Students are expected to:

  • Respect all school property including displays of other peoples’ work.
  • Keep the school free of litter and graffiti.
  • Place recyclable waste in recycling bins provided.
  • Keep food and drinks out of sight during class time.
  • Refrain from chewing gum as it is forbidden.
  • Keep their desk space and surroundings free from clutter.
  • Regularly check that their space is tidy when leaving their room and on returning to their room. Students are also expected to respect the space of others at all times.
  • Acknowledge that they are responsible for their immediate surrounding environment on all school grounds, outings and at all times including breaks.
  • Be conscious of and observe the areas in their vicinity. Students are expected to make an active effort to tidy their surroundings in order to maintain a positive learning environment.

The whole school community is expected to work together to maintain the Green Flag, which enhances the environment of the school.

 

The Use of Technology

 

The following conditions apply to the use of technological devices in the school.

 

Mobile phones/ Digital recording/ Playing devices

 

  • Devices must be turned off before entering the classroom.
  • Devices will not be permitted into any examination.
  • The use of portable audio equipment during the school day is forbidden.
  • The camera and recording function of technological devices risks a potential invasion of privacy and is strictly forbidden at all times.

It is expected that if a parent/guardian needs to make contact with their daughter during the school day, they do so through reception. If such a device is heard or seen in a classroom, the device will be confiscated immediately and only returned when a parent/guardian collects it from reception.

 

Internet Use

Students must:

 

  • Use school equipment for educational / school – related purposes only.
  • Stay within the boundaries of internet filters enforced in the school. This is in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • Refrain from uploading or downloading non-approved software.
  • Seek permission from a teacher in order to use personal storage devices, which may then be used under supervision.
  • Observe good “netiquette”- etiquette on the internet, at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute.

 

Substance Use

 

In keeping with Irish State Law the use of cigarettes while on school premises or while engaging in school activities is forbidden. Similarly, any illegal drugs, addictive substances, alcohol, non-prescription drugs, legal drug substitutes are strictly banned. Details of any necessary medication must be communicated to management.

 

The misuse of all legal and illegal substances is strictly forbidden, and each case will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Substance Abuse Policy. In the event of a breach of this rule, the school is obliged to inform parents/guardians and the relevant authorities.

 

Roles and Responsibilities of Staff Members in Relation to Behaviour

 

All staff members have a professional duty of care to lead by example in a manner that promotes positive behaviour.  Both formal and informal structures exist within the school which mobilise and concentrate expertise and support when dealing with behavioural issues. Impartiality and fair procedures are incorporated into the disciplinary measures administered in a manner consistent with the dignity of the child. Responses and sanctions are administered fairly without discrimination based on grounds such as gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the traveller community.

Class teachers have a positive influence on the behaviour of students due to their role as a leader of learning and their establishment of trustful relationships. Classroom management strategies are used to maintain the optimal learning environment for all students present. Depending on the seriousness of the behaviour, staff members try to devise ways to understand and change the behaviour before formal sanctions are imposed.

Communication among staff members is helpful so that behavioural issues can be better understood and dealt with appropriately. Classroom teachers are provided with access, where possible to support from other members of staff, whom they can ask for advice, or to whom they can refer a student for advice and support. As part of a planned intervention, teachers may refer a student to another designated member of staff who has a specific role in managing behaviour such as the Year Head, Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor, Chaplain or a member of the Pastoral Care Team. Pastoral care is a priority in Salerno. Students are supported through meaningful approaches whereby they have access to effective communication and advice.

Staff must manage behaviour with professionalism, integrity, impartiality and fair procedures. Harassment at any level by any member of the school partners is unacceptable and will be dealt with in accordance with the Harassment Policy.

 

The role of specific staff members and their response to unacceptable behaviour is outlined in the following section The Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviour – Responses and Sanctions.

 

The Consequences of Unacceptable Behaviour

Responses and Sanctions

 

The aim of sanctions is to create a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour, encouraging students to take personal responsibility for their learning and their behaviour. A problem-solving approach is used in response to inappropriate behaviour. At all times, the focus is on the behaviour and not the student as the problem.

Responses to behaviour are detached and objective, but empathetic. Sanctions range from a word of warning to expulsion. It is expected that pupils will accept and respond positively to correction from members of staff, be it inside or outside the classroom. All behavioural problems are addressed as early as possible and agreed strategies are implemented consistently. The initial sanctions are effective for the majority of pupils. However, a small number of pupils may require further attention.

Any form of bullying in not acceptable. If breaches to the Anti-Bullying Policy occur, actions will be taken to deal with the situation appropriately. The suspected victim, bully and any relevant witnesses will be communicated with. If any degree of bullying is identified, help and support will be provided, as is appropriate to both the victim and the bully. (See Anti-Bullying Policy).

Strategies for sanctioning have been developed in a manner that incorporates impartiality and fair procedures. Responses are kept as local as possible. The following ladder of intervention sets out the structures and fair procedures used and it also indicates how the situation will be dealt with when such a need arises.

 

  • Teacher deals with the issues.
  • The matter is referred to the Year Head.
  • The matter is referred to the Deputy Principal.
  • The matter is referred to the Principal.
  • The matter is referred to the Board of Management. The Board may be asked to consider expulsion.
  • The matter may be referred by way of appeal to the Department of Education under Section 29 of the Education Act and/or the Trustees.

 

In most cases, these levels of sanction follow one another. However, in certain cases, the degree of disrespect or disregard for school rules shown by a single act may warrant that a pupil be immediately referred to the Deputy Principal, the Principal or be suspended or expelled without going through the process of minor sanctions.

 

Individual Teachers

 

  • Normally, minor incidents of indiscipline will be dealt with by the teacher. Sanctions available to the teacher include reprimanding a pupil, reasoning with her, temporary separation from peers or assigning extra work.
  • Incidents regarded by a teacher as persistent, or of a serious nature, will be reported on an incident sheet, giving details of the incident and any action taken by the teacher.
  • Incident sheets are forwarded to the appropriate Year Head. Incidents sheets will be retained by the school.

 

Year Heads

 

  • Each week, incident sheets will be reviewed by the Year Heads. They will decide if there needs to be any follow-up action taken with individual pupils.
  • They may require a pupil to explain any behaviour pattern of a particular incident. Students are therefore involved in the problem-solving approach when dealing with behavioural issues.
  • The Year Head may decide to communicate with parents if appropriate. Other students may also be communicated with depending on the context of the incident.
  • Relationships between students are managed as well as their behaviour. This is done in order to understand the context and factors that may be affecting behaviour.
  • The issue is discussed at regular Year Head meetings with management. Ideas and possible solutions are generated that take into account the reasons for the misbehaviour.

 

The Deputy Principal

 

The Year Heads work with the Deputy Principal. At regular meetings, they report on any actions taken and discuss the progress of individual pupils. Pupils who have persistent problems with the Code of Behaviour then come under the care of the Deputy Principal.

Sanctions that may be implemented at this stage include:

  • The Deputy Principal may call a pupil’s parent(s) in dealing with a discipline issue. She will also liaise with teachers in monitoring the pupil’s behaviour and improvement.
  • A pupil may be placed on report. A pupil on report will be asked to carry a report card which she presents to designated teachers throughout the day. The report card notes the behaviour that is being monitored, and it is the pupil’s responsibility to get a report from the teachers as to her progress in relation to that behaviour.
  • A pupil may be required to attend detention. When a detention is given, a letter will be sent to the girl’s parents, giving at least twenty four hours notice.

 

  • Detention will normally take place at lunch time.
  • To miss an assigned detention will be regarded as a serious matter.
  • For a serious reason, a detention may be deferred, but only with the prior consent of the Deputy Principal.

 

  • A pupil may be deprived of a school privilege. A letter will be sent to the girl’s parents, giving at least 24 hours notice.

 

If a pupil fails to make progress at an acceptable rate, the Deputy Principal may refer the pupil to the Principal, with a recommendation for suspension.

 

The Principal

 

The Principal, on a referral of a pupil, has the power to suspend a pupil for up to three days. As suspension may take two forms:

  • In-house. A pupil may be suspended from particular classes or activities, but must be present on the school premises, where she will be allocated alternative duties at these times.
  • Out of school. A pupil may be suspended from all school activities and will be responsible for making up any loss of instructional time herself.

 

The procedures to be used in the case of suspension are outlined in the Suspension section of the Code of Behaviour.

 

The Board of Management

 

Should a pupil merit a third suspension during their time in school, or should she be engaged in what is regarded as an extremely serious breach of the respect element of the Code of Behaviour, the matter may be brought to the Board of Management, which has the power to expel the pupil.

The procedures to be used in the case of expulsion are outlined in the Expulsion section of the Code of Behaviour.

Suspension

 

Suspension requires the student to absent herself from the school for a specified, limited period of school days. During the period of a suspension, the student retains her place in the school.

 

Authority to suspend

The Board of Management has the authority to suspend a student. Where this authority is delegated to the Principal, the delegation should be done formally and in writing.  The Board of Management and the Principal have a duty to ensure that there are no undue delays in an investigation and in making decisions about the imposition of a suspension. Great care will be taken to ensure that all matters to do with an investigation of alleged misbehaviour are dealt with in confidence.

 

The grounds for suspension

Suspension should be a proportionate response to the behaviour that is causing concern.

The decision to suspend a student requires serious grounds such as that;

  • The student’s behaviour has had a serious detrimental effect on the education of other pupils.
  • The student’s continued presence in the school at this time constitutes a threat to safety.
  • The student is responsible to serious damage to property.

A simple incident of serious misconduct may be grounds for suspension.

 

Factors to consider before suspending a student

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour.
  • The context of the behaviour.
  • The impact of the behaviour.
  • The interventions tried to date.
  • Whether suspension is a proportionate response.
  • The possible impact of suspension.

 

Suspension is part of an agreed plan to address the student’s behaviour. The suspension should;

  • Enable the school to set behavioural goals with the student and her parents.
  • Give school staff an opportunity to plan other interventions.
  • Impress on a student and her parents the seriousness of the behaviour.

 

Forms of suspension

  • Immediate suspension: Applied in exceptional circumstances.
  • Suspension during a state exam: This sanction should normally be approved by the Board of Management.
  • Automatic suspension: Where particular named behaviours incur suspension as a sanction.

These suspensions must follow fair procedures. Fair procedures have two essential parts:

  • The right to be heard.
  • The right to impartiality.

The following are inappropriate uses of suspension;

  • Poor academic performance.
  • Poor attendance or lateness.
  • Minor breaches of the Code of Behaviour.

 

Procedures in respect of suspension

 

Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures when proposing to suspend a student. The school observes the following procedures;

  • Inform the student and their parents about the complaint.
  • Give parents and student an opportunity to respond.

In the case of an immediate suspension parents will be notified, and arrangements made with them for the student to be collected.

 

The period of suspension

A student will not be suspended for more than three days except in exceptional circumstances. If a suspension longer than three days has been proposed by the Principal, the matter will be referred to the Board of Management for consideration and approval. The Board of Management will normally place a ceiling of ten days on any one period of suspension imposed by it. The Board will formally review any proposal to suspend a student, where the suspension would bring the number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current year to twenty days or more. Any such suspension is subject to appeal under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

 

Appeals

The Board of Management will offer an opportunity to appeal a Principal’s decision to suspend a student.

Where the total number of days for which the student has been suspended in the current school year reaches twenty days, the parents, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal the suspension under section 29 of the Education Act 1998.

At the time when parents are being formally notified of such a suspension, they and the student will be told about their right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under section 29 of the Education Act 1998, and will be given information about how to appeal.

 

Implementing the suspension

The Principal will notify the parents and the student in writing of the decision to suspend. The letter will confirm;

  • The period of suspension and the dates on which the suspension will begin and end.
  • The reasons for the suspension.
  • Any study programme to be followed.
  • The arrangements for returning to school.
  • The provision for the appeal to the Board of Management.
  • The right to appeal to the Secretary General of the Department of Education.

 

 

Grounds for removing a suspension

A suspension will be removed if the Board of Management decides to remove the suspension for any reason or if the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills directs that it be removed following an appeal under the Education Act 1998.

A period of suspension will end on the date given in the letter of notification to the parents about the suspension. The school will have a plan to re-integrate the student back into the school. When the suspension is completed, a student is given the opportunity and support for a fresh start.

 

Formal written records will be kept of;

  • The investigation.
  • The decision-making process.
  • The decision and the rationale for the decision.
  • The duration of the suspension and any conditions attached to the suspension.

The Principal will report all suspensions to the Board of Management with the reasons for and duration of each suspension. The Principal will report all suspensions in accordance with the NEWB reporting guidelines (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, section 21 (4)(a)).

 

Review

There is a system of regular review by the Board of Management of the use of suspension in the school.

 

Expulsion

 

The Board of Management has the authority to expel a student. A student is expelled when a Board of Management makes a decision to permanently exclude her from the school having complied with the provisions of Section 24 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

 

The grounds for expulsion

Expulsion will be a proportionate response to the student’s behaviour. The school will have taken significant steps to address the misbehaviour and to avoid expulsion of a student, including:

  • Meeting with parents and the student to try to try to find ways of helping the student to change her behaviour.
  • Making sure that the student understands the possible consequences of her behaviour if it should persist.
  • Ensuring that all other options have been tried.
  • Seeking the assistance of support agencies.

A proposal to expel a student will require serious grounds such as that;

  • The student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of others or to the teaching process.
  • The student’s continued presence in the school constitutes a real and significant threat to safety.
  • The student is responsible for serious damage to property.

The grounds for expulsion may be similar to the grounds for suspension. In addition to factors such as the degree of seriousness and persistence of the behaviour, a key difference is that where expulsion is considered, school authorities will have tried a series of other interventions, and believe they have exhausted all possibilities for changing the student’s behaviour.

 

Automatic expulsion

A Board of Management may decide as part of the school’s policy on sanctions, and following the consultation process with the Principal, parents, teachers and students that particular named behaviours incur expulsion as a sanction. However, a general decision to impose expulsion for named behaviours will not remove the duty to follow due process and fair procedures.

Expulsion for a first offence

There will be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. The kinds of behaviour that might result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the Code could include:

  • A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff.
  • Actual violence or physical assault.
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other students to the school.
  • Sexual assault.

 

Determining the appropriateness of expelling a student

The school will consider the following factors before proposing to expel a student:

  • The nature and seriousness of the behaviour
  • The context of the behaviour.
  • The impact of behaviour.
  • The interventions tried to date.
  • Whether expulsion is a proportionate response.
  • The possible impact of expulsion.

 

Inappropriate use of expulsion

Expulsion will not be proposed for:

  • Poor academic performance.
  • Poor attendance or lateness.
  • Minor breaches of the Code of Behaviour.

 

Procedures in respect of expulsion

Schools are required by law to follow fair procedures as well as procedures prescribed under the Education (Welfare) Act 2000, when proposing to expel a student.

It is a matter for the Board of Management to decide which of the tasks involved in these procedural steps requires separate meetings and which tasks can be accomplished together in a single meeting, consistent with giving parents due notice of meetings and a fair and reasonable time to prepare for a Board hearing.

The following procedures assume that the Board of Management is the decision-making body in relation to expulsions:

Step 1: A detailed investigation is carried out under the direction of the Principal

In investigating an allegation, in line with fair procedures, the Principal will:

  • Inform the student and their parents about the details of the alleged misbehaviour, how it will be investigated and that it could result in expulsion.
  • Give parents and the student every opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour before a decision is made and before a sanction is imposed.

Parents will be informed in writing.

 

Step 2: A recommendation to the Board of Management by the Principal

Where the Principal forms a view, based on the investigation of the alleged behaviour, that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal makes a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion. The Principal will:

  • Inform the parents and the student that the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion.
  • Ensure that parents have record of: the allegations against the student; the investigation; and written notice of the grounds on which the Board of Management is being asked to consider expulsion.
  • Provide the Board of Management with the same comprehensive records as are given to parents.
  • Notify the parents of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and invite them to that hearing.
  • Advise the parents that they can make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management.
  • Ensure that parents have enough notice to allow them to prepare for the hearing.

 

Step 3: Consideration by the Board of Management of the Principal’s recommendation; and the holding of a hearing

The Board of Management will review the initial investigation and satisfy itself that the investigation was properly conducted in line with fair procedures.

At the hearing, the Principal and the parents, or a student aged 18 or over will put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. Each party will be allowed to question the evidence of the other party directly. The meeting will also be an opportunity for parents to make their case for lessening the sanction. In the conduct of the hearing, the Board will take care to ensure that they are, and are seen to be, impartial as between the Principal and the student. If parents wish to be accompanied at hearings, the Board will facilitate this in line with good practice and Board procedures.

After both sides have been heard, the Board will ensure that the Principal and parents are not present for the Board’s deliberations.

 

Step 4: Board of Management deliberations and actions following

Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, the Board must notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion, and the reasons for this opinion. (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(1)). The Board of Management will refer to the NEWB reporting procedures for proposed expulsions. The student will not be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the EWO receives this written notification (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(1)).

The Board will inform the parents in writing about its conclusions and the next steps in the process. Where expulsion is proposed, the parents will be told that the Board of Management will now inform the EWO.

 

Step 5: Consultations arranged by the Educational Welfare Officer

Within twenty days of receipt of a notification from a Board of Management of its opinion that a student should be expelled, the Educational Welfare Officer will:

  • Make all reasonable efforts to hold individual consultations with the Principal, the parents and the student and anyone else who may be of assistance.
  • Convene a meeting of those parties who agree to attend (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24).

The consultations and meeting will ensure that arrangements are made for the student to continue in education.

Pending these consultations about the student’s continued education, the Board of Management may take steps to ensure that good order is maintained and that the safety of the student is secured (Education (Welfare) Act 2000, s24(5). The Board may consider it appropriate to suspend a student during this time. Suspension will only be considered where there is a likelihood that the continued presence of the student during this time will seriously disrupt the learning of others, or represent a threat to the safety of other students or staff.

 

Step 6: Confirmation of the decision to expel

Where the twenty-day period following notification to the Welfare Officer has elapsed and where the Board remain of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board will formally confirm the decision to expel. Parents will be notified immediately that the expulsion will now proceed. Parents and students will be told about the right to appeal and supplied with the standard form on which to lodge an appeal. A formal record will be made of the decision to expel a student.

 

Appeals

A parent, or a student aged over 18 years, may appeal a decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (Education Act 1998, s29). An appeal may also be brought by the NEWB on behalf of a student.

 

The appeals process

The appeals process under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 begins with the provision of mediation by a mediator nominated by the Appeals Committee (DES).

 

Review of the use of expulsion

The Board of Management will review the use of expulsion in the school at regular intervals to ensure that its use is consistent with school policies. The patterns of use will be examined to identify factors that may be influencing behaviour in the school, and to ensure that expulsion is used appropriately.

 

When and Where Behaviour is subject to the Code

The expectations and standards of the Code of Behaviour apply to students while they are the responsibility of the school. Students must comply with the Code of Behaviour while on the school grounds and outside of school, when on school related activities such as school tours, games, extra-curricular activities and attendance at events organised by the school.

 

 

Where help can be sought where problems arise

Parents can:

  • Observe school policies on the school website at www.salerno.ie
  • Write a note in the appropriate space allocated in their daughter’s journal.
  • Communicate with class teachers at Parent / Teacher meetings.
  • Call the school office. Arrangements may then be made to speak to appropriate staff over the phone or arrange an appointment to meet where necessary. Parents may wish to contact a specific member of staff dependant on the behavioural matter. Appointments may then be made after initial contact with the school secretary.
  • Make a complaint about a behavioural matter by following the established Complaints Procedure set out for Voluntary Secondary Schools. (See Complaints Procedure).

 

Students can:

  • Observe school policies on the school website at www.salerno.ie
  • Observe the School Rules printed in their journal.
  • Avail of the appropriate support structures in the school, dependant on the behavioural issue.
  • Communicate directly with their class teacher. Direct contact can be made to speak to a student’s Year Head, Guidance Counsellor, Chaplain, Deputy Principal, Principal or members of the Pastoral Care Team where possible. Students may need to make an appointment for such a consultation.

 

Plan for Reviewing the Code of Behaviour

The Principal and staff in partnership with the Board of Management will review the Code of Behaviour regularly through collaboration and evaluation. An established awareness of the good practice set out in the NEWB Guidelines will allow for the on-going discussion and reflection necessary for an effective Code of Behaviour.

The Code of Behaviour will be updated in accordance with emerging developments in the school or relevant legislation. Self evaluation of the Code will take place in order to recognise aspects in need of review. The Board of Management, together with the Principal, will prioritise these areas. Collaborative action plans will be devised and implemented within a specified timeframe.

 

Formal Adoption of the Code of Behaviour by the Board of Management of Salerno Secondary School

 

Signed: ______________________________________   Date: _______________________

 

Chairperson of the Board of Management

Salerno Secondary School

 

Appendix

 

 

1. 5 Anti-bullying Policy

  1. INTRODUCTION

 

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 Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno, 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.

 

  1. RATIONALE

The school community in Salerno accepts that we have a primary responsibility for the care, welfare and safety of the pupils in our charge. We believe that everyone in our school community has a right to a safe, inclusive learning and working environment. We are all responsible for ensuring that each person is valued, listened to and protected. This policy is based on our Vision Statement where we endeavour to create a school community where each individual is respected and valued.

  1. KEY PRINCIPLES

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:

  • A positive school culture and climate which-
    • is welcoming of difference and diversity and is based on inclusivity;
    • encourages pupils to disclose and discuss incidents of bullying behaviour in a non-threatening environment; and
    • promotes respectful relationships across the school community;
  • Effective leadership;
  • A school-wide approach;
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact;
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures) that:
    • build empathy, respect and resilience in pupils;
    • explicitly address the issues of cyber-bullying and identity-based bullying including in particular, homophobic and transphobic bullying.
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils;
  • Supports for staff;
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies); and
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy.

 

  1. PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS INCLUDED IN THIS POLICY

The policy addresses various types of bullying behaviour, cyber-bullying, harassment and sexual harassment.

While this policy addresses issues related to the bullying of students (i.e. situations in which one or more are the victim(s) of bullying), the policy applies to teaching and and other school staff, parents/guardians, and others insofar as measures under the policy relate to them. Furthermore, at the school’s discretion, the policy applies outside the school if the behaviour impacts upon any person’s participation in our school.

All members of the school community are subject to this policy, particularly the following relationships:

  • Student to student
  • Student to any staff member (including ancillary staff, SNAs, cleaning staff, voluntary parent-supervisors)
  • Any staff member to student
  • Parent to any staff member
  • Any staff member to parent
  • Any staff member to any other staff member

Bullying behaviours such as cyber bullying which break the law may be referred to the Gardai.

This policy will apply to a number of time periods/activities as follows:

  • School time (including break times)
  • Going to and from school
  • School tours/trips
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • At other times when the behaviour adversely affects a member of the school community

 

  1. DEFINITIONS OF BULLYING

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:

  • deliberate exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying,
  • cyber-bullying and
  • identity-based bullying such as homophobic bullying, racist bullying, bullying based on a person’s membership of the Traveller community and bullying of those with disabilities or special educational needs.

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 school’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 school’s code of behaviour.

 

Additional information on different types of bullying

Harassment and sexual harassment

The term bullying also encompasses harassment and sexual harassment, defined as follows:

Harassment: any form of unwanted conduct in relation to any of the nine grounds named in the equality legislation that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment for the victim. The nine grounds are gender, marital status, family status, age, disability, sexual orientation, race, religion, and membership of the Traveller community.

Sexual harassment: any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment for the victim.

Other means of bullying

The means of bullying are constantly changing and the following list of types of bullying behaviour can be expanded in light of the experience of the school community:

  • Physical aggression
  • Damage to property
  • Extortion
  • Intimidation
  • Gestures
  • Silent telephone/mobile phone calls
  • Abusive telephone/mobile phone calls
  • Abusive text messages/ social media messages or postings
  • Abusive email/website messages
  • The production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other materials aimed at intimidating another person
  • Deliberate isolation & exclusion, malicious gossip and other forms of relational bullying
  • Harassment based on any of the nine grounds in the equality legislation e.g. sexual harassment, homophobic bullying, racist bullying etc.
  • Name calling
  • Slagging
  • Any behaviour that erodes self-confidence of any stakeholder or attacks her/his self-esteem
  • A combination of any of the types listed

This list is not exhaustive

Cyber-bullying

Cyber-bullying is just as harmful as ‘regular’ bullying, however it takes place in a different setting, for example: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, AskFM, Google+, Flickr, MSN, Gmail, Skype, Snapchat and texting.

Cyber-bullying is also known as electronic bullying or online social cruelty:

  • through text messaging and picture messaging on mobile phones/ handheld devices;
  • through social media websites;
  • through email;
  • through instant messaging;
  • in a chat room;
  • on gaming sites and other websites.

 

The most common forms of cyber-bullying are:

  • sending mean or abusive text messages/ making mean or abusive calls;
  • posting mean/ abusive messages/comments on social networking sites/ online forums or to change details while pretending to be that person. This is known as ‘fraping’;
  • creating websites/ false social network accounts to make fun of another person;
  • excluding people from ‘friend’ lists or blocking them for no apparent reason (exclusion).

 

Homophobic/transphobic bullying

This may involve:

  • Name calling e.g. gay, queer, lesbian, etc.
  • Spreading rumours about a person’s sexual orientation;
  • Taunting a person of a different sexual orientation.

 

 Racial bullying

This may involve:

Discrimination, prejudice, comments or insults about colour, nationality, culture, social class, religious beliefs, ethnic or traveller background.

 

            Relational bullying

This involves manipulating relationships as a means of bullying. Behaviours include:

  • Whispering in company so as to exclude another;
  • Malicious gossip;
  • Isolation and exclusion;
  • Ignoring, turning others against a student;
  • Excluding from the group;
  • Taking someone’s friends away.

 

  Bullying of Special Educational Needs students:

Where students are treated less worthy as a result of their disability or special educational need

 

  1. PEOPLE TO CONTACT

A student, parent or any member of the non-teaching staff may bring a bullying concern to any teacher in the school. This teacher will then report to a member of the care team.

The Care Team are a group of dedicated teachers with a mandate to look after the emotional, pastoral and general well being of a student.

The care team consists of: Sr G Lawlor (Principal), Mrs M Flannery (Deputy-principal), Ms Tracey Wade (Guidance Counsellor) , Sr A Maughan (Chaplain), Ms  Long (Learning Support Co-ordinator), Ms  Y McNulty (maternity leave, 2017).

 

  1. PROCEDURES TO DEAL WITH ALLEGED/CONFIRMED INSTANCES OF BULLYING

STEP 1 Report to any member of the teaching staff. This teacher will then report to a member of the care team.

