Code of Conduct
CODE OF CONDUCT FOR LEARNERS (SUMMARY)
Rembrandt Park School promotes the best education for its learners. The school adheres to the following principles:
- Disciplined behaviour is essential for the well-being of the school and the successful achievement of the school’s objectives
- Educational principles allow the school to function as a harmonious community.
PURPOSE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
Rembrandt Park School Code of Conduct for Learners serves the following purpose:
- To establish a safe and secure environment.
- To endorse the human rights of educators to teach and maintain orderly learning environments, and the rights of learners to learn in a secure, non-threatening environment.
- To promote a climate of mutual self-respect, self-discipline and responsible behaviour.
- To conduct disciplinary action that is fair, appropriate and consistently applied.
- To apply corrective measures to improve behaviour.
All learners must:
- Behave in accordance with the code of conduct.
- Comply with the school attendance requirements.
- Dress according to the school’s dress code.
- Treat others with respect and dignity.
Learners may not:
- smoke or be in possession of cigarettes or electronic cigarettes
- be in possession of pornography.
- be in possession of or use any illegal drugs and/or alcohol.
- be in possession of any form of dangerous or illegal weapons including toy weapons.
- threaten another person physically or verbally.
- engage in any gang related activities.
- use racist, offensive or derogatory language.
- sexually harass another person.
- vandalise school property.
- bring cell phones to school.
- gel their hair or wear a style contrary to the school’s hair code.
- Sell or conduct any business on school property without the consent of the Principal.
Searches at school:
Searches and seizures may be conducted when there is a reasonable suspicion of a learner being in possession of, using or selling illegal drugs, alcohol or weapons at school. The policy on searches and seizures will apply.
Drugs at school:
The school has a separate policy on drugs and how to deal with drugs at school.
The disciplinary procedure involves three stages of disciplinary action, combined with the various forms of permissible sanctions
Level 1: Verbal warning
Level 2: Written warning
Level 3: Disciplinary hearing
- When serious offences are committed and verbal and/or written warnings are inadequate, the disciplinary committee will hold a disciplinary hearing before a decision is taken on what sanction should be imposed.
- The hearing will be conducted according to procedurally fair rules.
- The hearing will be held within a reasonable time after the event.
- The learner’s parents (or guardian) will be notified in writing of the offence that the learner is suspected of having committed.
- The learner and parents will be notified in writing of the date, time and venue of the hearing.
- During the disciplinary hearing the learner will have the right to:
· be represented or assisted by an adult.
· be furnished with information relating to the charge.
· present his or her case (i.e. to be heard) and call witnesses.
7. The disciplinary committee shall keep a record of the proceedings and of the evidence collected
8. The disciplinary committee shall make the final decision.
9. The learner and his or her parents (or guardian) will be informed in writing of the decision and be furnished with the reasons thereof.
CATEGORIES OF MISCONDUCT (OFFENCES)
The offences are categorised according to the seriousness of the offence. The offences include (this is not a complete list):
Category A: General offences
Failure to observe school rules
Arriving late for school/class
Misuse of school property
Using insulting or offensive language
Category B: Serious offences, including:
Smoking (tobacco or electronic cigarettes)
Bullying or intimidation
Fighting or behaving in a violent manner
Being in possession of dangerous weapons including toy weapons
Being in possession or involved in the manufacturing of or distribution of pornography
Malicious damage to school property
Repetition of a series of offences (e.g. late coming, bullying)
Assault or attempted assault
Engaging in gang related activities
Being in possession of, using or selling illegal drugs
Being in possession of and/or drinking alcohol on school premises
Conducting business transactions on school property without permission
A range of recognised disciplinary measures may be applied by educators to maintain discipline in the school and in their classrooms, including:
- a word of warning
- a reprimanding look
- withdrawal of privileges
- additional work
- referral to a senior member of staff
- community service
Learners may be detained during break or after school. If a learner is given detention after school:
- parents must be given fair warning in writing
- learners must be supervised during detention
Learners may be suspended from school by the governing body after a fair hearing as a correctional measure for a period not longer than one week pending a decision by the HoD, whether or not to expel the learner (section 9 of the Schools Act)
Expulsion may only be used in the case of very serious offences. Only the HoD may expel a learner from a public school (section 9 of the Schools Act)
No corporal punishment may be administered at school to any learner. Parents may not give educators permission to use corporal punishment (section 10 of the Schools Act).
PROCEDURES FOR DISCIPLINARY APPEALS
- If a learner or parent is dissatisfied with the disciplinary decision, excluding expulsion he or she may appeal in writing to the principal, or chairman of the school governing body.
- The principal or governing body shall appoint a committee of appeal and arrange for the appeal to be heard within a specific time.
- The learner will have a right to be represented or assisted by an adult.
- No person who served on the disciplinary hearing that found the learner guilty may serve on the appeal committee.
- A learner, or the parent of the learner, who has been expelled from school may appeal to the MEC against the decision of the HOD.
- The hearing of an appeal shall be conducted according to fair administrative practice.
This is the Code of Conduct for Learners of Rembrandt Park School. The School Governing Body has adopted the code of conduct after consultation with parents, educators and learners (section 8 of the Schools Act)