Code of Behaviour

St. Macartan’s College Code of Behaviour

The School Mission Statement

In St. Macartan’s College we seek to provide an environment where the Christian values of mutual respect, tolerance, care and justice are encouraged and nurtured. Our school complements the efforts of parents and parishes in the fostering of a living faith.

Each student is unique, has different gifts and different needs. Our school strives to provide a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum which develops the individual’s talents and abilities.

St. Macartan’s College encourages self-discipline and responsibility, and fosters the development of skills which enable students to use their leisure time positively and creatively.

It is our wish that students share fully in the life of the school and leave St. Macartan’s College as caring and capable young adults who will contribute positively to their communities

How our code was developed

This code was developed in consultation with all the education partners involved in the life of the school. The Patron, the Board of Management, Teachers, Parents and students were all involved in the drafting of this document.

Our vision for relationships and behaviour in the school and the ways in which the school promotes good behaviour.

The Code of Behaviour in St. Macartan’s College is a statement of good practice which covers all aspects of a school that contributes to the development and maintenance of good behaviour and a positive ethos. The Health, Safety and Welfare of each member of the school community guide this code.

In recognising the aspiration in the school mission statement to provide the best school environment in which to teach, learn, work and play, there is a duty and responsibility for all to play their part and to recognise the rights of all to proceed in their roles without threat, danger or obstruction and with the support and respect due to each individual.

The school expects good behaviour to be the norm and always acknowledges good behaviour.

How students, staff and parents can help each other to uphold the standards expected in the school

All members of the school community are expected to help maintain an atmosphere conducive to learning and to foster an atmosphere of courtesy and mutual respect.

Good school discipline which fosters an effective and stimulating learning environment depends on full co-operation between all members of the school community. The support of parents/guardians greatly assists the school in the implementation of our Code of Behaviour.

Aims of our Code of Behaviour:

  • To encourage acceptance of and adherence to an agreed set of principles of behaviour.
  • To support effective teaching and learning.
  • To contribute to mutual respect.

Promoting a Positive School.

St. Macartan’s College seeks to provide a school environment in which students have every opportunity to learn and to develop as a person. Working together, students, teachers and parents have a responsibility to contribute positively to school life. We therefore encourage all to strive for the highest standards of work, behaviour, attendance and punctuality. Students are expected to co-operate fully with teachers and to challenge themselves to achieve their best in every aspect of life in the school.

The school community will strive to:
  • Treat everyone and everything with respect.
  • Show kindness, fairness, courtesy and be willing to work with and help others.
  • Follow the agreed school rules
  • Attend school and be punctual.
  • Beir Bua – Make use of every positive learning opportunity afforded at school.
  • Work hard
  • Act sensibly

Roles and responsibilities of staff members in relation to behaviour

St. Macartan’s College aims to provide a caring environment for the entire school community. All teachers share responsibility for good order in the corridors, school grounds and during school events. Teachers are primarily responsible for maintaining discipline in their own classes. For misbehaviour the teacher will impose an appropriate reprimand and / or appropriate sanction.

System of Referral and Procedures

Teachers keep written records of breaches of discipline by students. Records of serious breaches of discipline are retained in the student’s file. Copies of letters sent to parents and records of phone calls and meetings with parents will be retained.

A teacher will refer a student directly to the appropriate Year Head, Deputy Principal or Principal only in the event of a very serious breach of discipline.

Teachers do not remove a student from the classroom and leave him unsupervised outside the classroom. If immediate intervention is necessary, another student will be sent to the Deputy Principal or Principal with a message / note explaining the problem.

The following measures/sanctions may be used depending on the seriousness of the offence,

  • Reasoning with student,
  • Verbal warning,
  • Additional work or exercises,
  • Note to parents in the student’s journal,
  • Reduced break times,
  • Phone call to parents,
  • Referral to Year Head
  • Meeting with Parents/Guardians
  • Referral to Principal/Deputy Principal

The Class Tutor

The Class Tutor plays a key role in the school’s Pastoral Care System. The Class Tutor is available to act as a guide, support, corrector, motivator protects the ‘rights’ of the class as a group and of each individual in it.

Tutors will endeavour

  • To ensure that all students in the class are familiar with the Code of Behaviour.
  • To monitor the students’ use of the School Journal on a weekly basis.
  • To co-ordinate the completion of student reports.

