Related Merici Policies

Positive Peer Relations
Technology
Child Protection
Attendance

Rationale/Purpose

The Positive Behaviour (Personal Best) Policy is informed by a commitment to the principles of Restorative Practices. The College aims to promote a sense of responsibility amongst its students and recognises that mistakes will occur. Inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated but students must also be permitted to repair harm caused by their actions, have an opportunity for personal growth and be provided with strategies to deal with situations in the future.

The College has high expectations regarding behaviour and has set standards for its students. Through our interactions we aim to foster a healthy culture in which high levels of achievement take place within a positive social environment. Our Pastoral Care program is designed to promote high standards of behaviour for our students based on cooperation, mutual responsibility and self- discipline and to promote positive, inclusive relationships among students. This policy, enacted both within the curriculum and co-curricular programs, is designed to be respectful of the dignity and rights of each student and to provide learning opportunities that are responsive to the student’s unique growth and development.

The College encourages students to take responsibility for their actions and values their contribution to the College’s learning community. Where possible, consequences will have a clear educative value in order to bring about a change in behaviour. Staff, when negotiating such consequences, will be afforded a degree of discretion and will base any actions on their pastoral knowledge of the student, the age of the student and any suggested consequences contained in policy. Merici College does not permit corporal punishment of students attending the school. The College does not explicitly or implicitly sanction the administering of corporal punishment by non-school persons (including parents) to enforce discipline at the school.

Pastoral Care and behaviour management are closely linked, as both aim to promote a respectful, secure and healthy environment for all members of the college community. At Merici College, our approach is based on Glasser principles and where possible we encourage staff to undertake formal professional learning in this area and to incorporate the principles into their dealings on all levels with students.

The aims of disciplinary procedures in the College are to ensure the welfare and good order of the community and to encourage the development of responsible behaviour in students.

Students, parents and teachers should have a clear understanding of what is expected of members of the college community.

Definitions

The Behaviour Management flowchart (p4) sets out the process to be followed in serious cases of behaviour problems. The Behaviour Management flowchart aims to support staff in the management of students and to provide consistency in approaches to and consequences for irresponsible behaviour.

Merici College: Behaviour Management Flowchart
Should persistent misbehaviour continue the following processes will be followed:

Merici Behavioural Management Flowchart

Detention

A student or students may be detained for a period of time to make amends for a misdemeanor. Detentions may be issued at the end of a process in which the staff member has employed a variety of strategies with the student in keeping with the Glasser system of behaviour management and would be issued in discussion with the appropriate middle manager and the Deputy Principal Development and the parents of the student. Detentions provide an opportunity for a student’s reflection on self and goals, on college rules and expectations and for work to be completed. After the detention is done, there should be the sense of a fresh start and of forgiveness. Detentions are not a substitute for sound management and best practice in the classroom but are one of a number of strategies to encourage self-control, self- awareness and appropriate behaviour.

Corporal Punishment

Corporal punishment is both illegal and incompatible with the Catholic ethos of the College. It is never, under any circumstances, to be used by Merici College staff. If corporal punishment were to be used, staff could be subject to legal proceedings under Child Protection and other relevant legislation. The school does not explicitly or implicitly sanction the administering of corporal punishment by non- school persons (including parents) to enforce discipline at the school.

Policy

Merici College adheres to the Catholic Education Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn’s Student Management (Discipline) Policy. This policy can be accessed via the following link.

https://intranet.cg.catholic.edu.au/formandpolicies/Lists/Policies%20201... %20Management%20(Discipline)%20Policy.pdf?Web=1

It is the Policy of the College to ensure the teaching and learning process is not interrupted by poor behaviour. Students are required to be part of their behaviour management process and care for each other and their wider surroundings. The College uses Glasser principles to underpin student behaviour management.

Procedures

SUGGESTED PROCEDURES TO BE FOLLOWED IF MISBEHAVIOUR OCCURS

Teachers are advised to work through the following:

Step 1

Identification of the problem: "What am I doing?" Look at what you - the teacher - is doing. How are you reacting? What else can you do to make the situation better?

(This is an opportunity to stand back from the situation and realistically assess what is happening)

Step 2

Stop ineffective measures. If the student is upset by your reaction or you are not getting the desired result, then it is not working. Change what you are doing. Try something different and stop doing what is not working.

Step 3

Try to recreate a better relationship with the student. Comment on the positives, give recognition for good behaviour.

(There is still time to salvage the damaged relationship. Try to meet some of that student’s need for love (belonging), power (recognition), fun (creativity, imagination), freedom (flexibility) or survival (health and physical well-being).

Step 4

If misbehaviour occurs ask the student clearly: "What are you doing? (state the behaviour), “Is what you are doing helping you?" “How could you behave differently to make things better?”

