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St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School is situated close to the centre of the city of Sunderland.  The school serves the parish of St Patrick’s.


The school provides full time education for pupils aged 4-11 years.


The school welcomes pupils from all backgrounds irrespective of gender, disability, race and different cultures.



Policy Formation


Our policy has been revised following consultation with children, parents and staff and with regard to specific changes outlined in the Education and Inspections Act 2006 – School Discipline and Exclusions, and the school’s legal duties under the Equality Act 2010. Our policy has clear links with other whole school policies and should be read in conjunction with our policies on:


Anti-Bullying Policy               Attendance               Health and Safety                      Complaints

Learning and Teaching         Safeguarding            Special Educational Needs   Mobile phones

Use of reasonable force


It should also be read in conjunction with DfE guidance on the following:


‘Behaviour and Discipline in Schools’


‘Use of reasonable force in schools.’


‘Exclusion from maintained schools, Academies and pupil referral units in England.’


St Patrick’s Behaviour Policy is part of our whole school Safeguarding Systems.




Governing Body’s Statement of Behaviour Principles


St Patrick’s School seeks to provide a safe, secure and positive environment in which children and young people can develop and grow in an atmosphere of kindness, care for one another and respect for the dignity we all should receive without question.


Our School Mission Statement clearly implies our corporate desire to live our mission.


Our Catholic ethos is fostered by living out the Christian values of the Gospels in the way we respect ourselves, each other and the environment in which we exist. The school community aims to cultivate these values by positively highlighting the many good things that go on within our school and making children, parents and staff aware of the consequences of their actions.


We believe that good behaviour is an absolute must for the safety and well being of all our pupils and staff. This can only be achieved where the school and home work together in partnership in promoting self-discipline, positive values and community spirit.


We have statutory authority to discipline pupils for misbehaviour which occurs in school and, in some circumstances, outside of school and fully expect that pupils and parents respect this in playing their part in maintaining an orderly climate for learning.


We expect all pupils to respect the rights of other pupils and adults within school. We will not tolerate violence or threatening behaviour or abuse by pupils and parents. Should a parent not conduct himself/herself properly, we as a school may ban them from the school premises, or take further action.


We recognise that the attitude of all staff is crucial to the success of this policy. Staff must consider themselves responsible at all times for the behaviour of pupils within their charge.


The Head Teacher will publicise this policy at least once a year, to staff, parents and pupils.


The standard of behaviour expected of all pupils will be included in the school’s Home-School Agreement, which parents must be asked to sign following their child’s admission into school.



Government Guidance


St Patrick’s School believes that staff, parents and the children themselves must share responsibility for the maintenance of high standards of behaviour in school.  Our school has adopted the following guidance from the Department for Education publications ‘Behaviour and discipline in schools’ and the ‘Use of reasonable force’:


Teachers’ Powers to Discipline:


  • Teachers have statutory authority to discipline pupils whose behaviour is unacceptable, who break the school rules or who fail to follow a reasonable instruction (Section 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006).
  • The power also applies to all paid staff (unless the Head Teacher says otherwise) with responsibility for pupils, such as teaching assistants.
  • Teachers can discipline pupils at any time the pupil is in school or elsewhere under the charge of a teacher, including on school visits.
  • Teachers can also discipline pupils for misbehaviour outside school, in some circumstances.
  • Teachers can confiscate pupils’ property.


Power to use reasonable force:


The legal provisions on school discipline provides members of staff with the power to use reasonable force to prevent pupils committing an offence, injuring themselves or others, or damaging property, and to maintain good order and discipline in the classroom.


Power to search without consent:


The Head Teacher and authorised senior school staff (in pairs) may also use reasonable force when conducting a search without consent, where they suspect the pupil to have mobile phones, weapons, alcohol, illegal drugs, stolen items, tobacco and cigarette papers, fireworks, pornographic images or articles that have been, or could be used, to commit an offence or cause harm.



Key Objectives


  • To foster a caring and supportive community based on established Christian values.


  • To encourage a positive learning environment where success, inclusion and self-worth are valued.


  • To deal with occurrences of misbehaviour in a democratic, reasonable, consistent and fair manner taking account of SEN, disability and the needs of vulnerable children; while also ensuring the school’s legal duties under the Equality Act 2010, in respect of safeguarding and in respect of pupils with special educational needs (SEN) are fulfilled.


  • To foster personal development, growth and understanding; enabling all pupils to participate fully in the life of the school and community.



Principles into Practice


The success of any Behaviour Policy depends upon the corporate body of the school acting in unison. Various initiatives are used to regularly maintain an atmosphere of calm, praise, self-discipline and regulation.


