Welfare & Discipline

Welfare

Last Review 2010

Nowra Christian School is a community of people - students, parents and staff, who are working together in the task of providing and receiving quality Christian education.

The school's motto is that students will "Grow up into Christ" and its mandate from the church (whose ministry the school is) is to reflect Christian principles in every facet of its being.

We believe that the Bible teaches that God is the Supreme Authority (Romans 13:1) and that He has charged parents with the responsibility to bring up their children in a Christian manner (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). The school supports parents by providing school education in light of these imperatives. The provision of this education requires that adults, and especially teachers, provide modelling and opportunities for all students to identify, develop and use their gifts. Students likewise are to make the most of the opportunities given to them and to make learning a priority -for learning is a key component of why their parents have enrolled them at the school. Parents are urged to remain vigilant in monitoring and encouraging the education of their children, for this is ultimately their responsibility.

The Bible writes of the importance of living in a community where each part plays an important role in the support and nurture of the whole "body" (Rom 12, 1 Cor 12. We believe that in the school community, this means that each and every individual needs to look at his or her actions with the view of seeking out what is best for the "whole", and not simply for them. In such a community, no individual is greater than another, although each holds an "office" which brings with it responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. The office of teacher, for example, has, as part of its responsibility:

  • To love the students and their parents;

  • Providing a stimulating, valuable and ordered learning environment for the benefit of all students;

  • Clear and grace filled instruction pertaining to the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required by the school and broader community;

  • To consistently give of one's best in their teaching;

  • To provide guidance to assist the student to develop Christian character.

The office of student has, as part of its responsibility:

  • To honour their teachers and to love and honour their parents;

  • To comply with the directives given by the teacher so that the learning environment remains ordered;

  • To complete the work set by the teacher so that they might develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes;

  • To consistently give of one's best in their learning;

  • To respond positively to the guidance of their teachers.

The parents hold an important office in our school, even though they might have limited opportunities to be physically present. The responsibilities of the office of parent includes:

  • To love their children and to honour the teachers;

  • To take an interest in the learning and character development of their children;

  • To allow their children to take proper responsibility for their learning and behaviour;

  • To support the authority of the teachers and of the School;

  • To promptly and appropriately communicate with the school should they have concerns about the learning or behaviour of their son/daughter.

The school recognises that in dealing predominantly with children and young people, there will be a need for differing levels of explicitness in how our behaviours need to be considered and modified if we are to be positive members of the school community.

We also recognise the sinful nature of each member of the school community and that there will be times when correction will need to be implemented. This is done in a way that is for the student's benefit because of our and God's love for the students (Heb 12:6ff) and with a view to restoration (2 Cor 2:5-11). , consistent with that will use the authority that has been delegated to it by the parents to assist children to live of increasing self discipline within the context of our community.

The Bible clearly teaches that we do not live compartmentalised lives. It is therefore important that the school should take an active interest in the lives of the students beyond the boundary of the school. Without usurping the dominant responsibility of the parents, the school does see that there may be times when it has a legitimate role and interest in the actions of the students beyond the confines of the school day.

 

Goals

At NCS, discipline standards are enforced to assist in the achievement of a number of goals:

  • Discipline standards are enforced so that each community member can be reminded of his or her sinfulness and need for repentance, forgiveness and salvation, and the reality that these are readily found in Christ;

  • Discipline standards are enforced so that NCS can provide an environment where all community members are free to pursue their learning, gift and character development and ministry;

  • Discipline standards are enforced with a view to, over time, developing proper self discipline in the individual through accepting responsibility for one's actions.