The Class Tutor should be made aware by the subject teacher of problems which arise. Meetings of Class Tutors with the Year Head are scheduled during the opening days of the school year. The Year Head and Class Tutors for a particular year group may arrange other meetings as necessary or may meet to work on individual issues or projects e.g. the sixth year Tutors and Year Head operate the process to select the annual winner of the St. Macartan’s Award.

The Year Head

The Year Head works along with and acts as co-ordinator of the Class Tutors in his/her year, in addition to dealing with disciplinary issues.

The Year Head liaises with the Class Tutors on a regular basis. Together, they identify if any student is:
  • underachieving (as indicated in school reports
  • experiencing any problems e.g. suffering from bullying, being dishonest, not doing his homework, not achieving his potential..
In the system of referral the Year Head, in particular, is responsible for:
  • meeting with any pupil referred to him/her
  • helping/advising/correcting any pupil with behavioural difficulties
  • making contact and meeting with parents/guardians of students in the year group
  • putting students on report, monitoring their progress and imposing detention and other sanctions as appropriate
  • liaising with Class Tutors, Deputy Principal and Principal
  • maintaining up-to-date records on each student in his/her year group
The Year Heads, Guidance Counsellor, School Chaplain, Deputy Principal and Principal meet on a weekly basis with the Principal chairing meetings. Issues discussed can include.
  • The School Journal and monitoring of school behaviour
  • Implementations of the Referral System
  • Students experiencing difficulties
  • Parental concerns
  • Lockers
  • Punctuality
  • Bullying

See Appendix 1 for the school’s Pastoral Care Policy.

School Regulations


In the interest of order and safety, students must obey school directions when walking within the building, on the avenue and when using school transport.

  • Each school day begins at 8.50am. If a student arrives late, he must sign in at the school office before entering class. A student who arrives late for class on a regular basis will be subject to sanction.
  • Students must be on time for class, having with them all books, copies and equipment for the particular subject. During class students must comply with the instructions of their teachers.
  • Students may not leave the college at any time without a written request from their parent/guardian. This request must he presented in the School Journal and sanctioned by his Class Tutor, the Deputy Principal or Principal. Before leaving the school grounds students must sign out at the school office.
  • If it is known in advance that the student will be late, it is expected that parents/guardians will advise the school by putting a note in the student’s school journal or via the school App.


The St. Macartan’s College school uniform consists of

  • white shirt
  • Black tie with College crest and diagonal twin amber stripes (senior students) / blue tie with twin amber stripes (junior students)
  • dark blue v-neck pullover with sleeves and college crest (juniors) Black v-neck pullover with sleeves and college crest
  • plain dark-grey trousers
  • black shoes

NB: Students may only wear an official school jacket to and from school

Runners/sports shoes are not allowed as part of the school uniform. Students must wear their uniform at all times, except during games. When required, school ties may be hired from the school office at a fee of €2 per day.

If a student has a genuine reason for not complying with the uniform regulations, he must report to his Year Head before morning registration.

Hygiene and Appearance:

Personal hygiene and the wearing of the school uniform in a presentable condition are signs of self-respect and maturity. Students may not dye, bleach or shave their hair or shave designs into their hair. Hair must be kept clean, neat and tidy.

Students must be clean-shaven at all times. Students may not wear earrings or similar piercings of any kind, jewellery or badges (other than school approved badges). Visible tattoos are not allowed.

If a student is in breach of uniform rules he may not be admitted to class or may incur a detention.

Respect, Manners and Courtesy:

Everyone is entitled to be shown respect. All members of the school community are expected to treat all persons, whether older or younger, with kindness and thoughtfulness. This includes all occasions of student-teacher contact outside school hours. The use of improper and offensive language must be avoided at all times.

Acquiring habits of good manners and courtesy is an important training for life. The school at all times places an emphasis on and expects politeness, courtesy, co-operation and respect for others and for their property. Students should recognise the appropriate way of addressing teachers or other adults and observe the normal courtesies in matters such as standing back, holding doors, etc.

Out of respect for the school, all students are expected to attend official school events such as Awards Day and St. Macartan’s Day ceremonies. Students may not sign out from school on these days unless they have a genuine medical appointment.

Working Languages

The working languages in St. Macartan’s College are Gaeilge and English. Students are expected to use Gaeilge or English in the school building and in their dealings with teachers.

Anti-Social Behaviour:

The school reserves the right to take serious disciplinary action (up to and including, as may be deemed necessary, suspension or expulsion) for serious anti-social or dangerous behaviour, or behaviour detrimental to the good name and welfare of its teachers, staff, students and/or the school.


