Ysgol Friars Pupil Conduct Policy
Section 1: Introduction
The Governors of Ysgol Friars believe that the school is a community and that for it to flourish it must be civilised and orderly and enable pupils to enjoy and profit from their education. The following policy has been framed with a view to promoting an ethos which is in keeping with the preceding statement. The Governors further believe that pupils' achievement will be enhanced if there are clearly understood standards of acceptable conduct, together with incentives for and recognition of exemplary conduct and attitude.
The Governors do not believe that the jurisdiction of the school should begin and end at the school gate, nor should it be confined solely to school hours. It is recognised that problems can occur on the way to and from school and that such difficulties can have a detrimental impact on pupils' educational development. Furthermore, when pupils wear the uniform of the school, their actions can have a bearing on its reputation. Thus the school may on occasions exercise its jurisdiction from the moment pupils leave home in the morning to the time that they are received at home by their parents at the end of the school afternoon.
This policy was drafted following consultation with parents and has been endorsed by the School Council, representing pupils at the school.
The policy is founded on three basic principles:
- Rules and the consequences of breaking them are clearly understood by all who are subject to them;
- There is an appropriate balance of support and sanctions (within the resources available to the school);
- Any incident is investigated appropriately to ensure that, on the balance of probability, the school can be satisfied that a pupil is guilty of any alleged offence.
The following rules concerning pupil conduct are designed to promote positive attitudes and to indicate forms of conduct which are unacceptable:
- make the most of the opportunities which the school will give them;
- co-operate with the requests and instructions of staff;
- respect all other members of the school community and treat them with courtesy and understanding;
- respect the property of others and the property and fabric of the school;
- strive to achieve the highest possible level of attendance;
- arrive punctually for school sessions and for each individual lesson;
- Conform to the school's dress code.
Pupils should not:
- behave in a way which causes discomfort, distress or injury to others,
- behave in a manner which is detrimental to their own or others’ health and safety;
- Hinder the work or learning of others.
The school aims to promote positive attitudes among pupils by:
- certificating regular attendance;
- certificating outstanding effort;
- presenting certificates and prizes for the above in presentation evenings;
- recognising such achievements by giving prizes to pupils in years 7-11;
- encouraging departments to recognise and reward effort;
- promoting the discussion and recognition of pupils meriting commendation in departmental meetings;
- recognising achievements, for example on notice board displays, in House Presentations and at special events;
- making presentations in assemblies; promoting the Prichard prizes;
- Promoting the record of achievement from years 10-13.
Section 2: Sanctions other than Exclusion
The Governors are aware, however, that there will be instances where sanctions have to be imposed on those pupils who do not conform to the reasonable, expected standards which the school sets out in its prospectus.
The Governors and Senior Management Team believe that good discipline and the promotion of acceptable standards of behaviour largely begin in the classroom and to that end each teacher should take responsibility for the conduct of his or her lesson. The teacher should follow the guidance and steps set out in the Pupil Behaviour and Discipline SOP. The Headteacher will expect to see that such steps have been taken and clearly recorded on SIMS before a referral is made under the following procedures. However, it is acknowledged that there will be instances where all the strategies employed by a teacher to promote good conduct in his or her lesson will not have the desired outcome with some individual pupils. In cases where the teacher’s efforts have failed or the pupil has been unco-operative, the pupil should be referred to the Head of Department or PSO (Pupil Support Officer). In exceptional circumstances (see page four) the referral should be directly to the Headteacher or, if he/she is unavailable, to SMT using the ‘SMTHelp’ email address.
In some circumstances a pupil may have to be removed from a lesson for a short period, possibly to allow him or her to cool off, or to allow others in the class to commence their work prior to the teacher dealing with the disruptive pupil. However, disruptive pupils should not be sent to another location without the agreement of another member of staff who would then assume responsibility for them. The child remains the responsibility of the class teacher until another member of staff formally assumes that responsibility.
As a general guide, the referral should be to the Head of Department in cases such as:
- lack of effort and application
- loss of or damage to departmental property
- regular non-completion of work
- regular submission of sub-standard work
- instances of misconduct with which the teacher has already attempted to deal
Referral should be to the PSO (Pupil Support Officer):
- when problems become severe or persistent
- the Head of Department has been unable to resolve the problem
Referrals should not be made to the Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher unless the circumstances are exceptional or in any case of emergency (see below). Any child who is referred to a Head of Department, PSO or to the Headteacher or SMT should only be referred on the basis of adequate information. It will not be possible for staff to deal with referred pupils if they come unaccompanied and/or with no background information. A note from the member of staff briefly outlining the reason for sending the child will suffice.