Step 5

If misbehaviour continues, repeat Step 4. This could be outside the classroom or lesson time. Clearly describe the behaviour that is against the rules. The student needs to recognise that she is choosing to behave in this way and that she can choose to behave in another way. By this stage, the teacher would be describing the behaviour to a Coordinator and asking for some advice.

Step 6

"We've got to work this out". A clear plan is now needed and together the student and teacher must work out a way to improve the situation. A Coordinator may be involved in helping to set up the plan but ideally this step should be taken by the teacher and student.

Step 7

Upon further misbehaviour of the same type, a sanction is imposed. A clear period of time must be set before the student is then required to try to work it out again with her teacher. Clearly outline the people now alerted to the behaviour.

Step 8

If behaviour does not improve after imposing a sanction designed by the teacher, the next step/sanction should be discussed by Studies Coordinator, House Coordinator and Deputy Principal Development if appropriate. The behaviour management flowchart may come into use here. Such behaviour warrants involvement of the parents who should be told of the sanctions implemented.

Step 9

If there is a clear refusal to commit to a plan then the parents may be called for an interview to discuss the next step with the Deputy Principal Development or Principal. This interview is followed by a formal letter to the student’s home clearly outlining the change of behaviour necessary or a behaviour contract. The teacher, coordinators and Deputy Principal Development should receive a copy of this letter.

Step 10

Upon repetition of the same behaviour, the student may be suspended from the College. The onus is now on her and her family to devise a plan that will work. The Principal will use his/her discretion to decide if the plan is viable. The family will be referred to other agencies and schools to consider all options.

Student Behaviour Management

Behaviour management is the responsibility of every member of staff and all staff are expected to familiarise themselves with the Positive Behaviour (Personal Best) Policy to effectively do so. The general boundaries and rules governing student behaviour and the process and protocols for monitoring these can be found within this policy.

Students who have not met school expectations in relation to their behaviour will have a discussion with their teacher to deal with any underlying issues and take appropriate steps to resolve the situation or behaviours. Teachers should use the construct of a Restorative Conversation for this discussion.

Restorative Conversation Key Questions

  • What happened?
  • How did it happen?
  • How did you act?
  • Who do you think was affected?
  • How were they affected?
  • How were you affected?
  • What needs to happen to make things right?
  • If the same thing happens again how could you behave differently?

If the situation/behaviour continues, the teacher should review the students’ records and contact the students’ parents in an effort to resolve the situation/behaviour. Restorative Reflection practices may assist at this level.

Restorative Reflection

  • Written apology
  • Written reflection
  • Time out for reflection (recess or lunch)
  • Time out for more in depth restorative conversation (recess, lunch, afterschool)

If the situation/behaviour continues the teacher will inform the relevant Coordinator of the situation/behaviour. The Coordinator will communicate/liaise with the teacher, student and the students’ parents about solutions. This may involve either of the above restorative practices and/or academic assistance.

Academic assistance (examples only)

  • Academic organization assistance
  • Homework club
  • Tutoring
  • Additional or targeted resourcing
  • After school academic catch-up sessions

If the situation/behaviour continues the Coordinator will consult/meet with the student and their parents to evaluate the situation/behaviour and the schools response to it. Further restorative practices and/or academic assistance may be implemented to assist the student manage their behaviour.

If the situation/behaviour continues the Coordinator will consult/meet with the Dean to discuss forward progress. The Dean will work with the Coordinator, the student and their parents to evaluate the schools response, discuss progress so far and implement proposed solution. Further restorative practices, academic assistance and/or disciplinary measures may be implemented to assist the student understand and manage their behaviour.

Disciplinary Measures

  • Lunchtime/After School Community Service is given for repetitive minor class, uniform, attendance or playground infringements.
  • The student is placed on a Behaviour Management card that they are obliged to have filled out by all of their class teachers.
  • The student is restricted to certain areas of the school, such as the library or other suitable time out space, during recess or lunch.
  • The student has their access to the College Network removed.
  • The student is removed from a class for a set period of time. The student will complete work
  • from that class in supervised isolation.
  • The student is excluded from participating in sporting and/or extra-curricular events until such a time as the situation/behaviour is rectified.
  • The student is obliged to contribute to and sign a behaviour management plan that outlines school expectations and consequences clearly.
  • The student is placed on in-school suspension.
  • The student is suspended from school

If the situation/behaviour continues the Coordinator and the Dean will consult/meet with the relevant Assistant Principal to discuss forward progress. The Assistant Principal will work with the Coordinator, the Dean, the student and their parents to evaluate the school’s response, discuss progress so far and implement proposed solution. Restorative practices, academic assistance and/or significant disciplinary measures may be implemented to assist the student understand and manage their behaviour.