STEP 2 Following discussion a designated member of the care team will initially investigate the alleged bullying. This person will be considered the ‘relevant person’ in compliance with Anti-Bullying procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools and Circular 045/2013

  • Unconfirmed cases: Issues resolved/relationships restored where practicable
  • Confirmed cases: Sanctions imposed if necessary/issues resolved/relationships restored where practicable

STEP 3 Extremely serious bullying behaviour may immediately be referred to the Deputy Principal. Unresolved confirmed cases may also be reported to the Deputy Principal. Detention may be imposed.

STEP 4 Principal will be notified if problems persist. Suspension may be imposed in accordance with BOM procedures. The Principal may also report to the following:

Gardai    HSE     BOM

 

Initial investigation of alleged instances:

  • Bullying behaviour should be reported (by the victim, the victim’s parent/guardian, a bystander, ancillary staff, SNAs, bus driver) initially to any member of the teaching staff, who will take written notes on the report.
  • That teacher will then notify any member of the Care Team and provide him/ her with a copy of the notes. The teacher will report at the weekly meeting (or more frequently as required) of the Care Team. The Care Team will comprise of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Guidance Counsellor, Chaplain and other members of the teaching staff. A designated person will then investigate the report. Her/his first actions will generally be on a no blame basis so that the perpetrator will be made aware of how hurtful her behaviour is and that it must stop. The primary aim for the designated teacher in investigating and dealing with bullying is to resolve any issues and to restore, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved. For the purposes of the overall pastoral care of the students involved, the Class Teacher will be informed of any reports of bullying by the designated teacher .
  • An anti-bullying template will be made available to all Care Team teachers for use when investigating an instance of alleged bullying (Appendix 1). In investigating and dealing with bullying, the Care Team teacher will exercise his/ her professional judgement, in consultation with the entire care Team, to determine whether bullying has occurred and how best the situation might be resolved. Parents and students are required to co-operate with any investigation and assist the school in resolving any issues and restoring, as far as is practicable, the relationships of the parties involved as quickly as possible.
  • The Care Team teacher will take a calm, unemotional problem-solving approach when dealing with incidents of alleged bullying. Insofar as possible, incidents will be investigated outside the classroom situation to ensure the privacy of all involved.
  • If a group is involved, each member will be interviewed individually at first. Thereafter, all those involved should be met as a group. At the group meeting, each member will be asked for his/her account of what happened to ensure that everyone in the group is clear about each other’s’ statements.
  • Each member of the group will be supported through the possible pressures they may face from the other members of the group after interview by the teacher. The Care Team teacher may also ask those involved to write down their account of the incident.
  • If it is decided by the Care Team that bullying has not occurred, this will be explained to all parties involved and the teacher will assist the parties in restoring their relationship, as far as is practicable.

 

 

Procedures for dealing with confirmed cases:

 

  • In cases where it has been determined by the Care Team teacher, in consultation with the other members of the Care Team, that bullying behaviour has occurred, the parents of the students involved will be contacted by the Care Team teacher at an early stage to inform them of the matter and explain the actions being taken.
  • Parents will be given the opportunity of discussing ways in which they can reinforce or support the actions being taken by the school.
  • Where the Care Team has determined that a pupil has engaged in bullying behaviour, it will be made clear to her how she is in breach of the school’s anti- bullying policy and she will be asked to see the situation from the perspective of the student being bullied.
  • If disciplinary sanctions are required, this is a private matter between the student being disciplined, her parents and the school. This will be made clear to all students involved. Such sanctions will be agreed by the Care Team and may include lunchtime/ after- school detention or a written punishment exercise.
  • Follow-up meetings with relevant students and/or parents may be arranged separately by the designated Care Team teacher, with a view to possibly bringing the students together within 20 school days if the student who has been bullied is agreeable.

 

PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH UNRESOLVED CONFIRMED CASES

 

  • In cases where the designated Care Team teacher considers that the bullying behaviour has not been adequately and appropriately addressed within 20 school days after he/ she has determined that bullying behaviour has occurred, it must be recorded by him/ her in the recording template. This template should also be used in certain circumstances e.g. in the case of a serious physical assault where the bullying behaviour needs to be immediately referred to the Deputy Principal.
  • The designated Care Team teacher will then refer the matter to the Deputy Principal by use of this form. These forms will then be filed in a designated, confidential folder in the Deputy Principal’s office and kept for at least seven years. All records will be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1988 and the Data Protection (Amendment) Act 2003.
  • The Deputy Principal is empowered to formally question students, to take written statements, to notify parents and to impose appropriate sanctions upon perpetrators.
  • Should a problem persist or be of sufficient magnitude to merit more serious disciplinary or other action, the Deputy Principal will refer the matter to the Principal. Following further investigation and due process, which can involve the assistance of the Guidance Counsellor, the Principal may impose a term of suspension on any guilty student, in accordance with Board of Management procedures.
  • In relation to bullying in schools, Children First National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children 2011 and the Child Protection Procedures for Primary and Post Primary Schools empower the Principal to refer particularly serious cases to the immediate attention of the Gardaí/ HSE. Any further instances of bullying by the same guilty student will be referred by the Principal to the BOM for final decision.
  1. WHOLE-SCHOOL EDUCATION AND PREVENTION STRATEGIES

 

It is our intention to deal with bullying in a pro-active manner involving a whole school approach.

Accordingly, the school will:

(A) Liaise with source national schools as necessary to track any behavioural history within the previous two years relating to bullying. The Guidance Counsellors and or Chaplain will also carry out a “Student Profiling” scheme in the first term of first year. This will give students the opportunity to express any individual concerns/ reports of bullying via a written questionnaire. Additionally, the Guidance Counsellors and or Chaplain will briefly meet all first year students in the first term to give them an opportunity to speak about their written profile.

(B) Provide all necessary information about bullying to meetings of incoming 1st year parents, the Parents’ Council, general meetings of parents.

(C) Ensure that the teaching staff is kept fully informed of confirmed cases of bullying, policies and programmes and that all teachers are vigilant in this particular area.

(D) Maintain and further develop an awareness of bullying and its consequences among the student body through SPHE, CSPE, RE, posters, the prefect system, and the Students’ Council. Awareness among other stakeholders will be carried out by the effective communication and circulation of this policy.

(E) Provide all necessary support structures (e.g. teacher training) and financial resources (e.g. funds for school- based initiatives, guest speakers etc.) to ensure that aspirations are achieved.

(F) Social networking sites will continue to be blocked on school computers. This Anti-Bullying Policy operates in conjunction with the school’s Internet Acceptable Usage Policy.

(G) Excerpts from the Anti- bullying Policy will be visible throughout the school, published on the school’s website, in the students’ journal and in the school code of behaviour.

(H) As part of School Self-Evaluation, we will evaluate our effectiveness in creating a positive school climate/preventing and tackling bullying and cyber-bullying/implementing this policy. We will do this by means of surveys/ focus groups/ interviews/ teacher discussion.

(I) There will be space within the teaching of all subjects to: foster an attitude of respect for all; promote value for diversity; address prejudice and stereotyping and to highlight that bullying behaviour is unacceptable. Teachers of all subjects will aim to build empathy, respect and resilience in students and will act as positive role models. We will, through our curricular and extra- curricular programmes aim to develop in students a positive sense of self- worth and enhance their self- esteem.

(J) With reference to the Framework for Junior Cycle, we will place great importance on continuing to provide all students with SPHE.

(K) We aim to facilitate a culture whereby students, teachers and parents alike, are aware of their responsibilities where bullying is concerned. There is advice for students in Appendix 3 of this policy. There are tips for parents with regard to bullying in Appendix 4.

(L) Those in leadership positions will always seek to use a positive approach when dealing with people e.g. teachers will reward positive or desired behaviours by giving praise.
The procedures to be followed in some cases are covered in the following ways:

 

  1. OTHER RELEVANT POLICIES
  2. Any staff member to student: Refer to the Child Protection Policy. If a student feels that she is being bullied by a teacher, she needs to tell her class teacher or the Guidance Counsellor who will then act in accordance with this policy.
  3. Staff member to staff member: Please refer to the Dignity in the Workplace Policy.
  4. Parent to any staff member/any staff member to parent: It is expected that all interactions between these parties are conducted with mutual respect and courtesy. If these standards are not adhered to, either party is invited to bring the matter to the attention of the Principal.

 

  1. SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AFFECTED BY BULLYING

The school’s programme of support for working with students affected by bullying is as follows:

  1. Students who have been involved in bullying incidences will be advised by the Class Teacher/ Deputy Principal/ Principal of the availability of the Guidance Counsellor and or Chaplain.
  2. The target of bullying may receive counselling and/ or opportunities to participate in activities designed to raise her self-esteem, to develop her friendship and social skills and thereby build resilience whenever this is needed.
  3. The student involved in bullying behaviour will be referred to the Guidance Counsellor and or Chaplain. This will be an opportunity for her to learn other ways of meeting her needs without violating the rights of others.
  4. Students who observe bullying behaviour are always encouraged to discuss it with a teacher. The assistance of the Guidance Counsellor and or Chaplain may also be called upon by the student/ parent/ teacher if required.

 

  1. SUPERVISION AND MONITORING OF STUDENTS

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.

 

  1. PREVENTION OF HARASSMENT

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 students or staff or the harassment of students 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.

 

  1. COMMUNICATION OF THIS POLICY TO RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS

This policy has been made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. It will also be inserted into the students’ school journal. A copy of this policy will be made available to the Department of Education and Skills and the patron if requested.

 

  1. PERIODIC SUMMARY REPORTS TO BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

At every monthly meeting of the Board of Management, the Principal will provide a report setting out:

  1. the overall number of confirmed bullying cases reported by means of the bullying template
  2. confirmation that all cases referred to at (i) above have been or are being dealt with in accordance with this policy.

This will be recorded in the minutes of each meeting but no identifying details of students involved will be involved.

 

  1. REGULAR REVIEW BY BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

This policy and its implementation will be reviewed by the Board of Management once in every school year.  Written notification that the review has been completed will be made available to school personnel, published on the school website and provided to the Parents’ Association. A record of the review and its outcome will be made available, if requested, to the patron and the Department of Education and Skills. The school will put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement identified by the review.
It is envisaged that this policy will be subjected to a future review which may assess the long-term effect of bullying.

 

  1. DATE OF RATIFICATION BY BOARD OF MANAGEMENT

 

Ratified by Board of Management 8th October 2014.

 

 

Appendix 1: Incident Record (for Care Team Member use in alleged cases)

Reference number:

 

 

Name(s) and Class(es) of student(s):

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Details of Incident:

Only details which are pertinent to the incident/case should be recorded. Where suspicions or allegations of bullying are made, this should be clearly indicated.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Date of Incident:________________________

 

Time of Incident:________________________

 

 

Action taken by Care Team Member(s):

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Suggestions made by Care Team Member(s) for follow-up:

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Signed by Care Team teacher dealing with the incident: _______________

 

Date:_______________

 

Any statement(s) made by those involved in the incident should be appended to this document and stored with it.

 

A copy of this form must be placed in the confidential folder in the Deputy Principal’s office by the teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

            Information for Students

Cyber-bullying is not an issue with technology; it’s a behavioural issue!

Bearing in mind the serious nature of cyberbullying, it is important that all students engage in responsible behaviour when online.  You should constantly question the impact your  ‘netiquette’ (online behaviour) has on others. You should also be aware of how to protect yourself from cyber- bullies. The following advice is offered:

  1. Save messages and/or take a screenshot of an abusive message on your phone or computer.
  2. Keep passwords private.
  3. Choose online friends carefully.
  4. Monitor the amount of personal information you post about yourself online.
  5. Do not reply to abusive messages/ posts. Replying can lead to an escalation in cyber- bullying and lets the bully know that he/she is getting to you.
  6. If the bully is a ‘friend’ on Facebook, remove them.
  7. Report the issue to the mobile phone or website-company (if it is through call/ text). For detailed information on how to  report  violations  on Facebook  see:

https://www.facebook.com/hel p/?faq=247013378662696

and on Twitter see:https://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-a-violation/topics/122-reporting-

violations/articles/15789-how-to-report-violations# .

  1. If the cyberbullying is impacting on your school- life or relationships within school, it is very important that you tell a teacher.
  2. For more  advice  and  tips,  see  the  following  websites:  http://www.thinkb4uclick.ie and www.webwise.ie.
  3. Also refer  to    the following   international                websites:            www.cyberbullying.org   and

www.stoptextbully.com . Tips for “regular” bullying:

  1. If you are being bullied or you have witnessed bullying behaviour, you must tell a teacher.

Most cases of bullying stop when the teacher is involved. Telling a teacher is responsible behaviour: it is NOT “telling tales/ grassing”.

  1. If you are being bullied, try to display confident body language and assertively tell the bully to stop.
  2. It is a good idea to keep a written record/ diary of the bullying behaviour. Record details such as who, when, where, how often, what was said and if there were any witnesses. Produce this evidence to your teacher/ class teacher which may assist him/ her when investigating a bullying case

 

 

Information for Parents

  1. Talk about bullying at home, and seek to ensure that your child understands that it is wrong to bully, or to be seen to support the bullying of another person.
  2. Prepare your child for a time when they might be the target for bullying behaviour. As part of

this, explore some of the reasons why someone may bully others.

  1. Highlight that silence is the best friend of bullying and, therefore, the importance that is attached to letting someone know.
  2. Teach your child the skills of assertiveness by modelling it at home. A willingness to listen before judging, rather than being reactive, coupled with learning to use the word “I” is one of

the secrets of assertive communication. For example, “I want you to stop doing that”. The

assertive child will be able to: stand tall; maintain eye contact; and express him/ herself clearly and calmly.

  1. Build empathy in your child, it has a key role to play in the prevention of bullying.
  2. Remembering that no one is born with negative thoughts of themselves, work to raise your child’s self-esteem. Recognise, praise and reward your child’s effort as well as their successes. Give them responsibility; ask for their help and for their opinions. Take care that an emotional response to a situation doesn’t lead to saying something to or about your child that criticises or belittles them.
  3. A child’s resilience and their sense of self- worth are closely aligned. Fostering resilience in your child will help them to deal well with negative situations.
  4. Supporting your child in the development of strong friendships will also make them less vulnerable to bullying and rejection.
  5. Encourage your child to participate in activities, sporting or otherwise, that have the capacity to provide opportunities for: personal achievement; confidence building; and the promotion of self-esteem and self-discipline.
  6. Help your child to master the skills of mediation and conflict resolution.
  7. Encourage your child to be a defender, to help someone when they are down and unable to help themselves.
  8. Finally, one of the most important things that any parent can do in terms of countering bullying, is to become acquainted with the signs and symptoms that can emerge in children or young people if they are being bullied or if they are bullying others. This will support identification of  a  bullying  problem  and,  therefore,  early  intervention.  Some  possible indicators that your child is being bullied include: unexplained bruises and cuts; unexplained damage to clothing; signs of anxiety and distress; changes in mood or behaviour; deterioration in academic performance; a reluctance to go to school; additional requests for money or stealing money; damage to or loss of personal belongings; negative reactions, such as getting upset, when online, coming offline or viewing text messages.
  9. Parents can play a huge role in preventing cyber-bullying. Although parents are often seen as

‘digital immigrants’ and their children as ‘digital natives’, it is important that parents emphasise the importance of online responsibilities to their child, as it is in this area that the child’s knowledge may be less extensive. Appropriate online behaviour is the same as appropriate behaviour in the ‘real world’. It is also very important that parents let their daughter know that she can go to them for support if she is being bullied.

  1. Teach your daughter to be respectful and responsible online. Children should be made aware of the consequences of cyber-bullying for all involved and to stop and think before they post online or send texts that may be deemed abusive or threatening. Explain that the things they do on their social media devices can have long-term consequences: both legal and psychological.
  2. Parents should look out for opportunities to enhance their knowledge and skills in this area e.g. attend school talks, avail of parenting courses.
  3. Be aware of your daughter’s Internet and mobile phone use so that you will recognise if she is

the subject of, or involved in cyber-bullying. The main mobile operators in Ireland have produced a booklet to explain the additional features of modern mobile phones. This can downloaded from http://www.ispai.ie/docs/mobgd08.pdf .

  1. Firefly phones are considered much safer for younger children. These types of phones do not have a camera, internet or text facilities. Parents can pre- programme the phone with up to 22 numbers- these are the only numbers that your daughter can call or receive calls from.
  2. Familiarise yourself with online chat lingo. See www.transl8it.com or www.netlingo.com.

 

  1. Curtail use of mobiles at bedtime. By removing the phone at bedtime, adults can help remove the risk of an impulsive decision or victimisation.
  2. Irish mobile phone operators offer parents a “dual access” where both child and parent have access to the records held on the account. There are also parental controls available where

certain services (such as the Internet) can be limited. Parents should contact their operator to

obtain more details about this service.

  1. Mobile Minder is quite a new service for android and smart phones. This service allows parents to monitor all contacts to and from their child’s phone. Parents are alerted if text messages contained with words linked to cyber-bullying are received or sent. For more details refer to http://www.mobileminder.com .
  2. Parents need to challenge the culture of ‘continuous access’ to technology by setting a time in the evening when technology is turned off. Technology provides many advantages to us all, but parents need to limit the amount of control such devices take on our lives.
  3. If your daughter is a victim of cyber-bullying, it is important to remind her that it is not her fault. So many students internalise what is being said about them and this can lead to long term problems. Encourage her to talk to you.
  4. For more information    on    cyber-    bullying    through    mobile    phones    see http://www.o2online.ie/o2/about-o2/content.php?cid=95 or through the Internet see http://www.internetsafety.ie .
  5. The following websites  will  also  give  parents  tips  for  general  Internet  safety. www.askforkids.com and  www.google.ie/familysafety.
  6. Although it is understandable that you may be reluctant to invade your daughter’s private space, you should remember that this issue needs to take second place to the need to protect your daughter. Research indicates that parental guidance of Internet use increases the probability that adolescents  will  react  to  support  victims  of  cyber-  bullying.  It  is  also important for you to use parental controls on your home computer.

Appendix 5 : Checklist for annual review of the anti-bullying policy and its implementation

The Board of Management will undertake an annual review of this anti-bullying policy and its implementation.  The following checklist will be used for this purpose.  In order to complete the checklist, an examination and review involving both quantitative and qualitative analysis, as appropriate across the various elements of the implementation of the school’s anti-bullying policy, will be conducted.

Yes/No

Has the Board formally adopted an anti-bullying policy that fully complies with the requirements of the Anti-Bullying Procedures for Primary and Post-Primary Schools?
Has the Board published the policy on the school website and provided a copy to the parents association?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been made available to school staff (including new staff)?
Is the Board satisfied that school staff are sufficiently familiar with the policy and procedures to enable them to effectively and consistently apply the policy and procedures in their day to day work?
Has the Board ensured that the policy has been adequately communicated to all pupils?
Have all prevention and education strategies been implemented?
Has the effectiveness of the prevention and education strategies that have  been implemented been examined?
Is the Board satisfied that all teachers are recording and dealing with incidents in accordance with the policy?
Has the Board received the minuted the periodic summary reports of the Principal?
Has the Board discussed how well the school is handling all reports of bullying including those addressed at an early stage and not therefore included in the Principal’s periodic report to the Board?
Has the Board received any complaints from parents regarding the school’s handling of bulling incidents?
Have any parents withdrawn their child from the school citing dissatisfaction with the school’s handling of a bullying situation?
Have any Ombudsman for Children investigations into the school’s handling of a bullying case been initiated or completed?
Has the data available from cases reported to the Principal (by the bullying recording template) been analysed to identify any issues, trends or patterns in bullying behaviour?
Has the Board identified any aspects of the school’s policy and/or its implementation that require further improvement?
Has the Board put in place an action plan to address any areas for improvement?

 

 

 

 

1.5.2 LGBT Policy

 ‘The school acknowledges the right of each member of the school community to enjoy school in a secure environment. The school acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual and his/her worth as a human being.’           -Department of Education and Skills, 2013a, p. 22.

This policy is informed by The Equal Status Acts (2000 to 2012).

Mission Statement

Salerno is an all-girls Catholic secondary school with a strong Christian ethos. It is run by a Board of Management under the trusteeship of the Le Cheile Schools Trust, established by fifteen congregations, one of which is the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

 

The educational philosophy of the school is based on the vision of St Claudine Thevenet, the founder of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It recognises the importance of each girl reaching her full potential. This is achieved through the quality of education the students receive and by the witness of the life lived there. The friendly and caring atmosphere of the school encourages and motivates students in developing good interpersonal relationships which promotes self esteem, mutual respect and consideration for others.

 

Rationale for this policy

Sexual orientation is an intrinsic part of what it means to be human and it is during the post-primary school years that the majority of young people go through puberty and begin the process of maturation. It is also a time when young people come to an awareness and understanding of their sexuality. For the majority this can be a challenging and exciting period. However, for many LGB young people it can be a very difficult time in their lives, particularly when ‘gay’ prevails as a common term of abuse and many are exposed to homophobic bullying.

 

Studies in Ireland show that many LGBT students have had a negative experience in school and so, do not reach their full potential because of homophobic bullying and/or harassment. Many are in danger of leaving school early, experiencing mental health problems and becoming involved in self-harming behaviours that often go hand in hand with poor self-esteem (Department of education and Skills: Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students in Post-Primary Schools: Guidance for Principals and School Leaders)

There are clear benefits for the whole school community in addressing issues related to sexual orientation. Students will receive the message that everyone is a valued member of the school community, no matter what their difference may be and that diversity is a valued part of the school culture.

According to the Equal Status Acts 2000-2004 there are nine grounds on which discrimination is prohibited:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • family status
  • sexual orientation
  • religion
  • age
  • disability
  • race and
  • membership of the Traveller community.

The School’s Role

Salerno Secondary School strives to be supportive of all students and ensures that they feel happy and safe. Unlike other aspects of identity, sexual orientation is not necessarily visible or apparent. It is for the person herself to come to an understanding of their identity. Therefore, it is important that pupils are not asked about their sexual orientation unless they volunteer such information themselves. As this can be a very challenging time for young Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender students, it is important that if they do speak to someone about their concerns, that this person will have their best interests at heart. Equally it should not be assumed that a young person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is necessarily troubled by their sexual orientation.

The Teacher’s Role          

If a student chooses to “come out” to one of their teachers, the teacher will communicate a message to the young person that they are valued equally, will be treated equally to other students and that the school leadership will ensure their safety and support. It is critical that the young LGBT student discovering their sexual orientation feels supported and valued regardless of whether or not they disclose their sexual orientation.

When a young person “comes out” as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender they are disclosing their sexual orientation and identity. This will not be interpreted as a statement of engagement in sexual behaviour. However, the advice given in the Child Protection Guidelines relating to sexual activity applies to all students regardless of their sexual orientation. (Note: The legal age of consent in Ireland is 17 years for boys and girls irrespective of sexual orientation).

Only if a teacher has legitimate cause for concern for the student’s safety should engagement with the student’s parents be made. Often a young person experiences intense fear of rejection by his/her family and consequently finds it easier to “come out” to others first. The teacher should strive to ensure a positive experience of coming out where the student is met with acceptance. This is critical in order to safeguard the student’s mental health and well-being. It is hoped that it can also lessen the fear of the student eventually disclosing to his/her family and friends.

Salerno Secondary School will endeavour to:

  • Identify relevant resources and supports such as information leaflets and organisations (local and national) that could be of assistance to the young person
  • Consult with the young person on how they would like the school to deal with their “coming out” if, at all
  • Advise staff members on what they should do if a student tells them that she is questioning their sexual orientation and might be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. This includes willingness to listen to the student, offering support relative to her needs and avoiding assumptions that a student is going through a phase or is too young to make such a discovery.

 

Young learners who may be Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender have the following needs from those who work in the educational sector:

  • Support and reassurance for those who are in the process of “coming out”.
  • Support and reassurance for those who a questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Support and reassurance around disclosing LGBT identity to peers, friends, family, teaching staff, youth workers and others.
  • Support in accessing information and contact with other young LGBT people.
  • Protection from prejudice and stereotyping.
  • Protection from anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.
  • To have their LGBT identity recognised, validated and normalised in educational establishments and learning activities.

 

A SAFE AND INCLUSIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT          

In seeking to create a safe and inclusive learning environment for all students including LGBT students, Salerno Secondary School will act in a number of ways. Reasonably practicable steps to help meet its obligations under the Equal Status Acts could include the following:

  • Anti-bullying and Anti-harassment Policy and Code of Behaviour: the Anti-bullying and Anti-harassment Policy is explicit in addressing all forms of homophobic bullying and harassment. The code of behaviour refers to LGBT students and sets out procedures and initiatives in relation to homophobic bullying and harassment.
  • Admissions: Salerno’s Admissions Policy is welcoming and inclusive of all students, including LGBT students.
  • School Development Plan: Our school plan is developed within a framework of equality and inclusion for LGBT students, including equality objectives for these students.
  • Staff training: staff training is encouraged empowering teachers with the knowledge, skills and confidence needed to raise their awareness of equality issues and LGBT students and to address homophobic harassment and bullying in our school. You should make sure all promotional literature for your school is inclusive in its language and message.
  • Guidance Counsellors: The Guidance Counsellor has sufficient training and understanding on the area of sexual identity and will identify the supports our school will make available to a young person who ‘comes out’ or begins to question their sexual identity. Student-to-student supports may also be developed.
  • RSE: In Salerno, we ensure that sexual orientation is addressed in a positive and open way when talking about human sexuality. SPHE teachers are supported in attending in-service training on sexuality and sexual orientation.
  • CSPE: LGBT experiences should be included in areas of the curriculum such as Human Rights, Human Dignity, Discrimination, Legal Rights, Political Campaigning and Advocacy.
  • School Environment: positive images and messages are displayed in our school celebrating diversity and showing images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. An environment where diversity is affirmed and supported is a healthier environment for all students.
  • Student Council: We seek to ensure that membership of our school’s student council reflects the full diversity of students in the school, including LGBT students.

LGBT Teachers in School

Schools that are inclusive and supportive of LGBT students are also supportive and inclusive of all LGBT people, including teachers. School culture and ethos determine how open staff can be about their personal lives in the staff room. Research with LGBT teachers has shown that they often feel limited in their ability to be open about their personal lives in the staff room . The support of school management can make a significant difference to LGB teachers and to the whole school culture and ethos. Such support can be demonstrated by explicit reference to LGBT people in all policy and staffing issues.

References

– Department of Education and Science (2004). Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures for Post-Primary Schools.

– Department of Education and Science (1996). Relationships and Sexuality Education: An Aspect of Social, Personal and Health Education Interim Curriculum and Guidelines for Post-Primary Schools.