St Patrick’s School seeks to operate an Assertive Discipline System where children are encouraged to develop a positive attitude to themselves, others and school in an environment that encourages them with praise and both sets and recognises good example. This we believe can be achieved through:


  • Quiet words and encouraging smiles.
  • Public praise in front of class, peers or whole school.
  • Recognition of progress through visits to other staff for recognition.
  • Special Treats in recognition of success, achievement, improvement etc.
  • Giving children responsibility i.e. Playground Buddies, Monitors.
  • Written comment on work or reports.
  • Annual recognition of achievement at end of year presentation assemblies.
  • Working with the School Council e.g. Playground Rules
  • Bringing visitors into school to promote ideas and give messages.
  • Individual classes agreeing a code of conduct/class rules.
  • PSHCE/SEAL and other curriculum opportunities e.g. Circle Time, Buddies.
  • School Assembly and Collective Worship opportunities.
  • Provision of Out of Hours Activities.
  • Quality learning experiences by making learning fun.
  • Pupil interaction in their learning.
  • Variety of teaching strategies.
  • Provision of a broad and balanced curriculum.
  • Making our school a visual celebration of success and purpose.
  • Involving parents in the work of the school.
  • Valuing everything we do as a school together.


Our list of promoting good behaviour is not exhaustive. To achieve a high level of personal growth and self-development requires all within our school community to work together for the common goal.



Unacceptable Behaviour


Despite our best efforts, there are occasions when children let themselves down. This has an impact on their families, friends, teachers and school. It is very important that children must be made aware of the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.


This should include:


  • Understanding what he/she has done wrong.
  • Talk with the staff member about the possible consequences of his/her behaviour.
  • Listening and responding to advice given by staff member.
  • Making peace and working successfully with someone to rebuild bridges.


Any malicious accusations made against school staff, will be investigated by the Head Teacher, who will make a record of discussions with both staff and pupils and any necessary actions. This will include a risk assessment and from the risk assessment appropriate sanctions will be applied up to and including permanent exclusion.  Any measures and sanctions applied will take into account individual needs of pupils and staff.


Everyone within our school must remember that we are a forgiving community.



Behaviour outside school


Pupils’ behaviour outside of school – for example on school visits, school sports’ fixtures is subject to St Patrick’s Behaviour Policy. For behaviour outside of school, but not on school business, including travel to and from school, the Head Teacher may impose sanctions or exclude a pupil where there is a clear link between that behaviour and maintaining good behaviour and discipline among the community of St Patrick’s.





The decision to sanction a pupil must be made by a paid member of the school staff or by a member of staff authorised by the Head Teacher.


The decision to sanction and the sanction itself must be made on the school premises or while a pupil is under the charge of the member of staff.


Sanctions must be proportionate. In determining whether a sanction is reasonable, section 91 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006 says “the penalty must be reasonable in all the circumstances and that account must be taken of the pupil’s age, any special educational needs or disability they may have, and any religious requirements affecting them.”


Prior to implementing sanctions, staff should consider whether the behaviour under review gives cause to suspect that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. Where this may be the case, school staff should follow the schools’ safeguarding policy. They should also consider whether continuing disruptive behaviour might be the result of unmet educational or other needs. At this point, the school should consider whether a multi-agency assessment is necessary.


A range of sanctions are available to staff in dealing with unacceptable behaviour. These will include:


  • A reminder of the rule or verbal warning.
  • Time out on the playground or in class N.B. staff should allow reasonable time for the pupil to eat, drink and use the toilet.
  • Extra work, or repeating unsatisfactory work, until it meets the required standard.
  • Written tasks eg. explanation, letter of apology
  • Loss of privileges e.g. responsibility, non-uniform day etc.
  • Appropriate school-based community service eg tidying the classroom
  • Behaviour monitoring eg charts (Annex 1, though this can be amended), home/school contact book
  • Sent to a senior member of staff
  • Sent to the Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher
  • Refer to Deputy Head Teacher or Head Teacher for persistent unacceptable behaviour.
  • Staff member contacts parents to discuss behaviour.
  • Fixed term exclusion from school in line with LA Policy.
  • Permanent exclusion from school in line with LA Policy.





The decision to exclude will not be taken lightly and only:


  • In response to a serious breach, or persistent breaches, of the school’s behaviour policy and when allowing the pupil to remain in school would seriously harm the education or welfare of the pupil or others in school.


Only the Head Teacher can exclude a pupil and this must be on disciplinary grounds.  A pupil may be excluded for one or more fixed periods (up to a maximum of 45 school days in a single academic year), or permanently.  A fixed period exclusion does not have to be for a continuous period.


When the Head Teacher excludes a pupil they must, without delay, notify parents of the period of exclusion and the reasons for it.


A written record will be kept of all actions taken by the Head Teacher and all other staff. These will include any interview with the pupil concerned. Witness statements will be dated and signed wherever possible.


Where a pupil is given a fixed period exclusion of duration of six school days or longer, the governing body will arrange suitable full-time educational provision from and including the sixth day of exclusion.


During the initial period of up to five school days, the parents of the excluded pupil must ensure that he or she is not present in a public area during normal school hours without reasonable justification. This requirement applies whether or not the pupil is in the company of the parent. The pupil may also be removed from the public place by the police and taken to designated premises. During this period the school will set work for the pupil to complete and mark it.


