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Casa Caterina Code of Behaviour

















Reviewed and approved by the staff –

Ratified by Parents –

Ratified by BOM –



This code of behaviour was formulated by the Staff, Parents and Board of Management of Casa Caterina in November.  It is a review of the original Code of Behaviour.

This code of behaviour should be read in conjunction with the Health and Safety Policy (Y1), Anti-Bullying Policy (Y3), the School Handbook (Y23), the Child Protection Policy (Y11), and the Enrolment Policy (Y4).

Copies of this policy and copies of the Anti=-Bullying Policy (Y3) are given to parents on enrolment.

Copies of this policy will be given to all Staff and to all members of the Board of Management.


According to circular 20/90, schools are required to have a Code of Behaviour.  This code has been drawn up in accordance with DES, INTO, and NEWB guidelines.

Casa Caterina Special School is a school for pupils with severe emotional and behavioural disorder and provides the child with the special educational needs for which s/he is referred, in the hope that s/he can be returned to the local school, form which s/he came. 

The ASD Unit in Casa Caterina is for children who have been diagnosed with Autism, and have been recommended for placement in a special unit.


  • To ensure that the individuality of each child is accommodated while acknowledging the right of each child to an appropriate education in a relatively disruption-free environment.
  • To ensure the safety and well being of all members of the school community.
  • To ensure that the system of rules, rewards, consequences and sanctions are implemented in a fair way.






Every effort is made by all members of staff to adopt a positive approach to the question of behaviour in the school.  The Code of Behaviour and Discipline offers a framework within which positive techniques of motivation and encouragement are utilised by the Staff.

Staff, pupils, and parents need to be aware that in order to obtain an acceptable standard of behaviour in the school, a high level of co-operation is required.  This will creates a strong sense of community within the school.  The co-operation of parents is essential.


The Staff

  • The overall responsibility for discipline within the school rests with the Principal.
  • Each teacher has responsibility for maintaining discipline in the classroom, sharing responsibility for good order in the school.
  • The teacher on duty for yard supervision has overall responsibility for the safety of pupils and the SNAs on duty share this responsibility. SNAs have responsibility for supervising the children in their class for yard supervision, except when this has been delegated to another SNA.


As important members of the school community, it is expected that parents will support their children in school by:

  • Making their children aware of the Code of Behaviour and expecting them to follow it. (See appendix 1).
  • Giving their children time and support to do homework in a quite area, where possible.
  • Encouraging them to be polite to all people in the school community.
  • Visiting the school when requested to do so.
  • Attending meetings/gatherings in school e.g. parent teacher meetings, graduation ceremonies etc.
  • Keeping in contact with all health and social agencies
  • Reading all notes in homework journals.
  • Talking about points earned by the child each day, and praising good behaviour.
  • Making sure the school has 2 up-to-date phone numbers and an email address at all times.
  • Ensuring that all pupils follow school rules (see appendix 1.)





Pupils are expected to follow the School’s ‘Golden Rules (Y38) enclosed which are displayed prominently at various locations around the school.  They are as follows;

  • Speak politely
  • Complete all work given by the teacher
  • Walk safely in the school building
  • Respect all property
  • Only leave class with permission



Encouraging Good Behaviour

To create an acceptable level of behaviour in Casa Caterina, the staff will ensure the following;

  • That they are familiar with all policies in the school plan.
  • That all behaviours and interventions are recorded in pupil’s progress copies (U 27).
  • All policies are adhered to.
  • That  policies are reviewed when necessary.
  • Teachers draw up an IEP (Individual Education Plan) for each child.
  • Parents and child will be part of this process where possible.
  • School rules and policies will be explained and discussed at regular intervals, to the pupils at assembly.
  • The Sensory Room (Y 56) is available for the children in the school.
  • When pupils are struggling with their behaviour, an agreement (Y8) may be drawn up with them and their parents, and signed by teacher, pupil, and parents.
  • Parents will be contacted to collect their child if their behaviour is becoming unmanageable.






  • Strategies in the De-escalation Policy (Y40) will be tried before any of the following sanctions will be imposed:
  • Time Out
  • Exclusion from activities
  • Communication with Principal
  • Loss of privileges
  • Internal suspension
  • A written apology from the pupil, depending on ability of the child
  • Reduced day
  • Using the Quiet Room (Y44)
  • Shortened week
  • Payment of fines (Y55)


Physical intervention or seclusion (time out) may be used in accordance with the CPI / MAPA and Seclusion Policies if the pupil’s behaviour is causing immediate danger to self or others.

Serious misbehaviours include:

  • Seriously intimidating behaviour
  • Behaviour that is a risk to self or others
  • Behaviour that is a disruption to the learning of others
  • Physical assault
  • Biting
  • Spitting
  • Sexual assault







Procedures for dealing with serious misbehaviour

If a child commits any of the above, s/he will be asked to do time out, which will be of an age appropriate length of time. If the child refuses to do time out, the following sanctions will apply;

1st Offence:     The parent will be informed and will bring the pupil in to school to discuss the                                                            behaviour the following day.