– Department of Education and Skills. Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Students in Post-Primary Schools Guidance for Principals and School Leaders

– GLEN (Gay and Lesbian Equality Network) (2016). Being LGBT in School

– NDP, Department of Education and Skills and The Equality Authority. Schools and the Equal Status Acts

– The Equality Authority. Making Your School Safe for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Students.

www.workplacerelations.ie  – www.belongto.org

 

1.5.3 RSE Policy

  • A Code of Conduct has been published after consultation with parents, staff and pupils and the following excerpts illustrate how the ethos of the school operates on a daily basis:

 

In Salerno, we aim to create an atmosphere where pupils can develop to their full potential and learn to value and respect others…..Fundamental to this spirit is an acceptance by all of the need for courtesy and co-operation within the school community. Management, staff and parents must work together to achieve these aims.

 

The school promotes equality of opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment on the following nine grounds (as set out in the Equal Status Acts 2000 and 2004): gender, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, race or membership of the travelling community.

 

We endeavour to create an atmosphere where each one feels a sense of belonging and is respected and valued.

 

  • Confidentiality:

Students should be asked not to disclose personal information in SPHE/RSE class.

It is our school’s policy that in circumstances where a pupil is considered at some risk of any type of abuse or in breach of the law, the teacher must immediately refer this to the Principal (DLP). The Principal will decide whether to inform the parents and/or appropriate authorities and may arrange for counselling to take place.

The following is also school policy:

  • Teachers must not promise absolute confidentiality;
  • Pupils must be made aware that any incident may be conveyed to the Principal. The Principal, in turn, may decide to notify parents if this is in the best interests of the pupil;
  • Teachers must use their professional judgement to decide whether confidence can be maintained having heard the information;
  • Teachers must indicate clearly to pupils when the content of a conversation can no longer be kept confidential-the pupil can then decide whether or not to proceed.

 

  • The Child Protection Guidelines for Post Primary schools state in 4.1.1 and 4.2.1

4.1.1.  If a member of staff receives an allegation or has a suspicion that a child may have been abused or is being abused, or is at risk of abuse he/she should, without delay, report the matter to the Designated Liaison Person in that school. A written record of the report should be made and placed in a secure location by the Designated Liaison Person. The need for confidentiality at all times, as previously referred to in Chapter 1 paragraph 1.2 of these guidelines, should be borne in mind. The supports of the school should continue to be made available to the child.

4.2.1. If the Designated Liaison Person is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion or allegation he/she should report the matter to the relevant health board immediately.

 

 

  • The division between biological and non-biological aspects of sex education:

Both the Science Department and Home Economics Department deal with the biological aspects of reproduction. However, on an emotional level, reproduction is a topic that is dealt with in SPHE, RSE and RE. Key speakers such as AIDS West approach the topic of reproduction in an age appropriate and sensitive manner.

 

  • Sexual Orientation:

The Post-Primary RSE Curriculum Guidelines include the subject of sexual orientation. The Equal Status Acts 2000-2011 and the Equality Act 2004 prohibit discrimination across nine grounds including sexual orientation. The topic may also be addressed before Senior Cycle and discretion will be used with regard to the age of the pupils before any discussion takes place. One advantage of exploring issues concerning homosexuality is the opportunity that it affords to right false ideas and assumptions, to address prejudice. The opportunity to discuss this topic in a clear, open minded and non-directive manner teaches the students to be tolerant and respectful of others. CSPE, SPHE and RE approach this topic in a responsible, non-directive and sensitive way.

shOUT! is a Galway based group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or simply uncertain individuals aged between 14 – 17 and 18 – 21 years.

Through weekly social meetings this group aims to provide a place where young LGBT people can be themselves and socialise with their peers in an open and accepting environment, thus empowering the youth of the west and encouraging a similar attitude in society at large.

  • Family Planning/ Contraception:

This topic will be dealt with in a non-directive age appropriate manner in subjects such as SPHE and RE. Key speakers such as AIDS West and CURA also approach this topic in a sensitive but informative way.

  • Senior RSE

Upon reflection, RSE is a topic that is lacking in our senior cycle. At TY level, it is proposed that an eight week rotating module be developed and delivered by a member of the RE team. As there are eight weeks in the module, it is proposed that a programme with eight topics is covered. Proposed topics for the programme are as follows:

  1. Relationships
  2. Relationships and Sexual Education
  3. The Law surrounding Sexuality
  4. Conflict Resolution
  5. Substance Misuse
  6. Contraception
  7. Sexually Transmitted Diseases
  8. Gender Studies

At senior level, RSE will be revised and improved. At present senior students are exposed to RSE by means of visiting speakers such as those mentioned above along with The Rape Crisis Centre and Waterside House who give talks on the issue of consent and healthy/unhealthy relationships. Aware are also invited in to talk about depression and how it can affect oneself and those around us. It is hoped that a module for RSE within RE may be developed and delivered to senior cycle students. This will also be written into our Recommendations section going forward to 2017/18.

 

Recommendations 2017/18

  1. To develop and deliver an eight week RSE programme for Transition Year students.
  2. To invite more speakers in at senior level to talk to the students about Relationships and Sexuality.
  3. To develop and deliver an RSE programme to senior students so that they are equipped to make a more informed decision around the area of relationships.

 

1.6 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES

Preamble

(a)        The purpose of the procedure is to promote co-operation and orderly and harmonious relationships between the school management and the teaching staff members with a view to facilitating the effective operation of the school.

(b)        This procedure is agreed on the understanding that all of the parties involved are committed to the resolution of the grievance at the earliest stage possible through discussion and the application of fair procedures.  The agreed procedures should be known and observed in the interests of good industrial relations and harmony in the school work environment.

  •   Before the grievance procedure is invoked, every effort should be made to resolve the difficulties through discussions between the Principal and the teaching staff concerned.

 

(d)        In each school the management and teachers should agree structures for consultations through which any proposals for changes in working conditions or work practices affecting the terms of employment of the teachers may be discussed prior to their proposed implementation.  In the absence of agreement about such proposals both parties should maintain the status quo.  In the event of a dispute about the proposals the teacher or teachers concerned may process and determine the issue through the grievance procedure.

(e)        The grievance procedure will be reviewed jointly from time to time by the JMB and the ASTI.  Disputes about the interpretation of the procedure should be referred to the JMB and to the ASTI.

 

Scope of Procedure

(a)        The procedure may be invoked by any teacher for the resolution of any grievance against the Manager or the Board of Management of the school in respect of the exercise of any of their responsibilities for the government of the school or against the Principal, Deputy Principal or teachers with delegated responsibility, in respect of their duties and responsibilities for the organisation and conduct of the day to day activities in the school.

(b)        If a grievance, which concerns a matter covered by legislation is referred to the Labour Court, this procedure shall not be used.

(c)        School Managerial Authorities should inform staff members, when appointed, of the provisions of this agreement.

PROCEDURES

Stage 1

  • The teacher shall discuss the grievance with the Principal teacher with a view to resolving it. The teacher may be accompanied by the ASTI School Steward or by a colleague nominated by the teacher at this meeting.

 

  • If the complaint is unresolved, the teacher should be advised that, within a further ten school days, stage two may be invoked with a view to resolving the matter.

 

Stage 2

  • The teacher and/or the ASTI School Steward shall give notice in writing to the Principal and Manager or Chairperson of the Board of Management that Stage 2 of the Grievance Procedure is being invoked.

 

  • The teacher shall discuss the grievance with the Manager or Chairperson of the Board with a view to resolving it. The teacher may be accompanied by the ASTI School Steward or by the nominated colleague at this meeting.
  • The Manager or Chairperson shall immediately take such steps as he/she considers appropriate to have the grievance resolved informally.

 

  • If the grievance is not resolved within ten school days the teacher shall be entitled to invoke Stage 3, within a further ten school days.

 

Stage 3

  • The teacher and/or the ASTI School Steward shall give notice in writing to the Chairperson of the Board of Management that Stage 3 of the Grievance Procedure is being invoked. In the case of a Manager, the teacher and/or School Steward may proceed to Stage 4.

 

  • The teacher and/or the ASTI School Steward shall make a written submission to the Chairperson for consideration formally by the Board of Management.

 

  • If the grievance involves the Principal, he/she shall be provided with a copy of the written submission and shall be requested by the Chairperson to prepare a written response to the submission.

 

  • The Chairperson shall invite the aggrieved teacher and the ASTI School Steward or the nominated colleague to be in attendance at a formal Board meeting which shall be held within ten school days of receipt of the submission. The Board shall give a hearing to the aggrieved teacher.

 

  • The Board shall try to resolve the grievance by conciliation and if the grievance is resolved the matter is concluded.

 

  • If the Board is unable to resolve the grievance by conciliation it shall give a decision on the grievance.

 

  • The Chairperson shall convey the decision in writing to the aggrieved teacher and/or the School Steward and to any other party or parties concerned within five school days of the hearing specified at 3.4.

 

  • The teacher shall have the right to invoke Stage 4 of the procedure:
  • if the Chairperson fails to convey the decision within the specified period;
  • if the Board fails to give a hearing to the aggrieved teacher within the time specified in 3.4;
  • if the teacher is unwilling to accept the decision.

 

Stage 4    Appeal

  • The teacher who wishes to appeal or the School Steward at the request of the teacher, shall give notice in writing to the Manager or Chairperson of the Board of Management of the intention to appeal. The notice shall be given within ten school days of receiving the decision, or of the end of the period specified in 3.7 (or 2.4, in the case of a Manager)

 

  • The teacher and/or the School Steward shall provide the Manager or Chairperson of the Board with five copies of a submission setting out the grievance and the redress which is sought.

 

  • The date on which the Manager or Chairperson receives the submission will be referred to as the “date of appeal”.

 

  • On receipt of the submission the Manager or Chairperson of the Board of Management shall notify the General Secretary of the JMB and the General Secretary of the ASTI who shall arrange for the establishment of a tribunal to hear the appeal.
  • The tribunal shall consist of:
  • an agreed independent Chairperson;
  • two persons not associated with the school, one of whom shall be nominated by each of the organisations;
  • The Manager or Chairperson of the Board of Management shall be notified within 10 school days of the date of the appeal of the names and addresses of the members of the tribunal.
  • A meeting of the tribunal shall be convened within 20 school days of the date of the appeal.

 

  • On receipt of the submission the Manager or Chairperson of the Board shall:
  • prepare for the tribunal a report on the proceedings at each of the previous stages including, if available, a copy of a letter stating the decision 3.7 and
  • supply each member of the tribunal within 15 school days of the date of the appeal with a copy of the teacher’s submission together with a copy of his/her report.

 

  • The tribunal shall be empowered to conciliate with a view to reaching a friendly settlement.

 

  • Failing such a settlement the tribunal shall determine the issue by unanimous or majority vote.

 

  • The tribunal’s decision shall be conveyed in writing by the Chairperson of the tribunal to all parties (including the teacher, the Board and the JMB and ASTI) within ten school days of the hearing.

 

  • Without prejudice to the rights of any parties involved to have recourse to litigation, the decision of the tribunal shall be final and binding on all of the parties.

 

NOTES

  • Until such time as the dispute is resolved or determined the teacher shall continue to carry out the instructions of the Principal, Deputy Principal or teachers with delegated responsibility, or the Manager or Board as the case may be.

 

(ii)        The above procedure shall also apply where two or more teachers share a grievance.

(iii)       Where a Principal has a grievance, or a Principal and one or more teachers share a grievance, Stages 2, 3 and 4 of the procedure shall apply.  The Principal shall also have the right to be accompanied or represented by a union representative, or by a colleague of the Principal’s own choosing.

(iv)       An aggrieved teacher or teachers may be represented at Stage 3 by the ASTI School Steward or by a teacher colleague, nominated by the teacher.

  • An aggrieved teacher or teachers may be represented by a member of the ASTI CEC or by a Branch Officer or Head Office official or by the ASTI school steward or a nominated teacher colleague at Stage 4.

 

  • Any expenses other than legal expenses arising at Stage 4 shall be shared by the parties involved who nominate the tribunal.

 

  • A school day is a day on which the school is in operation.

 

  • Any difficulty arising out of the implementation of this procedure shall be referred for resolution to the parties to this agreement.

 

(ix)       This  Grievance Procedure shall be reviewed after three years or at the request of either party.

 

 

 

 

 

1.7 Critical Incident Management Plan (CIMP)

 

Aim

The aim of the CIMP is to help school management and staff to react quickly and effectively in the event of an incident, to enable us to maintain a sense of control and to ensure that appropriate support is offered to students and staff. Having a good plan should also help ensure that the effects on the students and staff will be limited. It should enable the school to effect a return to normality as soon as possible.

 

Identification of Potential Incident

  • The death of a member of the school community through accident, violence,
  • Suicide or suspected suicide or other unexpected death
  • An intrusion into the school
  • An accident involving members of the school community including school outings
  • An accident/tragedy in the wider community
  • Serious damage to the school building through fire, flood, vandalism, etc
  • The disappearance of a member of the school community

 

Creation of a coping supportive and caring ethos in the school

The School has put systems in place to help to build resilience in both staff and students, thus preparing them to cope with a range of life events. These include measures to address both the physical and psychological safety of the school community.

 

Examples of measures to address physical safety

  • Evacuation plan.
  • Regular fire drills.
  • Fire exits and extinguishers regularly checked.
  • Pre-opening/Post school supervision at the front gate.
  • Rules of the yard and supervision of all break times.

 

Examples of measures to address psychological safety

The management and staff of the Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno, aim to use available programmes and resources to address the personal and social development of students, to enhance a sense of safety and security in the school and to provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.

 

For example:

  1. Staff have access to training for their role in SPHE

 

  1. Staff are familiar with the Child Protection Guidelines and Procedures and details of how to proceed with suspicions or disclosures

 

  1. Books and resources on difficulties affecting the student are available

 

  1. Information is provided on mental health in general and such specific areas as

signs and symptoms of depression and anxiety

 

  1. Staff are informed in the area of suicide awareness and some are trained in

interventions for suicidal students

 

  1. The school has developed links with a range of external agencies.

 

  1. The school has a clear policy on bullying and deals with bullying in accordance with this policy

 

  1. There is a Pastoral Care Committee and Policy in place in the school

 

  1. Students who are identified as being at risk are referred to the designated staff

member (e.g. guidance counsellor or support teacher), concerns are explored

and the appropriate level of assistance and support is provided. Parents are

informed, and where appropriate, a referral is made to an appropriate outside agency

 

  1. Staff are informed about how to access support for themselves.

 

Critical Incident Management Team (CIMT)

 

A CIMT has been established in line with best practice. The members of the team were selected on a voluntary basis and will retain their roles for at least one school year. The members of the team will meet annually to review and update the policy and plan. Each member of the team has a dedicated critical incident folder. This contains a copy of the policy and plan and materials particular to their role, to be used in the event of an incident. A template of these documents will be available on each team member’s computer as well as in the main office.

 

The CIMT of Salerno Secondary School are as follows:

 

  • The Principal (Team Leader), Sr Gerarda Lawler
  • The Deputy Principal, Ms Marie Flannery
  • The Chaplain, Sr Angela Maughan
  • The Guidance Counsellor, Ms Tracey Wade
  • RE Teacher, Yvonne McNulty
  • School Secretary, Ms Katie Conneely
  • The CMIT may co-opt other members of staff to assist them should they deem it necessary. These may include, Year Heads, Tutors, SNAs

 

 

The Principal is the Team Leader. In her absence the Deputy Principal shall fulfil this role and if both are unavailable the designated Assistant Principal shall fulfill that role. Each member of the team is assigned areas of focus but will work with all staff in implementing various aspects of the Crisis Management Plan depending on the actual incident.

 

 

Team leader (The Principal)

  • Alerts the team members to the crisis and convenes a meeting
  • Coordinates the tasks of the team
  • Liaises with the Board of Management; DES; NEPS; SEC, HSE
  • In cases of bereavement liaises with the bereaved family
  • If necessary liaises with the Gárdaí
  • Ensures that information about deaths or other developments is checked out for accuracy before being shared
  • Leads briefing meetings for staff on the facts as known, gives staff members an opportunity to express their feelings and ask questions, outlines the routine for the day
  • Advises staff on the procedures for identification of vulnerable students
  • Is alert to vulnerable staff members and makes contact with them individually
  • Advises them of the availability of the Employment Assistance Service(EAS) and gives them the contact number
  • Is alert to the need to check credentials of individuals offering support
  • Coordinates the involvement of these agencies

 

Deputy Principal/ Assistant Principals

  • Provide materials for staff (from their critical incident folder)
  • Keeps staff updated as the day progresses
  • Will co-ordinate information from tutors and year heads about students they are concerned about
  • Alerts other staff to vulnerable students (appropriately)
  • Provides materials for students (from their critical incident folder)
  • Keeps records of students seen by external agency staff
  • Looks after setting up and supervision of ‘quiet’ room where agreed (Chaplain will liaise with Deputy Principal)

 

 

 

Pastoral Care Co-ordinator/ Guidance Counsellor/Chaplain

  • Maintains up to date lists of contact numbers of and ensure that the members of the CIMT have immediate numbers in their mobile phones and that an extended list is posted in the Staff room and in the office.
  • Liaises with agencies in the community for support and onward Referral.
  • Updates team members on the involvement of external agencies

 

Parent liaison (Principal/Deputy Principal/Chaplain)

  • Visits the bereaved family with the team leader
  • Arranges parent meetings, if held
  • May facilitate such meetings, and manage ‘questions and answers’
  • Manages the ‘consent’ issues in accordance with agreed school policy
  • Ensures that sample letters are typed up, on the school’s system and each individual member of the team ready for adaptation (Pastoral Care co-ordinator)
  • Sets up room for meetings with parents
  • Maintains a record of parents seen
  • Meets with individual parents
  • Provides appropriate materials for parents (from their critical incident folder)

 

Media liaison (Principal/Deputy Principal/PRO)

  • A press release may be issued on behalf of the school and there will be no interviews about the incident.
  • In the event of an incident, will liaise where necessary with the SEC; relevant teacher unions etc.

 

Administrator Secretarial Staff

  • Maintenance of up to date telephone numbers of:

– Parents or guardians

– Teachers

– Emergency services

  • Takes telephone calls and notes those that need to be responded to
  • Ensures that templates are on the schools system in advance and ready for adaptation
  • Prepares and sends out letters, emails and faxes
  • Photocopies materials needed
  • Maintains records

 

Record keeping

In the event of an incident each member of the team will keep records of phone calls made and received, letters sent and received, meetings held, persons met, interventions used, material used etc.

 

Confidentiality and good name considerations

The management and staff of Salerno Secondary School have a responsibility to protect the privacy and good name of the people involved in any incident and will be sensitive to the consequences of any public statements. The members of the school staff will bear this in mind, and will seek to ensure that students do so also. For instance, the term ‘suicide’ will not be used unless there is solid information that death was due to suicide, and that the family involved consents to its use. The phrases ‘tragic death’ or ‘sudden death’ may be used instead. Similarly, the word ‘murder’ should not be used until it is legally established that a murder was committed. The term ‘violent death’ may be used instead.

 

Critical incident rooms

In the event of a critical incident:

Staff Room will be the main room used to meet the staff

Study Hall /Meeting room for meetings with students

Meeting room/Study Hall for parents

Guidance/Chaplains office for individual sessions with students

Meeting room for other visitors

 

Participation in funeral rite

  • Involvement of students/staff if agreed by family
  • Appropriate representation at funeral service
  • Request a decision from Principal and Board of Management re: school closure

 

Medium term tasks

  • Providing long-term counselling
  • Disposing of deceased student’s possessions
  • Close monitoring of students

 

Medium/long-term tasks

  • Facilitating the return of deceased siblings to school
  • Keeping in contact with family of deceased
  • Being aware of certain occasions such as, months mind, anniversaries, Christmas
  • Ensure new staff are aware of schools policies and procedures and ensure they are aware of which students were affected and in which way
  • Review of overall school response

 

 

Short Term Actions – Day 1

Task Name

  1. Gather accurate information- Who, what, when, where?

 

  1. Convene a CIMT meeting – specify time and place clearly

 

  1. Contact external agencies

 

  1. Arrange supervision for students

 

  1. Hold staff meeting for all staff

 

  1. Agree schedule for the day Inform students – (close friends and students with learning difficulties may need to be told separately)

 

  1. Compile a list of vulnerable students

 

  1. Contact/visit the bereaved family

 

  1. Prepare and agree media statement and deal with media

 

  1. Inform parents

 

  1. Hold end of day staff briefing

 

 

 

Medium Term Actions – (Day 2 and following days)

 

Task Name

  1. Convene a CIMT meeting to review the events of day 1

 

  1. Meet external agencies

 

  1. Meet whole staff

 

  1. Arrange support for students, staff, parents etc

 

  1. Visit the injured

 

  1. Liaise with bereaved family regarding funeral arrangements

 

  1. Agree on attendance and participation at funeral service

 

  1. Make decisions about school closure (BOM)

 

 

Follow-up – Beyond 72 hours

 

Task Name

  1. Monitor students for signs of continuing distress

 

  1. Liaise with agencies regarding referrals

 

  1. Plan for return of bereaved student(s)

 

  1. Plan for giving of ‘memory box’ to bereaved family

 

  1. Decide on memorials and anniversaries

(BOM/Staff, parents and students)

  1. Review response to incident and amend plan

(Staff/BOM)

 

 

CONTACT DETAILS

As part of the contingency plan the following list of contacts has been compiled.

Other numbers are available in the Personal and Community Support Directory. A copy of this directory is attached to the pastoral care notice board. Office support staff also have such a list readily available.

 

Doctor:    Dr. Mary Regan, Seacrest Surgery, Knocknacarra, 091 591615

Dr. Kathleen Faller, The Crescent, Galway, 091 587213

Dr. Noel Howard, 61 Lower Salthill,  091 522507

 

Hospitals:   UCHG: 091 524222

Bons Secours:  091 757435

Galway Clinic:  091 785000

 

Chemist:    Care Pharmacy, Salthill, 091 520000

Mullins Pharmacy, Salthill, 091 526600

Colm’s Pharmacy, Salthill, 091 501456

 

 

Garda Station: Salthill garda Station: 091 514720. Community Guards: Ronan McNulty & Sgt. John Conway

 

H.S.E. West:  1850 24 1850

 

Fire Brigade:   999 or 112

 

NEPS Psychologist:  Christina Burke: 091 864518

 

School Inspectorate: 01 8896400

 

DES: 01 8896400

 

ASTI:   01 6040170

 

Parish Priest/Clergy:    Church of Christ the King, Salthill, Fr. Gerry Jennings  091 523413

St. John the Apostle, Knocknacarra , Fr. Tadhg Quinn  091 590059

 

State Examinations Commission:  090 6442700

 

Employee Assistance Service:  1800 411 057

 

OTHER USEFUL CONTACT NUMBERS

 

Barnardos 01 453 0355
The Samaritans 091 561222
Childline 1800 666666
Pieta House, Tuam 093 25586
Parentline 01 8787230
Aware 01 6617211
Rainbows 01 4734175
Bereavement Counselling Service 01 8391766

 

Ratified by Board of Management 25th November 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.8 SCHOOL TRIPS POLICY

The term ‘school trip’ refers to all expeditions off the school premises.  This policy is applicable to all members of staff who organise such trips and to the students – and their parents/guardians – who are participating in these activities.

 

RATIONALE FOR SCHOOL TRIPS:

  • Salerno Secondary School is committed to providing quality learning for all students. In order to achieve this, it is recognised that exposure to a variety of  experiences and cultures is part of a holistic education
  • The curriculum content of some subjects requires field studies/ trips/ recreational activities/ visits which take place off the school grounds
  • Trips assist in bonding between students and provide teachers with an opportunity to get to know students in a non-school environment.

 

TYPES OF SCHOOL TRIPS:

The nature and type of school trips include:

  • Educational day/overnight trips for school groups within the country and abroad, involving cultural, social, religious or linguistic benefit to students.
  • Educational visits and trips involving instruction e.g. Field trips
  • Sports trips

 

 

CRITERIA FOR ALL SCHOOL TRIPS:

  • All educational trips must be consistent with the rationale and guidelines as specified by the DES in Circular Letter M20/04.
  • Teachers organising trips must inform the Principal and/or Deputy Principal of the intended trip and date. The trip must be approved by the Principal.
  • All proposed school trips should be entered in the Diary of School Activities to avoid clashing of activities and to ensure a balanced programme of outings. This Diary is located in the Staffroom.
  • As a courtesy to colleagues, full details of trip including date, time and names of participating students must be posted on the staff room notice board by the trip organiser prior to the event.
  • The Code of Behaviour of Salerno Secondary School applies to all outings and trips. Expectations of behaviour of students may be clarified before each trip if deemed necessary.
  • Students who have a history of inappropriate behaviour may be excluded from participating in trips.
  • Permission forms covering all trips are distributed to each student at the beginning of the school year. This form must be completed and signed by parent/guardian. Students who have not completed forms may not participate in trips.
  • Students with Special Educational Needs require additional consideration on all trips. The trip organiser should liaise with the Learning Support department to identify these specific needs.
  • Students with medical conditions require additional consideration. Trip organisers should be aware of students with medical conditions and be familiar with their particular medication requirements.
  • On all day trips there must be an appropriate ratio between the number of students and the number of staff traveling. This ratio will vary depending on the nature of the trip, the age of the students traveling, Special Educational Needs and safety requirements.
  • An Accident/Incident Report Form must be completed for all accidents or incidents which have occurred on the trip.
  • Members of staff organising trips by coach should note and apply the procedures as set out in the section of this policy – Guidelines on Use of Coaches

 

 

PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED BY ALL STAFF ORGANISING SCHOOL TRIPS

 

DAY TRIPS/OVERNIGHT TRIPS WITHIN THE COUNTRY

  • The CRITERIA FOR ALL SCHOOL TRIPS (above) apply to all day trips and overnight trips.

 

  • The organising teacher must keep a careful note of any monies paid by students for the trip. Monies should be handed in to the school Secretary with a completed lodgement form (available from the Office).

 

  • Members of staff are required to ensure costings cover the entire cost of the proposed trip.

 

  • For trips that extend beyond normal school hours, it is the responsibility of parents/guardians to ensure that arrangements are in place for their daughter’s journey to/from the school.
    .
  • In the interests of health and safety, mobile phone communication between teachers and students may be necessary. In the case of overnight trips, a list of student’s mobile phones should be compiled and carried by the teachers at all times.  When it is deemed necessary and subject to agreement of teacher, students should have a copy of the mobile number of the organising teacher(s) – this should be carried at all times during the trip. Students should be strongly advised of the sensitive use of this personal number.