Implementation of the Policy

K-12

The school acknowledges the need for differing explicitness and strategies across the different ages of students with whom we work, and some details of the implementation of this policy have been developed with this in mind. General principles and strategies, however, hold no matter what age or stage the students are at. These principles & strategies include:

  1. Pastoral care

The school provides care in order that children will grow up into Christ. It includes prayer and nurturing in love, through counselling, directing, discipling and discipline. NCS accepts that students and teachers living in a community have common needs which include physical, social, emotional and spiritual well being; security and stability; awareness of right and wrong; success in achievement; motivation; friendship & respect; encouragement & praise; consistency of routine; discipline through instruction & correction. Strategies to assist with this, which teachers are to use as appropriate, include:

    • Provision of an attractive, stimulating learning environment;

    • Consistent classroom and playground management practices;

    • Biblically based counselling of students and parents;

    • Open line of communication (eg: assemblies, staff & family bulletins);

    • Parent meetings & Parent-Teacher nights;

    • Clear, honest and constructive communication in Pastoral Care staff meetings (usually the first meeting of the month);

    • Accessibility of executive and teachers to colleagues, parents and students;

    • Opportunities for parent-teacher interviews;

    • End of semester reports;

    • Interviews on students' progress;

    • Referral system for behavioural problems (Yr Advisor > Co-ordinator > A.P. > Principal).

  1. Merit Cards and Certificates

Cards may be awarded by any teacher for:

  • Outstanding effort in the classroom, e.g., bookwork, assignments, practical;

  • Community Service at school and outside;

  • Involvement in cultural/sporting activities - representing the school;

  • Special effort.

Note

  • Cards should not be awarded for trite or flippant reasons;

  • Cards should be awarded promptly and consistently: merit cards lose their impact if they are given inconsistently or held back to a time when the vast majority of a class are given one "to cover the term's work".

Merit cards accumulate to special awards:

  • 10 MERIT CARDS = 1 ACHIEVEMENT AWARD (Presented at Morning Tea);

  • 10 ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS = A SPECIAL CITATION (Presented at end of year Thanksgiving ceremony);

 

Monitoring Student's Cards

In the Primary Department, the class teacher maintains a record of the number of cards that a student has earned, and communicates with the office for Merit Card Morning Teas as appropriate.

In the Secondary Department, the AM teacher is required to keep track of the number of cards that students earn and to communicate with the front office for Merit Card Morning Teas as appropriate. Merit Card tallies are to be kept with the roll, and are to be passed on to subsequent AM teachers at the start of the year.

  1. Classroom Management

Class teachers are responsible for the effective management of their classes.

At the commencement of each year class teachers will discuss school and class rules which should be documented and displayed in the classroom or distributed to the students.

  1. Dealing With Inappropriate Behaviour And Breaches Of Discipline

When a child's behaviour requires correction or warrants punishment the teacher is to exercise discipline in a loving way. Therefore the teacher:

  • must show patience and kindness;

  • should not be irritable, resentful or react in anger;

  • is not glad when a child is caught out doing wrong;

  • is pleased when a child shows obvious improvement in behaviour;

  • retains optimism for even the worst child and is prepared to forgive, not holding a grudge;

  • is prepared to apologise for wrong actions.

We are not to exasperate our children. We are to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Our approach will reflect our attitude to the child.

  1. Use of Corporal Discipline

Under current legislative requirements, it is illegal in NSW for a school to use, or encourage the use of corporal discipline for breaches of the behaviour code. NCS complies with this requirement.

  1. Student welfare

To assist with the care of students, the School maintains close links with local churches and various counselling organisations. The School has an arrangement with Anglicare where if the Principal refers a student or family to Anglicare, they do not have to join Anglicare's waiting list before being seen. The Principal also maintains links with local churches represented in the School community. If he believes it to be beneficial, the Principal will ask parents permission to discuss pastoral care matters with a local church leader to explore the possibility of engaging their support. In this case, the local church leader is nominated by the parent. Staff wishing to commend a student/situation for these resources are to discuss the matter with the Principal.

To facilitate open communication of concerns and to pool the wisdom and experience of the staff, the first staff meeting of each month is given over to pastoral care matters. To ensure that this time is spent well, staff are required to nominate students of concern to the AP (Primary) or Principal/Senior Co-ordinator (Secondary) at least 30 minutes before the meeting starts.

In addition to these general principles and strategies, department specific approaches are to be followed.

Primary

Classroom

The classroom teacher must be consistent in his/her approach to classroom management and requirements of behaviour in the room.