When a referral is made to the PSO, he or she will need to consider what steps to take. If the problems are not restricted to one subject, the PSO will need to consider placing the pupil on report. This may be a comment report or a points report. Normally the comment report would be used first, but the PSO shall have the discretion to move straight to the points report according to the extent or severity of the problem. The PSO will usually collect information from staff who teach the pupil before placing on report or taking further action. If the collection of staff comments reveals that the problem exists in only one subject, the matter will be referred back to the appropriate Head of Department.
The parents should be invited in when a pupil is placed on a points report. Targets for future conduct should be agreed and the pupil encouraged to set his or her own targets on a daily and weekly basis. A maximum number of lessons (according to the report) in which behaviour has been unacceptable and which would therefore lead to temporary exclusion should be agreed with the parents. When this total is reached, the pupil will be excluded for a fixed period of three days for persistent disruptive behaviour.
The points report will be monitored by the PSO. Sanctions will be applied where the report indicates that behaviour has been unacceptable and the parent will be warned in writing if the child is approaching the previously determined maximum. If the report indicates that all the disruption is in one subject, the matter will be referred back to the Head of Department.
Section 3: Exclusions
In cases of persistent misconduct, none or not all of which arise directly from lessons, the PSO will monitor the situation and impose sanctions as appropriate. The PSO will advise the Headteacher if he or she feels the pupil is not responding to the sanctions and the situation is not improving. The Headteacher will at this time consider a temporary exclusion and the provision of a Pastoral Support Plan. The Headteacher will expect the parents to have been invited to school and to have received written communication from the PSO outlining the problems which have arisen prior to this referral. LPLs (Learning Progress Leaders) will have put in place a Pastoral Support Plan for any pupil who has been excluded on two occasions.
When a pupil has completed 120 school days without an exclusion offence being committed, the first exclusion on the child’s record will not be considered when determining what sanctions to apply. If a second offence which merits an exclusion occurs within this period of 120 school days, a further period of 120 school days will begin from the date of the commencement of the exclusion and will run concurrently with the first period of 120 school days. If at the end of this period, no further exclusion offence has been committed, the first exclusion will not be considered when imposing future sanctions. A further period of 120 school days will need to be served before the second exclusion will be removed. During the preceding periods, any pupil who has a “live” exclusion on his/her record will not be allowed to take part in any activities defined as curriculum enhancement trips or holidays in the school’s policy on the organisational visits or other social activities (such as school discos) which are not an essential part of the school curriculum.
When a child has four current temporary exclusions on his or her record (or an two internal exclusions from lessons and two temporary exclusions) the Headteacher, having regard to paragraph 1.3 of National Assembly Circular 1/2004, must decide whether all available strategies are in danger of being exhausted and the parents be issued with a final written warning about future conduct and a recommendation to consult the Education Welfare Officer about the possibility of a managed move to another school. In reaching his decision, the Headteacher may not conclude that all strategies have been tried without success unless:
- the child has received a Pastoral Support Plan after an internal exclusion from lessons;
- a referral has been made to an outside agency, with the agency or agencies in question being determined by the LPL according to the needs of the child;
- documented attempts have been made to secure parental co-operation to improve conduct at an early stage;
- the child has received appropriate support from the LPL through the use of Learning Support Interviews.
Both the parent and the child are informed of the reasons for any exclusion. The school will always attempt to contact the parent by phone on the day of the exclusion and the pupil is given reasons for it at the time. A letter is given to the pupil which confirms the reasons for the exclusion and is instructed to take it home to the parent. The parent is informed that the letter has been issued and made aware of its contents during the telephone call.
Parents will be invited to school after each exclusion and will be interviewed by a member of the pastoral team (PSO / LPL). When a pupil is excluded for the first time, at the discretion of the LPL, a Pastoral Support Plan may be completed over the telephone. Parents and the pupil concerned may also be asked to attend an interview with members of the Governors’ Pupil Discipline Committee after a second exclusion in order that they may fully understand that they are placing their education at Friars in jeopardy. The Chair and one other member of the Committee (not a Teacher Governor) will usually attend. Pupils may be interviewed in the absence of their parents.