 

  • In the case of overnight trips, teachers should also carry a list of contact details of parents/guardians for use in the case of emergency.  This information will be guarded safely.  Teachers should carry the phone numbers of the Principal and/or Deputy  Principal  as well as the Emergency Number provided by the Travel Company.

 

  • In the case of inspection of student personal property, this should only be carried out for good reasons based on reasonable grounds such as concern for physical safety, suspected possession or use of a banned substance or other concerns. This should only be carried out with the student present.  Staff should not have any physical contact with student’s clothing.  If a search is deemed necessary, the student should be asked to empty her own pockets or to search the clothes that she is wearing.

 

  • If a student is found to be in serious breach of any of the rules outlined in the Contract or the School Code of Behaviour, the teacher(s) in charge must contact the Principal and the parents/guardians of the student involved.

 

 

 

TRIPS ABROAD

 

  • The CRITERIA FOR ALL SCHOOL TRIPS (above) apply to all trips abroad

 

  • Members of staff who wish to take students on an overseas trip, must submit a request for approval to the Board of Management. The Board of  Management will consider the following when reaching its decision:
  • The appropriateness of the proposed trip in terms of DES Circular M20/04
  • The staffing requirements for the trip and for the school
  • Due regard for health and safety of the students on the trip

 

  • The school will only use the services of licensed tour operators/travel agents when organising trips outside the state, as per the Aviation Regulation Act 2001. Proper and full insurance must be in place for the trip.

 

  • Selection of students: Designated students (eg. 5th years) will be informed of the date, cost and details of the proposed trip.  They will be invited to apply for a place on the trip using the application form provided.  In cases where the trip is oversubscribed, names of applicants are drawn by lottery on a designated date, overseen by a member of the Board of Management. A full record is kept of the order in which all the names are drawn.  Two lists are prepared – a list of the successful applicants and a list of those who were not selected (the reserve list) – both in the order in which they were drawn.  These lists are placed on noticeboards in the relevant classrooms.  In the event of a student withdrawing from the trip, the place is offered to the first person on the reserve list.  This procedure is followed in the event of further withdrawals.  In the case of sports trips, students will be chosen by the sports coach based on the requirements of the team participating in the relevant competition.

 

  • Staff in charge of the trip reserve the right to refuse any student they deem unsuitable for the trip – those considered unsuitable would include:
  • Students who have proved unruly or undisciplined on trips in the past
  • Students who have a poor disciplinary record in school.

 

  • The staff/student ratio will be appropriate to the age group and as recommended by the travel agency.

 

  • Staff will be informed of the proposed trip and invited to indicate to the teacher(s)-in-charge if they are interested in accompanying the students. Decisions about which members of staff join the trip will depend on a number of factors:  priority will be given to French/Spanish teachers on a trip to Europe; sport coaches on a sports trip abroad.  Remaining teachers will be chosen by lottery if an excess number of teachers apply for places.

 

  • Payments: Students and parents will be advised of a schedule of payments and the approximate due dates. Notice will be given to students in the week leading up to the payment due dates.  A detailed record of all participating students and the amounts paid will be kept.  Cheques should be made payable to the school. The payments will be lodged in the Secretary’s Office using a lodgement form and will be lodged by the Secretary in the designated school bank account. A cheque will be requested for the appropriate stage payment, to be forwarded to the Travel Company/Coach Company.

 

  • A meeting of the students travelling will be convened at which the following will be distributed:
  • A detailed itinerary
  • A medical form to be completed by parents/guardians
  • A contract form outlining the rules , to be signed by both student and parent/guardian

 

  • When passport details are required, a photocopy of the student / teacher passport will be requested by the organising teachers. In cases where European Health Insurance Cards are required by students, the appropriate HSE forms required to apply for same will be distributed.

 

  • A parents’ information meeting will be organised for the students and parents at which the final details of the tour will be outlined. All aspects of expected student behaviour and safety procedures will be covered in detail.   Parents will have an opportunity to raise questions or concerns.

 

  • Students must attend all information meetings and co-operate with all requests pertaining to the trip.

 

  • Students will be divided into groups (size depending on the overall number and the number of accompanying teachers) and assigned to a supervising teacher. In the interests of health and safety, any necessary information about students is given to each teacher – eg. details of medication, health issues.  This information is kept confidential.  Prior to departure, a meeting will be held at which the supervising teacher will meet the assigned group and final information will be distributed.

 

  • Rooming lists will be drawn up by consultation between the trip organiser and the students.

 

  • In the interests of health and safety, mobile phone communication between teachers and students may be necessary. A list of student’s mobile phones should be compiled and carried by the teachers at all times.  Students should have a copy of the mobile number of the organising teacher(s) – this should be carried at all times during the trip. Students should be strongly advised of the sensitive use of this personal number.

 

  • Teachers should also carry a list of contact details of parents/guardians at all times for use in the case of emergency. This information will be guarded safely.  Teachers should carry the phone numbers of the Principal and/or Deputy  Principal  as well as the Emergency Number provided by the Travel Company.

 

  • In the case of inspection of student personal property, this should only be carried out for good reasons based on reasonable grounds such as concern for physical safety, suspected possession or use of a banned substance or other concerns. This should only be carried out with the student present.  Staff should not have any physical contact with student’s clothing.  If a search is deemed necessary, the student should be asked to empty her own pockets or to search the clothes that she is wearing.

 

  • If a student is found to be in serious breach of any of the rules outlined in the Contract or the School Code of Behaviour, the teacher(s) in charge must contact the Principal and the parents/guardians of the student involved.

 

  • An Accident/Incident Report Form must be completed for all accidents or incidents which have occurred.

 

 

SPORTS TRIPS

  • The CRITERIA FOR ALL SCHOOL TRIPS apply to sport trips.

 

  • Each sports coach is responsible for taking a properly equipped first- aid kit to the match.

 

  • If a minor accident occurs the coach will treat it on the spot. In the event of a serious accident the coach will ring an ambulance directly.

 

  • Any accident deemed to be of a serious nature is recorded on an accident report form, a copy of which is submitted to the Principal. PE staff will appraise students of the necessary safety equipment for each respective sport.

 

  • When a match is organised during school hours, where possible, two teachers will travel with a team.

 

  • Regarding dressing rooms, procedures as specified in Salerno Child Protection Policy (Section 5) should be followed.

 

  • It is school policy that all students are encouraged to participate in team competitions. However, the school recognizes that it is the parents/guardians prerogative how often their child shall be involved in such competitions.

 

 

GUIDELINES FOR USE OF COACHES (BUSES)

Members of staff taking students away in coaches should take note and apply the following:

  • All coaches used by the school must have an up to date PSV License and Cert.

 

  • Before setting off, the emergency exits must be pointed out to students.

 

  • Central aisles and access to exits must be kept clear at all times.

 

  • Students must be advised to remain seated facing forward and not to have unnecessary movement during the journey.

 

  • Where seatbelts are fitted, these must be used.

 

  • Smoking is not permitted on board coaches.

 

  • In the event of any emergency, students should leave the coach by the nearest exit as quickly as possible and re-assemble at a given area where a head-count can be quickly made. Students should not go back to the coach for any reason until the all clear is given.

 

  • If the teacher in charge considers that there was anything the matter with the coach, or that the behaviour of students was not appropriate, a full report must be given to the Principal as soon as possible after returning to the school.

 

  • In the event of a delay in the time of returning to school, the teacher should advise students to contact parents by text, informing them of the revised time of arrival.

 

  • It is advisable to obtain mobile telephone number from the coach driver (with his/her agreement) in order to be able to liaise regarding meeting times, change of meeting point or emergency situations.

 

 

This policy has been ratified/reviewed by the Board of Management at its meeting  on   ___________________ (date)

Signed:  _____________________________________ Chairperson

 

Next review date: ________________________

 

 

 

1.9 ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION

 

  1. Introduction

While The Board of Management has a duty to safeguard the health and safety of students when they are engaged in authorised school activities, this does not imply a duty upon teaching or administrative staff to personally undertake the administration of medication.

 

The Board of Management requests parents to ensure that the school is made aware in writing of any medical condition suffered by their daughter.  This information should be provided at enrolment or at the development of any medical conditions at a later date.

 

Medication in this policy refers to medicines, tablets and sprays administered by mouth and automatic injection devices (e.g. Anapen) used in cases of anaphylaxis.

 

  1. Procedure to be followed by parents who require the administration of medication for their children.

 

  1. The parent should write to the Board of Management requesting the Board to authorise a staff member to administer the medication or to monitor self-administration of the medication.
  2. Parents are required to provide written instructions from a General Practitioner (GP) outlining the procedure to be followed in the administration and storing of the medication.
  3. Parents are responsible for ensuring that the medication is delivered to the school and handed over to the Principal or Deputy Principal and for ensuring that an adequate supply is available.
  4. Parents are further required to indemnify the Board and authorised members of staff in respect of any liability that may arise regarding the administration of prescribed medicines in school.  The Board will inform the school’s insurers accordingly.
  5. Changes in prescribed medication (or dosage) should be notified immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal with clear written instructions of the procedure to be followed in storing and administering the new medication.
  6. Where students are suffering from life threatening conditions, written instruction from a GP must be supplied by parents to the Principal or Deputy Principal setting out clearly what should and what should not be done in an emergency situation, with particular reference to what may be a risk to the child.
  7. Parents are required to provide a telephone number where they may be contacted in the event of an emergency arising.

 

  1. Procedures to be followed by the Board of Management.

 

  1. The Board, having considered the matter, may authorise a staff member to administer medication to a student or to monitor the self-administration by a student.
  2. The Board will ensure that the authorised person is properly instructed in how to administer the medicine.
  3. The Board will seek an indemnity from parents in respect of liability that may arise regarding the administration of the medicine.
  4. The Board shall inform the school insurers accordingly.
  5. The Board shall make arrangements for the safe storage of medication (in the first-aid room, which is a secure key-coded room) and procedures for the administration of medication in the event of the authorised staff member’s absence and in the event of activities taking place off-site.

 

  1. Responsibilities of Staff Members

 

  1. No staff member can be required to administer medication to a student.
  2. Any staff member who is willing to administer medicines should do so under strictly controlled guidelines in the belief that the administration is safe.
  3. Written instruction on the administration of the medication must be provided.
  4. Medication must not be administered without the specific authorisation of The Board of Management.
  5. In administering medication to students, staff members will exercise the standard of care of a reasonable and prudent parent.
  6. A written record of the date and time of administration will be kept.
  7. In emergency situations, staff should do no more than is obviously necessary and appropriate to relieve extreme distress or prevent further and otherwise irreparable harm.  Qualified medical treatment should be secured in emergencies at the earliest opportunity.
  8. Parents should be contacted should any questions or emergencies arise.

 

 

 

 

Ratified by Board of Management 8th October 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Administration of Medicines in Schools Indemnity

 

Date of indemnity:

 

Parties to indemnity:

  1. The parents/guardians of :

 

  1. for and on behalf of The Board of Management, Jesus & Mary Secondary School,  Salerno, Threadneedle Road, Salthill, Galway.

 

  1. The parents are respectively the lawful father and mother or guardians of (name of student), a student of the above school.
  2. The student suffers on an ongoing basis from the condition known as (name of condition).
  3. The student may, while attending the said school, require, in emergency circumstances, the administration of medication, viz. (name of medication).
  4. The parents have agreed that the said medication may, in emergency circumstances, be administered by such members of staff of the said school as may be designated from time to time by The Board.

 

It is hereby agreed by and between the parties hereto as follows:

In consideration of the Board entering into this agreement, the parents, as the lawful father and mother respectively of the said student, hereby agree to indemnify and keep indemnified the Board, it servants and agents including without prejudice to the generality the said student’s teachers and/or the Principal of the said school from and against all claims, both present and future, arising from the administration or failure to administer the said medicines.

 

Signed: ___________________________________________________________________

(names of parents/guardians)

 

Signed: _____________________________________________________________________

On behalf of Board of Management, Jesus and Mary Secondary School
Date: ______________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

1.10 The Buddy Programme

Overview

  • The Buddy programme is based on the philosophy outlined in Salerno’s Vision Statement:

‘The educational philosophy of the school recognizes the importance of each student reaching her full potential. This is achieved through the quality of education the students receive and by the witness of life lived there. The friendly and caring atmosphere of the school encourages and motivates students in developing good interpersonal relationships which promote self-esteem, mutual respect and consideration for others…

We endeavour to create a school community where each one feels a sense of belonging and is respected and valued…’

 

Aims

  • The overall aim of the Buddy Programme is to build a collaborative and caring school community, promoting social and support networks, ‘where each girl feels a sense of belonging’ to Salerno.

 

  • The Buddy Programme in Salerno has a two-fold role:
  • to ease the transition from Primary School to Secondary by providing a link between First Years and Fifth Years, thus supporting the First Years as they establish familiarity with the new school environment.
  • to promote leadership and mentoring skills in Fifth Year students.

 

Recognising the importance of peer support is at the heart of Buddy Programme.
Objectives

It is expected that:

 

  • the First Years will benefit from having a support network and feeling a sense of belonging in Salerno.

 

  • the Fifth Years benefit by acknowledging their leadership responsibility, displaying kindness as they act as a positive role model.

 

Outline of the Programme

  • Each First Year is paired with a Fifth Year Student who will be a friendly face and mentor throughout the year. Individual student needs are taken into consideration when matching the students.

 

  • Leaving Cert Religious Education teachers organise this programme.

 

  • The Fifth Years are provided with guidance and advice from RE teachers on the role of the ‘buddy’ prior to their first meeting with the First Years.

 

  • The Buddies meet formally at least twice a year. At the initial meeting, they are introduced and given time to get to know each other. Following this Leaving Cert Students are encouraged to take the initiative to develop the connection between them. This can be facilitated by further arranged meetings during class time.

 

  • RE teachers link with the Fifth Years and First Years following the formal meetings to ensure all is running smoothly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.11 Book Scheme

 

  • The book rental scheme was initiated  in 2009 as a result of our interest in recycling and providing help for families in need. Funds for the original scheme in 2009 were raised by the sale of second hand books and uniforms. Books were supplied to families on social welfare only.

 

  • By 2012 it was found that the rented books were returned unsuitable for future use or were not returned at all. Numerous book changes as a result of syllabus changes meant that the scheme suffered severe losses of new books that were acquired.

 

  • Grant aid from the Department of Education and Skills on a per capita basis introduced in 2010 funds the scheme to between €12-14k per annum. From 2014 the programme operates as a supplemented purchase scheme whereby eligible first and fifth years were supplied with a €200 book voucher for ABC book shop for the purchase of new books. The scheme will offer €100 vouchers to second, third and fifth year students from 2015 onwards.

 

  • The old scheme whereby the school bought the books for applicants is being phased out, with current 2nd years  and Leaving Certs paying a fee of 100 euro for the supply of new books. The scheme hopes that most of these will be returned to the school at the end of the State examinations. The school is obliged to honour an agreement  with these students made when they engaged with book rental at the beginning of 1st year and 5th yr respectively.

 

  • Applications are invited in June of each year for inclusion in the current scheme and to date all applicants have been accommodated. Approximately 50 students each year are given assistance in acquiring new and good second hand books by the scheme.
  • The scheme’s policy is to ensure that all applicants have all of their books before the beginning of school in August.

 

  • Each year the scheme welcomes donations of schoolbooks from any student in the school, and this allows us to deal with losses, damage, and latecomers to the school during the academic year.

 

 

Co-ordinator – Linda Dunne

 

1.12 Internet Acceptable Use

Introduction

This Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for the internet is to ensure that students and employees will benefit from learning opportunities offered by the school’s internet resources in a safe and effective manner. It applies to all students for the full duration of their studies in this school and to all those employed by the school.

Internet use and access is considered a school resource and privilege. Therefore, if this AUP is not adhered to this privilege will be withdrawn and appropriate sanctions – set out below – will be imposed.

The school is one that seeks to promote healthy lifestyles for all in a safe, supportive and non-threatening environment. The policy is also mindful of the need to bring the key components of the school’s mission statement – truth, freedom, justice, sincerity and joy – into the daily lives of all who work in the school.

Legislation

There is no specific legislation governing internet safety at school level. This is complicated by the fact that the internet functions in a global context whereas the law functions in a localised one.  The following pieces of legislation, however, have relevance to internet safety:

  • The Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, 1998

This Act legislates against anyone who knowingly produces, prints, publishes, distributes, exports, imports, shows, possesses or sells child pornography.

  • The Interception of Postal Packets and Telecommunications Messages Regulation Act, 1993

This Act stipulates that telecommunication messages can be intercepted for the purpose of an investigation of a serious offence.

  • The Video Recordings Act, 1989

This prohibits the distribution of videos which contain obscene or indecent material which may lead to the depravation or corruption of the viewer.

  • The Data Protection (Amendment) Act, 2003

This Act was passed to deal with privacy issues arising from the increasing amount of information kept on computer about individuals.

 

  1. Strategy in relation to the school’s internet resources

General

Students are expected to:

  • Stay within the boundaries of internet filters enforced in the school. This is in order to minimise the risk of exposure to inappropriate material.
  • Refrain from uploading or downloading non-approved software.
  • Seek permission from a teacher in order to use personal storage devices, which may then be used under supervision.
  • Observe good “netiquette”- etiquette on the internet, at all times and will not undertake any actions that may bring the school into disrepute (Code of Behaviour, page 11).
  • The use of personal memory sticks or CD-ROMs in school requires a computer teacher’s permission.

 

World Wide Web:

  • Access to school wifi is limited to the staff and is not made available for students to access on their own devices.
  • No one will visit internet sites from the school’s internet resources that contain obscene, illegal, hateful or otherwise objectionable materials.
  • Students will use the internet for educational purposes only.
  • Students/employees must be aware of and comply with copyright issues relating to online learning.
  • Students will never disclose or publicise personal information.
  • Students are to be aware that usage, including distributing or receiving information, school- related or personal, may be monitored for unusual activity, security and/or network management reasons.

Email

  • Students can use approved class email accounts under supervision by or permission from a teacher.
  • No one using the school’s internet resources will send or receive any material that is illegal, obscene, defamatory or that is intended to annoy or intimidate another person.
  • Students must not reveal their own or other people’s personal details, such as addresses or telephone numbers or pictures.
  • Students will never use email to arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone.
  • Students will note that sending and receiving email attachments is subject to permission from their teacher.

 

Internet chat

  • Students  will  only  have  access  to  chat  rooms,  discussion  forums  or  other  electronic communication forums on the school’s internet resources that have been approved by the school.  These  forums  will  only  be  used  for  educational  purposes  and  will  always  be supervised.
  • Usernames will be used to avoid disclosure of identity.
  • Face-to-face meetings with someone organised via internet chat will be forbidden.

 

Social Media Websites:

  • Access to social media websites is blocked on school computers unless there is an educational purpose, in which case students will be closely supervised by their teacher.

 

School website:

  • Personal student information including home address and contact details will be omitted from school web pages.
  • The transition year students will maintain the social media accounts of Salerno Secondary (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) under the close supervision of their ICT teachers.

 

  1. Strategy in relation to student personal devices (phones,  i-pod, i-pad etc.)

The following expectations apply to the use of technological devices in the school.

Mobile phones/ Digital recording/ Playing devices

  • Devices are expected to be turned off before entering the classroom.
  • Devices will not be permitted into any examination.
  • The use of portable audio equipment during the school day is forbidden.
  • The camera and recording function of technological devices risks a potential invasion
  • of privacy and is strictly forbidden at all times. (Code of Behaviour, page 11).

 

  1. Sanctions:
  • It is expected that if a parent/guardian needs to make contact with their daughter during the school day, they do so through reception. If such a device is heard or seen in a classroom, the device will be confiscated immediately and only returned when a parent/guardian collects it from reception (Code of Behaviour, page 11).

 

  1. Role of Parents
  • It is expected that, as primary educators and protectors of their daughters, parents will inform themselves of child protection matters relating to internet safety and impress upon their daughters the need for absolute compliance with the terms of the above policy and proceedures.
  1. Review
  • This policy will be reviewed in May 2015.

 

Ratified by Board of Management 8th October 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.13 Student empowerment, involvement and representation

 

The school is fully committed to giving its students a very real sense of empowerment, involvement and representation in its daily life and decision-making processes. This is entirely in line with the Jesus & Mary vision, of St Claudine, that women would play an apostolic role in families, public life and the Church.

 

To bring this aspiration to reality, the school operates three formal layers of student empowerment, involvement and representation. These are Class Prefects, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl and the Students Council.

In addition to this, TY students also assist in the running of the “Sweetie π“ tuck shop as part of their business module in TY. TY students operate a rota to assist the caterer with the lunchtime  service.

 

Class Prefects

In early September each year, each sixth year class votes for their class prefects. Once elected, one prefect is appointed to a particular class in the school so that every class has a prefect. Prefects are also given badges upon being elected. The term of office for prefects is one academic year.

The special duties of the prefects are as follows:

  • Be available to fellow students in their allocated class group to discuss any issues or concerns.
  • To liaise with Class Tutors, Teachers and Year Heads if an issues or concerns arise.
  • To assist the school staff in certain tasks e.g. walking their class group to the school mass.
  • To act in a manner befitting the school’s tradition and good name when discharging all responsibilities.
  • To attend regular meetings with the Deputy Principal.
  • Prepare for and help with smooth running of Parent-teacher meetings.

She is assisted in these duties by the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl.

Should the prefect not carry out the specific duties in a responsible manner, the Deputy Principal may discuss the matter with her. If a problem persists, the Deputy Principal may appoint a new prefect in her place.

Should a student be suspended from school, she will not be eligible for election/appointment as a prefect in the following year. She must then serve a full year without suspension before becoming eligible for election/appointment to such positions.

Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl

In early September each year, all sixth year students are given a full sixth year list of names to vote for prefects, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl. The role and responsibilities of prefects, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl are explained and students vote. Once the votes are counted, the Principal and Deputy Principal meet with the students to appoint the prefects, Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl. The Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl are also given special badges upon being elected. The term of office for Head Girl and Deputy Head Girl is one academic year.

The Head Girl has the following responsibilities:

  1. To represent the student body at all major annual school events e.g. the start of year school mass.
  2. To represent the student body at other school events when invited to do so.
  3. To represent the student body at funerals of members of the school community.
  4. To bring any matters of student concern to the attention of the Principal or other members of staff.
  5. To serve as a member of the Students’ Council.
  6. To act in a manner befitting the school’s tradition and good name when discharging all responsibilities.
  7. To manage and liaise with prefects.
  8. To attend regular meetings with the Deputy Principal.
  9. To facilitate and organise with the prefects an annual fundraising event.
  10. To attend future school planning meetings to voice students’ opinions and concerns in the preparatory stages of policy making.

She is assisted in these duties by the Deputy Head Girl who will assume full responsibility for same in the absence of the Head Girl.

Should the Head Girl not carry out the specific duties in a responsible manner, the Deputy Principal may discuss the matter with her. If a problem persists, the Deputy Principal may appoint a Deputy Head Girl in her place.

Should a student be suspended from school, she will not be eligible for election/appointment as a Head Girl in the following year. She must then serve a full year without suspension before becoming eligible for election/appointment to such positions.

Students’ Council

The BOM has established a Students’ Council in fulfilment of section 27 of the Education Act, 1998.

The Board acknowledges the valuable contribution that students can make to the effectiveness of their school and considers their meaningful involvement in the operation of the school to be a valuable part of their education process.

The general objectives of the Students’ Council are:

  • To enhance communication between students, management, staff and parents.
  • To promote an environment conducive to educational and personal development.
  • To promote friendship and respect among students.
  • To represent the views of students on matters of concern to them

Future plans may include a role of support in the management and staff in the development by its representation on the School Planning Group.

 

Membership of the Students’ Council will be as follows:

  1. Two elected representatives from each year, second through sixth inclusive.
  2. Head Girl

The Students’ Council operates in accordance with its constitution for conducting its meetings and business. This constitution is included as an appendix.

Meetings of the Council will generally be held on a fortnightly basis at lunchtime.

The Students’ Council are also members of the National Second Level Student Council.

 

The BOM formally appoints those elected to the Students’ Council. The Board reserves the right to veto the appointment of an elected student to the Students’ Council if it considers such student to be incapable of serving in a manner that upholds the school’s good name and tradition.

The BOM, in accordance with principles of natural justice and fair procedure, is empowered, if it considers it necessary, to remove a member of the Students’ Council and to arrange for the dissolution of the Students’ Council.

The Student Council Members 2016-2017:

2nd Year
Aoife Campbell (Form 2)
Kate Henry (Rang 2)
3rd Year
Grace Joyce (From 3)
Sarah Maguire (Class 3)
TY
Neasa O’Connor (TY4)
Robyn Fitzgerald (TY3)
5th year
Juliet Cantillon (Group1)
Alanna Cameron (Group 4)
6th year
Donna Bergin (Group 1)
Clodagh Kelly (Group 3)
Louise Hosty (Head Girl)
1.14 Data Protection Policy

Introductory Statement

 

The school’s Data Protection Policy applies to the personal data held by the school which is protected by the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.

 

The policy applies to all school staff, the board of management, parents/guardians, students and others (including prospective or potential students and their parents/guardians and applicants for staff positions within the school) insofar as the measures under the policy relate to them. Data will be stored securely, so that confidential information is protected in compliance with relevant legislation. This policy sets out the manner in which personal data and sensitive personal data will be protected by the school.

 

Data Protection Principles

 

The school is a data controller of personal data relating to its past, present and future staff, students, parents/guardians and other members of the school community. As such, the school is obliged to comply with the principles of data protection set out in the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 which can be summarised as follows:

 

  • Obtain and process Personal Data fairly: Information on students is gathered with the help of parents/guardians and staff. Information is also transferred from their previous schools. In relation to information the school holds on other individuals (members of staff, individuals applying for positions within the School, parents/guardians of students etc.), the information is generally furnished by the individuals themselves with full and informed consent and compiled during the course of their employment or contact with the School. All such data is treated in accordance with the Data Protection Acts and the terms of this Data Protection Policy. The information will be obtained and processed fairly.

 

  • Keep it only for one or more specified and explicit lawful purposes: The School will inform individuals of the reasons they collect their data and will inform individuals of the uses to which their data will be put. All information is kept with the best interest of the individual in mind at all times.

 

  • Process it only in ways compatible with the purposes for which it was given initially: Data relating to individuals will only be processed in a manner consistent with the purposes for which it was gathered. Information will only be disclosed on a need to know basis, and access to it will be strictly controlled.

 

  • Keep Personal Data safe and secure: Only those with a genuine reason for doing so may gain access to the information. Sensitive Personal Data is securely stored under lock and key in the case of manual records and protected with firewall software and password protection in the case of electronically stored data. Portable devices storing personal data (such as laptops) should be encrypted and password protected before they are removed from the school premises. Confidential information will be stored securely and in relevant circumstances, it will be placed in a separate file which can easily be removed if access to general records is granted to anyone not entitled to see the confidential data.

