Mount Saint Michael, Rosscarbery

General Code of Behaviour

At Mount Saint Michael Secondary School, we constantly promote excellence and high standards among our students. We aim to create an environment where everyone feels valued in a working environment which is positive and productive. We believe young people should be rewarded for good behaviour, effort and work and we create a culture of praise and positivity so every effort is made to encourage positive behaviour whether academic or otherwise. Some of the ways this is done include:

  • Verbal acknowledgement by teacher of student effort.
  • Positive comments in student journal.
  • Positive comment to Year Head regarding individual students and/or class group.
  • Announcements on the intercom of student achievements
  • Photographs of student successes displayed in school.
  • Recognition of achievements on school website and school Facebook page
  • Comments on Term Reports
  • School Awards Day

This list is not exhaustive.

The purpose of the school is to facilitate an environment in which students can grow and mature spiritually and physically, intellectually psychologically and emotionally,to meet the changes of an ever demanding world. Our School Motto is:

Think with respect

Speak with respect

Act with respect

With this in mind, mutual respect, courtesy and honesty are required of everyone in our school. Obscene, disrespectful, aggressive or abusive language or behaviour is never acceptable and students are expected to work and act in complete co-operation with school rules and procedures at all times.

SCHOOL UNIFORM: Every student is expected to be in full uniform every day and are expected to show fullest respect for and loyalty to the school uniform. In respect of activities such as basketball, football or sporting activities generally or any other like occasions where the full uniform would be inappropriate, the wearing of all, or part of same may be dispensed with, on the express permission of the teacher(s) in charge, under the approval of the principal.

The onus is on the parent and students to ensure that the proper (and complete) uniform is worn at all times. Parents should, in the appropriate section of journal, inform the Year Head of any valid reason for a student being out of uniform. Any student out of uniform without a valid reason will have their journal signed by the Year Head which must be co-signed by a parent/guardian in the Record Of Incomplete Uniform page in the Journal. If it is an ongoing issue, parents/guardians may be contacted by the Year Head.

Purchasing uniform other than the prescribed uniform will cause unnecessary expense.

The School Uniform consists of:

  • Navy V-neck jumper with the school crest is compulsory for 1st, 2nd, 3rd students.

Denim blue V-neck school jumper with school crest is compulsory for 4th, 5th and 6th year students.

  • A School Tie for all year groups
  • Light blue shirt
  • Standard school uniform trousers/knee length school skirt (Not resembling ski/yoga pants, leggings, tracksuits – wholly or partly. Casual style trousers are not an acceptable alternative)
  • Dark socks or tights
  • Dark coloured traditional shoes but not resembling runners, wholly or partly. Boat/Deck shoes are acceptable. All shoes need to be low heeled or flat. Non marking soft shoes are required for wear at indoor games. No runners should be worn with school uniform.
  • A school jacket is available to purchase at the school and can be worn in class. Non-uniform jackets, coats, hoodies, scarves and caps are not to be worn during or between classes. Only the school jacket may be worn on occasions in class.

Jewellery: Ear studs or sleepers only.

Hair & Make-Up:

Neat and tidy – tied back where appropriate e.g. practical classes. Hair colour and style must be within the normal range. Students may be asked to remove excessive make-up.

School Premises:

  • Students are to remain on the premises during the entire school hours. Permission to leave school premises shall only be given at the request of parent/guardian. Students found outside the precincts of the school premises during the normal hours may be approached by school staff and requested to give an explanation for their absence from the school premises. A sanction may be imposed if deemed necessary.

  • Regrettably, there are no spaces for student vehicle parking on the premises but every effort is made to try to accommodate parking elsewhere. Access to vehicles during normal school hours is strictly forbidden. A breach of this rule may lead to a sanction may be imposed if deemed necessary. Students should follow the current Rules of the Road as outlined by legislation. The school is not responsible in any way for the safety of any vehicle.


The National Welfare Act recognises the central role pf parents/ guardians providing for their children’s education. Education Welfare Officers (EWOs) work in close cooperation with the school ensuring regular school attendance. TUSLA (The Child and Family Agency) are regularly notified of school attendances.

Roll Call is taken for every year group at Morning Assembly and at every class. This is recorded on the school’s online system Vsware to which parents have access through a password sent by web text at the start of the school year.