Initially the classroom teacher should seek to deal with all classroom discipline issues himself/herself, using informal and formal strategies:

Informal :

  • Seating plan;

  • Withdrawal from activities/privileges, eg - seating;

  • In class detention - complete work/behaviour (opportunity for pastoral care);

  • Send to "support" person (always with a note and work for student to do);

  • Send to "buddy" class as arranged (always with a note and work for student to do).

Formal:

Formal strategies, apart from communication slips, should be implemented after discussion with the appropriate co-ordinator.

  • Communication slip - written/phone call - we urge staff to seek a balance with communications slips - where possible write a positive one for every negative one;

  • Detention (note to coordinator);

  • Referral to Coordinator (will include a letter home);

  • Monitoring sheet (through AP);

  • Conference with parent/teacher/coordinator;

  • Withdrawal of privileges, eg: excursions/sport team;

  • Exclusion from class (via AP only);

  • Suspension (via AP and Principal only) - see the section titled "Suspension/expulsion";

  • Conference with Principal/Assistant Principal/Parents.

Note

Staff are to remember that under no circumstances are students to be left unsupervised outside classrooms.

The writing of lines is not an appropriate sanction.

Referral to coordinator for conference must be accompanied by communication slips or written details.

Playground

It is essential that all teachers be consistent regarding school rules and boundaries of play areas, play activities, eating area rules, etc. When an incident occurs, the teacher must determine if the incident is minor, significant or serious.

Minor

The duty teacher/s will deal with minor incidents of inappropriate behaviour as they occur:

  • Brief "on the spot" discussion and counselling.

  • Temporary withdrawal of privileges and confinement to a special area for part of the play period (special area must be within duty teacher's sight and is his/her responsibility - it is NOT to be used by classroom teachers as a detention for classroom misdemeanours.

  • Areas for play and expectations of behaviour to be consistently emphasized at morning assemblies.

Significant

The duty teacher/s will deal with significant incidents of inappropriate behaviour in the following ways:

  • Duty teachers to take clipboards at all times.

  • Record misdemeanours against child's name on relevant class list.

  • Initial and date entry.

  • Use key to record nature of misdemeanour:

    • DO - Disobedient

    • DT - Destructive

    • DR - Disrespectful

    • DP - Dangerous Play

    • IB - Inappropriate behaviour

    • LG - Improper Language

    • BU - Bullying

    • FT - Fighting

    • OB - Out of Bounds

Note

  • Clipboards to be returned to the Kinder room after each duty.

  • Co-ordinators to collect each Friday - administer detentions in readiness for Wednesday lunchtimes.

  • How the punishments work:

    • Step 1: 3 entries = 1 lunchtime detention + communication slip

    • Step 2: 2 x 3 entries = 1 lunchtime detention + letter home

    • Step 3: 3 x 3 entries = detention + parent interview.

    • NB: Each student starts a clean slate at the start of each term unless they have entered Step 3.

  • Positive re-inforcement:

    • Merit cards to be given out for consistently good behaviour half way through and at the end of each term.

Serious

The duty teacher/s will deal with serious incidents of inappropriate behaviour by sending the student to front office, accompanied by responsible student with black card.

NB: When any serious injury occurs, the duty teacher is to send a responsible student to the front office with a red card which will signal that immediate assistance is required.

Serious incidents include: (incident/age appropriate)

  • Any action that endangers the well being or safety of any child or adult.

  • Wilful damage to school or personal property.

  • Wilful disobedience, defiance or insolence to teachers.

  • Fighting, bullying, dangerous play, dangerous use of equipment.

When a serious incident occurs:

  • The duty teacher will refer the incident, verbally and in writing, to the relevant coordinator.

  • The student will be required to write, depending on age, a statement as to what occurred.

  • The coordinator will consult with teacher and student, and then take appropriate action that may include:

 

    • Letter to parents a minimum;

    • Wednesday detention (note to coordinator);

    • Monitoring sheet (specific playground type);

    • Conference with parent/teacher/coordinator;

    • Counselling for student;

    • Withdrawal of privileges, eg: excursions/school representation/ playground use;

    • In-school suspension;

    • Suspension;

    • Conference with Principal/Assistant Principal/Parents.