The school will ensure that parents are fully informed of their duties in the first five days and how the time might be used to address the pupil’s problems; and what support will best help with the pupil’s reintegration into the school at the end of the exclusion period. This will include arrangements for the pupil’s reintegration interview with a parent of a pupil.


The Governing Body will notify the LA of its implementation of these new arrangements.


For pupils who have been excluded for more than five days within a term the Governing Body may decide to offer the parent a Contract that will be signed by all parties to provide support to both the parent and the pupil to improve the pupil’s behaviour (Annexe 2).


A decision to exclude permanently is a serious one. It will usually be the final step in a process for dealing with disciplinary offences following a wide range of other strategies, which have been tried without success. It is an acknowledgement by the school that it has exhausted all available strategies for dealing with the pupil.


For permanent exclusions, the local authority must arrange suitable full-time education for the pupil to begin no later than the sixth day of exclusion.


There will however be exceptional circumstances where the Head Teacher will permanently exclude a pupil for a first or one off offence.


The behaviour of pupils outside school can be considered as grounds for exclusion.


The Headteacher must take account of their legal duty when sending a pupil home following exclusion.



Factors to consider before making a decision to exclude


At St Patrick’s we will not impose exclusion in the heat of the moment unless there is an immediate threat to the safety of others in the school or the pupil concerned. Before deciding whether to exclude a pupil, either permanently or for a fixed period, the Head Teacher will:


  • Ensure that an appropriate investigation has been carried out.
  • Consider all the evidence available to support the allegation.
  • Allow the pupil to give his/her version of events.
  • Check whether the incident may have been provoked by bullying.
  • If necessary consult others.
  • Keep a written record of the actions taken and copies of written records made by other members of staff, including any interview with the pupil concerned. Witness statements will be signed and dated wherever possible.


This section should be read in conjunction with DfE guidance documents on ‘Behaviour and discipline in schools’ and ‘Exclusion from maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units in England.’



Confiscation of Inappropriate Items


Under the ‘general power to discipline’, staff may confiscate, retain or dispose of a pupil’s property as a sanction.  It also protects them from damage to, or loss of, any confiscated items.  Where appropriate, confiscated items will be returned at the end of the school day and parents/ carers informed.


Staff have the ‘power to search without consent for “prohibited items”, such as:


  • mobile phones
  • knives and weapons
  • alcohol
  • illegal drugs
  • stolen items
  • tobacco and cigarettes
  • fireworks
  • pornographic images
  • any article that has been or is likely to be used to commit an offence, cause personal injury or damage property


Weapons, knives and extreme or child pornography must always be handed over to the police otherwise it is for the teacher to decide if and when to return a confiscated item.



Use of Reasonable Force


All members of school staff have a legal power to use reasonable force.  Staff may use reasonable force to prevent pupils from committing an offence, injuring themselves or others or damaging property, and to maintain good order and discipline in the classroom.


Force may need to be used to control pupils or to restrain them. This can range from guiding a pupil to safety by the arm through to more extreme circumstances such as breaking up a fight or where a student needs to be restrained to prevent violence or injury to themselves or others and damaging property.


Reasonable in the circumstances means using minimum force.


The decision on whether or not to physically intervene is down to the professional judgement of the staff member concerned and should always depend on individual circumstances and be inline with school policy and reasonableness (including children with disabilities and SEN).


Some examples of where the school may use reasonable force are:


  • removing disruptive children from the classroom where they have refused to follow an instruction to do so;
  • preventing a pupil behaving in a way that disrupts a school event or a school trip or visit;
  • preventing a pupil leaving the classroom where allowing the pupil to leave would risk their safety or lead to behaviour that disrupts the behaviour of others;
  • preventing a pupil from attacking a member of staff or another pupil, or to stop a fight in the playground and
  • restraining a pupil at risk of harming themselves through physical outbursts.


The use of force cannot be used as a punishment.


Adjustments may need to be made if reasonable force needs to be used with disabled children and children with special needs.


Staff should speak to parents/ carers about serious incidents involving the use of force.  Incidents where force is used must be recorded on the appropriate proformas contained in the ‘Safeguarding Incidents’ file, located in the Head Teacher’s office.


Any complaints will be dealt with thoroughly, speedily and should be appropriately investigated, either by the Designated Person, the Nominated Deputy Designated Person or by another senior member of staff.  Complaints should be dealt with using the school’s complaints procedure.



Staff Development and CPD Provision


Staff training and development are linked with the needs of the school and the individual training needs of the staff. These will come about following consideration of previous inspections, action plans and identified staff needs.


Supply staff, students and any external providers working in the school will be provided with the behaviour policy together with other key policies as part of their induction.



Monitoring and Evaluation


This policy will be reviewed by the Head Teacher and full Governing Body on an annual basis as outlined in the Governors’ Monitoring Policy.

School Address

St. Patrick’s Catholic Primary School
Smith Street


Tel: 0191 523 5050


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