Tá fáilte romhat isteach chuig Coláiste Oiriall. Glac tamall anois chun aithne a chur orainn agus chun eolas a chur ar ár scoil. Coláiste Oiriall is a progressive and vibrant school working to the highest standards in teaching and learning. We boast a broad curriculum with a superb range of on-site facilities offering pupils an opportunity to excel. We have a very strong pastoral ethos and generous staff commitment to sporting and cultural activities. We have a very high success rate in securing places in universities and our examination results are consistently considerably higher than the national averages.


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Code of Behaviour


This code applies to students of Coláiste Oiriall and relates to all school activities both during and outside of normal school hours. This policy was drawn up in consultation with all the school partners, including Board of Management, Staff, Parents and Students. This policy is in line with National Educational Welfare Board guidelines.

Relationship to schools mission, vision, aims.

This policy has been developed in line with the mission of our School which has at its core, the care of the student. The school strives to provide a safe secure learning environment for the development of our students. Our school Code of Behaviour is based on respect for oneself, for others and for our environment, so that a positive and cooperative school atmosphere prevails.


Many people work together in our school each day and therefore a high level of courtesy and consideration for others is necessary. Behaviour which is ill mannered, annoying, dangerous or disruptive cannot be allowed. Our code is one that is based on the recognition of the student as an individual and yet creates an environment in which the welfare of all is protected.

Goals / Objectives

The aims of our Code of Behaviour are:

  • To create a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour

  • To create a positive and safe environment for teaching and learning

  • To build positive relationships of mutual respect and mutual support among students, staff and parents

  • To encourage students to take personal responsibility for their learning and their behaviour

  • To have effective procedures in place which will allow for the day to day running of the school and which meet the demands of current legislation

  • To help students mature into responsible and participating citizens

  • To allow for the appropriate involvement of all school personnel

  • To ensure understanding by the parents, students, staff and management of the Code of Behaviour and the reasons for it

  • To outline the strategies to be used to prevent poor behaviour and the ways in which positive behaviour is acknowledged

  • To outline the structure of fair, consistent and agreed sanctions that will be used in response to negative behaviour

  • To outline the interventions to be used when a student repeatedly misbehaves

Roles and Responsibilities

The school climate and atmosphere are created by the actions and the behaviour of everyone in the school. Our school acknowledges the contribution of all members of the school community. Each member has responsibility for the promotion of good behaviour and a role in strengthening positive relationships of respect and trust. The school expects that students will at all times do their best to uphold the code of behaviour of our school.


The school acknowledges the role of parents/guardians in the development and operation of the Code of Behaviour and expects them to support the code and encourage their sons/daughters to uphold it.


The quality of relationships between teachers and students is a powerful influence on behaviour in the school. The code fosters relationships of trust between students and teachers. The school acknowledges the role of teachers in the development and operation of the Code of Behaviour. The school recognises that a teacher’s main focus is in the area of teaching and learning, but that they also have a pivotal role to play in behaviour management. That pivotal role forms a core element of this code. We have teachers assigned to each class and year group with special responsibilities for operating the code.

Subject Teachers, Tutors, Year Heads, Guidance Counsellor, Learning Support Teachers, Psychological Services, Chaplain, Other Agencies, Pastoral Care team, Deputy Principal and Principal all have specific roles to play in upholding the code.

Other Staff

The school acknowledges the contribution of ancillary staff in the day to day running of the school. They too have a part to play in the successful operation of our Code of Behaviour. In particular they have a responsibility to report incidents of misbehaviour and examples of positive behaviour they witness.

Board of Management

All policies are developed with the authority of the Board of Management and must be approved by its members before becoming official school policy. While members of the Board of Management are not involved in the day to day procedures, they are the body to whom parents and students over 18 may appeal in cases of suspension or expulsion.

The adults in the school have a responsibility to model the school’s standards of behaviour, in their dealings both with students and with each other, since their example is a powerful source of learning for students.

Parents/Guardians are expected to model the standards that the students are asked to respect. The ways in which parents and teachers interact provides students with a model of good working relationships.


School Rules apply whenever you are wearing the school uniform, when representing the school or when engaged in any school activity. School rules describe in simple terms how to behave in order to learn well and to develop into mature and responsible adults They are there to safeguard students’ right to learn and teachers’ right to teach in a caring, safe and respectful environment. Therefore …

We expect

1. That you come to school every day and arrive on time

2. That you come to school in full uniform, clean and tidy

3. That you have respect for people and property

4. That you do your best in class and at your homework

5. That you come in properly prepared for your subjects

6. That you act in an appropriate manner around the school


1 That you come to school every day and arrive on time. This means:

  • That you are in the school at 8.55 daily

  • That you attend school every day unless it is absolutely unavoidable.