Junior Secondary

The Teacher

Each teacher is responsible for the good government of the class and should therefore always be well prepared and on time for lessons. Minor breaches of discipline should be dealt with by the teacher in a manner which minimizes interruption to the class program. The teacher may use appropriate sanctions to correct/punish misdemeanours. Examples of appropriate sanctions include using time outs for a brief period of time (although the student must always be in view of a teacher or in an approved public place such as an interview room), teacher supervised (part of) lunch detentions (but not for a whole class), and withholding of privileges.

In all situations, it is helpful for teachers to ensure that they don't act in a way that may exasperate the children.

The giving of extra work needs to be used with care, as it is not a helpful punishment to use when a teacher is trying to instil in the students a love for the subject. The writing of lines is not an appropriate sanction.

Use of Communication Booklet:

The communication booklet should be used for communicating between parents (white slip sent home and to be returned signed by parent) and the year advisor (pink slip sent to year advisor) for matters such as:-

  • excellent work

  • missed homework

  • misconduct in class v Improved behaviour

  • effort

  • good assignment work

  • improved performance

Teachers are strongly urged to use the communication booklet as a record of date and details of misdemeanours if parents need to be interviewed. Where possible write a positive one for every negative one;

On occasions when there are repeated breaches of discipline the classroom teacher should use the allocated year advisors. This support may be offered in various forms, including availability for discussion, time out, counselling or referral. When referral is used, the student should be sent with a written explanation of the problem and clear instructions of what to do if the Year Advisor can't be found. Teachers need to be aware that once a student is referred then they need to support the Year Advisor's professional judgment in how the matter is handled.

Special Programs

From time to time, the school may implement special programs for specific grades or groups of students. (One example of this is the ticket system, leading to one student a fortnight winning a canteen gift voucher.) These incentive programs will be communicated in writing to parents and students before they are introduced.

Year Advisors

Year Advisors are responsible for the overall pastoral/nurturing care of students. When a student is referred for repeated and/or serious breaches of discipline the Year Advisor should keep in mind the need to keep the parents informed as appropriate. Year Advisors have a range of strategies at their disposal, including:

  • Interview the student as soon as possible with a view to counselling for repentance and reconciliation. Opportunity should be taken for spiritual counselling and prayer;

  • A written statement may be requested from the student, and/or a conduct and attitude sheet on the student may be distributed;

  • Consult with and report back to the referring teacher;

  • Ensure that all documentation is filed in the student's personal file;

  • Year Advisors may ring, or advise teacher to ring, to inform parents of potential difficulties before they get too big;

  • Consider the necessity of sanctions. If the Year Advisor believes that sanctions are warranted, they should refer the student to the Co-ordinator responsible for discipline, who may refer students to the Assistant Principal.

Issues related to behaviour to and from school on buses should be referred directly to the Assistant Principal.

Co-ordinator responsible for Discipline

The Co-ordinator will work closely with Teachers and Year Advisors, advising and directing so that low level issues are dealt with at the appropriate level - i.e. the classroom teacher or Year Advisor. If this proves to be unsatisfactory, the co-ordinator may implement the levels system.

When a student is placed on a level, the Co-ordinator will ensure that all paperwork is completed and filed in the student's personal file. The co-ordinator should keep a copy until the end of the year should reference need to be made to it.

Levels

Students are placed on the level system after consultation with the Assistant Principal. The Principal is notified before the placement is formalised, to ensure that there are no confidential mitigating circumstances of which the Principal is aware.

Students must understand that the level system does not require a student to have been placed on a lower level before they are placed on a higher level. The actions, and the severity of the actions, is determined by the staff of the school as outlined in this policy, and students are placed on levels accordingly.

Parents will be informed if their child is placed on a level.

Whenever a student is placed on a level, consequences such as those outlined below may be implemented. It is important that the School does not limit itself to these consequences as it seeks to use strategies that it believes will best meet the needs that the student has at that time and in that situation. The student is also encouraged to seek ways whereby restoration may be made. Students are always urged to think seriously about the full apology process that NCS desires to inculcate in the students.