  • If a student is absent, parents should inform the school as early as possible to allow the update of student absence on Vsware. A signed note should be recorded in the Journal to present to the Year Head on return to school.
  • The school’s Attendance Officer and/or Year Head may contact parents if absence is ongoing or if there is a concern.
  • All students go to their assigned classrooms punctually. This rule applies to all students including those who may not be studying the full range of subjects.
      • Unavoidable lateness: Any student who is late must sign in at the Office showing the explanation in the Reason for Lateness/Early Leaving slip in the Journal which is signed by a parent/guardian. If a student has not followed these procedures, a webtext may be sent to parents.
      • Leaving Early: If a student has to leave early, they show the signed Reason for

Lateness/Early Leaving slip in the Journal to the Year Head at Roll Call and also show

the note in the Office when signing out. Please note that a parent/guardian must come

to the general office to sign out the student before he/she can leave. In the exceptional circumstances that a parent has to collect a student at short notice, and so the student does not have a note, the parent/guardian shall inform the school of this prior to collection.

  • Illness: If a student feels ill during the school day, they must they inform a staff member immediately and who will then decide what course of action to take. Students should only contact home about illness through the office phone and with the permission of a staff member or the Year Head. Under no circumstances is a student to contact home when ill, without a staff member’s permission. Students may then use the school phone to contact home when ill. The secretary or a staff member will generally supervise this call and may speak to the parent/guardian, who will then come and sign out and collect the student.

  • CLASSROOM BEHAVIOUR: A very high standard of behaviour is expected from all students in class. They are to show courtesy and respect to everyone in the room and should be attentive in class. Students are asked to enter and leave the classroom in an orderly manner, and respect for the classroom property is expected. Students must use their timetable to ensure that they have with them all the books and equipment needed for a particular class to maximise learning. Any student, who is interfering with, or disrupting, the smooth running of the class, is preventing other students in the class from receiving the education to which they are entitled and will be dealt with through our Sanctions Procedures.

  • HomeWork: Students are expected to take due care with homework. Homework, whether written or oral, and should be entered in the Journal each day. Any student who fails to produce homework on the day is expected to have a note of explanation from their parent/guardian for the subject teacher. Persistent refusal to do homework will be reported to the Year Head and parents will be contacted as in the case of other misconduct.

  • JOURNALS: This Journal is very important and will be used to keep in constant communication with parents and the school. Students should take pride in their Journal and keep it in good order. They should have it with them during Roll Call and all classes as it is to be used for homework, absence notes and has comment forms for teachers and parents. Should they lose the Journal, they will be asked to replace it as it is a vital part of school life. Parents/Guardians are expected to check their child’s Journal on a regular basis and to sign it at least once a week.

  • LUNCH AND BREAK TIMES: During lunch and break times students go to their assigned lunch/break time areas where they eat their lunch, clean the area as per cleaning rota and (weather permitting) go outside for a short while. Food is only allowed to be eaten in canteen area and in designated social areas. In line with the Green Schools, we ask that students dispose of their own rubbish and litter in the appropriate bins. It is important that each student respects litter laws and rules at all times, especially in eating areas.

  • NOTES: A written note in the School Journal from a parent/guardian is required for the following:
  1. a) When homework is not done
  2. b) To explain absenteeism
  3. c) When uniform is not worn
  4. d) Medical grounds for non-participation in P.E
  5. e) To explain lateness
  6. f) If a student is leaving early. As above a parent/guardian must come to the general office to sign out the student before he/she can leave.


Students should take care to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.

  • In accordance with legislation, smoking, including e-cigarette, is strictly forbidden at all times on any part of the school premises and grounds, as well as, on or during school outings. Failure to adhere to this rule shall render the student liable to disciplinary procedures.

1st Breach: Parents are informed by phone

2nd Breach: A sanction will be imposed

Subsequent breaches: Disciplinary action which may include suspension.

  • The consumption of and/or possession of alcohol is strictly forbidden at all times on any part of the school premises and grounds as well as on or during school outings and also during normal school hours while the school uniform is worn. Students in breach of this rule are liable to disciplinary action.
  • The use of all, or any, of the following is strictly forbidden as they may pose health risks to other students:
  • Cigarettes & e cigarettes
  • Chewing gum
  • Aerosol sprays other than for strictly medical purposes
  • Illicit substances or substance abuse in any form

The use of illicit drugs is absolutely forbidden, while students are in the care of the school. Students who breach this regulation are liable to suspension or exclusion, as the school authorises.

  • Students must not interfere with any safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, smoke alarms etc. Any student involved in damage will be responsible for any costs incurred and a sanction will be imposed.

MOBILE PHONES: Mobile phones are permitted subject to the following:

      • Under the strict supervision of a staff member.
      • They are turned off during the school day.
      • They are kept securely in a locker during the entire school day.
      • The school accepts no responsibility for damage, loss or theft.
      • Cameras and recording on mobile phones are not permitted unless under specific supervision of a staff member.

Permission is granted to allow students access to their mobile phones at pre-school and post-school times. This is done to accommodate emergencies and safety considerations. Students can request to use the phone in the office during the school day should they need to do so.