  • Mitching is regarded as being a particularly serious transgression of the rules

  • That if you miss school you bring a note in your School Diary from your parent/guardian on your return to school and present to your Class Tutor.

  • That if you are unavoidably late, you bring a note from your parent/guardian and get your School Diary stamped in the office

  • That if you are sick during the school day and need to leave the school, a parent (or authorized adult) must collect you

  • That if you must leave school during the day you must get the parental note stamped by the Secretary or teacher prior to signing out at the office

  • That you proceed to all classes without delay and arrive on time

  • That you do not go to the toilets/lockers between or during classes without your teachers’ permission

  • That you behave yourself on your way to and from school

  • Enter the school through the designated door

  • That you behave on the school buses


  • Time missed is hard to make up

  • The school is entitled to an explanation for your absences.

  • It is expected that a late arrival to school be explained out of courtesy.

  • Arriving late for class wastes your time, the teacher’s time and class time

  • Going to the toilets/lockers during or between classes disrupts class

  • The school rules apply on your way to and from school and during lunch break

  1. That you come to school in full uniform, clean and tidy. This means:

  • You wear the full school uniform in school at all times except, when otherwise directed by the school

  • That you button your shirt/blouse to the neck and that you fasten your tie neatly

  • You are required to bring and to wear the specified sports gear for participation in timetabled P.E. classes, sports training and sports competitions.

  • You should have a neat, tidy and natural looking hairstyle. Hair stencils are not permitted. We expect you to come to school with your natural hair colour.

  • Hats and scarves are to remain in your school bag for the duration of the school day. Coats, jackets and sweatshirts are not permitted in class and should be left in the locker.

  • Smoking is forbidden anytime you are wearing the school uniform, when representing the school or when engaged in any school activity

  • No facial piercing allowed.

  • Jewellery is limited to two finger rings, one discrete studded earring in the lower globe of each ear and a wristwatch.

  • Make-up is not allowed


  • You should wear your uniform with pride, be dressed suitably for school activities and be good ambassador when representing the school

  • Hair style/colour should be in keeping with a dress code suitable for school

  • Hats and scarves can be a distraction in class

  • Smoking is unhealthy. Students should always be good ambassadors of their school

  • Facial piercings can be dangerous

  • Wearing jewellery or wearing excessive jewellery can be dangerous in the context of health and safety.

  1. That you have respect for people and for property. This means

  • Being helpful and treating other students, all staff and visitors to the school with good manners and respect

  • Respecting the instructions of your teachers and staff

  • Any form of bullying is unacceptable

  • That you should proceed in an orderly fashion around the corridors.

  • That you don’t use offensive or abusive language

  • That you use the litter bins in classrooms, in social areas and in the school grounds

  • That you respect the school property and the property of other people

  • Reporting any accidental damage you may have caused or seen to the main office


  • Like you, other students are entitled to good manners and respect.

  • Teachers are entitled to your respect and co-operation

  • Bullying causes fear, hurt and misery

  • Rough behaviour can lead to accident or injury.

  • Offensive or abusive language shows disrespect and can cause hurt

  • Keeping the school environment pleasant and litter free is everyone’s responsibility

  • You would expect the same respect for your property

  • The school authorities might have no other way of knowing if damage is caused to property or equipment

4 That you do your best in class and at your homework. This means

  • That you listen in class to your teachers

  • That you contribute to class and participate in class to the best of your ability

  • That you do not interfere with teaching and learning

  • That you don’t disturb the class

  • That you sit in an orderly manner at all times

  • That you do your homework each night, written and oral and to an acceptable standard

  • That you always have your School Diary with you and take down your homework in it

  • That you get it signed by your parent/guardian each week

  • That if you need to leave your classroom, you must get permission from your teacher with a note of explanation in your School Diary.

  • If you are required by another teacher, that teacher must note this in your School Diary and you must present this note to your timetabled teacher at the start of the class

  • That you help keep your classrooms tidy


  • The teacher is trying to help you

  • Disturbing the class is unfair to others who wish to learn

  • Homework is a back-up to the work done in class

  • Your School Diary helps you remember what you have to do

  • Getting your School Diary signed lets your parents see how you are getting on

  • Getting your School Diary signed to leave the classroom helps keep a record of your time missed and lets other teachers know that you have permission to be out of class

  • It is important to take responsibility for tidying up after ourselves.