When any student is placed on any level, all staff are informed by the Co-ordinator responsible for discipline of the placement to assist with student monitoring;

Level 1

Examples of reasons for placement on Level 1

  • 3 negative communication slips (other than homework);

  • Repeated or significant incidents judged as:

    • lack of cooperation;

    • disruption to lessons;

    • disrespectful behaviour;

    • Bad language;

    • Bad attitude;

    • Playground misbehaviour;

    • breach of School's Computer Use Policy;

    • an unwillingness to correct repeated misbehaviour.

Possible Consequences for placement on level 1

  • Level 1 Monitoring for 1 week (includes meeting daily with Year Advisor):

    • If there are behaviour issues during that week, the Year advisor will refer student to Co-ordinator, who may extend the monitoring for a further period of time, place the student onto level 2 or place the student on a Friday after school detention;

    • If the student maintains acceptable behaviour during the week, the level is removed;

  • Postponement of awards;

  • Removal of privileges, such as representing the school, leaving the school grounds for sport, excursions etc;

  • Other consequences appropriate to behaviour.

Level 2

Examples of reasons for placement on Level 2

  • Further breaches (that would normally lead to a level 1) while on Level 1;

  • Repeated placement on Level 1;

  • Extreme insolence;

  • Extreme disobedience;

  • Misbehaviour on excursion/camps/socials;

  • Fighting;

  • Bullying;

  • breach of School's Computer Use Policy;

  • Fractional Truanting;

Consequences for placement on level 2

Mandatory Consequence

  • 1-3 day exclusion from class and playground (student required to attend school and complete work in isolation);

  • Interview (phone or personal) with parents and co-ordinator responsible for discipline;

  • Review of position in school:

    • Students in Years 7 -9 who have been placed on level 2 at any time in the junior secondary department will have their enrolment in the school reviewed at the end of 1 st Semester, Year 9. Students will be required to demonstrate a willingness to comply with the School's requirements by the time of the review;

    • Students in Years 9 (second half) and 10 who have been placed on level 2 will have their enrolment in the school reviewed within 2 months of their placement on that level. Students will be required to demonstrate a willingness to comply with the School's requirements by the time of the review;

    • The review process is to consider the needs to the student, parents and the impact of the student on their cohort. As a part of caring for the students properly, students whose position is to be reviewed must be warned in ample time of the review and the criteria for them to address any concerns.

Other consequences that may be imposed by the School:

  • Withdrawal of privileges;

  • Permission to complete work experience withdrawn;

  • Awards postponed;

  • Withdrawal from excursions/camps/socials;

  • Other consequences appropriate to behaviour;

  • Friday (after school) or Saturday (morning) detention - in consultation with AP;

  • 1 week monitoring at end of exclusion as for level 1;

Level 3

Examples of reasons for placement on Level 3

  • Continued failure to cooperate either while they are on a level, or having previously been on levels;

  • Illegal behaviour;

  • Immoral behaviour;

  • Truanting;

  • Fractional truancy as part of a group;

  • Stealing;

  • Wilful damage;

  • breach of School's Computer Use Policy;

  • Continued incidents bullying;

  • Harassment of any member of the School community.

Consequences for placement on level 3

Mandatory Consequences

  • Friday (after school) or Saturday (morning) detention - in consultation with AP;

  • Student suspended from school for set period of time (in school or out of school suspension, as determined by Principal ( see the section titled "Suspension/expulsion") ;

  • Parents to meet with member of Senior Executive;

    • Student only re-admitted to the school after giving undertaking regarding behavioural and attitude benchmarks set by the Principal.

  • Review of position in school:

    • Students in Years 7 -9 who have been placed on level 3 at any time in the junior secondary department will have their enrolment in the school reviewed at the end of 1 st Semester, Year 9. Students will be required to demonstrate a willingness to comply with the School's requirements by the time of the review;

    • Students in Years 9 (second half) and 10 who have been placed on level 3 will have their enrolment in the school reviewed within 2 months of their placement on that level. Students will be required to demonstrate a willingness to comply with the School's requirements by the time of the review;

    • The review process is to consider the needs to the student, parents and the impact of the student on their cohort. As a part of caring for the students properly, students whose position is to be reviewed must be warned in ample time of the review and the criteria for them to address any concerns.