 

  • Keep Personal Data accurate, complete and up-to-date: Students, parents/guardians, and/or staff should inform the school of any change which the school should make to their personal data and/or sensitive personal data to ensure that the individual’s data is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Once informed, the school will make all necessary changes to the relevant records. The principal may delegate such updates/amendments to another member of staff. However, records must not be altered or destroyed without proper authorisation. If alteration/correction is required, then a note of the fact of such authorisation and the alteration(s) to be made to any original record/documentation should be dated and signed by the person making that change.

 

  • Ensure that it is adequate, relevant and not excessive: Only the necessary amount of information required to provide an adequate service will be gathered and stored.

 

  • Retain it no longer than is necessary for the specified purpose or purposes for which it was given: As a general rule, the information will be kept for the duration of the individual’s time in the school. Thereafter, the school will comply with DES guidelines on the storage of Personal Data and Sensitive Personal Data relating to a student. In the case of members of staff, the school will comply with both DES guidelines and the requirements of the Revenue Commissioners with regard to the retention of records relating to employees.  The school may also retain the data relating to an individual for a longer length of time for the purposes of complying with relevant provisions of law and or/defending a claim under employment legislation and/or contract and/or civil law.

 

  • Provide a copy of their personal data to any individual, on request: Individuals have a right to know what personal data/sensitive personal data is held about them, by whom, and the purpose for which it is held.

Scope

Purpose of the Policy: The Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003 apply to the keeping and processing of Personal Data, both in manual and electronic form. The purpose of this policy is to assist the school to meet its statutory obligations, to explain those obligations to School staff, and to inform staff, students and their parents/guardians how their data will be treated.

The policy applies to all school staff, the board of management, parents/guardians, students and others (including prospective or potential students and their parents/guardians, and applicants for staff positions within the school) insofar as the school handles or processes their Personal Data in the course of their dealings with the school.

Definition of Data Protection Terms

In order to properly understand the school’s obligations, there are some key terms which should be understood by all relevant school staff:

Data means information in a form that can be processed. It includes both automated data (e.g. electronic data) and manual dataAutomated data means any information on computer, or information recorded with the intention that it be processed by computer. Manual data means information that is kept/recorded as part of a relevant filing system or with the intention that it form part of a relevant filing system.

 

Relevant filing system means any set of information that, while not computerised, is structured by reference to individuals or by reference to criteria relating to individuals, so that specific information relating to a particular individual is readily, quickly and easily accessible.

 

Personal Data means data relating to a living individual who is or can be identified either from the data or from the data in conjunction with other information that is in, or is likely to come into, the possession of the Data Controller i.e. the school.

 

Sensitive Personal Data refers to Personal Data regarding a person’s

 

  • racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or religious or philosophical beliefs
  • membership of a trade union
  • physical or mental health or condition or sexual life
  • commission or alleged commission of any offence or
  • any proceedings for an offence committed or alleged to have been committed by the person, the disposal of such proceedings or the sentence of any court in such proceedings, criminal convictions or the alleged commission of an offence.

 

Data Controller for the purpose of this policy is the board of management, Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno.

Rationale

In addition to its legal obligations under the broad remit of educational legislation, the school has a legal responsibility to comply with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003.

This policy explains what sort of data is collected, why it is collected, for how long it will be stored and with whom it will be shared.  As more and more data is generated electronically and as technological advances enable the easy distribution and retention of this data, the challenge of meeting the school’s legal responsibilities has increased.

The school takes its responsibilities under data protection law very seriously and wishes to put in place safe practices to safeguard individual’s personal data. It is also recognised that recording factual information accurately and storing it safely facilitates an evaluation of the information, enabling the principal and board of management to make decisions in respect of the efficient running of the School. The efficient handling of data is also essential to ensure that there is consistency and continuity where there are changes of personnel within the school and board of management.

 

Other Legal Obligations

Implementation of this policy takes into account the school’s other legal obligations and responsibilities. Some of these are directly relevant to data protection. For example:

 

  • Under Section 9(g) of the Education Act, 1998, the parents of a student, or a student who has reached the age of 18 years, must be given access to records kept by the school relating to the progress of the student in their education

 

 

  • Under section 20(5) of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, a principal is obliged to notify certain information relating to the child’s attendance in school and other matters relating to the child’s educational progress to the principal of another school to which a student is transferring

 

  • Under Section 21 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, the school must record the attendance or non-attendance of students registered at the school on each school day

 

  • Under Section 28 of the Education (Welfare) Act, 2000, the School may supply Personal Data kept by it to certain prescribed bodies (the Department of Education and Skills, the National Education Welfare Board, the National Council for Special Education, other schools, other centres of education) provided the School is satisfied that it will be used for a “relevant purpose” (which includes recording a person’s educational or training history or monitoring their educational or training progress in order to ascertain how best they may be assisted in availing of educational or training opportunities or in developing their educational potential; or for carrying out research into examinations, participation in education and the general effectiveness of education or training)

 

  • Under Section 14 of the Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004, the school is required to furnish to the National Council for Special Education (and its employees, which would include Special Educational Needs Organisers (“SENOs”)) such information as the Council may from time to time reasonably request

 

  • The Freedom of Information Act 1997 provides a qualified right to access to information held by public bodies which does not necessarily have to be “personal data” as with data protection legislation. While schools are not currently subject to freedom of information legislation, if a school has furnished information to a body covered by the Freedom of Information Act (such as the Department of Education and Skills, etc.) these records could be disclosed if a request is made to that body

 

  • Under Section 26(4) of the Health Act, 1947 a School shall cause all reasonable facilities (including facilities for obtaining names and addresses of pupils attending the school) to be given to a health authority who has served a notice on it of medical inspection, e.g. a dental inspection

 

  • Under Children First: National Guidance for the Protection and Welfare of Children (2011) published by the Department of Children & Youth Affairs, schools, their boards of management and their staff have responsibilities to report child abuse or neglect to TUSLA – Child and Family Agency (or in the event of an emergency and the unavailability of TUSLA, to An Garda Síochána).

 

Relationship to characteristic spirit of the School (School’s mission/vision/aims)

 

Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno seeks to:

 

  • enable each student to develop their full potential
  • provide a safe and secure environment for learning
  • promote respect for the diversity of values, beliefs, traditions, languages and ways of life in society.

 

We aim to achieve these goals while respecting the privacy and data protection rights of students, staff, parents/guardians and others who interact with us. The school wishes to achieve these aims/missions while fully respecting individuals’ rights to privacy and rights under the Data Protection Acts.

 

Personal Data

 

The Personal Data records held by the school may include:

 

A. Staff records:

 

  • Categories of staff data: As well as existing members of staff (and former members of staff), these records may also relate to applicants applying for positions within the school, trainee teachers and teachers under probation. These staff records may include:
  • Name, address and contact details, PPS number
  • Original records of application and appointment to promotion posts
  • Details of approved absences (career breaks, parental leave, study leave etc.)
  • Details of work record (qualifications, classes taught, subjects etc.)
  • Details of any accidents/injuries sustained on school property or in connection with the staff member carrying out their school duties
  • Records of any reports the school (or its employees) have made in respect of the staff member to State departments and/or other agencies under mandatory reporting legislation and/or child-safeguarding guidelines (subject to the DES Child Protection Procedures).

 

  • Purposes: Staff records are kept for the purposes of:
  • the management and administration of school business (now and in the future)
  • to facilitate the payment of staff, and calculate other benefits/ entitlements (including reckonable service for the purpose of calculation of pension payments, entitlements and/or redundancy payments where relevant)
  • to facilitate pension payments in the future
  • human resources management
  • recording promotions made (documentation relating to promotions applied for) and changes in responsibilities etc.
  • to enable the school to comply with its obligations as an employer including the preservation of a safe, efficient working and teaching environment (including complying with its responsibilities under the Safety, Health and Welfare At Work Act. 2005)
  • to enable the school to comply with requirements set down by the Department of Education and Skills, the Revenue Commissioners, the National Council for Special Education, TUSLA, the HSE, and any other governmental, statutory and/or regulatory departments and/or agencies
  • and for compliance with legislation relevant to the school.

 

  • Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept a secured, relevant filing system and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

B. Student records: 

 

  • Categories of student data: These may include:
  • Information which may be sought and recorded at enrolment and may be collated and compiled during the course of the student’s time in the school. These records may include:
  • name, address and contact details, PPS number
  • date and place of birth
  • names and addresses of parents/guardians and their contact details (including any special arrangements with regard to guardianship, custody or access)
  • religious belief
  • racial or ethnic origin
  • membership of the Traveller community, where relevant
  • whether they (or their parents) are medical card holders
  • whether English is the student’s first language and/or whether the student requires English language support
  • any relevant special conditions (e.g. special educational needs, health issues etc.) which may apply
  • Information on previous academic record (including reports, references, assessments and other records from any previous school(s) attended by the student
  • Psychological, psychiatric and/or medical assessments
  • Attendance records
  • Photographs and recorded images of students (including at school events and noting achievements). See the template “Guidance on Taking and Using Images of Children in Schools”
  • Academic record – subjects studied, class assignments, examination results as recorded on official School reports
  • Records of significant achievements
  • Whether the student is repeating the Leaving Certificate
  • Whether the student is exempt from studying Irish
  • Records of disciplinary issues/investigations and/or sanctions imposed
  • Garda vetting outcome record (where the student is engaged in work experience organised with or through the school/ETB which requires that they be Garda vetted)
  • Other records e.g. records of any serious injuries/accidents etc. (Note: it is advisable to inform parents that a particular incident is being recorded).
  • Records of any reports the school (or its employees) have made in respect of the student to State departments and/or other agencies under mandatory reporting legislation and/or child safeguarding guidelines (subject to the DES Child Protection Procedures).

 

  • Purposes: The purposes for keeping student records are:
  • to enable each student to develop to their full potential
  • to comply with legislative or administrative requirements
  • to ensure that eligible students can benefit from the relevant additional teaching or financial supports
  • to support the provision of religious instruction
  • to enable parents/guardians to be contacted in the case of emergency or in the case of school closure, or to inform parents of their child’s educational progress or to inform parents of school events etc.
  • to meet the educational, social, physical and emotional requirements of the student
  • photographs and recorded images of students are taken to celebrate school achievements, compile yearbooks, establish a school website, record school events, and to keep a record of the history of the school. Such records are taken and used in accordance with the school’s “Guidance for Taking and Using Images of Pupils in Schools” (see template)
  • to ensure that the student meets the school’s admission criteria
  • to ensure that students meet the minimum age requirements for their course,
  • to ensure that any student seeking an exemption from Irish meets the criteria in order to obtain such an exemption from the authorities
  • to furnish documentation/ information about the student to the Department of Education and Skills, the National Council for Special Education, TUSLA, and other Schools etc. in compliance with law and directions issued by government departments
  • to furnish, when requested by the student (or their parents/guardians in the case of a student under 18 years) documentation/information/ references to third-level educational institutions and/or prospective employers
  • In respect of a work experience placement, (where that work experience role requires that the student be Garda vetted) the School will assist the student in obtaining their Garda vetting outcome (with the consent of the student and their parent/guardian) in order to furnish a copy of same (with the consent of the student and the student’s parent/guardian) to the work experience employer.

 

  • Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept a secured, relevant filing system and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

C. Board of management records:

 

  • Categories of board of management data: These may include:
  • Name, address and contact details of each member of the board of management (including former members of the board of management)
  • Records in relation to appointments to the Board
  • Minutes of Board of Management meetings and correspondence to the Board which may include references to particular individuals.

 

  • Purposes: To enable the Board of Management to operate in accordance with the Education Act 1998 and other applicable legislation and to maintain a record of board appointments and decisions.

 

  • Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept a secured, relevant filing system and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

D. Other records:

 

The school will hold other records relating to individuals. The format in which these records will be kept are manual record (personal file within a relevant filing system), and/or computer record (database). Some examples of the type of other records which the school will hold are set out below (this list is not exhaustive):

 

Creditors

  • Categories of data: the school may hold some or all of the following information about creditors (some of whom are self-employed individuals):
  • name
  • address
  • contact details
  • PPS number
  • tax details
  • bank details and
  • amount paid.

 

(b)          Purposes: This information is required for routine management and administration of the school’s financial affairs, including the payment of invoices, the compiling of annual financial accounts and complying with audits and investigations by the Revenue Commissioners.

 

  • Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access. .

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept a secured, relevant filing system and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

Charity tax-back forms

 

(a)          Categories of data: the school may hold the following data in relation to donors who have made charitable donations to the school:

  • name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • PPS number
  • tax rate
  • signature and
  • the gross amount of the donation.

 

(b)          Purposes: Schools are entitled to avail of the scheme of tax relief for donations of money they receive. To claim the relief, the donor must complete a certificate (CHY2) and forward it to the school to allow it to claim the grossed up amount of tax associated with the donation. The information requested on the appropriate certificate is the parents name, address, PPS number, tax rate, telephone number, signature and the gross amount of the donation. This is retained by the School in the case of audit by the Revenue Commissioners.

 

  • Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access. .

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept in a secured, relevant filing cabinet and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

CCTV images/recordings

 

(a)          Categories: CCTV is installed in some schools, externally i.e. perimeter walls/fencing and internally as detailed in the CCTV Policy.  These CCTV systems may record images of staff, students and members of the public who visit the premises.

 

(b)          Purposes: Safety and security of staff, students and visitors and to safeguard school property and equipment.

 

(c)          Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.  

 

(d)          Security: Access to images/recordings is restricted to the principal and deputy principal.  Tapes, DVDs, hard disk recordings are retained for 28 days, except if required for the investigation of an incident. Images/recordings may be viewed or made available to An Garda Síochána pursuant to section 8 Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.

 

Examination results

 

(a)          Categories: The school will hold data comprising examination results in respect of its students.  These include class, mid-term, annual, continuous assessment and mock- examinations results.

 

(b)          Purposes: The main purpose for which these examination results and other records are held is to monitor a student’s progress and to provide a sound basis for advising them and their parents or guardians about subject choices and levels. The data may also be aggregated for statistical/reporting purposes, such as to compile results tables.  The data may be transferred to the Department of Education and Skills, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment and such other similar bodies.

 

Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.  

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept in a secured, relevant filing cabinet and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

October Returns

 

(a)          Categories: At the beginning of each academic year (and for 1st year or transferring students, on enrolment) parents/guardians and students are asked to provide the school with certain information so that the School can make returns to the Department of Education and Skills (“DES”) referred to as “October Returns”. These October Returns will include sensitive personal data regarding personal circumstances which are provided by parents/guardians and students on the basis of explicit and informed consent. The October Return contains individualised data (such as an individual student’s PPS number) which acts as an “identifier” for the DES to validate the data that belongs to a recognised student. The DES also transfers some of this data to other government departments and other State bodies to comply with legislation, such as transfers to the Department of Social Protection pursuant to the Social Welfare Acts, transfers to the State Examinations Commission, transfers to the Educational Research Centre, and transfers to the Central Statistics Office pursuant to the Statistics Acts.  The data will also be used by the DES for statistical, policy-making and research purposes.  However the DES advises that it does not use individual data, but rather aggregated data is grouped together for these purposes. The DES has a data protection policy which can be viewed on its website (www.education.ie). The DES has also published a “Fair Processing Notice” to explain how the personal data of students and contained in October Returns is processed. This can also be found on www.education.ie (search for Circular Letter 0047/2010 in the “Circulars” section).

 

(b)          Purposes: The school asks parents/guardians and students to complete October Returns for the purposes of complying with DES requirements to determine staffing and resource allocations and to facilitate the orderly running of the school.  The main purpose of the October Returns is for the DES to determine whether the student qualifies for English language support and/or additional resources and support to meet their particular educational needs.  The October Returns are submitted to the DES electronically.  The DES has their own policy governing the security of the data sent to them by all post-primary schools.  The co-operation of each student and/or their parents/guardians in completing the October Return is greatly appreciated as the school’s aim is to ensure that each student is assisted in every way to ensure that s/he meets his/her full potential.

 

(c)          Location: In a secure, locked office that only personnel who are authorised to use the data can access. Employees are required to maintain the confidentiality of any data to which they have access.  .

 

  • Security: Records are kept in a manual and computer format. Manual records are kept in a secured, relevant filing cabinet and computerised records are password protected in a secure office.

 

 

Links to other policies and to curriculum delivery

 

 

Our school policies need to be consistent with one another, within the framework of the overall School Plan. Relevant school policies already in place or being developed or reviewed, shall be examined with reference to the data protection policy and any implications which it has for them shall be addressed.

 

The following policies may be among those considered:

 

  • Child Protection Policy
  • Anti-Bullying Policy
  • Code of Behaviour
  • Mobile Phone Code
  • Admissions/Enrolment Policy
  • CCTV Policy
  • Substance Use Policy
  • ICT Acceptable Usage Policy
  • SPHE/CSPE etc.

 

 

Processing in line with data subject’s rights

 

Data in this school will be processed in line with the data subjects’ rights.

 

Data subjects have a right to:

 

(a)        Request access to any data held about them by a data controller

(b)        Prevent the processing of their data for direct-marketing purposes

(c)        Ask to have inaccurate data amended

(d)        Prevent processing that is likely to cause damage or distress to themselves or anyone else.

 

 

Dealing with a data access requests

 

▪      Section 3 access request

 

Under Section 3 of the Data Protection Acts, an individual has the right to be informed whether the school holds data/information about them and to be given a description of the data together with details of the purposes for which their data is being kept.  The individual must make this request in writing and the data controller will accede to the request within 21 days.

 

The right under Section 3 must be distinguished from the much broader right contained in Section 4, where individuals are entitled to a copy of their data.

 

▪      Section 4 access request

 

Individuals are entitled to a copy of their personal data on written request.

  • The individual is entitled to a copy of their personal data (subject to some exemptions and prohibitions set down in Section 5 of the Data Protection Act)
  • Request must be responded to within 40 days
  • Fee may apply but cannot exceed €6.35
  • Where a subsequent or similar request is made soon after a request has just been dealt with, it is at the discretion of the school as data controller to comply with the second request (no time limit but reasonable interval from the date of compliance with the last access request.) This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • No personal data can be supplied relating to another individual unless that third party has consented to the disclosure of their data to the applicant. Data will be carefully redacted to omit references to any other individual and only where it has not been possible to redact the data to ensure that the third party is not identifiable would the school refuse to furnish the data to the applicant.

 

 

Providing information over the phone

 

In our school, any employee dealing with telephone enquiries should be careful about disclosing any personal information held by the school over the phone. In particular the employee should:

 

  • Check the identity of the caller to ensure that information is only given to a person who is entitled to that information
  • Suggest that the caller put their request in writing if the employee is not sure about the identity of the caller and in circumstances where the identity of the caller cannot be verified
  • Refer the request to the principal for assistance in difficult situations. No employee should feel forced into disclosing personal information.

 

 

Implementation arrangements, roles and responsibilities 

 

In our school the board of management is the data controller and the principal will be assigned the role of co-ordinating implementation of this Data Protection Policy and for ensuring that staff who handle or have access to Personal Data are familiar with their data protection responsibilities.

 

 

Ratification & communication

 

The Data Protection Policy has been ratified by the board of management, Jesus & Mary Secondary School on: ________________________________________________________

 

The Data Protection Policy is available online or by request in writing to the board of management, Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Salerno.

Monitoring the implementation of the policy

The implementation of the policy shall be monitored by the principal and a sub-committee of the board of management.

At least one annual report should be issued to the board of management to confirm that the actions/measures set down under the policy are being implemented.

Reviewing and evaluating the policy

The policy should be reviewed and evaluated at certain pre-determined times and as necessary. On-going review and evaluation should take cognisance of changing information or guidelines (e.g. from the Data Protection Commissioner, Department of Education and Skills or the NEWB), legislation and feedback from parents/guardians, students, school staff and others. The policy should be revised as necessary in the light of such review and evaluation and within the framework of school planning.

 

Signed: …………………………………………………….

For and behalf of board of management

Date: ……………………………………

 

 

 

2. Curriculum

2.1 Curricular Provision

 

The school provides the following programmes of education for its students:

  1. The Junior Certificate Programme (3 years)
  2. The Transition Year Programme (which is optional)
  3. The Leaving Certificate Programme (2 years)
  4. The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme – optional as part of the Leaving Certificate Programme (final exam in 2017).

 

The overall provision is organised as follows:

  1. The Junior Certificate Programme ( 3 years)

` First year:

All students study the following subjects to examination level:

  1. Irish*
  2. English
  3. Maths
  4. History
  5. Geography
  6. Civic, Social, Political Education (CSPE)
  7. Religion
  8. French or Spanish
  9. Business Studies
  10. Science
  11. Home Economics or Art

 

The following non­examination subjects are also taken by all students:

  • Physical Education
  • Choir
  • Social ,Personal, Health Education (SPHE), incorporating Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE)

*except those with a DES exemption

 

2014/2015

2014/2015 marks the commencement of the gradual introduction of the new Junior Cycle Award (JSCA), a process that will not be completed until 2022. The new JCSA will see changes in every syllabus to incorporate certain key skills and statements of learning. Methods of assessment and certification will also change gradually.

 

Comprehensive information about these changes can be obtained on www.ncca.ie and www.juniorcycle.iehttp://www.juniorcycle.ie/

The only syllabus to change in 2014-2015 will be English.

New syllabi will be introduced into 1st year as follows:

 

September 2014 English
September 2015 Science
September 2016 Irish, Business
September 2017 Art/Craft/Design, French, German
September 2018 Home Economics, Music, Maths, Geography
September 2019 History, Religion

 

Curricular Planning/Co-ordination

 

Teachers of each subject area form themselves into departments. Each subject department appoints a co-ordinator each September who works in a voluntary capacity to fulfil the following responsibilities :

  • To act as a contact person for that subject department
  • To act as a spokesperson for that department
  • To convene meetings of subject departments
  • To keep records of subject department meetings

 

Subject Co-ordinators for 2016-2017 are as follows :

1. English             Carol Dunleavy
2. Irish             Maria Nic Diarmada
3. Maths             Jane Keenan
4. Spanish             Bridie Higgins
5. French             Danielle Waterstone
6. Business Studies             Ciara Lyons
7. Geography             Úna O Donoghue
8. Science             Alison Mulcahy
9. History             Maree Howley
10. Art             Sally McMahon
11. Home Economics             Paula Moran
12. Ag. Science             Claire Daly
13. Biology             Suzanne McGuire
14. Chemistry             Vicki Byrnes
15. Physics             Vicki Byrnes
16. Religion             Yvonne McNulty
17. CSPE             Brian Fogarty
18. SPHE             Tracey Wade
19. LCVP             Katie Sullivan
20. Economics             Brian Fogarty

 

Departments meet formally at least three times per year in accordance with a schedule set out in the school calendar.

The purpose of the meetings is several fold :

  • To eliminate the possibility of professional isolation that may be felt by individual subject teachers
  • To foster professional dialogue, debate and reflection
  • To plan for the changing and increasing demands on schools
  • To discuss resource requirements
  • To decide on booklists
  • To evaluate the quality of and approach to teaching and learning
  • To advise on student allocations
  • To empower subject teachers as educators and decision makers
  • To develop a sense of co-operation and collaboration
  • To assist in the delivery of school policies at classroom level

As well as working on a department basis, the following areas of the curriculum  have a specific Co-ordinator who works closely with staff and management in the development of the particular area :

Transition Year and LCVP : This Co-ordinator holds a post of responsibility (Assistant principal)

 

The Principal and or Deputy Principal maintain close contact with all departments and co-ordinators and seek to support teachers in every possible way in the discharge of their professional duties. This is done by holding meetings with all subject departments in the first term and at any other time if and when the need arises.

All subject departments have a detailed written plan that is updated annually and kept under ongoing review and development.

 

The Leaving Certificate Programme (2 years)

 

All students take the following subjects to examination level:

  1. Irish*
  2. English
  3. Maths
  4. French or Spanish

 

Students then select three of the following, also to examination level:

 

History Geography      Economics                   Home Economics

Business          Accounting      Biology                        Agricultural Science

Physics Chemistry        Art

 

In Fifth and Sixth Year students also have timetabled classes in the following non-examination subjects:

 

Physical Education

Religion (incorporating  RSE in 5th and 6th Year)

Guidance

 

*except those with a DES exemption

 

The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (2 years) – optional as part of the Leaving Certificate Programme

 

An option available to students at this level is to undertake the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) as a full school subject.

 

Spread over two years, the LCVP combines the academic strengths of the established Leaving Certificate with a new and dynamic focus on enterprise, the world of work and information technology. It promotes the skills and qualities of self-reliance, innovation and enterprise in an integrated programme that will prove relevant to the lives of students on leaving school for further education, for employment and self-employment.

 

General Points

  • It is a school policy not to stream classes in 1st Year. Divisions are subsequently made on the basis of the students’ selection of Higher/Ordinary/Foundation as the need arises.
  • The greatest possible level of choice is given to students when selecting optional subjects for 5th Year in that subject groupings are not pre-determined by the school but emerge following an annual consultation process aimed at satisfying the greatest number of students.
  • Students may avail of supervised study for 2 to 4 hours after school each day from Monday to Friday, and 10 to 1 on Saturday. Teaching staff supervise the study.
  • The school keeps under review the desirability and possibility of introducing new subjects to the school’s curriculum, subject to the provision and funding by the DES of all necessary resources.

 

Transition Year (TY)

 

The Salerno Transition Year Curriculum has been developed in accordance with The Transition Year Programme – Guidelines for Schools (Dept. of Education & Skills). The curriculum content and methodologies have been selected and adapted collaboratively by each subject department to suit the abilities and needs of the particular students.

 

The Transition Year Programme in Salerno offers pupils space to learn, mature and develop in the absence of examination pressure. There is a clear distinction between the Transition Year Programme and the corresponding Leaving Certificate syllabus. The curriculum offers a challenge to pupils in all areas of their development which includes intellectual content. On completion of Transition Year, students should be more equipped and disposed to study than their counterparts who did not have the benefit of this year. The curriculum is designed so that students become reflective young adults that are more prepared for the world of work.

A theme is decided upon at the beginning of the year and communicated to Transition Year teachers so that it can be incorporated into all modules. Such themes may be developed in order to introduce a concept that will be of benefit to the group of students and can be permeated collaboratively through the various subject modules.