A pupil may be permanently excluded for repeated serious misconduct following a final written warning, or in exceptional circumstances which, in the view of the Headteacher, constitute gross misconduct. The Governors and Headteacher deem serious or gross misconduct to include, but not be limited to the following:
- Violent conduct or the threat of violent conduct
- Abusive language directed at or deliberately used in the presence of members of staff or the public
- Theft of school property or property belonging to staff of the school, or the property of pupils which has been legitimately brought to school
- Malicious damage, particularly to school property or the property of staff of the school
- Provoking a confrontation with or a deliberate refusal to co-operate with a reasonable instruction of a member of staff
- Bringing an offensive weapon on to school premises*
- Bringing (or use of) a prohibited substance such as controlled drugs or alcohol on to school premises or in school time, possession of the paraphernalia or equipment needed for the taking or use of prohibited substances or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs during school the school day
- Repeated non- co-operation with sanctions or punishment imposed by staff of the school
- Serious, repeated disruptive behaviour in class.
Some incidents which fall within the school’s definition of exceptional circumstances may of themselves be so serious as to merit permanent exclusion. In these circumstances the Headteacher will not be required to demonstrate that a range of alternative strategies to exclusion has been tried and failed. The incident could be a first or one-off offence.
Exclusion in any of the above cases could be temporary or permanent at the discretion of the Headteacher according to the severity of the incident and the previous record of the pupil.
The school only uses lunch time exclusion as a last resort. However, when the Headteacher deems it an appropriate sanction, it will be a short-term measure only, with regular reviews of whether it continues to be an appropriate approach. Lunchtime exclusion is treated as equivalent to a quarter of a school day. If these quarter days add up to more than 5 school days in a school term, including when they are added to other fixed-period exclusions, this will then entitle the parent or guardian to make representations to the Pupil Discipline Committee of the Governing Body. Where a pupil is kept in the school during lunchtime, but away from other pupils, this will not count as a formal exclusion but as an `internal exclusion’. Arrangements should be made for pupils who are entitled to free school meals. This may mean providing a packed lunch.
Pupils’ behaviour outside school on school business, for example on school trips, away school sports fixtures or work experience placements, is subject to the school’s behaviour policy. Bad behaviour in these circumstances will be dealt with as if it had taken place in school. For behaviour outside school, but not on school business, the Headteacher may exclude a pupil if there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the pupil body as a whole. For example, abusing or harassing staff outside of school hours and off school premises will be dealt with as if it had happened in school.
Members of the Senior Management Team and designated pastoral staff (PSOs, LPLs, SMT) may use school cameras or camera phones for the purpose of collecting evidence when investigating incidents of misconduct, for example, to record injuries or the scene of an incident. Photographs may be taken of pupils in such circumstances. The above staff may use their own personal phones in the following circumstances:
- where a school camera or phone is unavailable and a delay may be prejudicial to the interests of a pupil or pupils or a member of staff,
- a contemporaneous record of an incident is possible but the opportunity would be lost if there were a delay (see above);
- the images are immediately shown to a member of SMT;
- the images are transferred to equipment registered to the school;
- the images on the member of staff’s phone are deleted as soon as possible in the presence of a member of SMT;
- If the images are stored, they must be stored on a designated school system which is password protected.
*Where an offensive or potentially offensive weapon is brought to school, the item must not be returned to the pupil concerned. It will be retained by the Headteacher and returned to either the parent on personal application or to the police according to its nature and the Headteacher’s discretion.
Section 4: The Role of the Pupil Discipline Committee
The Pupil Discipline Committee of the Governing Body undertakes the role of the Discipline Committee as set out in the National Assembly circulars of guidance. In order to be quorate, three Governors must be present in any meeting. The Headteacher may not act as a member of the Committee when dealing with exclusions.
If an exclusion would result in the pupil missing a public examination, the Pupil Discipline Committee should try to meet before the date of the examination. If, exceptionally, in the case of a fixed-period exclusion, the Chair of the Committee does not consider it practical for the Committee to meet before the time when the pupil is due to take the public examination, he or she alone may consider the exclusion and decide whether or not to reinstate the pupil (these are the only circumstances in which the Chair can sit alone to review an exclusion). In such cases the parent and / or pupil has the right to make written and oral representations to the committee or, as the case may be, the Chair. If possible, the Chair should hear details from an LEA officer on how other comparable cases within the LEA have been dealt with.
In all other cases, the Committee will convene within fifteen school days of a permanent exclusion to decide whether to uphold the exclusion or reinstate the pupil. A principal, but not the sole, consideration will be whether the school has adhered to this policy in its handling of the exclusion and the incidents which led up to it. All fixed period exclusions are reported to the committee via the Chair.