5 That you come in properly prepared for your subjects. This means

  • That you have the proper pens, books and copies required for each class

  • That you bring in any special materials and equipment needed for class

  • All bags, books and Student Diary be kept in good condition and free of graffiti.

  • That you are responsible for your own property


  • It only wastes time if you haven’t got your pens, books etc.

  • It is impossible to do the subject without the materials/equipment needed

  • Graffiti can offend.

  • Neatness helps students stay organised. You are old enough now to look after your own property. Label clearly each item of personal property.

  1. That you act in an appropriate manner around the school. This means

  • You speak Irish only at school, in the school yard, on tour or at any other activities associated with the school. No other language may be spoken with the exception of during other language classes.

  • You proceed quickly and quietly to each class, keeping to the right

  • You wait quietly for your teacher while lining up outside the classroom

  • You should walk on corridors and you should avoid pushing or jostling other students and you should avoid loud and unruly behaviour both inside and outside classrooms.

  • You go to your locker only before class begins in the morning, at small break time, at lunchtime and at the end of the school day

  • You should avoid loitering in the toilets during break times or at any other times

  • That eating and drinking is allowed only in the General Purpose Area and canteen area and only at specified times.

  • Taking your break in the manner and area specified and obeying the instructions of the teacher on duty

  • That you don’t break, damage or deface school property

  • That you must report to a teacher should you notice graffiti or damage to school property and especially if you notice graffiti on your own desk or chair

  • That chewing gum is totally forbidden in the school building and grounds

  • That you do not bring cigarettes, e-cigarettes, lighters or matches to school

  • That there is an absolute ban on knives, lasers and any type of offensive weapons

  • That you leave your mobile phone in your locker, powered off, during the school day as the use of mobile phones is not permitted at any time.

  • That you leave all electronic devices at home.

  • That the production, display or circulation e.g. via facebook and internet, of written words, pictures or other materials which may intimidate, embarrass or erode the reputation of another person is totally unacceptable.

  • Alcohol and illegal substances are totally forbidden

  • You may not photograph or record in school without your teacher’s permission


  • Irish is the language of communication and the teaching medium in the school and we are an Irish medium school

  • Orderly behaviour helps to run the school smoothly

  • Going to the locker during or between classes detracts from learning and disrupts others.

  • Loitering in toilets leads to congestion

  • Specified times and places for eating/drinking helps to keep the school clean and pleasant

  • Obeying break time rules and teachers’ instructions is safer and helps with supervision

  • Others have to use the school property and repairs and replacements are expensive

  • Everyone is responsible for helping to keep the school environment pleasant

  • Chewing gum destroys flooring, school furniture, tarmac etc. It is a possible health hazard

  • Smoking on the school premises is prohibited by law, and besides, it is unhealthy and dangerous

  • The use of mobile phones and other electronic devices is disruptive during school time

  • Matches and lighters are dangerous. Also, this makes it easier not to be tempted to smoke

  • Knives, lasers etc are banned for very obvious reasons

  • Substance abuse is dangerous, unhealthy, addictive and illegal. It can cause misery and in the longer term may even destroy a young person’s life

Preventative Measures

In Coláiste Oiriall students will be encouraged in their efforts to uphold the Code of Behaviour by use of the following measures:

(a) The Code of Behaviour is published on the school website and a summarised version is published in the Student Journal. Students and their parents are asked to read it and to sign their agreement with the content when registering. By doing so they acknowledge their support and co-operation with it. This is to ensure that parents and students understand what our rules are, why they must be adhered to and what procedures will be followed if the rules are not upheld.

Aspects of the code are explained at the information meeting held each year for parents of incoming First Years. Parents are encouraged to contact their son/daughter’s Tutor or Year Head if they wish to raise a concern about a behavioural matter. Parents are invited to get involved in the Parents’ Association or to avail themselves of the meetings organised by the association.

(b) At the start of each school year, the Code of Behaviour is explained to all students. This is done so as to give students the opportunity to think and talk about behaviour, learning and rules so that they can understand what the Code of Behaviour means for them.

(c) The Code of Behaviour is published in the Teachers’ Handbook. At the beginning of the school year teachers are brought through the main aspects of the implementation of the code. This is done to promote consistency of practice.

(d) We recognise in Coláiste Oiriall that effective teaching and learning are closely linked to good behaviour. When students are engaged and motivated to learn, it is more likely that their behaviour will be positive. Teachers are encouraged to participate in continuous professional development. Within school, staff development includes exploring different teaching methods such as Assessment for Learning and differentiation. Regular Subject Department meetings address curriculum needs and promote collegiality among staff.