A clean, litter-free environment makes life more pleasant for everyone. Every member of the school community is expected to play a part by placing litter in the bins provided and by placing recyclable material in the recycling bins provided.

Students are required to care for school buildings, furnishings and the property of others. The writing of graffiti, the use of correction fluid and the chewing of gum are strictly prohibited. Damage to property must be reported immediately to the Principal or Deputy Principal and may have to be paid for.

School Journal:

(a) Students must take their Journal to class each day, keep it in a neat and tidy condition and use it to record exactly the homework/study set in each subject.

(b) If a student does not bring his Journal to class, he will be liable to reprimand and or minor sanction.

(c) If a student arrives in school on two successive days without his School Journal, or if the Class Tutor considers that the School Journal is in an unsatisfactory condition, he must purchase a new Journal through the Class Tutor.

(d) The loss, misuse or destruction of a School Journal will be regarded as a serious breach of the school Code of Behaviour.

(e) It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the School Journal is checked and signed by his parent/guardian each weekend.

(f) A student is required to present his School Journal to teachers when requested. Failure to present a Journal when requested will be seen as a serious breach of the Code of Behaviour.

(g) Students are responsible for their own journal and its contents.

(h) Every note from a parent/guardian must be included in the School Journal.

Absences from School

The College is obliged under The Education Welfare Act 2000 to put in place a system of strategies and measures which encourage regular school attendance. Therefore, the College asks parents/guardians to work with the school in fostering an appreciation of learning among the students and in encouraging students to attend school regularly. The school is also obliged to forward information in relation to absences to the Education Welfare Officer.

If a student is absent;

Parents / guardians are asked to contact the school by telephone on the morning that the student is absent.

If it is known in advance that a student will be absent, it is expected that a parent/guardian will advise the school by putting a note in the student’s journal.

On returning to school after an absence, students must present an explanation to their Class Tutor, signed by a parent/guardian, in the School Journal. Parents / Guardians are also asked to complete the student’s attendance record section of the school journal.

Academic Honesty and Effort.

Students are expected to submit work which is original and represents their own efforts.

During the school year, students are expected to give their full attention and apply themselves diligently to their school work. Activities such as extra-curricular commitments, additional tuition after school, part time work, holidays, hobbies, socialising etc. must not be allowed interfere with homework and classwork.

The St. Macartan’s College Homework Policy (Appendix 2) forms part of this document.

Computer Honesty

Students are expected to use computers and computer networks solely for the purposes of education and academic research. Students must not tamper with or reconfigure any computer hardware or software without the permission of a teacher.

The school has a responsibility to parents and to the community to ensure that computers and computer networks are used to further the aims of education, and that students do not misuse electronic mail or have access to Internet sites that violate any aspect of this code of behaviour.

Any student using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or Social Media for the purpose of bullying a fellow student, insulting or defaming a teacher or any other member of staff associated with the school and/or bringing the school into disrepute in any fashion will be immediately and severely sanctioned under the Code of Behaviour.

The school’s ICT policy (Appendix III) forms part of this school’s Code of Behaviour and must be signed by all students and parents / guardians.

Health and Safety.

St. Macartan’s College aspires to create a safe environment for all members of the school community. The school has a detailed safety statement which is available from school authorities on request.

St. Macartan’s College through its Social, Personal and Health Education programme aims to empower young people to be aware of the choices they can make with regards to their health and personal safety and to encourage them to take responsibility for their consequent actions.

St. Macartan’s College Anti – Bullying Statement.

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 St. Macartan’s College 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.

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:

See Appendix IV for our Anti Bullying Policy. This policy must be read and signed by all students.

Bullying is not tolerated in this school

Prohibited substances

Under the 1995 Tobacco (Health Promotion and Protection) Regulations and the Public Health (Tobacco) Act, 2002 (Section 47) Regulations 2003, smoking is illegal in all schools and enclosed places of work. Smoking in the school grounds and going to and from school is prohibited. Breach of these rules may incur a suspension from school. Parents/guardians will be informed and, if necessary, the statutory authorities may also be informed.

Students may not have any dangerous object or substance in their possession. Students may not possess or partake of alcohol, prohibited substances or drugs in school, on the way to and from school or on school outings. Students in breach of this rule are liable to expulsion from the school.

In the interests of safety the school reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time.