A breach of the regulations on mobile phones will result in the following sanctions:

(i) Confiscation of phone for the day

(ii) On repeated use of phone: Retention of phone until collected by parent/guardian, a time for which will be notified by letter/phone by the school.

  • For Health and Safety reasons, students are not allowed use any other technological devices (unless school approved) during school time or while on any school related activity.

  • Students are strictly forbidden from photographing, recording, posting or making reference to Mt St Michael of any of its community members on any social media websites. Students who are found to involve themselves in this form of activity will be dealt with, in line with school policy.

  • The school is not responsible for any loss or theft of student property. Money and valuables are students own responsibility.

  • Students are expected to keep classrooms, locker areas and canteen clean and tidy. Students are permitted to eat in the canteen or designated eating areas only. The abuse of school property or equipment shall amount to an act of serious misbehaviour and treated as such under the disciplinary procedures hereinafter referred to. This includes breakages and graffiti.

  • BULLYING: Mount Saint Michael has a zero tolerance to bullying of any kind. It is noted that bullying, exclusion, name calling, ridiculing or mistreating any student or students shall be taken as acts of serious misbehaviour. This school takes a preventative approach to bullying. Students are encouraged to tell teachers, staff, members of the Student Support Team (comprising of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Learning Support Coordinator, Guidance Counsellor, and Year Head) or parents of any incident that may be bullying or intimidation. All incidents reported to the school authorities will be investigated. See also the school’s Anti-Bullying policy.

  • CHILD PROTECTION GUIDELINES: All information in respect to child protection guidelines will be taken seriously and in accordance with nationally agreed guidelines. Any student, parent or staff member who has a concern regarding child protection should speak to DLP who is the principal (or if the Principal is absent, the DDLP – who is the Deputy Principal).). The school’s Child Safeguarding Statement and Risk Assessment are displayed at both entrance doors of the school. All school Journals inform students of the DLP and the DDLP for the school year.

  • LOCKERS: Lockers will be issued to students at the start of the school year. It is each student’s responsibility to ensure they have their locker key every day. Students should only access lockers before school and at the break times. They are not allowed go to the locker areas between classes.

  • FIRE SAFETY: in the unlikely event of a fire, students are to follow instructions of school staff. They are to leave all belongings behind, and walk calmly with their teacher to the designated area and await roll call. Classrooms have written notifications of procedures should the fire alarm ring.

  • CYBER SAFETY: There is a student Internet Safety Group and they support the school in this area. More advice and information on this is in students’ Journal and updated information will be on the school’s website

CODE OF BEHAVIOUR for Junior Cycle.

[NOTE: There is a slightly different version of Sanctions procedure for Senior Cycle, see below in box]

  • The remit of the Code of Behaviour covers all school activities both inside and outside school. It also covers all school journeys. It adopts a corrective rather than punitive approach to inappropriate behaviour. The aim of the following sanction procedure is to ensure that misbehaviour can be corrected in a manner which is fair, effective and dignified.

  • On occasions, students may be directly referred to the Deputy Principal or Principal if a Year Head deems that certain behaviour warrants this. A student may be referred to the school’s appropriate Student Support Team (comprising of the Principal, Deputy Principal, Learning Support Coordinator, Guidance Counsellor, and Year Head).

  • Misbehaviour outside the classroom may be recorded in the Student Journal and the Year Head informed. Outright challenge to any staff member’s authority shall be referred by that staff member to the Deputy Principal/Principal. The incident is recorded in the journal.

  • Each teacher is responsible for discipline within his/her own classroom. Depending on the misdemeanour, the teacher may assign extra work, impose supervised detention and/or relocate the student in class. If misbehaviour continues the relevant subject teacher shall record the misdemeanour(s) in the student’s journal. All records will be filed.

In dealing with the Code of Behaviour, the Sanctions/Procedures hereinafter set out, where appropriate, shall be followed. Throughout the following procedures the student will be aware of where they are in the Sanctions Procedures.

A student may move back a step in the Sanctions Procedures. To do this they must receive no negative comments from any teacher in one week. A report card must be signed daily by the Year Head and parents/guardians. A student has two opportunities per year to move back a step.

1st Step: When three misdemeanours are recorded in the journal the Class Teacher shall meet the student and encourage him/her to improve his/her behaviour.

2nd Step: If two or more misdemeanours are recorded, the class teacher shall inform the Year Head who shall then meet with the student and encourage better behaviour.

3rd Step: If two or more misdemeanours are recorded, the Year Head shall meet the student and encourage compliance with the School Rules. The Year Head will inform the parents of the student’s misbehaviour. The Principal and Deputy Principal will be informed also.