 

 

 

 

 

Core subjects Sample senior subjects TY specific subjects
·          Irish

·           English

·           Maths

·           French / Spanish

·            History – Times Past

· Geography –Environmental Sustainability

·         Accounting – SAGE

·         Business – Dragon’s Den

·         Economics

·         Art Appreciation

·         Home Economics – Cookery

·         Biology

·         Chemistry

·         Physics

·  Religion – Faith & Personal   Development

·         Fitness

·         PAL –

Public Access to Law

·         Mental Health

·         Music Appreciation

·         Social Outreach

·         Toastmasters – Public Speaking

·         Information Technology

·         Creativity Class

·         Careers class – World of Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.2 Literacy and Numeracy Plan

 

  1. Rationale

In July 2011, Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairi Quinn, launched the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life 2011- 2020, to improve literacy and numeracy among children and young people in Ireland.

Minister Quinn stated “Without the skills of literacy and numeracy, a young person or adult is often denied full participation in society… This is why I am convinced that ensuring all our young people acquire good literacy and numeracy skills is one of the greatest contributions that we can make towards achieving equality and social justice in our country”.

In relation to this National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy and DES Circular 0025/2012, we at Salerno Secondary School, Galway, aim to ensure that we maintain a strong focus on literacy and numeracy skills, within a broad and balanced curriculum. As a JM school, we recognise the individual and unique abilities and needs of all our students, and as such, we endeavour to improve on each individual student’s literacy and numeracy skills, as a means of cultivating her language capabilities and her mathematical application to her potential. We acknowledge that a key element of equal education opportunities provision is the fostering of good literacy and numeracy skills which are essential to the life prospects of each person and vital for the quality and equity of Irish society.  Salerno Secondary School, Galway is committed to raising the standards of literacy and numeracy of its students in order that each student will master these crucial skills to the best of her ability so she can enjoy high levels of self- esteem and fulfilment.  This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.

  1. Definition of Literacy

Literacy includes the capacity to read, understand and critically appreciate various forms of communication including spoken language, printed text, broadcast media, and digital media.

  1. Definition of Numeracy

Numeracy encompasses the ability to use mathematical understanding and skills to solve problems and meet the demands of day- to- day living in complex social settings.

Numeracy is a proficiency which involves confidence and competence with numbers and measures. It

is more than an ability to do basic arithmetic. Numeracy encompasses the ability to recognise situations where mathematical reasoning and skills can be applied to solve problems and meet the demands of

day-to-day living in complex social settings. Numeracy is required for employment, facilitates an

understanding of public issues and it makes possible an appreciation of games and sports.  It requires understanding of the number system, a repertoire of mathematical techniques and an inclination and ability to solve quantitative problems in a range of contexts. It includes having spatial awareness and the ability to appreciate patterns and sequences. Numeracy also demands that the young person understands how data are collated through computation and measurement. Individuals need to be able to make sense of this numerical information and select appropriate ways to present it, in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.

See Appendix 1: Literacy and Numeracy Learning Outcomes for Students.

  1. Efficient Use of Assessment Data

In DES Circular 0056/2011, primary schools are directed from 1 June 2012, to send a copy of the end of year report card, including information from standardised tests in literacy and numeracy, of each student to the secondary school to which the student has enrolled. We at Salerno Secondary School aim to use this data effectively to assist in our self- evaluation of teaching and learning, specifically in relation to literacy and numeracy, and in drafting our school improvement plans.

This data will allow us to examine our students’ literacy and numeracy attainments from her testing in her primary school along with her testing in secondary school, therefore allowing us to identify how a student is progressing in literacy and numeracy. We aim to use this data as efficiently as possible, to inform and support our on-going improvement of attainments in literacy and numeracy.

We use E-portal to record all test results (mid-term, Christmas, Summer and State Exams) and graphically depict each student’s progress/ regression in Literacy and Numeracy.

 

  1. Roles of English, Maths and other subject teachers

A lot of the Literacy learning outcomes (in appendix 1) will be mainly facilitated by the English teacher (see appendix 2: Role of the English teacher) and the Numeracy learning outcomes facilitated by the Maths teacher (see appendix 3: Role of the Maths teacher). However, all subject teachers will incorporate a strong emphasis of literacy and numeracy skills into lesson and department plans (see appendix 4: Questions discussed by all subject departments at department meetings which is part of our self- evaluation practices and appendix 5: Roles of other subject teachers). All teachers will aim to foster a positive attitude in their students towards oral language, to Numeracy and to Mathematics. We will attempt to instil a love of and an interest in reading and we will encourage our students to use their literacy and numeracy skills confidently in all curricular areas. We will motivate our students to use their literacy skills for learning and communication. We hope that our students will enjoy using their

numeracy skills and apply them to learning, to help them make sense of and meet the demands of life at home, in paid work and for participation in community and civil life. We are committed to providing all students with one period of English and Maths every day, as is requested by the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy.

  1. Role of the Learning Support Department

 

The Learning Support Department will arrange for the administration, correction and analysis of results of standardised testing in Literacy and Numeracy in September in first year (and in second year when introduced nationally).

The Learning Support Department will also be responsible for the screening of in-take information and transfer data from primary schools (and previous secondary schools where applicable). The data that will come from the primary school will comprise of results of standardised testing in second, fourth and sixth classes and a copy of the final report card from sixth class. (DES Circular 0056/ 2011).

By analysing the results of standardised test results/ transfer data/ psychological reports etc, the Learning Support Department will identify students in need of support with developing their literacy and numeracy skills. The Learning-Support Department prioritises students who are performing at or below the 10th percentile on standardised tests of Literacy or Mathematics. The Learning Support Department will place significant importance on the development of literacy and numeracy skills when drafting these students’ Individual Educational Plans (IEPs). The Learning Support Department will also set targets for these students in relation to improving these skills. (See appendix 6: Activities to aid development in Literacy and Numeracy)

The Learning Support Department will share this information in a collaborative manner with subject teachers so that each teacher will be in an informative position to encourage and help students in all their subjects to develop their Literacy and Numeracy skills.

 

The Learning Support Department in Salerno Secondary School are going to the Literacy Awareness Day with the help of the Literacy Team.

They will encourage a period of DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) and they will organise a trip/ visit for first year students to/ from the school library. They are also continuing their “Paired Reading” initiative. These activities are intended to encourage a love of reading for enjoyment and in turn

improve literacy skills.

The Learning Support Department will also liaise with Senior Management for the arrangement of relevant Continuous Professional Development for teachers, which would assist with the implementation of improving literacy and numeracy outcomes for students.

  1. School Self- Evaluation:

In the academic year 2014/ 2015, we are aiming to self- evaluate:

  1. Our teaching approaches.
  2. Our students’ engagement with learning.

We will evaluate these two themes with specific focus on: literacy and numeracy.

The evaluation methods/ tools we may use at both whole- school level and subject- department level include:

✔   Eliciting views of students, parents and teachers by questionnaires/ focus groups/

interviews.

✔   Collaborative teaching and review.

✔   Teacher discussion and reflection.

✔   Peer observation of teaching and learning.

✔   Review of students’ work.

✔   Review of written plans.

✔   Student interviews.

✔   Analysis of information on students’ attainments and achievements with regard to each of the literacy skills.

✔   Comparison of the outcomes of standardised tests with national norms (when available).

✔   Analysis of information on students’ attainments with regard to numeracy skills and of

students’ attainments in Mathematics in the state examinations.

✔   Comparison of the outcomes of state examinations attainments and standardised tests with national norms (when available).

We will use the evaluation checklists from the SSE Inspectorate Guidelines for Post- Primary Schools, launched 19 November 2012. (See Appendix 7)

 

By using the above methods to self- evaluate, we are aiming to inform ourselves how we can best aid students’ acquisition of literacy and numeracy skills.

  1. School Planning Group and the Education Officer:

The school’s School Planning Group, in conjunction with the Principal, Sr Gerarda Lawler and Deputy Principal, Marie Flannery, will be responsible for monitoring all the aims in this policy. The School Planning Group (which consists of representatives from staff, parents’ and students’ associations), the Principal will support, encourage and assist teachers in the inclusion of explicit literacy and numeracy strategies into their department plans. It is each individual teacher’s responsibility to incorporate a strong emphasis of literacy and numeracy skills into their lessons. Teachers will attend in- service by the PDST (Professional Development Service for Teachers) and other relevant support services and will report back to the staff following such in- service.

 

  1. The Roles of Literacy and Numeracy Teams

Salerno Secondary School has already created a literacy team and a numeracy team. The roles of these teams are to research any ways in which whole- school approaches to the development of literacy and numeracy can be improved and advise and support all staff re the integration and inclusion of literacy and numeracy development into all subject areas. They will also set targets and review these targets on an annual basis.

 

The Literacy team comprises of:

Carol Dunleavy, Karen Lee, Stephen Gill, Carmel Doolan, Celina Long, Aisling Lynch, Una O’Donoghue.

The Numeracy team comprises of:

Jane Keenan, Claire Daly, Danielle Waterstone, Teresa McKnight, Richella Glancy,  Anne Gaffney, Claire Heneghan.

 

  1. The Targets of the Literacy and Numeracy Teams

 

Literacy Team Targets for 2014-2017

 

  1. Punctuation Flashcards

The team hopes to create flashcards with important punctuation and grammar rules so that they can be displayed on walls throughout the school. The aim here is to raise awareness of punctuation and grammar rules and improve students’ written work.

  1. Removal of signs with incorrect spelling and/ or grammar

The team is endeavouring to remove any signs they may see around the school which contain spelling or grammar errors. The aim here is to minimise students’ exposure to incorrect forms of written language and therefore encourage the use of correct language, hence improving literacy skills.

 

  1. Teaching of Key Terminology and Word of the Day

The team is advising all subject teachers to pre- teach difficult and key vocabulary prior to the commencement of a new chapter where possible. The aim here is to minimise students’ confusion by preventing their inaccessibility to subject terminology. The team is also investigating the possibility of introducing a “keyword journal/ vocabulary notebook” which students would use to record subject specific terminology. Teachers will introduce a new word on a daily basis to build on students’ vocabulary and word bank.

 

  1. First Year Literacy Test

The school administers the New Group Reading Test (NGRT) prior to students entering in first year. This allows teachers to learn about the individual strengths and/ or weaknesses of individual students.

 

  1. Newspapers/ Books/ Educational magazines

The team encourages all students to always have a novel in their schoolbag for use during study periods. This is being advised to aid the fostering of a love of reading for pleasure.

  1. Number of students taking Higher Level English in Junior Cycle

 

The national percentage for students taking higher level English in the Junior Certificate 2014 was

ng higher level English. This shows that we are at present above the national average. Therefore, we are aiming to maintain this high standard and develop it further, wherever possible.

  1. Literacy Awareness We ek

The Literacy Team will assist the Learning Support Department in February 2014 in organising a Literacy Awareness Week. Events that week will include a trip to the new local library for first year students, a period of DEAR for all students, displaying of literacy posters in permanent positions in first year rooms, encouragement of dictionary and thesaurus usage in all subjects, poster competition for first years, a “book swap day” (where English teachers allow their students to swap age- appropriate novels from home) and other events.

 

Numeracy Team Targets 2015-2018

  1. Maths week ideas

 

Planning for Maths week 2014/ 2015 is on-going and will commence this academic year with the Transition Year Maths teachers and students.

 

  1. Students to be awarded “marks” and have to calculate percentages

 

The team is also advising all subject teachers to award students “marks” only in tests. Then the student should be guided in class in how to calculate their percentage.

 

  1. Visual displays

 

The team then hopes to display posters in various parts of the school, particularly in first year classrooms. The aim is to answer questions that students regularly pose to Maths teachers and to encourage a positive attitude towards Maths and therefore help to develop an awareness of the importance of good numeracy skills.

 

The name of the tuck shop in the school  ‘Sweetie π’ was decided by the students last year as an appropriate name and used the mathematical symbol as a link to a subject.

 

  1. Number of students taking Higher Level Maths in Junior Cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

We aim to maintain the percentage uptake of Higher Level Mathematics:

  • Junior Cycle above 60%
  • Senior Cycle above 30%

This is in line with the desired percentage uptake from the Project Maths team.

Junior Certificate Students

Year 2011/2012 2012/2013 2013/2014
% HL

% OL

84%

16%

75%

25%

86%

14%

 

Leaving Certificate Students

Year 2011/2012 2012/2013 2013/2014
% HL

% OL

42%

58%

48%

52%

51%

49%

 

 

Appendix 1: Literacy and Numeracy Learning Outcomes for Students

 

Student Learning Outcomes for Literacy

 

A literate student may be able to:

  • use written language to express and reflect on experiences;
  • write a formal and informal letter;
  • write a report – a factual account of an event or situation;
  • respond to and make sense of a range of reading materials, literary texts, data and media sources including internet and digital media;
  • comment on the purpose, content and features of various advertisements and print media;
  • describe, reflect and respond to a novel, short story, poetry, play or a film studied;
  • review a novel, poem, play, film, song, or any other creative work studied;
  • produce an original piece of creative writing, drawing on either an external stimulus, or on imagination;
  • find and understand general and specific information from a variety of texts, e.g. signs, notices and instructions;
  • be aware of the significance of pictorial and printed symbols;
  • make appropriate use of written language when dealing with the normal demands of school and everyday life, e.g. use correct punctuation, address envelopes and cards correctly;
  • apply a range of higher-order skills and strategies for reading comprehension, e.g. retrieving, questioning, inferring, synthesising, critical evaluation;
  • use written or oral language to demonstrate the ability to listen and to retain information accurately, e.g. follow a sequence of instructions given by someone or summarise a story told by one or more people;
  • use the spoken word to accurately express opinions and experiences in a social context, e.g. leave a message on a telephone answering machine;

 

 

Student Learning Outcomes for Numeracy

 

A numerate student may be able to:

  • have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system;
  • recall mathematical facts confidently;
  • calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and with pencil and paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies;
  • use proportional reasoning to simplify and solve problems;
  • use calculators and other ICT resources appropriately and effectively to solve mathematical problems, and select from the display the number of figures appropriate to the context of a calculation;
  • use simple formulae and substitute numbers in them;
  • measure and estimate measurements, choosing suitable units, and reading numbers correctly from a range of meters, dials and scales;
  • calculate simple perimeters, areas and volumes, recognising the degree of accuracy that can be achieved;
  • understand and use measures of time and speed, and rates such as € per hour or kilometres per litre;
  • draw plane figures to given specifications and appreciate the concept of scale in geometrical drawings and maps;
  • understand the difference between the mean, median and mode and the purpose for which each is used;
  • collect data, discrete and continuous, and draw, interpret and predict from graphs, diagrams, charts and tables;
  • have some understanding of the measurement of probability and risk;
  • explain methods and justify reasoning and conclusions, using correct mathematical terms;
  • judge the reasonableness of solutions and check them when necessary;
  • give results to a degree of accuracy appropriate to the context.
  • is aware of materials, shape and space;
  • is aware of pattern and difference, classifying, matching, comparing and ordering;
  • recognises that she can effectively describe and explain her work through a balance of prose, diagrams, tables, graphs, charts, symbols and formulae;
  • make the transition from concrete, tactile, kinaesthetic abilities to auditory and analytical skills.

 

Appendix 2: The role of the English teacher may involve:

 

✔   fostering an enjoyment of reading among students;

✔   the explicit teaching of the structure and function of written and oral language;

✔   the explicit development of higher-order skills and strategies for reading comprehension (e.g. retrieving, questioning, inferring, synthesising, critically evaluating) in a wide range of contexts;

✔   the development of lower-order skills (handwriting, spelling, punctuation) and higher order skills and strategies (choosing topics, generating and crafting ideas, revising, editing) to support writing development;

✔   ensuring that there is systematic and explicit attention given to the teaching of a range of literacy skills in English including oral and aural skills, fluency, reading comprehension strategies, including the ability to respond critically, analyse, evaluate, describe, discuss, explore, reflect on, question and infer meaning.

✔   ensuring that systematic and explicit attention given to language awareness skills including functional and structural aspects of language, and competence in spelling, punctuation, sentence structure, paragraph organisation, awareness of the concept of style and knowledge of fundamental literary concepts.

✔   ensuring that there is systematic and explicit attention given to vocabulary development, writing skills and appropriate development of lower-order and higher-order skills, including the ability to express, explain, defend opinions, and to use language appropriate to context and audience in a range of literary forms;

✔   increasing the awareness of the importance of digital literacy;

✔   encouraging students to read for enjoyment, and to write and communicate in a range of authentic contexts for different purposes with a variety of audiences;

✔   being familiar with the various strategies, approaches, methodologies and interventions that can be used to teach literacy and numeracy as discrete areas and across the curriculum.

 

Appendix 3: The Role of the Maths Teachers may involve:

 

✔   including explicit literacy and numeracy strategies in the Maths Department Plan;

incorporating a strong emphasis of literacy and numeracy skills into maths lessons;

✔   being aware of the mathematical techniques / process skills which overlap from other subject areas and provide assistance and advice to other departments, so that a correct and consistent approach is used in all subjects;

✔   helping students to develop a deeper conceptual understanding in mathematics and the ability to apply mathematical concepts in a range of real-life every-day scenarios;

✔   assisting students in understanding and communicating information presented in mathematical terms;

✔   helping students develop their ability to explore, hypothesise and reason logically and to use a variety of methods to solve problems;

✔   ensuring the development of young people’s skills in carrying out procedures flexibly and accurately;

✔   providing opportunities for students to handle data in a range of contexts and to make and monitor decisions about the collection and representation of data;

✔   infusing language, thought and meaning into mathematics teaching;

✔   using open-ended challenging tasks that motivate young people to engage with problem-solving in a meaningful way;

✔   providing information to other subject teachers on appropriate expectations of students and difficulties likely to be experienced in various age and ability groups;

✔   seeking opportunities to use topics from other subjects in mathematics lessons;

✔   being familiar with the various strategies, approaches, methodologies and interventions that can be used to teach numeracy as a discrete area and across the curriculum.

✔   continuing to implement Project Maths;

✔    providing opportunities for students to acquire confidence and fluency in using mathematical language when deciding the mathematics and equipment to use, planning and organising work, conjecturing or hypothesising, generalising, explaining methods and justifying their use and presenting results and conclusions with reasons;

✔    providing opportunities for students to apply mathematical processes at a level commensurate with the mathematical content covered;

✔    providing opportunities for students to work collaboratively so that through discussion they can develop their mathematical language and organise their thinking for selecting mathematics and resources to judge their suitability for a range of applications, recording their work, discussing and evaluating their choices;

✔    planning regular opportunities to use mental computation to improve estimation skills, consolidate quick recall of table facts and prolong the students’ memory of computational skills and firm up their understanding in using these;

✔    providing access to a broad and balanced curriculum for pupils with special educational needs, ensuring that students experience work in all attainment targets

 

 

 

Appendix 4: Literacy and Numeracy questions in Department Plans. (SSE Guidelines, Nov. 2012)

Literacy Questions:

 

  • What are our strengths in the teaching of literacy in this subject? Are there any areas of concern?
  • How effective are we in further developing the reading skills of target students? What other strategies could be used to further develop the reading skills of these students?
  • How effective are we in providing opportunities for the development of oral language in our lessons?
  • What other strategies could be used for the further development of student oral literacy?
  • Do we maximise opportunities for the development of students’ writing skills in our lessons (structural aspects, writing process, a range of genres, writing for various audiences)? Are these opportunities effective? What other strategies could be used?
  • Do our teaching methodologies provide for the development of subject-specific literacy skills? What strategies could we use to further develop subject-specific literacy skills in our lessons?
  • What changes should we make to how we currently teach literacy skills in our subject area/ in the school?
  • What resources do we find most useful in supporting the literacy demands of our subject?
  • How effective is our approach to homework in consolidating students’ learning of literacy in our subject?

 

Numeracy Questions:

 

  • How successful are we in integrating the development of numeracy into our subject?
  • How closely do we collaborate with the mathematics department in planning our delivery schedule? Are we happy that our practice in carrying out calculations and other mathematical procedures and the use of mathematical symbols and terminology is consistent with that prescribed by the mathematics department?
  • What is working well?
  • Are there any problem areas?
  • What action can we take to improve?
  • How effective are we in developing students’ problem-solving skills in our lessons? Are there any difficulties? How can we improve the teaching and learning of problem-solving?
  • What strategies are most successful in enhancing the numeracy skills of students with special education needs?
  • What are the most effective teaching and learning strategies for further developing the numeracy of students with very good mathematics ability?
  • Do we provide opportunities for the assessment of numeracy when assessing students’ learning in this subject?
  • What resources, including ICT, are most useful in enhancing the teaching of numeracy in our subject? What changes should we consider in our practice to further facilitate numeracy development in our lessons?
  • How effective is our approach to homework in consolidating students’ learning of numeracy in our subject?

 

 

Appendix 5: Role of other subject teachers:

 

✔    incorporate a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy in lesson plans and the inclusion of explicit literacy and numeracy strategies into subject department plan;

✔   raise awareness of the importance of oral and written language in all its forms in lessons and foster a positive attitude in students to literacy and numeracy;

✔   incorporate specific reference to literacy and numeracy development in lesson and subject planning;

✔   work towards the development of lower-order skills (handwriting, spelling, punctuation) and higher order skills and strategies (choosing topics, generating and crafting ideas, revising, editing) to support writing development;

✔   increase the awareness of the importance of digital literacy;

✔    promote confident use of oral communication skills;

✔   encourage students to read for learning and leisure;

✔   be familiar with the various strategies, approaches, methodologies and interventions that can be used to teach literacy across the curriculum;

✔    identify what successful numeracy strategies are already embedded in current classroom practice, document what works well and plan incremental reconstruction of other strategies;

✔    incorporate a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy in lesson plans and the inclusion of explicit literacy and numeracy strategies into subject department plan;

✔   ensure that they are familiar with correct mathematical language, notation, conventions and techniques, relating to their own subject, and encourage students to use these correctly;

✔   identify and plan for the numeracy demands/opportunities within the subject (by topic/by chapter) and identify the connections with numeracy that are essential and meaningful;

✔   identify the numerical knowledge and skills required and be aware of appropriate expectations of students and difficulties that might be experienced with numeracy skills;

✔   provide information for mathematics teachers on the stage at which specific numeracy skills will be required for particular groups;

✔   provide resources for mathematics teachers to enable them to use examples of applications of numeracy relating to other subjects in mathematics lessons;

✔  become familiar with the various strategies, approaches, methodologies and interventions that can be used to teach numeracy across the curriculum;

✔   encourage a balanced practice between mental computation and the use of calculators;

 

 

Appendix 6:  Learning Support Activities

 

Literacy support may include the following –

 

✔   structured reading programmes

 

✔   targeted spelling programmes

 

✔   revision of phonics

 

✔   revision of spelling rules

 

✔   oral language skills

 

✔   comprehension skills

 

✔   punctuation skills

 

✔   reading for meaning

 

✔   prediction skills

 

✔   dictionary skills

 

✔   mind mapping

 

✔   mnemonics

 

✔   skimming, scanning

 

✔   memory games

 

✔   puzzles, word-searches and scrabble

 

 

Numeracy support may include the following –

 

✔   revision of fractions and decimals

 

✔   working out percentages

 

✔   revision of tables

 

✔   telling the time

 

✔   using a rough work sheet

 

✔   using the calculator

 

✔   sequencing skills

 

✔   rules for integers

 

✔   algebra basics

 

✔   puzzles and jigsaws

 

 

 

 

2.3 Library Policy in Salerno

 

History/ Background

 

In the 1980s the Salerno library was housed in what is now Room 9. With demands on space it was relocated to a corridor with locked shelving. This was obviously not conducive to student browsing or borrowing of books. In 2011, with the opening of the New Building, the library was relocated to the old prayer room on the first floor. The library underwent a major refurbishment in 2014, with new open shelving, new sections (history, reference, languages, classics, recommended reads, romance, crime-thriller, fantasy, horror, drama and poetry, younger readers, and general fiction) and a fresh new look.  The refurbishment was prompted by student and staff interest in reviving a culture of reading within the school, improving literacy standards and encouraging a love of reading for pleasure.

Stocking/ Donations/ Funding

 

A major campaign to restock the library was undertaken in 2014, with donations sought from parents, students, past-pupils and the community in general. Donors were encouraged to donate books that would be read and loved by our students.  We strongly stressed that it would not become a dumping ground for unwanted and unloved material. Alumni were encouraged to donate a book that they loved and to sign and date the book with the year that they left the school. One very generous past-pupil, who felt strongly about this, donated $1,000 for the purchase of books for the library.

The library is entirely dependent on donations and gifts from staff, parents, past-pupils and the business community.  Some of this donation was used to purchase all of the prescribed texts on the new Junior Cycle course and it is hoped that some of the Leaving Cert texts will be purchased also.

To help decorate the library some of the Junior Cert students donated their art project work and quotes related to literature adorn the walls.

 

 

Opening Hours/ Library Committee/ Management

 

The library is open on a Monday and Thursday from 1:30- 2pm. Teachers are also encouraged to bring their students to the library for a reading class, or to borrow a new book.

 

English teachers of first years bring their class to the library at the start of the year to introduce them to the library and give them a general orientation. Other year groups are brought to the library at various stages throughout the year.

 

Carol Dunleavy co-ordinates the Library Committee each year. There are representatives from all six years of students on the committee. The committee is responsible for the general running of the library, staff it on a rota basis; they also meet on a monthly basis to brainstorm and come up with ideas and strategies to improve the participation among the general student body.  Previous strategies include: a poster campaign to promote literacy within the school; the Read wall, where students would write reviews of books they liked, and committee recommendations within the library.

 

Events/ Use of Library/ Promotion of Literacy and Reading for Pleasure

 

There is a specific section of the library for recommended books and new arrivals, where students and staff recommend book that other students might enjoy.

This year, we are focusing on students reading for pleasure and are piloting a ‘Book in the Bag’ project, where all of the non-exam years are encouraged to have a book in their bag at all times to read if they have a supervision class or a few minutes at the end of a class.

 

Library Rules

 

  1. Students should not be in the library outside of the official opening times without the permission of a teacher.
  2. If a student wishes to borrow a book they must check out the book with a member of the library committee or a teacher.
  3. A card has been made for each student and it records all books borrowed and returned.
  4. Students will be allotted a ‘reasonable time’ to read the book though there is no set time. Students are encouraged to return books as promptly as possible.
  5. Books must be returned formally to the library committee or teacher on Mondays or Thursdays.
  6. Students are asked to return books in the condition they borrowed them.
  7. If a student loses or damages a book they will be fined the replacement cost.
  8. Books must be returned by the end of the school term.
  9. Respect must be shown to the library, its books and committee.
  10. Except in exceptional circumstances, only one book may be borrowed at any one time.