2nd Offence:    The parent will be informed and will bring the pupil in to school to discuss the                                                            behaviour the following day.

3rd Offence     The parent will be informed and will bring the pupil in to school to discuss the                                                            behaviour the following day.

4th Offence or a Serious Offence: The child will be suspended until a multi-agency meeting can be arranged to help develop a support plan for your child in school. This should take place within 5 working days and may be extended by a further 5 days.

  • A professional judgement call will be made by the adults in charge, depending on the severity of the incident and on individual circumstances.  A serious assault may incur     a 1 day suspension.
  • If a child over the age of 12 seriously misbehaves the Gardaí may be called if the parents/guardians are not in a position to arrange for the child to be collected.
  • If an assault causes serious injury to a member of staff or a pupil, the offending pupil will be put on suspension pending multi-agency appointment.
  • Every assault is to be recorded in the Incident Folder
  • Once a meeting of all personnel has occurred and the family is engaging with the clinic, the pupil may start back – with a fresh start.
  • In the case of no substitute teacher being available/permitted during teacher absence, pupils who have been suspended for a serious incident in the previous 14 days will be suspended in the interest of the health, safety and welfare of the school community.
  • If a child exhibits sexualised behaviour that presents a risk to other children or to staff, child protection services will be contacted and a report made. The child will be suspended until advised that he or she is not presenting a serious risk to the safety health and welfare of the other children in the school. Advice may be sought before allowing the child to return to school in the interest of the welfare, health and safety of the other children in the school.






The authority to expel a pupil from Casa Caterina is reserved to the B.O.M. and should not be delegated.

Expulsion will be considered after the following;

  • Meetings with parents, pupils, and staff ensuring that procedures laid down in the Code of Behaviour have been followed.
  • Ensuring that the pupil is aware of the consequences of his/her behaviour.
  • Ensuring that all options have been tried.
  • School and home have sought help from all health and social agencies.

Grounds for expulsion

A proposal to expel a pupil requires serious grounds such as;

  • His/her behaviour is a health and safety risk to himself/herself and others.
  • His/her behaviour is a persistent cause of serious disruption to the learning of others.
  • The pupil has caused serious damage to property.
  • Persistent and serious bullying behaviour.

There may be exceptional circumstances where the B.O.M forms the opinion that a pupil should be expelled for a first offence.  The kinds of behaviour which may result in a proposal to expel on the basis of a single breach of the Code could include;

  • Serious violence or physical assault
  • Supplying illegal drugs to other pupils in the school
  • Sexual assault
  • Bringing a weapon to school

Procedures for expulsion

Schools are required to follow procedures under the Education Welfare Act 2000 when proposing to expel a pupil.  The procedural steps are as follows;

  • A detailed investigation carried out under the direction of the principal.
  • A recommendation to the B.O.M by the principal.
  • Consideration by the B.O.M of the principals’ recommendation and the holding of a hearing to which the parents/guardians of the pupil are invited.
  • B.O.M deliberation and actions following the hearing.
  • Consultation arranged by the Education Welfare Officer
  • Confirmation of the decision to expel.

Reduced Day

The option for a child to attend for a reduced day may be considered as an alternative to expulsion if a pupil's behaviour is disruptive on an ongoing basis. The Board of Management, Classroom Staff and Parents must agree that a reduced day is in the best interest of the pupil. Efforts will be made to increase the school day as soon as there is observable progress in the disruptive and/or risk behaviour. Expulsion may be recommended if the risk behaviour persists.

These procedures are outlined in detail in the NEWB’s publication ‘Developing a Code of Behaviour- Guidelines for schools’ (pgs 80-86)

Appealing an expulsion

A parent, or a student aged over eighteen years, may appeal a decision to expel to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills (DES) (Education Act 1998 section 29).  An appeal may also be brought by the NEWB on behalf of a student.

The appeals process

The appeals process under section 29 of the Education Act 1998 begins with the provision of mediation by a mediator nominated by the Appeals committee (DES).  For further details refer to current DES guidance or contact NEWB.

Review of use of expulsion

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

Sanctions for serious offences

  • Setting off the Fire Alarm

The whole school population is to assemble as normal and must react to all fire alarm bells.

When a pupil sets off alarm;

  • The parents/Guardians will be contacted and informed of the situation (Y28).       A fine of €10.00 must be paid to the school.
  • The pupil will write a letter of apology for disturbance caused, and will be signed by parents.
  • The teacher should emphasise to the class the seriousness of setting off the alarm.
  •  Leaving the classroom without permission

If a pupil refuses to return to class and his/her behaviour is a cause for concern, parents will be expected to come to school and bring the child home. (Class teacher must endeavour to get pupil back to class).