4th Step: If two or more misdemeanours are recorded, the Year Head shall meet the student and encourage compliance with the school rules. The Year Head will meet the student with his/her parent(s)/guardian(s). The Principal and Deputy Principal will be informed also.

5th Step: If two or more misdemeanours are recorded, the Year Head shall meet the student and encourage compliance with the school rules. The Year Head will arrange a meeting with the parents of the student, the Year Head and the Principal/Deputy Principal.

6th Step: If two or more misdemeanours are recorded, the Year Head shall meet the student. The Year Head shall inform the Principal, supported by the relevant filed Journal sheets, of where the student is in the Sanction Procedures. The Principal shall then consider it and take the appropriate action to resolve the problem which may include some or all of the following:

  • Require the parents/guardians to give in writing, an undertaking on behalf of the pupil of future good behaviour.
  • Require a similar undertaking from the pupil.
  • The conditions may include compensatory action in the case of theft or vandalism, an obligation to report to the principal or to a designated teacher at regular intervals, a withdrawal of privileges and the like.
  • The student may be suspended by the Principal and the matter reported to the Board of Management at its next meeting.

7th Step:If the foregoing procedures have not led to a satisfactory result, the matter shall be referred to the Disciplinary Sub-Committee for the then time being in office. The student or students concerned, as well as his/her/their parents/guardians shall be required in writing to attend before such committee, at a place and time to be stated. All parties concerned shall be afforded the fullest opportunity to make submissions or representations as may be appropriate and The Disciplinary Sub-Committee for the current school year shall comprise the School Principal, the Chairperson of the Board of Management and a nominee of the School Trustees. The decisions or findings of such Committee shall, if it relates to extended suspension, or actual exclusion, be submitted to the Board of Management for consideration and final ruling, at the next succeeding meeting or to a specially convened meeting of such Board, if required.


8th Step: If the foregoing procedures have not led to a satisfactory result, the matter is referred to the Board of Management its entirety and they may rule for extended suspension, or actual exclusion. Parents/ Guardians will be invited to a meeting of the Board of Management to hear and discuss the issues. Exclusion in particular will only be imposed by the Board of Management as a last resort in any one serious disciplinary matter or in continued serious breaches of rules, regulations/procedures. Any decision by the Board of Management to exclude a student may be appealed under the relevant section of the Education Act of 1998. Likewise, the right to appeal is recognised where it is applicable.

It is envisaged that most behavioural problems will be satisfactorily dealt with through the procedure outlined in steps 1 – 4.

Sanctions Procedures:

Three negative comments in journal

Step One: Class teacher meets student

Two more negative comments

Step Two: Class Teacher meets student and informs Year Head

Two further negative comments

Step Three: Year Head meets student and informs parents, Principal and Deputy Principal informed

Two further negative comments

Step Four: Year Head meets students and parents, Principal and Deputy Principal informed

Two further negative comments

Step Five: Principal/Deputy Principal and Year Head will meet students and parents, Principal and Deputy Principal informed

Two further negative comments

Step Six: Principal will take appropriate action which may include suspension

If the foregoing procedures have not led to a satisfactory result

Step 7: The Principal shall refer the student to the Disciplinary Sub-Committee

If the foregoing procedures have not led to a satisfactory result

Step 8: The Principal shall refer matter to the Board of Management.


Suspension and exclusion will be only used when absolutely necessary. It is envisaged that disciplinary issues generally will be satisfactorily resolved through the schools normal Code of Behaviour and Sanctions Procedures.

  • The principal may suspend a student immediately (if parent(s) are in a position to receive the student from the school) if he deems any matter of behaviour serious enough. Otherwise in most cases a week's notice may be given if that is appropriate. In any case, parent(s)/guardians(s) are always informed by telephone or by letter of a suspension, the reason for it and its duration.
  • The principal may, on occasion, suspend a student from his/her normal classes but the student remains on the school premises generally in a supervised capacity - known as internal suspension.
  • On return from a period of suspension a student must meet with the principal or his designate to determine if there is a commitment to more positive behaviour and attitude.
  • Suspension and exclusion where they occur are noted in a student's file. TUSLA (The Child and Family Agency) are notified of all external suspensions in our Annual Attendance Reports.

Notwithstanding anything else contained in the school rules regarding discipline and procedures to be followed, it is to be noted that any misbehaviour/behaviour which the principal shall deem to be of such a serious nature as to warrant immediate sanction shall, at the discretion of the principal, in appropriate cases, entitle him to suspend any student involved in serious misbehaviour without the necessity of invoking the procedures as set out in the school's Code of Behaviour and Sanctions Procedures.

The school reserves the right to amend or add to the above rules as becomes necessary.


THURSDAY JUNE 20th 2024 from 930am-1230pm with Parents Information Session at 12 noon
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