School Buses:

In the Morning

Students must travel directly to the college on their designated school bus. Unless required by Bus Eireann to change buses, students must not get off the bus in Monaghan Town. Students may not return down the school avenue in the morning before the commencement of class.

Students on arriving at school should not cross the N2 to access the Circle K shop

In the Evening

Students should walk to the bus lay-by via the pedestrian way. At the bus stop students should queue until buses have come to a complete halt before boarding. Breaches of these rules or misconduct on buses can result in temporary or permanent withdrawal of a student’s bus ticket by Bus Eireann and will be regarded as breach of the school Code of Behaviour.

The pedestrian crossing must be used at all times when crossing the road at the bottom of the college avenue .

Students who cross the N2 in the evening may not return to the school’s bus lay-by.


Students must get permission from the Principal to bring a car onto the school grounds and are bound at all times by the conditions under which such permission is granted. (Appendix V)

Mobile Phones:

Mobile phones which disrupt teaching and learning in the school will be confiscated. Inappropriate use of a mobile phone on school grounds is a very serious issue and will be dealt with as such. The phone may be confiscated for a period of up to one week. Confiscated phones will be stored in the school office and returned by the Principal. Students/parents may be contacted, in case of emergency, through the school office at any time. Mobile phones may not be taken to Sports Hall or dressing rooms. The school accepts no liability for students mobile phones.

Please read the St. Macartan’s College Mobile Device policy.

The consequences of unacceptable behaviour.

  • Individual subject teachers will deal with misbehaviour in class or wherever it occurs.
  • For persistent misbehaviour or an incident of serious misconduct, students will be referred to the Year Head, Deputy Principal, or Principal. Such misconduct may merit detention outside school hours.
  • For very serious misconduct the Principal may suspend students from the school.
  • The Board of Management reserves the right to exclude a student from the school if his conduct disrupts the life of the school or if a student threatens the development and progress of other students.

Acknowledging good behaviour, progress and effort.

In St. Macartan’s College it is important that praise and rewards should have a considerable emphasis whereby pupils will receive recognition for the positive contribution they make to school life. Such contributions include sound academic work and effort, positive contribution to school activities and good behaviour.

It is expected that good standards of behaviour will be encouraged through the

consistent application of the Code of Behaviour supported by a balanced combination

of rewards and sanctions within a constructive school ethos.

This system aims to support the Code of Behaviour and to develop a consistent pattern of rewards, which are known, understood and agreed to by all.

Awards include informal rewards and formal awards.

Examples of informal rewards which staff are encouraged to use for academic

achievement, appropriate behaviour and outstanding effort include, general praise and encouragement in class, which should be used as much as possible, letters home, notes to parents in the journal, comments to parents written on school work, articles in the school newsletter and in the local media may be used. These cover a wide variety of academic and non academic achievements.

Formal rewards include the awarding of merit certificates, journal award stickers, certificates, lunch vouchers etc. for agreed aspects of school life.

In order to support the development of consistency, the Student Achievement Coordinator, the Student Awards Committee, class Tutors and the Year Heads will determine the list of formal rewards for students.

The Spiorad na Scoile award will be presented to students who best exemplify the mission and spirit of St. Macartan’s College.

Where parents or students can get help when concerns arise regarding any aspect of school life.

Where issues of concern arise, parents and / or students are encouraged to make an appointment to meet with the relevant teacher / Tutor or Year Head. In the same way parents and / or students may also bring serious concerns to the attention of the Deputy Principal or Principal.

Procedures for detention.

A student may be placed on detention as a result of a breach of the Code of Behaviour. Parents will be informed in writing about this detention at least 24 hours before the detention is due to take place. Detention takes place between 3.50 p.m and 5.05 p.m. on Friday afternoons. Students will be assigned written work or social duties to be completed during detention. If due to unforeseen circumstances a student is not in a position to attend, a detention may be deferred in consultation with the Principal or Deputy Principal.

Policies and procedures for suspension and expulsion.

Suspension from school will be imposed where the Principal is satisfied that this is warranted by serious offences such as bullying, theft, damage to persons or property, other such offences or where a student has failed to respond to other forms of sanction for repeated misbehaviour. In many cases suspension is imposed for a limited number of days at the expiry of which the student may return to the College. In certain cases it is required that a meeting with parents will be held to discuss whether or not it is appropriate for the offending pupil to return to the college and, if it is, to determine the conditions under which such return may be permitted.

Students may be requested to give a written commitment to good behaviour before being permitted to return to the College. Students may also be placed on a probation report after a suspension.

