About - Disciplinary Procedure

A sanction should be used in a respectful way that helps students to understand the consequences of their behaviour and to take responsibility for changing that behaviour.

In particular a sanction should:

  • Defuse not escalate a situation.
  • Preserve the dignity of all parties.
  • Be applied in a fair and consistent way.
  • Be timely.
Sanctions should be appropriate to the age and development stage of the student.

Sanctions should be sensitive to the particular circumstances of each student, in particular to a child with special educational needs.

Stage One – Step One

Teachers are responsible for discipline in their own classroom. They may use the following strategies to deal with unacceptable behaviour which interferes with the teaching and learning of the class:

  • Reasoning with the student.
  • Verbal reprimand.
  • Moving students to a different seat.
  • Insisting on an apology to teacher/or class.
  • Loss of privileges.
  • Detention at lunchtime (Parents/Guardians informed via journal).
  • Writing a note in journal for the attention of the Parent/Guardian.
  • Fill in report card in journal.
  • Extra work from class teacher, recorded in journal.
  • Carrying out a useful task in the school.
  • Immediate removal from a particular lesson or peer group.

Stage One – Step Two

  • Writing a note into the Incident Book in the Staff Room.
  • The Year Head must be informed about the steps the subject teacher has taken to date to resolve the difficulties; this is logged in the Incident Book.
  • A second detention or three entries into the Incident Book will mean that a student’s behaviour is unacceptable and parents may be sent a Disciplinary Notice by the Year Head/ Teacher.
  • The Year Head may put the student on a Record of Behaviour to be signed by a parent on a daily/weekly basis.

Stage Two – Year Head

Year Heads support teachers in implementing disciplinary procedures. They will interview the student and parents may be contacted and asked to come to the school if it is deemed necessary.

Year Heads may issue formal complaints for offences such as:

  • Truancy i.e. leaving school premises without permission.
  • Stealing.
  • Continuous disruptive behaviour.
  • Bullying.
  • Smoking on school premises.
  • Behaviour that interferes with the teaching/learning of class.
The Year Head may also impose in-school suspension from class. If two formal complaints are issued a student may be sent to the Principal/Deputy Principal.

Stage 3 - Principal / Deputy Principal

The overall responsibility for discipline ultimately rests with the Principal/Deputy Principal. All letters home regarding serious discipline matters carry the signature of the Principal/Deputy Principal.
A student may be sent to the Principal/Deputy Principal:

  • Where repeated incidents of misbehaviour occur despite following Stage 1 and 2 of the procedures.
  • Where a serious incident of misbehaviour occurs.
The Principal/Deputy Principal may seek the assistance of the Career Guidance Teacher, the Learning Support Teacher, the Chaplain or outside agencies if this has not already been done.

The Principal/Deputy Principal may in certain circumstances move a student from their normal base class to another class group.

The Principal/Deputy Principal may request the student and Parent/Guardian to sign a contract of behaviour.

The Principal, Deputy Principal and Year Head will review a student’s record of behaviour at the end of each academic year.

If students have previously signed Contracts of Behaviour and have not complied with them, their record of behaviour may be carried forward to the following school year.

Stage Four – Suspension / Expulsion

Suspension is a serious sanction and may be considered in the following circumstances . . .

  • Verbal abuse of staff. Offensive language directed at a teacher.
  • Serious damage to school property.
  • Serious assault on another student.
  • Continuation of bullying of a student despite warnings.
  • Giving ‘Birthday Treats’.
  • Being in possession of, using or selling alcohol/ drugs.
  • Having 3 formal complaints.
  • Being in possession of, using or selling fireworks in the school.
  • Involved in an arranged fight.
  • The constant disruption of the education of others.
  • Any other serious offence or conduct which management believes warrants suspension.


A student may be expelled when there is ongoing refusal to abide by the regulations of the school, and the Principal, in consultation with the Board of Management, has exhausted all reasonable options.

The rules of Natural Justice should be adhered to and students and parents will be given an opportunity to be heard prior to any decision being made.

The authority to expel a student rests with the Board of Management. A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as:

  • 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.
  • Having, passing, selling or taking illegal substances.

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