 

 

 

 

2.4 Homework Policy

  • Homework is given to enhance academic achievement through revision and recapping of material and work done in class. It consists of both written assignments and the learning of work done in class.
  • Homework consolidates work done in class. It is also a means to reinforce work and a method of encouraging repetition in order to promote learning.
  • The school expects that all homework will be completed on time and to the best of the student’s ability.
  • All homework given is to be recorded by students in their Journal.
  • Students are encouraged to spread their homework evenly through the week so as to minimise the risk of overload on any given night.
  • Teachers welcome students telling them if they have a number of tests on a particular day so that if possible that teacher may change the date of a test. Teachers also accommodate reasonable extensions for homework in situations where a student is under pressure.
  • Students who are absent from class due to school matches, medical/dental appointments are expected to find out from their colleagues what homework was set and to complete it on time.
  • As students differ in terms of their abilities and speed of completion of work, it is not possible to be specific as to the amount of time to be spent on a daily basis on homework by each individual student. However, the following general guidelines are offered:

 

            Year Hours per school day on homework and revision
1st Year 1 to 2
2nd Year 1.5 to 2
3rd Year 2 to 3
Transition Year Variable in accordance with project work
5th Year 3
6th Year 3+

 

  • Parents are asked to ensure, where possible, that students are afforded a suitable room at home in which to study. ie. quiet, adequately ventilated/heated and equipped with a suitable table and chair.
  • The school offers after school study to facilitate the completion of homework and revision. Students have the option of 2 hour, 3hour or 4 hour sessions. Saturday morning study is also available. The school attempts to keep the cost for this as low as possible.
  • There is also a homework club available to 1st years after school. Again the school attempts to keep the cost to parent/guardian as low as possible.
  • Parents and students should also ensure that part-time jobs held by students do not interfere with the full and proper completion of homework.

The Assignment of Homework for Special Needs Students

  • Any relevant information relating to individual students with special needs is given to staff by school management and/or the SEN team.
  • The Special Needs co-ordinator and Learning Support teachers work with individual teachers as required.
  • Special needs students are identified at Junior Cycle level. They may be assessed and appropriate support facilities put in place e.g. one-to-one tuition which may include help with homework, physical access to classrooms.
  • Each student’s experience and grasp of a subject is naturally going to be different. We don’t expect the same standards from all students. We encourage each student to develop to the best of her ability and to engage with her subjects at the appropriate academic level.

 

Assignment & Recording of Homework

  • Homework is assigned at an appropriate point in the class which varies.
  • A record of homework is kept in each Teacher’s Diary. This includes dates of homework given / corrected and records are kept of students who do not complete homework assignments.
  • Comments are given as feedback on returned assignments and verbally to students and at parent teacher meetings.

 

Motivation of Students to Produce Quality Homework

  • Ensure assigned task is recorded in journal.
  • Engage in dialogue to prepare students on how to approach homework.
  • Sample answers are provided.
  • Time is allowed in class for preparation of homework.
  • Provide written / verbal constructive feedback on homework submitted.
  • Provide positive reinforcement and praise for quality homework submitted.

 

Evaluation and Review of the Homework Policy

The Homework Policy is reviewed as part of the annual review of the Subject Department Plan or as issues may arise throughout the school year. Progress regarding the implementation and success of the policy is regularly discussed among teachers.

 

Action Plan for Developing the Homework Policy

The main focus of homework is to promote retention of information and application of skills that are taught in class. Teachers assign appropriate homework to students and ensure that each student records their homework in their journal. Homework completion and the performance of students is monitored and recorded. The success criterion of the policy is that teachers observe effective learning and achievement in class and exams due to homework completion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.5     Assessment Policy

Rationale

In Salerno our Assessment policy:

  1. Sets out to clarify the purpose and practice of assessment within our learning community
  2. Supports both Assessment for Learning (AfL) and Assessment of Learning (AoL) across all levels and year groups

What is Assessment for Learning?

Assessment for Learning helps teachers and students to focus on three key questions:

  1. Where are the students now in their learning?
  2. Where are the students going in their learning?
  3. How will the students get to the next point in their learning?

Providing feedback to students is central to Assessment for Learning (AfL). This feedback is based on evidence of how and what the students are learning. Feedback focused on the learning or task in hand, can help students identify their progress and achievements, pinpoint challenges they experience and, decide what the next steps should be. This level of involvement in shaping their own learning can heighten student’s awareness of themselves as learners and encourage them to take more personal responsibility for and, pride in their learning. AfL does not generally happen at the end of a particular piece of work or a period of time. It usually takes place in the day-to-day, minute-to-minute interactions between teachers and students.

What is Assessment of Learning?

In contrast, Assessment of Learning, (AoL), focuses more on medium and long-term assessment. AoL, generally involves assessing a student’s learning at the end of a given period, such as the end of a unit of work, a week, a term, or a year. The emphasis in AoL is on measuring a child’s cumulative progress towards curriculum objectives. A grade or a score is often the only feedback a child receives.

 

In summation, AoL:

  • Identifies a range of assessment methods used to gather information about student progress and achievement.
  • Supports the consistency on what information is recorded about student learning progress and how this information is shared with parents, teachers and other professionals.
  • Adheres to legislative requirements enshrined in:
  • The Education Act, 1998 which requires schools to regularly evaluate students and periodically report the results of the evaluation to the students and their parents.
  • The Data Protection (Amendment) Act, 2003
  • The Equal Status Act, 2000
  • The Education (Welfare) Act, 2000
  • The Education for Persons with Special Educational Needs Act, 2004
  • The National Strategy for Literacy and Numeracy (2011) Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and for Life 2011-2020.
  • Supports other school policies such as Inclusion for Students with Special Educational Needs, Whole-School Guidance, Homework and Literacy and Numeracy.

 

Definition of Assessment

 

Assessment is integral to teaching and learning and, is concerned with students’ progress and achievement. It involves gathering information to understand how each student is progressing at school and using that information to further a student’s learning.

We in Salerno believe that classroom assessment involves gathering, recording, interpreting, using and, reporting information about a student’s progress and achievement in developing his/her knowledge, concepts, skills and, attitudes.

Assessment, therefore, involves much more than testing. It is an ongoing process that concerns the daily interactions between the teacher and the learner that includes moment by moment conversations, observations and actions.

 

Purposes of Assessment

  1. To inform planning for all areas of the curriculum
  2. To gather and interpret data at class or whole school level and, in relation to national norms
  3. To identify the particular learning needs of students or, groups of students
  4. To enable teachers to modify their programmers and teaching methodologies in order to ensure that the particular needs of individual students or, groups of students are being addressed
  5. To compile records of individual student’s progress and attainment
  6. To facilitate communication between parents and teachers and about student’s development, progress and, learning needs
  7. To facilitate the active involvement of students in the assessment of their own work

 

Aims of this policy

The main aims of this assessment policy are:

  • To benefit student learning
  • To monitor student progress and attainment
  • To monitor learning processes
  • To gather and interpret data at class/whole school level and, in relation to national norms
  • To compile records of individual student’s progress and attainment
  • To generate baseline data that can be used to monitor achievement over time
  • To involve parents and students in identifying and managing learning strengths or difficulties
  • To facilitate communication between parents and teachers about students’ development, progress and, learning needs
  • To facilitate the involvement of students in the assessment of their own work
  • To identify particular learning needs of students or, groups of students
  • To enable teachers to modify their plans/approaches/methodologies to ensure that the particular learning needs of individual or groups of students are being addressed
  • To assist teachers in their short- term and long-term planning. Subject department plans are influenced by the information yielded from assessments and, support teacher judgment by specifying what  is to be learned by most students at the end of each year level
  • To co-ordinate assessment procedures on a whole-school basis

 

  • Types of Assessment used in Salerno
Type of Assessment Name of Assessment When Administered Administered By Whom Reporting Procedures
Standardised Cognitive Ability Tests (CAT)- 3. CAT 3 tests measure  three principal forms of reasoning- verbal, non-verbal and, numerical- as well as an element of spatial ability Pre –entry to First Year Learning support and Guidance Departments Over- arching profiling system
Standardised NGRT (New group Reading Test) September of 1st Year Learning support and Guidance Departments Over-arching profiling system
Standardised CII (Career Interest Inventory) 3rd Years January Career Guidance Deptarment Results in Guidance office
Standardised CDM (Career decision Maker) 6th Years, January Guidance Dept Student records
Summative/

Formative

Mid Term Assessments October and March

 

Subject Teachers Results entered into school system for students and parents and, for over-arching profiling system
Summative/

Formative

Christmas exams End of November/beginning of December each year Subject teacher Results entered into school system for students and parents and, for over-arching profiling system
Summative/

Formative

Summer exams End of May each year (except for 3rd Years and Leaving Certs) Subject teacher Results entered into school system for students and parents and, for over-arching profiling system
Summative/

Formative

Mock exams February (for 3rd Years and Leaving Certs) Subject teachers (Papers sourced from an outside company) Results entered into school system for students and parents and, for over-arching profiling system
Summative TY Module assessment October, December, May Subject Teachers Results recorded and reports sent home
Summative State exams June (3rd year and Leaving Cert) State Papers Results recorded and analysed against National norms
Summative/

Formative (depending on how the teacher decides to correct it)

End of chapter test/ periodic test throughout a chapter/test at the end of a few chapters or topic Any time throughout the year, at the discretion of the subject teacher Teacher Results recorded in teachers journals for use at the Parent-Teacher Meetings
Standarised Wide range Achievement Test (WRAT) At the discretion of Learning Support teacher Learning Support Private notes. Some forwarded to NEPS/RACE. Shared with relevant teachers
Standardised Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) At the discretion of Learning support teacher Learning Support Private notes. Some forwarded to NEPS/RACE. Shared with relevant teachers
Formative (AfL) Sharing of learning intentions with students At the beginning of each class or topic at the discretion of the class teacher Subject teacher Teacher observation notes kept privately in teacher’s journals
Formative (AfL) Comment-only marking Periodically, at the end of piece of work/test or project. At the discretion of the teacher Subject teacher Private notes kept by the teacher for use at Parent-teacher meetings
Formative (AfL) Peer or student self-assessment Periodically, at the discretion of the teacher Subject teacher Teacher observation notes kept privately in teacher’s journals
Formative (AfL) In-class questioning (based on Bloom’s Taxonomy) and homework tasks In most, if not every class, at the discretion of the teacher Subject teacher Private notes kept by the teacher for use at Parent-Teacher Meetings

 

Questioning and Bloom’s Taxonomy

In 1956, Benjamin Bloom headed a group of educational psychologists who developed a classification of levels of intellectual behavior important in learning. Teacher’s questions start at the bottom of this triangle which is known as lower order questioning. Depending on how far the teacher wants to push the class, he/she will move gradually up the triangle to make their questions stimulate a higher order thinking among their students.

 

Remembering: can the student recall or remember the information? Define, Duplicate, List, Memorise, Recall, Repeat, Reproduce, State
Understanding: can the student explain ideas or concepts? Classify, Describe, Discuss, Explain, Identify, Locate, Recognise, Report, Select, Translate, Paraphrase
Applying: can the student use the information in a new way? Choose, Demonstrate, Dramatise, Employ, Illustrate, Interpret, Operate, Schedule, Sketch, Solve, Use, Write
Analysing: can the student distinguish between the different parts? Appraise, Compare, Contrast, Criticise, Differentiate, Discriminate, distinguish, Examine, Experiment, Question, Test
Evaluating: can the student justify a stand or a decision? Appraise, Argue, Defend, Judge, Select, Support, Value, Evaluate
Creating: can the student create a new product or point of view? Assemble, Construct, Create, Design, Develop, Formulate, Write

 

When teachers question as above, they can ascertain how students are progressing which assists in identifying the next steps in learning.

 

Some Classroom strategies used in Salerno

  • Sharing Learning Outcomes on small whiteboards
  • ‘Comment only’ marking where appropriate
  • ‘COPS’ Strategy
  • Oral assessment through questioning
  • Peer assessment/ peer feedback.
  • Think, pair, share.
  • Exit slips

 

 

 

 

 

2.6 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION AND FAITH FORMATION

 

Relationship to School / Ethos / Mission Statement / Aims of School

Mission Statement

 

Salerno is an all girls Catholic secondary school with a strong Christian ethos. It is run by a Board of Management under the trusteeship of the Le Cheile Schools Trust, established by fifteen congregations one of which is the Congregation of Jesus and Mary.

 

The educational philosophy of the school is based on the vision of St. Claudine Thevenet, the foundress of the Sisters of Jesus and Mary. It recognises the importance of each girl reaching her full potential. This is achieved through the quality of education the students receive and by the witness of the lived there. The friendly and caring atmosphere of the school encourages and motivates students in developing good interpersonal relationships which promotes self esteem, mutual respect and consideration for others.

 

This policy is rooted in Salerno’s Vision Statement. In accordance with the school’s aims, Religious Education strives to promote the moral, spiritual, academic, social and personal development of the student. We endeavour to share and pass on an enlightened understanding of the faith, while fostering mutual respect and dignity.

 

Rationale for this School Policy

 

Religious Education and Faith Formation reinforces the ethos of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. Students and teachers strive to act in a just and caring manner conscious of the Christian community in which we work and learn.

 

Goals of this Policy:

 

(i) To ensure a growing awareness that faith formation belongs to the whole school community, with teaching of the subject falling to the Religious Education Teachers.

 

(ii) To encourage parents to take an interest in, and share responsibility for their child’s spiritual growth

 

(iii) That students would have a sense of God in their lives.

 

Roles and responsibilities in developing and implementing this policy

 

Board of Management:        

            –To approve the policy

-To ensure the policy is implemented.

-To receive reports from the Principal.

-To provide the necessary resources.

 

Principal/Deputy Principal: 

-To monitor implementation of the policy.

 

 

Chaplain:

-The school Chaplain is a faith presence and supports a lived ethos throughout our school community.

 

Staff:

To implement policy and to be aware that faith formation is not solely the preserve of the Religious Education class but happens in every area of school life.

 

Religious Education Teachers:

  • To implement policy.
  • To follow the junior cycle curriculum and senior cycle syllabus.
  • To co-operate with the school Chaplain in organising liturgical events for the school year.

 

Parents:

To actively support school policy on R.E. and Faith formation.

-To take responsibility for their own role in the faith formation of their children.

 

Students:

To be encouraged to be open to the presence of God in their lives.

-To attend R.E. classes and to participate in R.E. activities, such as retreats, etc. and faith formation programmes in a co-operative way.

-To actively participate in school liturgical events

 

Content of Policy

 

The Religious Education department recognises that parents are the first teachers of their children. In a spirit of partnership R.E. teachers seek to support the family and build on the foundation of faith nurtured in the home.

RE is a core subject on the school curriculum and is an integral part of the ethos of the school. All pupils are expected to participate in RE class and RE related school activities. The RE syllabus is a positive step forward in promoting understanding of other faiths as well as the Christian faith.

 

Religious education ensures that students are exposed to a large range of religious traditions and to non-religious interpretations of life. It has a particular role to play in the curriculum and in the promotion of tolerance and mutual understanding. There is allocated time on the timetable for RE and faith formation, and students of other faiths are encouraged to take part. If parents wish to exempt their child from RE class, they are expected to use this time to study something relating to their own religious tradition, for example, a sacred text.

 

Withdrawal of students from RE class can present the school with considerable logistical and supervision dilemmas. Therefore this needs to be negotiated with management and addressed during the enrolment meeting.

 

R.E. is an integral part of the core curriculum of the school whether examined through the National System or not. It includes a catechetical dimension as well as formal instruction in religious knowledge.

 

 

Programmes within the School:

 

At present, the content of the curriculum follows the Junior Certificate Religious Education syllabus for First, Second and Third year students. During transition year and senior cycle elements of the Leaving Certificate Religious Education syllabus are covered. Students are not being presented for state exams in Religious Education.

 

Content and Assessment of the Curriculum:  (See comprehensive R.E. department plan).

 

Allocation: Three classes per week are allocated to Junior Cycle and 5th Year students, with one classes per week to Leaving Certificate students. Transition Year students partake in a 10 week module in Faith Development and a 10 week module in Social Outreach.

 

Management ensures that:

 

-Quality time is give to R.E. on the time-table.

 

-The financial allocation to R.E. is comparable with other major curricular areas and that the specialised needs of R.E. are being answered by allocation of accommodation and other resources.

 

-The school employs an adequate number of teachers who have the specialised qualifications to meet the needs of R.E. and Faith formation.

 

-Provision is made for the ongoing training and development of all involved in the delivery of Religious Education and Faith development.

 

-Regular liturgical, sacramental and prayer experiences are provided for students and staff.

-Opportunities are provided for families to attend annual Opening liturgy, Leaving Cert. Graduation Mass and the paraliturgies.

-The prayer room is a sacred place reserved for religious activities.

-Students are encouraged to develop their sense of social awareness and to work for justice and peace. They are led to an awareness of the plight of the poor and marginalised in our world, through their work with various charities.

-Retreat opportunities are provided for First Year, Transition Year and Leaving Certificate students annually.

-As of this year it is anticipated that other year groups will get the opportunity to avail of a retreat.

 

Within the R.E. department there is a supportive spirit of collaboration between the specialist R.E. teachers, colleagues who teach one or more R.E. classes, the Pastoral Care team and the school Chaplain. Furthermore, the school works in partnership with the priests and parish teams in a spirit of pastoral collaboration.

 

Performance Criteria

-Time given to Religious Education

 

-Activities associated with Religious Education

 

Person(s) / Group responsible for monitoring the implementation of this  Policy

Religious Education Department in conjunction with Principal and Deputy Principal.

 

Signed:_______________________

Date:_________________________

 

Tutor, Year Head and Pastoral Care Team

The school places great emphasis on its Tutor system. It acknowledges that Tutors undertake the resultant increased responsibilities on a purely voluntary basis.

At the start of each school year, a Tutor is assigned by the Principal to each class group.

Each class group will be allocated a base room for the year by the Principal.

The essential role of the Tutor is to take a pastoral interest in each student’s welfare and progress in school. S/he will get to know students sufficiently well to relay information to the year head.

There are certain duties a Year Head must fulfil. Year Heads are responsible for:

  • the welfare and pastoral needs of the students in the year group and co-ordinate work of Class Tutors as applicable to Year Group.
  • forging a special relationship with the Year Group in order to be in position to detect any issues (i.e.: Bullying..etc.) as they arise.
  • monitoring attendance and punctuality in accordance with school policy.
  • consulting with teachers in an effort to monitor the academic progress of students in the year group
  • dealing with discipline issues in accordance with school Code of Behaviour.
  • signing reports and liaising with the Principal/Deputy Principal in the preparation of reports for parents.
  • linking with parents when necessary re students in the Year Group.
  • being available to class teachers for consultation.
  • organising student records where applicable and passing them on if appropriate at the end of the year.
  • calling and attending meetings of the pastoral care team/class teachers/year teachers as needed.
  • scheduling and presenting such reports on students as may be needed or whenever such reports are required.
  • ensuring that State Examination forms are accurately filled and returned on time to the State Examinations Commission, where applicable.
  • preparing a simple Report at the end of the year for presentation to the Board of Management

To ensure that all students in the school receive the necessary support at difficult times in their lives, the Pastoral Care Team (PCT) meets weekly to review particular cases and to allocate support. The PCT also addresses any general issues concerning the welfare of students.

The Pastoral Care Team comprises of the Principal (chair), Deputy Principal, Year Heads, Guidance Counsellors and Chaplain.

The PCT liaises closely with the relevant Tutors and subject teachers and reports on its work on a need-to-know basis.

The PCT will be the primary body for determining the school’s prompt, caring and supportive response to any critical incident that may occur.
Chaplaincy

 

The School Chaplain is a faith presence in the school community. She is involved in all aspects of the life of the school community, ‘on hand’ for students, staff, families and past pupils.

Chaplaincy is about ‘being there’ for the whole school community – meeting students on a one to one basis and/or in small groups – there to listen and to support them, in all that life brings up for them.

 

She accompanies members of the school community on their journey through life. The chaplain’s non-disciplinary role in the school enables her to develop a relationship of trust with the students and staff. She responds to the spiritual and religious needs of the students and the whole school community respecting the denominational, religious and personal convictions of all.

 

To create a school community where each one feels a sense of belonging and is respected and valued, she works closely with all members of staff, with the Principal and Deputy, R.E. Department, teachers and pupils.  She participates in activities which relate to the well-being and development of the school community, e.g. year head meetings, staff meetings, school planning, evaluation and in-service.

The  chaplain has a pivotal role in the school’s response to any emergency or critical incident, e.g. death of a member of the school community. She is also a member of the Pastoral Care Team.

 

The school chaplain exercises her pastoral role by:

 

  • Personal contact with individual students
  • Access to class and small groups
  • Provision of liturgical services
  • Responding to the day-to-day pastoral needs of the students
  • Maintaining a lively interest in the recreational, cultural and outreach activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.7 Extra Curricular Activity

 

The school is very committed to the development of the full range of each student’s talents and aptitudes. To this end, a wide selection of activities outside the regular school timetable is offered, including:

 

  • Debating /Public Speaking
  • Quizzes
  • Hockey
  • Basketball
  • Badminton
  • Athletics
  • Gaelic Football
  • Soccer
  • Golf
  • Swimming
  • Equestrian Events
  • Educational Tours/Field Trips
  • Educational Tour Abroad- 5th Year only
  • Outdoor Pursuits
  • Supervised Internet Access
  • Musical
  • BT Young Scientists Exhibition
  • Green Schools
  • School Magazine
  • School Shop
  • School Library
  • Student Council
  • Business Club
  • Computer Club
  • Public Access to Law TY Module

 

 

3. School Management and Organisation

3.1 In-school management structures (September 2016)

 

Revised In-School Management (ISM) structures were introduced in secondary schools in 1998 following negotiations between the JMB, ASTI and DES.

ISM seeks to match the responsibilities of those teachers holding such posts to the central tasks of the school in a manner that is both clear and specific. It provides teachers with the opportunity to assume responsibility in the school for instructional leadership, curriculum development, management and development of staff as well as for the academic and pastoral work of the school.

At present, the school has the following numbers of in-school management positions:

5   Assistant Principals,

4 Special Duties positions,

1 Programme Co-Ordinator of Transition Year and LCVP (LCVP is finishing in 2017).

 

The duties attaching to these posts are as follows:

Principal:   Sr Gerarda Lawler

The Principal will perform the duties set of in sections 19, 22, 23 and 26 of the Education Act 1998 and in sections 11, 14, 18, 20, 21, 23 and 25 of the Education (Welfare) Act 2000.

The Principal acts as Secretary to the BOM.

Specific areas of responsibility of the Principal are as follows:

Academic matters:

  • Organising the school calendar for ratification by the Board of Management.
  • Timetabling of classes.
  • Allocation of teachers to classes.
  • Deciding on subject options.
  • Deciding on the school’s examinations policy.
  • Approving guest speakers for students.
  • Approving school tours and outings.
  • Deciding on the suitability of programmes offered by external sources.
  • Deciding on and giving approval for extra-curricular activities.

Students:

  • Ensuring the students are familiar with the school’s Code of Behaviour.
  • Designated Liaison Person for Child Protection
  • Allocating students to classes.
  • Creating a supportive environment,
  • Organising a system of pastoral care.
  • Adjudicating in disputes between teachers and students.
  • Arranging for the keeping of attendance records.
  • Maintaining contact with parents in relation to student behaviour.
  • Evaluating academic performance and reporting to students and parents.
  • Suspending students for serious breaches of discipline.
  • In co-operation with the Deputy Principal, being “on-call” to assist supervising teachers before school each morning, at break time and at lunch time.
  • Supporting the Students’ Council in its role.

Staff:

  • Appointing non-teaching staff.
  • Assigning duties to teachers and ancillary staff.
  • Guidance and direction of teachers and other staff.
  • Monitoring the performance of newly-appointed teachers and other staff so as to be in the position to advise the Board to their suitability.
  • Disciplining/suspending non-teaching staff.
  • Liaising with the ASTI steward and Staff Representatives on matters relating to the school.
  • Consultation with staff wherever practicable.
  • Overall responsibility for monitoring fire drill once a term.
  • Regular liaising  with Care Team, Year Heads and or Tutors and SEN team

Parents:

  • Providing parents with a copy of the school’s Code of Behaviour before registering a child as a student.
  • Obtaining the parents’ consent to the school’s Code of Behaviour.
  • Organising the time, date and format of Parent-Teacher meetings.
  • Organising events which encourage parents to maintain contact with the school.
  • Liaising closely with the parents association
  • Available to meet with parents regarding student issues/problems

Public Relations:

Organising coverage in the media of important school announcements and events, in consultation with the Board of Management and staff.

Organisation of school book lists:

Preparation of book lists for all students and the publication of such lists on the school website

 

Deputy Principal:     Ms Marie Flannery

The roles and duties of the Deputy Principal are outlined in DES Circular 4/98.

The Deputy Principal works with the Principal to form the school’s senior management team.

In this school, the Deputy Principal has the following specific professional duties:

E-Portal System:

  • Liaising with secretary to provide staff with daily lists of absent students from the E-Portal system.
  • Overall monitoring of students’ attendance and compliance with the requirements of the E-Portal system.
  • Ensuring reports are filled in, signed and checked by the relevant  Year Head at mid-term, Christmas and following mock examinations.

Supervision and Substitution:

  • Organisation of supervision and substitution rotas in compliance with the DES circular 0006/2014
  • In co-operation with the Principal, being “on call” to assist supervising teachers before school each morning, at break time and lunch time.

Reasonable accommodation in State examinations:

  • Co-operating with the SEN team, teachers, parents/guardians and the Principal to identify students in respect of whom special arrangements need to be made in Junior and Leaving Certificate examinations on the following grounds:
  1. Specific learning difficulty.
  2. Visual difficulty.
  3. Hearing difficulty
  4. Physical difficulty.

