Discipline Procedures and Procedural Fairness
The best possible conduct is expected from all students at all times. This includes their conduct at school and their travel to and from school, irrespective of the method of transport. This may also include technology and online activity when students are at home. Poor conduct will not be accepted.
St Columba Anglican School acknowledges and applies procedural fairness in dealing with students. Procedural fairness procedures at St Columba Anglican School include giving a student who is under investigation the right and an opportunity to be heard and to understand the procedure to be used in the investigation, should it be warranted. In such cases, the student will be informed of the procedure to investigate the particular issue at the time. Students will be interviewed in a timely manner to ensure the process's integrity and verify the information. Parent approval is not required for this to occur. A variety of discipline strategies may be used, including those listed below:
Behaviour Reflection in the Primary School
The Primary School has a Behaviour Reflection program for students who have broken basic school rules. During Long and Short Breaks, students will be asked to reflect and consider changes that could be made to improve their behavioural choices. The seriousness of the incident determines the amount of time that students are removed from the playground. Parents are informed by the class teacher or a member of the Primary School Leadership when these consequences are being put into place. This may occur after the event if the immediacy of consequence is required. A Tuesday Detention may be used for Stage 3 students for more serious misdemeanours.
The Secondary School has detention for students who have broken basic school rules. Students will be supervised by staff during detention. There may be lunchtime detentions or, for more serious misdemeanours, Tuesday or Saturday detentions. Secondary School detention/community service is held on Tuesday afternoons until 5.00pm and on Saturday mornings from 9.00am to 12.00pm. Community service during school vacation may also be arranged in consultation with parents/caregivers. Parents/caregivers will be contacted by phone. They will also receive a Parent Lounge notification prior to a student attending detention/community service outside of school hours to ensure they are aware the student is on detention.
The School aims to keep parents/caregivers informed of issues that occur at school or whilst travelling to and from school. There may be times that an event that has occurred outside school hours that is of sufficient concern for the School to request an interview. There will be times when a telephone interview will take place and other times when a personal parent interview will be requested.
Referral for Counselling
Following interview(s) with parents/caregivers, the School may recommend a student seek assistance from the SCAS Wellbeing team. If needed, counselling from an independent professional may be recommended.
Progress Card or Behaviour Contract
Both Primary and Secondary students may be, at times, given a Behaviour Contract or plan which is developed between staff and the student to focus on their identified area of misbehaviour or where improvement or support is required. This may include a section to be completed by all staff at the conclusion of each period. This records the student’s progress and attitude within that period. Parents/caregivers may be asked to countersign the contract or card and may be asked to communicate with staff by phone, Diary or email for the duration of the contract to review progress.
The School reserves the right, should the need arise, to suspend a student from school for some time for a major breach of discipline. Should this occur, parents/caregivers will be immediately informed of the suspension and the reasons for it. Parents may seek to meet to clarify the school’s position further. The school determines the length and whether the suspension is held within the School or at home. If at school, the student is not allowed into class or to have contact at recess or lunchtime with fellow students. If at home, the student is not allowed to come to school until the suspension is completed and a behaviour management contract developed in partnership with parents/caregivers, the student and the School. A return to school interview is held to assist the student’s reflection of the behaviour and for pastoral support. Suspension is seen as a very serious sanction.
Probation is the penultimate step before expulsion and is determined after an interview with parent(s) or caregiver(s). A Behaviour Management Plan will be developed during this interview in consultation with the students and his or her parent(s) or caregiver(s). Students on probation will normally be placed on report, monitored daily by both the student’s parent(s) or caregiver(s) and a senior member of staff.
When protracted misconduct or other circumstances allow no alternative, the School reserves its ultimate right of expulsion. Expulsion can become necessary when a major breach in discipline has occurred, all other avenues have been explored and the student’s place at the school has to be withdrawn. Parents/caregivers will be informed in person of the expulsion as soon as it is possible to arrange a suitable meeting.
Please note that students who have been expelled are not permitted on the School grounds or to participate in any School function of any form for two full school (calendar) years after the date of expulsion.
The St Columba Anglican School discipline policy expressly prohibits administering corporal punishment by staff and non-school persons, including parents/caregivers and volunteers.