Significant Disciplinary Measures

  • The student is placed on in-school suspension
  • The student is suspended from attending school (1-3 days)
  • The student is suspended from attending school for a significant period of time (over 3 days)
  • A meeting is held with the Principal, the Assistant Principal and the students’ parents to discuss the feasibility of continued enrolment at the College. The student may be placed on a Conditional Enrolment.
  • The student may be excluded from attending the College.

Student Record Keeping

When entering student behaviours and staff responses to those behaviours in our electronic database’ staff should ensure that they:

  • Write factually and clearly of the circumstances and record what action they are taking in response
  • Act in accordance with the Student Behaviour Management flowchart
  • Notify all relevant staff who are involved in that students welfare
  • Restrict the information to the appropriate staff

Suspension and Exclusion

Under the Education Act 2004 a student may be suspended (internal or external) or excluded from school if she:

  • Is persistently and wilfully non-compliant
  • Threatens to be violent or is violent toward another student, member of staff or anyone else
  • involved in the school’s operation
  • Acts in a way that otherwise threatens the good order of the school or the safety or wellbeing of another student, staff member or anyone else involved in the school’s operation
  • Consistently displays behaviour that is disruptive to the student’s learning or the learning of other students.

Suspension

The Principal may immediately suspend a student for up to 5 days if the circumstances are serious

enough to warrant an immediate suspension. The Principal may not suspend a student for longer than 20 days in any school year.

The following processes apply in the decision to suspend a student:

  • The matter is investigated by the Assistant Principal
  • The matter is discussed with the student in the presence of her parents/guardians (where
  • appropriate) to ascertain her position or reasons for her behaviour
  • The student is given information about the decision-making process and is given the opportunity to participate in the process
  • The Assistant Principal discusses with the Principal the decision to suspend the student
  • The decision to suspend the student is made; suspension may be internal or external
  • The decision to suspend the student is communicated to the student and her parents/guardian
  • The student’s parents receive written notification of the suspension from the Principal or Assistant Principal
  • The Principal or Assistant Principal informs the Director of the CEO of the decision to suspend the student.

Where appropriate:

  • The student is given reasonable opportunity to continue her education during her suspension
  • The relevant teaching staff, Curriculum and Pastoral Coordinators are notified
  • A referral to the College Counsellor is made.

In all cases:

  • The behaviour and suspension and associated paperwork are accurately recorded
  • More detailed records of the issue are filed in the Pastoral Coordinator Share Drive or the Executive Drive
  • The suspension is noted as an ‘Explained Absence’ on the Attendance Roll

Exclusion

The decision to exclude a student is viewed as very serious and before this decision is made the College makes every effort to employ strategies designed to assist the student to gain counselling, make appropriate choices and to modify her behaviour in order for her to retain her place. These strategies are employed in consultation with the student and her parents.

They may include:

  • In school suspension
  • Out of school suspension
  • Conditional Enrolment Contract
  • Psychological Assessment
  • Counselling
  • Referral to Outside Agencies

Note: The Conditional Enrolment Contract is a written agreement made between the student, her parents and the College. The agreement outlines College expectations in relation to behaviour, attendance, uniform and assessment or other relevant matters, which the student is required to achieve within a given timeframe. It may also require the student to attend counselling or to seek a referral to outside agencies. It is agreed to by the student, and signed by her parents and the Principal. The agreement is reviewed at the end of the agreed timeframe after which it may be extended or terminated.

The following processes apply in the decision to exclude a student:

  • The matter or matters are investigated by the Assistant Principal and are discussed with the student and her parents
  • A recommendation to exclude the student is made by the Assistant Principal to the Principal
  • The matter or matters are discussed by the Principal and/or Assistant Principal with the student in the presence of her parents to ascertain her position in relation to the matter or matters or reasons for her behaviour/s
  • The student is given information about the decision-making process and is given the opportunity to participate in the process
  • The decision to recommend to exclude the student is made by the Principal
  • The decision to recommend to exclude the student is communicated to the student and her parents by the Principal
  • The Principal informs the Director of the CEO in writing of the decision to recommend to exclude the student which includes the reasons for the decision
  • The Director makes the decision and the student’s parents receive written notification of the exclusion from the Principal which includes information about the appeals process.

Following the exclusion:

  • Efforts are made by the College where appropriate to facilitate the re-enrolment of the student at another school
  • The relevant teaching staff, Curriculum and Pastoral Coordinators are notified
  • Detailed records of the matter or matters are filed in Student Records.

Forms

Nil

References

Nil

Approved by: Merici Executive
Implementation Date: September 2007
Policy last Updated: July 2017
Merici Contact Officer: Deputy Principal Development