 

Other Duties:

  • Assisting the Principal in the day-to day management of the school
  • Deputising for the Principal in her absence
  • Developing and planning the school curriculum in conjunction with the Principal and career guidance teacher and determining the subject choices for first and fifth year students
  • Deputy Liaison Person for Child Protection
  • Lead the Planning Team in the development of school policy and SSE
  • Dealing with student discipline in accordance with the Code of Behaviour
  • Being available to staff members regarding issues or problems affecting school life and working with them to deal with such issues or problems
  • Being available to parents to discuss their daughter’s wellbeing both academically and emotionally
  • Being available to students regarding issues or problems they may be facing
  • Organising election of school prefects, assigning them class groups and holding weekly meetings with prefect group
  • Induction of student teachers and new staff members and weekly meetings to facilitate their teaching and learning in their new environment
  • Weekly meetings with Year Heads, SEN Team and Care Team to identify students and or problems/issues that may  need attention

Assistant Principals

Assistant Principal 1: Maree Howley, Year Head 5th Years

Assistant Principal 2: Maureen Gallagher, Year Head 3rd Years

Assistant Principal 3: Carol Dunleavy, Year Head Leaving Certs

Assistant Principal 4: Siobhan O’Connor, Transition Year Head

Assistant Principal 5: Celina Long, SEN Co-ordinator

The duties of Year Head include:

  • Responsibility for the welfare and pastoral needs of the students in the year group and co-ordinate work of Class Tutors as applicable to Year Group.
  • Forging a special relationship with the Year Group in order to be in position to detect any issues (eg. Bullying etc.) as they arise.
  • Monitoring attendance and punctuality in accordance with school policy
  • Consulting with teachers in an effort to monitor the academic progress of students in the year group
  • Dealing with discipline issues in accordance with school Code of Behaviour.
  • Signing reports and liaising with the Principal/Deputy in the preparation of reports for parents.
  • Linking with parents when necessary re students in the Year Group.
  • Being available to class teachers for consultation
  • Organising student records where applicable and passing them on if appropriate at the end of the year.
  • Call and attend meetings of the pastoral care team/class teachers/year teachers as needed. Schedule and present such reports upon students as may be needed or at any time required.
  • Where applicable, taking responsibility to ensure that State Examination forms are returned to the State Examinations Commission accurately filled in and on time.
  • Preparing a simple Report at the end of the Year for presentation to the Board of Management.

 

The duties of SEN Co-ordinator include:

  • Devise a system, in collaboration with the Special Needs Team, for the early detection and identification of all students with special need requirements in the school.
  • Be alert for incoming students to the school where special needs are indicated.  This may include liaising with teachers in feeder schools with a view to gathering information such as previous assessments.
  • In association with the Principal/Deputy, organising extra resources for students with appropriate teachers in accordance with the Special Needs Policy and where resources permit.
  • The organisation and facilitation of regular meetings with the teachers involved in Special Needs in order to monitor the progress   and welfare of the students.
  • Reporting to staff when necessary regarding special needs students.
  • Arrange for special accommodation in relation to centres, readers, equipment and attendants, for State Exams.
  • Liaise with parents with regard to the welfare of Special Needs Students, and co-ordinating the creation of each student’s IEP (Individual Education Plan).
  • Liaising with SNA Personnel where necessary and appropriate.
  • Ensuring the timely submission of data to the DES and SENO relating to Special needs students and liaising with psychologists/reports.
  • Be alert to in-service and other curricular opportunities offered by external organisations in the area of Special Needs.

 

Special Duties Teachers

Attendance 1: Anne Gaffney,

Sports co-ordinator: Kathleen Morley

Attendance 2: Teresa McKnight,

Liturgical Co-ordinator: Paula Moran

 

Attendance Monitors

Duties include:

  • Daily monitoring of student attendance.
  • Email and telephone contact with parents over student absence.

Programme Co-ordinator (Transition Year and LCVP): Katie Sullivan

School Secretary: Katie Conneelly

Duties Include (this is not an exhaustive list):

  • PA to the Principal.
  • Updating the school website.
  • Emailing the teaching staff.
  • Maintaining school supplies.
  • Communication with outside parties.
  • Management of the school’s E-Portal system.

 

 

 

 

 

3.2 Policy on Placement of Student Teachers

 

1     Introduction

The Board of Management of Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno acknowledges the following regarding initial teacher education and the role of school placement in this process.

  • Positive school placement experiences are critical to ensuring appropriate initial teacher education for all student teachers.

 

  • Close collaboration between schools and HEIs is essential to positive and meaningful school placement experiences for student teachers.

 

  • It is desirable that schools host student teachers for placement and, in doing so, provide student teachers with the opportunity to observe teaching and to teach classes independently, in collaboration with suitably qualified practicing teachers.

 

  • In the course of school placement, student teachers require the support of the whole-school community in their journey towards professional competence.

 

  • Hosting student teachers on placement is enriching for the learners in a school, student teachers, co-operating teachers, the wider school community and HEIs. In particular, learners benefit from a greater variety of teaching, learning and co-curricular experiences through the structured participation of student teachers in the school. Furthermore, the school gains access to a variety of newer approaches to teaching and learning through its engagement with student teachers and HEI staff.

 

  • HEI placement tutors benefit from partnership experiences with schools and from being in the actual setting of a school during visits to student teachers.

 

2    Development of Policy

This policy was developed by the Board of Management following consultations with all members of the school community – school management, teachers and other relevant staff, parents, students and the school patron.

 

3    Commitment to hosting student teachers

Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno is committed to hosting student teachers for school placement and, in this context, adopts without modification as part of this school placement policy the Guidelines on School Placement developed by the Teaching Council in consultation with all relevant education partners.

 

4    Implications for the school hosting student teachers on placement

Hosting a student teacher on placement will, inter alia, involve the student teacher observing classes and being taught by members of the school’s teaching staff. It will also involve student teachers teaching classes, in the first instance, while being observed and supported by the teacher with primary responsibility for the welfare and educational progress of the class (the co-operating teacher). Then, as the student teacher’s competence develops, the student teacher will move to teaching classes independently in line with HEI requirements and the student teacher’s particular stage of development on the ITE programme.

 

5    Scheduling of student teachers on placement

The Deputy Principal, or staff members to whom this task is delegated, will allocate student teachers to

co-operating teachers and classes, having regard for: the stage the student teacher is at in his/her initial teacher education programme: the particular needs of the learners in a particular class; the requirement for the student teacher to experience an appropriate range of placement contexts; and any special circumstances of which the co-operating teacher has an awareness.

 

6    Induction of student teachers on placement

Student teachers will, prior to commencing their placement, be provided with an orientation to the key personnel, ethos and work of the school. This orientation shall involve student teachers being provided with an information pack that will include details of key school policies, in particular the school’s Student Code of Behaviour, Child Protection, Health and Safety, Homework and Student Teacher Placement Policies.

 

7    Supports for the student teacher

The school community is committed to supporting positively and sensitively the student teacher in accordance with the Guidelines on School Placement developed by the Teaching Council in consultation with all relevant education partners. Furthermore, the school is committed to allocating the student teacher to (an) appropriate co-operating teacher(s) and to the classes essential to him/ her undertaking his/her school placement successfully. The school will also provide the student teacher with the teaching facilities and resources necessary to his/her work during the placement.

 

8     Continuing professional development for staff involved in supporting/ facilitating student teacher placement

The school management authority and the school’s senior management are committed to promoting and facilitating the participation of school staff in continuing professional development programmes essential to ensuring the successful operation of student teacher placement in the school.

 

9     Communication of school placement policy to school community

 

A copy of the school placement policy is made available to school personnel and the parents association and the policy is readily accessible to parents on request. In particular, a copy of the policy shall be published on the school website.

 

10   Policy reviews

This policy will be reviewed by the school management authority periodically.

 

11   Date of policy adoption

This policy was adopted by the Board of Management on  _      [date]

 

Signed:  _               Signed:  _       

 

Chairperson of Board of Management     Principal

 

Date:  _                  Date:   _         
Date of next review: September 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.3 Sexual Harassment Policy

 

Introduction

The school recognises that all employees have the right to a work place free from sexual harassment and is fully committed to ensuring that all employees are able to enjoy that right. Sexual harassment is prohibited under the Employment Equality Act 1998.

Complaints of sexual harassment must always be treated seriously and dealt with in a sensitive manner. There is a responsibility on all employees to ensure a work place free from sexual harassment for all other employees, and to be aware of this Policy.

Management shall be required to implement this Policy and set a standard of behaviour by their own example. Any complaints of sexual harassment shall be fully and properly investigated and, if substantiated, will be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. An attempt will be made to resolve the complaint informally in the first instance but if this is not possible, a formal procedure will be invoked. Confidentiality will be ensured, insofar as is possible, at all times during the investigation for all parties involved.

 

Definition of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment means unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on a person’s sex which affects the dignity of men and women at work.

Examples of sexual harassment Include:

  1. Unwanted physical or verbal advances.
  2. Unwanted touching or physical gestures.
  3. Comments and remarks of a sexual or discriminatory nature,
  4. Unwelcome comments about personal appearance.
  5. Demands of sexual favours.
  6. Displays of pin-ups and pornographic material,
  7. Innuendoes of a sexual nature or based on a person’s sex.

This list is not exhaustive.

Sexual harassment may be perpetrated by a superior, a subordinate, a colleague or a non-employee and may take place outside the work place. The degree of control available to the employer in this particular circumstance will be relevant.

 

School Commitment to Cultivate an Environment Free from Sexual Harassment
The school recognises that all employees have the right to a work place free from sexual harassment and is fully committed to ensuring that all employees and students are able to enjoy that right and that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
Management shall be required to implement this Policy and set a standard of behaviour by their own example. Any complaint of sexual harassment shall be fully and properly investigated and, if substantiated, will be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. An attempt will be made to resolve the complaint informally in the first instance but if this is not possible, a formal procedure will be invoked.

Confidentiality will be ensured, insofar as is possible, at all times during the investigation for all parties involved. The school authority is committed to providing an environment free from sexual harassment and ensuring that such behaviour by employees or students is not tolerated. This includes:

  1. Sexual harassment of one staff member (teaching or non- teaching) by another staff member (teaching or non-teaching) will not be tolerated and is contrary to school policy.
  2. Sexual harassment of one student by another student, or of one staff member (teaching or non-teaching) by a student will not be tolerated and is contrary to school policy,
  3. Sexual harassment of a student by a staff member (teaching or non-teaching) will not be tolerated. It is contrary to school policy and is a serious abuse of authority.

 

Employees’ Responsibilities

Employees have a clear role to play in the creation of an environment at work in which sexual harassment is unacceptable.

Employees can contribute to preventing sexual harassment through an awareness and sensitivity towards the issue and by ensuring that standards of conduct for themselves and for colleagues do not cause offence.

 

Sexual Harassment May Result in Disciplinary Action

  • Complaints of sexual harassment will be taken seriously and if proven could constitute grounds for disciplinary action. Prompt action will be taken when incidents involving sexual harassment take place and come to the attention of management. Fair and equitable procedures will be used in dealing with such complaints both in relation to the complainant and the alleged perpetrator of such harassment.
  • Malicious complaints by students or teachers will be treated as misconduct under disciplinary procedures.
  • The school authority will endeavour to protect all students and employees from intimidation, victimisation or discrimination in the event of a complaint being filed or while they may be involved in the process of an investigation of sexual harassment in the school.

 

Assistance in the Event of Harassment

  • Every effort will be made to guide persons who are victims of sexual harassment into therapy/counselling to assist their recovery.
  • Persons who sexually harass others will be advised to seek counselling to prevent further incidents of sexual harassment arising.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.4 Links with the Local Community

 

Salerno Secondary School, Salthill Galway, is proud of the excellent links that it has forged with the local community in both the parish of Salthill and the city of Galway in many different ways:

 

  • Local businesses provide work experience opportunities every year for TY and LCVP students

 

  • Members of the local community frequently visit the school to give talks/lectures on different careers and specialist topics, to assist with annual mock interviews for senior students, to provide assistance with games training and to direct/choreograph the school musical.

 

  • Local businesses are supportive of the school in facilitating visits by students, most notably those in LCVP, to their premises.

 

  • Local businesses and groups frequently support the school by way of sponsorship and contributing to occasional fundraising activities.
  • The local university societies in National University of Ireland, Galway provide resources for the annual school musical.

 

  • Charities that are active in the locality are very gracious with their time and visit the school regularly. In return, the students help support the charities by organising small fundraisers.

 

  • Local sporting facilities are rented to accommodate the numerous sports undertaken by the students in Salerno Secondary School e.g. Galway Lawn Tennis Club, Árus Bóthar na Trá (Local GAA Club) and Dangan Sportsgrounds.

 

The school is also committed to playing its part in the enhancement of the local community in the following ways:

 

  • Parents, students and staff are active fundraisers for and participants in many local and national charities e.g. the Society of St Vincent de Paul, Console, Self Help Africa and Cope to name but a few. There has also been a huge effort to raise funds for the School Development Fund which aims to build a sports hall on the Salerno campus.

 

  • The school’s purchasing policy is to source as many as possible of its supplies and requirements i.e. printing, stationary, furniture and fittings, from suppliers in Galway City and County as long as suppliers are financially competitive and provide an acceptable service.

 

  • The school invites businesses to trade and advertise within the school community at organised events. Businesses are also invited to advertise in the annual school magazine and on the school website.

 

Salerno Secondary School, Salthill is also committed to maintaining good relations with all other primary and post-primary school.

 

 

 

3.4 Dignity at Work Policy and Code of Procedures

(required under Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005)

 

 

The purpose of this document is to ensure that the Board of Management of Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno, is compliant with current legislation in relation to the Health and Safety Act 2005 and the Code of Practice on the Prevention of Workplace Bullying (May 2007).

 

The objective of the policy is to ensure school management is compliant with their duties under section 8 (2) (b) of the 2005 Act as regards ‘managing and conducting work activities in such a way as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees at risk’.

 

It also applies to employees in relation to their duties under section 13 (1) (e) of the 2005 Act to ‘not engage in improper conduct or behaviour that is likely to endanger his or her own safety, health and welfare at work or that of any other person’.

A copy of this document will be issued to each staff member of Salerno Secondary School.

It is each employee’s responsibility to ensure that they become familiar with the contents of this document.

A copy of the Dignity at Work Charter will be displayed in a visible part of the school premises in order for management, staff, visitors and the general public to view.

In the unlikely event of a complaint in relation to bullying in the workplace in Salerno, the procedures contained within this policy, will be followed.

This document will be subject to periodic review.

 

Secretary, Board of Management

 

Dignity at Work Charter

Jesus and Mary Secondary School, Salerno

Adopts the

HSA Dignity in the Workplace Charter

Endorsed by IBEC and ICTU and adopted by JMB and ASTI

 

JMB and ASTICommit ourselves to working together to maintain a workplace environment that encourages and supports the right to dignity at work.  All who work here are expected to respect the right of each individual to dignity in their working life.  All will be treated equally and respected for their individuality and diversity.

Bullying in any form is not accepted by us and will not be tolerated.  Our policies and procedures will underpin the principles and objectives of this Charter.

All individuals, whether directly employed or contracted by us, have a duty and a responsibility to uphold this Dignity at Work Charter.

Supervisors, Managers, and Trade Union Representatives where applicable in the workplace have a specific responsibility to promote its provisions.”

 

 

Dignity in the Workplace Policy and Procedures

Introduction:

A core employment value is the commitment to ensuring that each individual is guaranteed a working environment where s/he may expect to be treated with dignity both by management and work colleagues.  This approach is a positive emphasis on the importance of each individual and the contribution s/he makes to the success of the workplace.  It guarantees the optimal working conditions that allow individuals to freely maximise their role in the workforce.  Sound management ethos is based on providing leadership that encourages individuals in this regard.  This is best achieved in our school through the creation and maintenance of a positive working environment.

Integral to this employment value and in particular to the principle of mutual respect is the commitment to provide a workplace free from bullying.  It is in such a context that the philosophy and policy statement will be realised.

Objectives of Dignity at Work Policy

  • To create and maintain a positive working environment in Salerno where the right of each individual to dignity at work is recognised and protected.
  • To ensure that all are aware of and committed to the principles set out in this policy.

The Board of Management of  Salerno is committed to providing all employees with an environment that is free from any form of workplace bullying.

The purpose of this document is to outline the Board’s policy and procedures in relation to workplace bullying.

A complaint of workplace bullying will be taken seriously and dealt with promptly and  in accordance with due process.

In approving this policy, the Board has agreed that:

  • It be brought to the attention of all Staff
  • All Staff be asked to co-operate in its implementation

 

The Policy

The objective of the Board policy is to eliminate workplace bullying and to contribute to a supportive environment where Staff has the right to carry out the work of the College/School  – ‘the education of the whole person’.

The Policy guarantees that all complaints will be taken seriously and investigated promptly, and that all parties involved will be treated with respect.

Staff will be protected from victimisation or discrimination for assisting in an investigation.  Victimisation as a result of a member of Staff raising a complaint will not be tolerated.

DEFINITIONS

 

Definition of Bullying:

 

Workplace bullying is repeated inappropriate behaviour, direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment, which could reasonably be regarded as undermining the individual’s right to dignity at work. An isolated incident of the behaviour described in this definition may be an affront to dignity at work but as a once off incident is not considered to be bullying.

(Codes of Practice 2002 under the Industrial Relations Act and the Health and Safety at Work Act)

 

Harassment and Sexual Harassment:

 

The Equality Act 1998 (Code of Practice) (Harassment) Order 2012 specifically deals with harassment and sexual harassment in the workplace. The Code aims to give practical guidance and advice.

 

Harassment that is based on the following grounds – Gender, Age, Civil Status, Family Status, Sexual Orientation, Disability, Race, Religion or membership of the Traveller Community is a form of discrimination in relation to conditions of employment

 

Harassment:

Harassment is defined in Section 14A(7) of the Employment Equality Act as any form of unwanted conduct has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

Sexual Harassment  

Sexual Harassment is defined in Section 14(A)(7) of the Employment Equality Act as any form of verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating a person’s dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

The unwanted conduct may consist of acts, requests, spoken words, gestures or the production, display, or circulation of written words, pictures or other material.

 

What Constitutes ‘Unacceptable Behaviour’/ Workplace Bullying?

Bullying can take a number of forms.  Under the Health and Safety Act there is a requirement that personnel are consulted in respect of acceptable/unacceptable behaviour and that through this consultation process, the staff will have ownership of the policy as it relates to their school/organization.

A pattern of the following behaviours are examples of types of bullying:

  • Exclusion with negative consequences
  • Verbal abuse/insults
  • Physical abuse
  • Being treated less favourably than colleagues
  • Shouting
  • Intrusion – pestering, spying or stalking
  • Menacing behaviour
  • Intimidation
  • Aggression
  • Undermining behaviour
  • Excessive monitoring of work
  • Humiliation
  • Withholding work-related information
  • Setting unreasonable and unrealistic targets
  • Blame for things beyond the person’s control
  • Unequal treatment

 

This list is not exhaustive.

It is noted that a once-off incident is not normally considered to be bullying behaviour.

What are the Effects of Bullying?

International research shows that the effects may be physiological, psychological and behavioral.

Effects on the individual: research shows that individuals who are continually bullied lose self-confidence as self-esteem is eroded and they are at an increased risk of suffering stress.  There may be serious effects on health and the person’s career may be adversely affected.

Effects on the Organisation: individuals who are bullied will find it difficult if not impossible to give their best in the workplace.  Among the well-documented effects are increased sickness/absenteeism, low morale, a tense atmosphere, cliques or factions.

Why might an individual be reluctant to take action?

Because the particular workplace culture passively supports bullying i.e. staff in general are unaware of the seriousness of bullying.

Because of fear that the complaint may not be taken seriously.

Because s/he may be seen as unable for the job or/and a weak person.

If the alleged bully is a person in authority, there may be the fear management will support the alleged perpetrator(s).

Because making a complaint could result in further intimidation and increased bullying.

Because there are no witnesses to the bullying and it would be one person’s word against another

Because s/he might be seen to be lacking in credibility or/and personal status

Where there are witnesses, these might be unwilling to come forward because they are afraid of being branded troublemakers

What can I do to ensure that workplace bullying does not occur in this school?

By being familiar with the school policy.

By participating in in-service with respect to dignity at work.

By engaging in consultation with respect to the development and review of the dignity in the workplace policy.

By being aware and educated about workplace bullying.

What can I do to stop people bullying me?

Tell them it has to stop!  This may be more difficult for some individuals than for others.  It is inappropriate for work colleagues to act out their behaviour in an unacceptable manner.  If you find it impossible or difficult to make an approach, tell somebody – the Principal, a Contact Person, the ASTI Steward, a Deputy Principal,  or  other…GET HELP AND SUPPORT.

What may be the consequences of not dealing with workplace bullying?

There are consequences for the individuals who perceive themselves to be targets of bullying behaviour, for the alleged perpetrators(s), for organisational culture/ethos and for the Board of Management.

Are there performance criteria by which the success of the Policy might be judged?

  • The existence of a policy on Dignity in the Workplace and the prevention of workplace bullying forms  part of health, safety and welfare at work
  • Awareness/availability of Policy
  • Existence of Charter in a visible place: Dignity in the Workplace
  • Dignity in the Workplace as well as inappropriate/bullying behaviour are defined in the Board Policy
  • Employee’s right to complain is respected
  • Informal resolution of complaints is encouraged.

Procedures for dealing with workplace bullying

 

There are two stages for dealing with cases of alleged bullying:

 

Stage One: Informal and

 

Stage 2 Formal.

 

Sometimes individuals may be unaware of the negative effects of their behaviour on other adults in the workplace.  Such individuals may simply need to be told.  Thus, at times incidents of bullying can be handled effectively in an informal way under Stage One. If an incident occurs that is offensive, it may be sufficient to explain clearly to the offender that the behaviour is unacceptable.  If the circumstances are too difficult or embarrassing for an individual, support may be sought from another colleague, a contact person, staff representative, Principal, Deputy Principal.

 

A complainant may decide, for whatever reason, to bypass the informal procedure and proceed to Stage Two.

 

The following section outlines the procedures to be followed with respect to a complaint.

The Procedure for dealing with bullying in the workplace is as follows:

 

Code of Practice Detailing Procedures for Addressing Bullying in the Workplace (Extract from IR Code of Practice S.I. No. 17 of 2002 Code of Practice)

 

  1.    Informal Procedure

While in no way diminishing the issue or the effects on individuals, an informal approach can often resolve matters.  As a general rule therefore, an  attempt should be made to address an allegation of bullying as informally as possible by means of an agreed informal procedure.  The objective of this approach is to resolve the difficulty with the minimum of conflict and stress for the individuals involved.

 

(a)   Any employee who believes he or she is being bullied should explain                       clearly to the alleged perpetrator(s) that the behaviour in question is                    unacceptable.  In circumstances where the complainant finds it difficult to                   approach the alleged perpetrator(s) directly, he or she should seek help and                     advice, on a strictly confidential basis, from a contact person.  A contact               person in the school environment could, for example, be one of the following:

 

  • A work colleague;
  • A member of management
  • An employee/trade union representative.

 

In this situation the contact person should listen patiently, be supportive and discuss the various options open to the employee concerned.

 

  1. Having consulted with the contact person, the complainant may request the assistance of the contact person in raising the issue with the alleged perpetrator(s).  In this situation the approach of the contact person should be by way of a confidential, non-confrontational discussion with a view to resolving the issue in an informal low-key manner.

 

  1. A complainant may decide, for whatever reason, to bypass the informal procedure.  Choosing not to use the informal procedure should not reflect negatively on a complainant in the formal procedure.

 

  1. Formal Procedure

 

If an informal approach is inappropriate or if after the informal stage, the bullying persists, the following formal procedures should be invoked:-

 

  1. The complainant should make a formal complaint in writing to his/her Principal.   If the Principal/Deputy Principal is the subject of the complaint, the formal complaint should be made to the Chairperson of the Board of Management.

 

  1. The alleged perpetrator(s) should be notified in writing that an allegation of bullying has been made against them.  They should be given a copy of the complainant’s statement and advised that they shall be afforded a fair opportunity to respond to the allegation(s).

 

  1. The complaint should be subject to an initial examination by a designated member of management, who can be considered impartial, with a view to determining an appropriate course of action.  An appropriate course of action at this stage, for example, could be exploring a mediated solution which would require the agreement of all parties, or a view that the issue can be resolved informally.  Should either of these approaches be deemed inappropriate or inconclusive, a formal investigation of the complaint should take place with a view to determining the facts and the validity or otherwise of the allegation(s).

 

Investigation

 

  1. The investigation should be conducted by either a designated member or members of management or, if deemed appropriate, an agreed third party.  The investigation should be conducted thoroughly, objectively, with sensitivity, utmost confidentiality, and with due respect for the rights of both the complainant and the alleged perpetrator(s).

 

  1. The investigation should be governed by terms of reference, preferably agreed between the parties in advance.

 

  1. The investigator(s) should meet with the complainant and alleged perpetrator(s) and any witness or relevant persons on an individual confidential basis with a view to establishing the facts surrounding the allegation(s).  Both the complainant and alleged perpetrator(s) may be accompanied by a work colleague or employee/trade union representative if so desired.

 

  1. Every effort should be made to carry out and complete the investigation as quickly as possible and preferably within an agreed timeframe.  On completion of the investigation, the investigator(s) should submit a written report to the Board of Management containing the findings of the investigation.

 

  1. The complainant and the alleged perpetrator(s) should be informed in writing of the findings of the investigation.

 

  1. Both parties should be given the opportunity to comment on the findings before any action is decided upon by the Board of Management.  The method of communicating the commentary may be in writing and/or by the individuals presenting at a Board of Management meeting.

 

Outcome

  1. Should the Board of Management decide that the complaint is well founded, the alleged perpetrator(s) should be given a formal interview to determine an appropriate course of action.  Such action could, for example, involve counselling and/or monitoring or progressing the issue through the disciplinary and grievance procedure of the employment.

 

  1. Confidentiality

 

All individuals involved in the procedures referred to above should maintain absolute confidentiality on the subject.

 

  1. At all stages of the process a clear record should be kept of:
  • the investigation undertaken.
  • all communications to/by the complainant
  • the subject of the complaint
  • the steps and all the decisions taken

The above records should be held by the Chairperson of the Board of Management in a confidential manner in a secure place.

Where a complaint has been rejected or has not been upheld, a statement to that effect shall conclude the record in the personnel file of the complainant.  All records in relation to a rejected/not upheld complaint shall be removed from the personnel file of the subject of the complaint.  A statement of the outcome of the investigation will conclude all other files. Where a statement of the outcome of the investigation confirms the allegation to be true then the statement of outcome shall be placed on the file/record of the person against whom the investigation upheld the complaint.

  1. Protection and Support

 

Staff shall be protected from intimidation, victimisation or discrimination for filing a complaint or assisting in an investigation.  Retaliation against a member of staff for complaining about bullying/harassment is considered a disciplinary offence.  A malicious complaint made by a staff member will be treated as misconduct under the disciplinary procedure.

 

  1. Assistance in the event of Harassment

Every effort will be made to assist if they so wish, persons who are victims of bullying/harassment to deal with the problem and where it is requested, the services of a counsellor will be made available by the Board of Management.  Persons who bully/harass others may be requested to attend counselling to prevent further incidences of harassment occurring.  Access to such counselling may be made available by the Board of Management.

 

  1. Training/Awareness

 

It is considered that all personnel who have a role in either the informal or formal procedure – e.g. designated members of management, worker representatives, union representatives etc- should be made aware of appropriate policies and procedures which should, if possible, include appropriate training,

 

 

The policy is subject to periodic review.

 

Signed: ………………………………………………….

(for and on behalf of the Board of Management)

          Date: …………………………………………………….