  • Leaving the school grounds without permission
    • Gardaí will be informed
    • Parents will be informed
    • Staff will not follow pupils off the premises unless the pupil is considered to be at risk i.e. very young.
  • Damage to property

All damage to property will incur a fine (Y55).

Please note that if a pupil's fines for damage to school property exceed €100, this will be considered a serious disruption to the school and the child will be suspended until a portion of the fine is paid.


  • A Parent/Guardian who has a grievance should make an appointment with the Class Teacher with a review to resolving the difficulty.     

 Where the Parent/Guardian is unable to resolve the difficulty with the Class Teacher, he should make an appointment with the Principal with a view to resolving it.

  • If the matter is still unresolved, the Parent/Guardian should raise the matter in writing with the Chairperson of the Board of Management with a view to resolving it.


Name of the Chairperson:      _______________________                                                                                                            Mary Murphy

                                                Casa Caterina Special School

                                               Ratoath Road,

                                               Cabra, Dublin 7.


FOR PARENTS:  (Please tick the boxes and sign)

We/I have read the Code of Behaviour and Discipline and will co-operate in implementing it.

We/I have read the Seclusion/Time out policy and agree to it.  


Signed: ...........................................

  Date: ..............................................


APPENDIX 1.                                     SCHOOL RULES



The children will have homework 4 nights a week, Monday to Thursday. Homework books must be signed every night. Parents/guardians must read the notebook each night, as all important notes will be written into it.



If your child is not coming into school, please ring the driver the evening before / early in the morning to save him an unnecessary journey. (Bus Eireann 01-7032474)

Phones are not permitted on the bus.

Toys are permitted at the bus driver’s discretion, but must be kept on the bus. 

Seatbelts must be worn at all times.


ABSENCES- Where children are absent from school for any reason, a written explanation must be




A healthy-eating policy operates in Casa Caterina.  We recommend the following;

fruit, vegetable, sandwiches, yoghurt &  small yops.

All biscuits, sweets, chocolates, breakfast bars, crisps, bars and fizzy drinks are banned.

Pupils are not allowed to bring bottles into school and may drink water and milk only.  

Remember, sandwiches, fruit, and milk are available in school.  All Lunches must be packed

in a lunch box  - not bags – so that pupils bring home what they do not eat !



Pupils are not permitted to bring personal effects to school.  All items brought to school will be confiscated

and kept in Principal’s Office for 2 weeks.  The pupil’s name must be written on all his property.



Please keep a regular check on your child’s hair.  Full school uniform should be worn every day

this includes;  navy round neck jumper, navy track suit bottom and blue polo shirt and a pair of black pumps for indoor wear .

NO JEWELLERY Allowed –this includes earrings and watches


POINTS BOOK – Please examine and discuss same with your child every night as this will

give you an indication of how your child is behaving in school.   



It is essential that the school has an emergency contact telephone number for each parent.

Please advise the school immediately if this number changes.  We look forward to your

co-operation and please do not hesitate to phone me at  8385326 if you have any queries.


      _________________ Kay Flanagan - Principal                                              (Reviewed Oct 14)

APPENDIX 2.                    



The Department of Education & Skills pays C.I.E.  to provide a transport service for the pupils in Casa Caterina. In turn C.I.E. contracts this out to bus operators. The contact number for Bus Eireann is:  01- 7032474

Casa Caterina’s responsibility for the children begins, when the children get off the bus at the school. Again, when the children are put on the bus, the responsibility of the school finishes.


The private operator of the bus carries responsibility for the safety of the children on the bus.

For the children’s safety, it is important that they do not engage in the following activity;

  • Opening the door
  • Jumping over the seats
  • Taking off seat belts
  • Disobeying staff on the bus
  • Fighting, kicking, biting or spitting
  • Bringing mobile phones on the bus
  • Any behaviour creating a health & safety issue


The operator’s responsibility ceases when he reaches the designated point where  the child leaves the bus.  It is the responsibility of the parent to bring the pupil to the door of the bus and to collect the pupil from the door of the bus – included in the Responsibilities of Parents of Pupils availing of Bus Transport “form signed by the parents on enrolment.

The bus is contracted to bring the pupils to the home address named on enrolment ONLY.  Should parents move house, the Principal must be informed immediately - as a change of address form has to be sent to the Department of Education & Skills.

If the bus driver or escort is concerned about a particular pupil, he is to inform both the Bus Company and the Principal.

The Principal will keep a record of all concerns and complaints and will inform the parents and the Inspector of Buses.

Where there is a serious breach of Health & Safety on the bus, the Inspector of Buses may do the following;

  • Issue a written warning to the parents.
  • Suspend a pupil off the bus for a period.
  • Suspend a pupil permanently from the service.

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