Other consequences that may be imposed by the School:

  • Withdrawal of privileges;

  • Permission to complete work experience withdrawn;

  • Awards postponed;

  • Withdrawal from excursions/camps/socials;

  • Other consequences appropriate to behaviour;

  • 1 week monitoring at end of exclusion as for levels 1 and 2;

 

Level 4

Examples of reasons for placement on Level 4

  • Students who have been on level 2 or 3 who fail enrolment review:

    • The enrolment review is carried out by the Co-ordinator, AP and Year Advisor. Students will have the right to present relevant information in their defence, and may select a staff member or parent to support them. The Principal is the arbiter in this review.

  • Extreme cases of:

    • Illegal behaviour;

    • Immoral behaviour;

    • Stealing;

    • Wilful damage;

    • Continued incidents bullying;

    • Harassment of any member of the school community;

    • breaching School's Computer Use Policy;

    • Continued lack of co-operation with staff and or other students;

Possible Consequences for placement on level 4

  • Expulsion from the school ( see the section titled "Suspension/expulsion")

 

Senior Secondary

Ideally, by the time students are in senior secondary, issues should be of a minimum nature and dealt with through counselling at the Year Advisor level. Students in senior years are assumed to be at NCS by their own choice, and this should lead to a firm foundation for a positive, relational approach when difficulties arise. Senior students should anticipate that there will be prompt intervention if they demonstrate a lack of commitment to their work, disrespect for other members of the School Community or misuse of the School's resources.

Should a student seem unable to respond to this approach, the Co-ordinator should work with the Year Advisor to see if together they can help bring an appropriate response from the student.

Failing this, parents should be called in promptly. The student and parents need to have the issues outlined clearly and what is required to resolve the issue(s). Students and parents should be left in no doubt that the level system (which most would understand, having been through the junior school), does not apply to senior students. They have opportunity to make the necessary changes, but they will move quickly to a review of their position in the school if they show signs of an unwillingness or inability to conform to what the school expects of a senior student, or if their behaviour or attitude is hampering the teachers in their work with other students.

Behaviour that would lead to a review includes any behaviour that could lead to a level for a junior secondary student.

 

Suspensions/Expulsions - K-12

Underlying principles

When a student is at risk of out of school suspension, either via the normal level system or because of a significant one off incident, the following things need to be kept in mind:

  • No suspension or expulsion should be carried out by the school without a full and prayerful consideration of the incident, the most appropriate response to the incident and the short and long term impact of the school's response to the students involved and the wider school community. Although the school is a community that seeks to nurture relationships at all levels and to show Christ's love and mercy, we also need to recognise that sometimes showing love and mercy means that we must be exposed to the consequences (sometimes natural, sometimes imposed) of our actions.

  • Exclusion from class, where a student is required to continue to attend School to complete set work, is administered by the Assistant Principal in consultation with the Co-ordinators and Principal.

  • No staff member is to indicate that an offence means that the student will be suspended. They may indicate that the offence provides grounds for suspension, but they must not stipulate that suspension will be the outcome. This is because the Principal, whose responsibility it is to make that final decision, may be aware of confidential mitigating circumstances, needs to follow the procedure outlined below, or may choose to show grace. This principle needs to be kept in mind whenever a student is referred to a higher level in the discipline system - the referring teacher should not turn the person on the next level into a "rubber stamp" by stating that the next level will do this or that.

  • When suspension is under consideration, a phone call should be made to parents to inform them of the fact. The student should also be sent home with a letter explaining the reasons for the suspension, the length and the implications of the suspension.

  • Staff should be informed of the suspension, and under usual circumstances they would also be informed of the reasons. Although we would not want to have staff telling other students details of what has happened, teachers who are armed with the information are better equipped to quell gossip.