Section 5: Further Sanctions and Punishments
A variety of punishments and sanctions is used by the school. It is expected that teachers take responsibility for the conduct of their own lessons and that they use their professional discretion as to the sanctions which support the good management of lessons. These may involve extra work, being kept in at lunch or break time or not being given privileges available to other pupils. However, if these fail, staff often impose after school detentions. Such detentions are also used by senior staff, including the Headteacher, LPLs and PSOs. Senior staff set a range of tasks during detention with the intention of making the punishment meaningful and useful to the school. These may include collecting litter, tidying etc. as recommended in National Assembly consultation documents. Pupils will be given confirmation in writing with at least one clear day between the issuing of the detention letter and the date of the detention when it will be served after school hours. It is the pupil’s responsibility to pass this on to the parent. Parental permission is not required in law for the detention to take place. Repeated non-compliance with punishments can lead to exclusion from school (see above).
Pupils may not be permitted to participate in school trips and activities where their behaviour leads the supervising staff to believe that their presence may be prejudicial to the safety and good order of the activity. Pupils who have been excluded from school will forfeit the right to participate in certain extra-curricular activities (see above).
On rare occasions at the end of the school day a pupil may be removed from a school bus where his/her behaviour is prejudicial to the safety and good order of the pupils travelling on the bus. The school will make every effort to inform parents when this occurs.
When a pupil is excluded for more than fifteen days, a meeting of the Governors’ Pupil Discipline Committee will be held to confirm the exclusion. When a pupil has been excluded for a period of more than three days, the school will set work where this is requested by the parent. Requests for such work should be made to the PSO to whom staff should pass on the appropriate books etc.
Section 6: Physical Restraint of Pupils
Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 which re-enacts Section 550A of the 1996 Education Act gives any members of staff who have control of pupils on or off the site if they have been so authorised by the Headteacher the right to exercise reasonable force to restrain a pupil.
In accordance with Welsh Assembly Government guidance document 097/2013, the Headteacher has authorised all members of the teaching and support staff and any other member of staff paid as a lunchtime supervisor to use reasonable force in certain defined circumstances to restrain pupils, provided that their actions shall be reasonable for example, it would be reasonable for authorised staff to restrain pupils to prevent their:
- Committing or continuing to commit a criminal offence
- Injuring themselves or others whether, for example, by violent conduct, rough play, misuse of equipment or irresponsible behaviour
- Causing damage to property including their own
- Engaging in any activity prejudicial to the maintenance of good order and discipline
- Engaging in serious disruptive behaviour in class
- Seriously disrupting an off-site visit or activity
- Remove a pupil who is refusing to leave and area from which he/she has been told to go
- Prevent a pupil from absconding or going to a place which the teacher reasonably believes he or she may be at risk of harm.
Staff should not use any of the following to restrain pupils:
- Holding a pupil in any way as to restrict the ability to breathe
- Striking, tripping or kicking
- Twisting or forcing limbs against a joint
- Holding or pulling hair
Staff should always try to use other strategies to resolve a situation and should only resort to physical restraint in cases of urgency or danger or where other methods of control have failed. Staff should not physically intervene if doing so would put them at risk. Other pupils should be removed from the scene and assistance sought in such circumstances.
Any member of staff using physical restraint should as soon as possible after the incident produce a written report for the Headteacher which details:
- The name of the pupil(s) involved
- Where the incident took place
- Names of witnesses (where possible)
- The reason force was used
- A description of the incident itself, particularly that point at which the teacher deemed physical intervention to be necessary
- The pupil’s response and the outcome of the incident
- Details of any injury or damage
The teacher should give a copy of the report to the representative of their trade union or association. The Headteacher will inform the parent in writing of the details of the incident.
Section 7: Searching Pupils for Prohibited Items
The Headteacher may make rules reasonably prohibiting pupils from bringing certain items to school. This may include:
a) items prohibited by law (illegal drugs);
b) items prohibited by law (offensive weapons or items which could be used as offensive weapons);
c) items which the majority of pupils cannot legally purchase or the use of which may infringe other legislation (alcohol and cigarettes), or;
d) Such other items as may be prejudicial to the good order of the school (for example, see the school policy on the misuse of modern technology).