(e) If a student is in breach of a rule, he/she may be asked to explain (orally or in writing) the rule he/she has breached, to describe what effect this breach has had on members of the school community, and how he/she could act differently in the future to avoid being in breach of the rule. This is done to develop the student’s sensitivity and consideration for others and to assist them in upholding school rules in future. The principles of Restorative Justice are also applied where possible. Students are encouraged to speak to their Tutor or Year Head if they wish to raise a concern about a behavioural matter.

(f) School rules and the reason for them are discussed as part of the schools pastoral care programme or as part of SPHE. The notion of tolerance for others, self – control, a sense of fairness and the principles of natural justice are also discussed as part of the Religious Education programme in the school

(g) Issues such as Bullying, Racism, Sexism, Harassment, Violence, Substance Misuse are discussed with the students during their time in our school, using current legislation, current affairs and outside speakers. This is to help the students better understand these issues so that they can base their thinking, understanding and action on factual information and in the line with the values espoused in our school.

(h) The school’s Anti-Bullying policy, which is published on the school website and of which a summarised version is published in the Student Journal, sets out the actions taken in relation to alleged breaches of the policy. Each year in the school we have a Friendship Awareness Week, which focuses the school community on promoting positive behaviour.

Students with Special Educational Needs:

Subject teachers, resource teachers and special needs assistants should check that standards and rules are communicated in a way that students with special educational needs can understand. This understanding needs to be checked from time to time especially where a student with special needs is acting in a way that would usually be seen as being in breach of the rules. Teachers may need support in understanding how best to help a student with special educational needs to conform to the behavioural standards and expectations of the school.


In our school teachers use the following methods to reward students for upholding the code of conduct:

  • Verbal praise of student by teacher privately

  • Positive comment regarding the student to tutor or Year head

  • Verbal praise of student at assembly or on intercom

  • Leadership role given to students as prefects and as Student Council members.

  • Class outing related to the curriculum

  • Brief, positive note or phone call to parents

  • Highlight curricular/extra-curricular achievements on notice boards in classrooms and corridors

  • Display of student’s work around the school

  • Highlight curricular/extra-curricular achievements in school newsletter or on digital signage

  • Highlight curricular/extra-curricular achievements on school website or in local newspaper

Students with Special Educational Needs:

Rewards for students with special educational needs should take account of their particular learning styles. For all students and especially those with learning difficulties, a reward will have an impact when it is closely linked in time to the behaviour that is being rewarded.

Strategies and Sanctions

The purpose of these strategies and sanctions is to bring about a change in behaviour. They help students to learn that their behaviour is unacceptable and to learn to take responsibility for their behaviour.

The following strategies and sanctions are used so that our students understand that they have choices about their own behaviour and that all choices have consequences.

They are scaled so as to take account of the nature of the incident, the situation leading up to the incident and are implemented by the staff of the school in accordance with our system of referral.

  • A reminder or caution to the student

  • Interview or talk with the student outlining the expected behaviour

  • Alter the seating arrangement or move the student seat

  • Carrying out a useful task in school

  • Extra appropriate work assignment

  • Student to present to the teacher before school or at break with the work complete and/or an apology

  • Note in Student Journal

  • A fine to cover the cost of repair or replacement

  • Removal of privilege

  • Consultation with Class Tutor

  • Telephone call to parents

  • Removal of student from scene of incident while still under supervision

Strategies and sanctions for more serious incidents or for consistent breaches of our code of conduct include the following. These may be applied but not necessarily in the order listed

  • Giving the student a piece of written work to do in which they have to outline in writing the rule/rules they breached, the effects this breach had on themselves and on other members of the school community and how they can avoid a repeat of this behaviour.

  • Withdrawal from class

  • Literacy Sheet particularly for junior students

  • Lunchtime detention

  • Evening detention

  • Weekly report

  • Contract between school, student and parent

  • Refer student to Tutor/Year Head/Deputy Principal/Principal

  • Telephone call to parents

  • Formal letter home

  • Meeting with parents

  • Suspension from School (see Suspension and Expulsion policy)

Lunchtime detention or short detention is defined as a period of detention of one hour’s duration during the extended lunchtime. Evening detention or long detention is defined as a period of detention of 2 ½ hours duration after school on Fridays.


The basic principle of referral system is that the higher up the ladder an incident is dealt with, the more serious it is viewed. The ladder of referral involves all staff in the implementation of the Code of Behaviour in a day-to-day and practical way. It gives an ownership of the policy to all staff and it is appropriate that they be involved as they operate it on an on-going basis.