Natural Justice

To ensure that the process that may lead to a suspension or expulsion is fair and transparent, the School will follow the principles of natural justice before suspending or expelling a student. The process is instigated if the staff member/s involved in investigating a breach believe that suspension or expulsion might be warranted. Listed below are criteria that have to be met to ensure that the principles of natural justice have been followed. The right column has comments that provide guidance for the staff completing the investigation.

Principles of natural justice to be met

Comments to assist staff completing investigation

Have the roles of investigator and decision-maker been separated, to avoid any later possible allegations of actual or perceived bias?

 

Only the Principal can make a decision to suspend a student. The Principal is therefore not involved in the investigation.

Has information been collected, where appropriate, from other students, teachers, and relevant witnesses, using non-leading questions, and with no assumption of guilt expressed on the part of the accused student?

 

It is essential that the teacher have notes from any interviews. These notes should include his/her questions as well as the student's responses. These may be hand written but need to have reasonable detail.

Has there been an initial formal interview with the student?

 

The formal interviews are with the Principal. It is essential that the Principal, while aware of the evidence, has not committed to a decision before this interview.

Have the student's parents or carers been notified and invited to attend the initial formal interview?

 

The Principal makes the decision of what point (i.e. initial or follow-up interview) to involve the parents. Again, it is essential that the Principal, has not committed to a decision before holding an interview with the parents present.

Have copies of all relevant policy and procedural documents been supplied to the student and parents at the initial formal interview?

 

Principal to liaise with office to facilitate this.

In the initial formal interview, have all the particulars of information being used to make a judgement been supplied to the student and parents, giving all relevant details except the names of complainants and witnesses?

 

Copies of witness statements and interview notes should be given, but must be provided in a way where confidentiality of others is maintained.

Has there been a further formal interview with the student and parents, to provide the opportunity for a complete and considered response to the allegations?

 

This would normally be held 1 day after the initial interview

Has the school acted upon any reasonable requests from the student or parents to collect further information?

 

 

Has the year advisor worked with the student and prepared a report?

 

This could include monitoring sheets etc, depending on the nature of the breach.

Has a decision been made only after carefully weighing up all available information?

 

 

If suspension is the decision ultimately made, has the school organised a program of home study for the student while under suspension?

 

 

Have all necessary reports and other paperwork been completed and filed, including notes based in the Principal's precedent file?

 

 

 

The implications of suspension are as follows:

  • The student forfeits/is not eligible in that year for an Action Card or Gold Card;

  • For out of school suspensions, the student is not permitted on school grounds during week days unless they are attending a church organised function that is aimed at his/her age group;

  • For out of school suspensions, the student is not permitted to attend any school function during the course of their suspension. This includes going to the same external venue at the same time as a school group on an excursion;

  • The student and his/her parents are to be interviewed by the Principal. The student must show both contrition and a willingness to meet the school's expectations before being re-admitted to class.

  • Once the suspension is completed the student is given a fresh start. Closer monitoring is expected but teachers will need to take care that the student is given a genuine chance for reinstatement and reconciliation with the school community;

  • Under normal circumstances, a suspension would not extend more than 2 weeks.

Communicating the Policy

Students will be informed of the policy through assemblies, class programs, counselling groups and individually as the need arises.

The policy will be available on the school's web site

Teachers will refer to the NCS intranet site for the relevant policy and opportunities will be provided for further refinement and discussion at staff meetings.

Evaluation of the policy

The policy will be reviewed bi-annually (even years) by a sub-committee, and every 6 years (next full review in 2016) by the whole staff. Parents will be informed when this policy is being reviewed, and will be given the opportunity to make comment. In reviewing the policy, the following issues should be considered:

Does what we are doing reflect the Biblical Principles of Discipline outlined in our rational?

  • What is the tone of the school, in terms of:

    • student movement and deportment;

    • manners;

    • behaviour in assemblies, playground and the classroom;

    • the quality of relationships between teachers and students;

  • Are we recognizing and reinforcing obedience and punishing disobedience?

  • Are we recognizing that rules do not determine righteousness?

  • Are the systems fair and workable?

  • Is there evidence that the students are justifiably exasperated?

  • What can we do better?

  • What is working well?

NCS Skoolbag