Section 93 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 as clarified by guidance document 097/2013 gives schools the right to search pupils in certain circumstances. The Headteacher of Ysgol Friars is authorised to (and, in turn, may authorise other staff to) search pupils in accordance with the following:
- To undertake non-contact searches (i.e. requesting pupils to turn out their pockets, remove contents from or hand over bags etc.) where no physical contact is made with the pupil;
- To undertake a without consent search of pupils’ possessions (such as a coat which is not being worn or a school bag) for items in category b);
- Search the pupil’s clothing with consent for items in category b) (any search should be in accordance with the guidance on when without consent searches should not be conducted in the section below);
- Conduct without consent searches of pupils’ clothing if, in the opinion of a member of the Senior Management Team, there are reasonable grounds for suspicion of possession of items in category b) and not conducting a search might put a pupil or pupils at risk.
Pupils who refuse to co-operate with a non-contact search may:
- In category a) be detained until they can be searched by the police;
- In category b) be physically searched without consent (see above) or be detained until they can be searched by the police. A without consent search should be treated as a last resort if other strategies to elicit co-operation have been tried without success;
- In categories c) and d) be excluded for non-compliance where the school can demonstrate that it had reasonable grounds for suspicion of possession.
Staff should consider contacting the pupil’s parent to ask him/her to be attend if a pupil is refusing to consent to a search for items in category b) where this would not lead to increased risk from undue delay and/or where the parent’s presence may be conducive to resolving the situation.
A without consent search should not be conducted if:
- To do so would put any member of staff at risk;
- The member of staff is unwilling to take this action as the power to search is a power not a duty;
- There are not at least two members of staff present who are of the same gender as the pupil being searched (members of the opposite gender should not be present in the room during the search);
- The search may lead to touching which the pupil may regard as intimate (e.g. depending on the size and position of trouser pockets);
- The search might involve the removal or revealing of items of underclothing.
The above apply both on site and off site during authorised school activities. If a pupil is off site in other circumstances (for example, making his or her way home), staff should inform the police if they have reasonable grounds to suspect that the pupil is in possession of items in category a) or b).
Any item in category a) or b) should be seized and reported to the police who should be invited to come to school to collect it.
When any member of staff undertakes or is asked to witness a without consent search, they should, within two school days, produce a report for the Headteacher, listing:
- The name and year group of the pupil searched;
- The grounds for suspicion;
- The date, time and place the search took place;
- Who searched and who else was present;
- Whether any reasonable force was used and why;
- How the search progressed;
- The pupil’s responses;
- The outcome (was anything found and if so what).
Section 8: Admission of pupils who have been temporarily excluded from other schools
The school will consider requests from the educational welfare service to admit pupils who have been temporarily excluded from other schools provided the school has not reached the relevant admission number agreed with the LA for that year group. When such a pupil is admitted, it will normally be on the basis of a behaviour agreement signed by the parents, the pupil and the Headteacher which will outline the school's expectations of the pupil’s conduct. Any temporary exclusions from a previous school will count as a temporary exclusion in this policy. Admission will not normally take place until the full curricular and pastoral records of the pupil have been received from the previous school.
Section 9: Attendance
The school seeks to promote regular attendance by awarding prizes and certificates to those who achieve maximum attendance, by phoning home to check the pupil's whereabouts on the first day of an absence, by writing to the parents following an absence of three school days and by insisting on a note signed by a parent, explaining the reasons for the absence, to be handed in on the pupil’s return. The school appreciates the co-operation of the educational welfare service which often assists in dealing with cases of truancy and whose support is invaluable to the school.
Section 10: School dress code
The school has a dress code which is published in the prospectus for parents. Parents are deemed to have accepted it by taking up the offer of a place at the school. Pupils are expected to conform to the requirements of the code and to present themselves smartly.
Section 11: Behaviour on school transport
The school believes that the maintenance of safety and good order on school transport is important. The school will punish pupils who misbehave on school or public transport. Regular or serious misbehaviour may lead to the matter being referred to the County Planning Department who may temporarily or permanently ban a pupil from travelling on school transport.
Section 12: Bullying
The school has a separate policy relating to bullying.
Adopted by resolution of the Governors 15 May, 1997.
Revised: 30 June, 1998; 6 July, 1999, 14 November, 2001, 31 October 2002, 1 April 2004, 6 July 2004, 14 December 2004 and 8 February 2005, 17 March, 2008, 24 November, 2010 and 23 October, 2012, 13 March, 2013, 17 December, 2014, 1st April 2019.
Endorsed by Representatives of the School Council 6 January, 2011