The Principal shall decide whether to expel a student from the school in accordance with the following procedures:

The Principal shall convene a meeting of the Student Support Committee (Year Heads, Guidance Counsellor, College Chaplain, Deputy Principal and Principal) where the issue will be discussed. The Principal shall then convene a meeting with the student and parents concerned, the Deputy Principal and relevant Year Head.

At this meeting the student and his parents/guardians shall have the right to state his case and examine the student’s record in the school.

The case will be referred back to the Student Support Committee who shall consider all representations made by or on behalf of the student concerned before making a decision on the appropriate sanction.

Should the Committee advise that expulsion is the appropriate sanction the Principal shall notify the parents that he is recommending expulsion to the Board of Management. He will offer the Parents the opportunity to address the Board of Management on the issue prior to a decision being taken.

A decision of the Board to expel a student along with the reasons for same will be forwarded to the relevant Education Welfare Officer in writing. The expulsion shall not take effect before the passing of twenty school days following the receipt of this written notification by the Education Welfare Officer.

Procedures for raising a concern or bringing an issue regarding a behaviour matter

Teachers and school management will follow the agreed procedures as outlined in this document. If parents have a query regarding a behavioural matter they are encouraged to make an appointment to speak with the teacher in question regarding a specific behavioural issue. In the case of a number of issues, parents / guardians are encouraged to raise their concerns with the student’s Year Head or with the Deputy Principal.

If concerns remain parents/ guardians are welcome to raise the issue with the Principal. If concerns persist, parents may bring the issue to the attention of the Board of Management.

Modification clause

The Board of Management of St. Macartan’s College reserve the right to modify details of this Code of Behaviour at short notice. Such modification may be needed in an ever changing society.

While the school authorities will, in general, follow the sanctions outlined in the Code of Behaviour, the right to depart from them in individual cases is reserved where it is considered advisable to do so.

The plan for reviewing the code

The Code of Behaviour will be reviewed in full every two years.

This Code was approved by the Board of Management and Patron on, Date June 13th 2019 by the Board of Management June 15th 2019 by the Patron.

Appendix I

Saint Macartan’s College Pastoral Care Policy

Our Pastoral Care Policy places the individual as a member of our school community at the heart of everything we do.

Mission Statement

Saint Macartan’s College community is committed to providing a caring environment where the Christian values of mutual respect, tolerance, care and justice are encouraged and nurtured.

Our Pastoral Care Programme aims to uphold this mission to meet the personal, social, emotional and intellectual needs of each individual pupil so he can fully participate in, and gain maximum benefit from everything the school has to offer.

The personal development of students is a core value of Saint Macartan’s College. We believe that teachers care for their students and that education takes place in a genuinely caring atmosphere. We strive to form positive and pro-active partnerships with parents and with statutory and voluntary agencies who engage with families, to promote the welfare and best interests of our students.

We are dedicated to:

  • Providing a nurturing environment where all individuals can feel secure and participate fully in the life of the school.
  • Promoting personal achievement and academic success through a broad, balanced and relevant curriculum.
  • Providing opportunities to help students develop and display their natural skills and talents.
  • Encouraging independent learning, self-discipline and responsibility so students can leave Saint Macartan’s College as caring and capable young adults who will contribute positively to society.

The Pastoral Care Team

All staff play a role in the pastoral care of individuals, however, the following personnel have a key role on the Pastoral Care Team

  • Principal/Deputy Principal – overall responsibility for the management of the school, including the well being of students.
  • Assistant Principals assist the principal and deputy principal with the management of the school.
  • Guidance Counsellors – provide guidance, counselling and promote positive mental health and well being in the school.
  • Student Support Team – meets weekly to support students experiencing difficulties at school.
  • Year Heads – promote students’ positive discipline, positive work ethic, punctuality, good attendance and positive participation within the year group and the school generally.
  • Class tutors – guide and support the pupils in his/her tutor group, help compile school reports to parents, record and monitor student attendance and liaise with the Year Head regarding issues that may arise.
  • Subject teachers – responsible for their education environment and ensuring the development, well being and safety of the students in their classes.
  • Learning Support Staff – responsible for the support of students with a specific difficulty that impacts their learning/social interaction in the school environment.
  • Chaplaincy and Religious Educators – responsible, with the support of the whole school community, for fostering a living faith in the school. All staff play a role in the pastoral care of individuals in St. Macartan’s College
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