If a student has a problem which is contributing to their inability to uphold the Code of Behaviour then the following referrals may be made:

  • Referral to Year Head

  • Referral to Deputy Principal

  • Referral to Principal

  • Referral to Guidance Counsellor

  • Referral to psychologist for testing and/or help in behaviour modification.

Step 1: The Subject Teacher

The subject teacher is the frontline source of help for students. As a leader of learning and someone with an established relationship of trust, the subject teacher will have a strong influence with students. Each teacher has the responsibility for managing behaviour in his/her own classroom and will deal with routine incidents of misbehaviour through classroom management strategies. The Class Tutor will also advise and guide the student to reflect on deviant behaviour with a view to changing to more positive behaviours. More serious offences should be dealt with under Step 2 of our referral system.

Step 2: The Year Head

Each Year Group is assigned a teacher with special responsibility for them. He/she has a pastoral and disciplinary role to play with the class groups that make up this year group.

Step 3: The Deputy Principal or Principal

Students whose behaviour has not been modified despite the school’s best efforts will be referred by the Year Head to the Deputy Principal / Principal. If the Deputy Principal or Principal decide that a suspension is warranted the procedures in our policy on suspension and expulsion will be followed.

Student files are kept in the main office. Contracts and weekly reports are filed, as are copies of letters sent home and contents of telephone conversations and meetings with parents relating to sanctions and interventions.

Procedures in the event of consistent breaches of the Code of Conduct

    1. A student may be sent to the Conduct and Welfare Committee on the advice of the Year Head for advice and guidance.

    2. Detention, withdrawal of privileges from a student or withdrawal from class or Weekly Report or Contract may be used for specific transgressions e.g. poor punctuality, homework not done, unsatisfactory behaviour on the playing field etc.

    3. If a student isn’t wearing the correct uniform he/she should have a note of explanation, signed by a parent/guardian, in his/her school diary. If the correct uniform is not worn on three occasions the student will receive an appropriate sanction and the parents will be informed. Jackets, coats and jumpers not conforming to the school uniform will be temporarily confiscated.

    4. If a student breaches the Irish speaking rule he/she will receive lunchtime detention. In the event of a pupil repeatedly breaching this rule, the student will receive evening detention and may ultimately be suspended.

    5. Students who are found using or in possession of a mobile phone on the school premises or its surrounds during the school day will be asked to surrender it for a period of one week. Repeated offences will incur a penalty of surrender for a period of two weeks.

    6. There will be cases of indiscipline that will require the Principal to act independently of the above procedures in order to maintain the safety of a student or staff.

    7. The Conduct and Welfare Committee will make the final decision if the school is confident enough about the standard of behaviour of a student to take him on a school tour, especially an overnight tour.

    8. The Principal has the authority to suspend a student if this is deemed necessary.

    9. In the case of a student who continues to misbehave, the student’s case may be brought before the Board of Management or indeed before Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board

    10. The Board of Management may advise the permanent exclusion of a student to the Cavan and Monaghan Education and Training Board if the behaviour of the student is preventing teaching and learning taking place on an ongoing basis or if it is a serious once-off offence.

    11. All incidents of indiscipline are recorded electronically in the School’s Discipline System.

    12. The school reserves the right to withdraw a student from an extra-curricular activity or from any other privilege of the school’s choice if the said student is in breach of school rules or regulations. A partial refund of fees may occasionally apply.

Graded System for minor incidents

More than 3 minor incidents, 3 reports or 3 Literacy Sheets

Lunchtime Detention

More than 3 Lunchtime Detentions

Evening Detention

More than 3 Evening Detentions



All registered students of the school have a summarised version of the Code of Behaviour in their School Diary. The Code is published in its entirety on the school website and is also available from the school upon request. All staff have a copy of the code in their Teachers’ Handbook.

At the beginning of each year each class is brought through the Code of Behaviour. This is done so as to give students the opportunity to think and talk about behaviour, learning and rules so that they can understand what the Code of Behaviour means for them. At the beginning of the school year teachers are also brought through the main aspects of the implementation of the code. This is done to promote consistency of practice.

This Code of Behaviour was drawn up in consultation with the parents, students, staff and management of Coláiste Oiriall. The code is monitored on a regular basis. Aspects of the code are discussed formally at Year Head, Staff, Department and Committee meetings. Teachers are encouraged to communicate concerns and suggestions to the pastoral team.

This policy was amended, reviewed and adopted by the Coláiste Oiriall Board of Management on 2nd October 2014. Date of next review: 2017