Codes of Behaviour

Boards of Management of schools must after consultation with teachers, parents, Educational Welfare Officers prepare a code of behaviour in respect of students registered at the school. The code of behaviour must specify:

  • standards of behaviour to be observed by students attending the school;
  • measures to be taken when the student fails or refuses to observe standards;
  • procedures to be followed before a student may be suspended or expelled;
  • grounds  for removing a suspension imposed in relation to a student;
  • procedures to be followed in relation to notification of child’s absence;

The code of behaviour shall be prepared in accordance with guidelines following consultation with the NEWF, the National Association of Parents, School Management organisations trade unions and staff associations.

The principal of a recognised school, before registering a child shall provide the parents with a  copy of the code of behaviour. He or she may, as a condition of registering, require parents to confirm in writing that the code of behaviour is acceptable to them and that they shall undertake to make all reasonable efforts to secure compliance with the code by the child.

Proposal to Expel

Where the Board of Management of a recognised school or person acting on its behalf is of the opinion that the student should be expelled, it shall before expelling the student notify the Education Welfare Officer in writing of its opinion and the reasons for it.

The Educational Welfare Officer shall as soon as may be after receiving notification, make reasonable efforts to ensure that provision is made for the continued education of the child concerned. He shall make reasonable efforts to consult with the principal of the school concerned or its nominee, the student, parents, and other persons as appropriate and shall convene a meeting attended by him or her of such person as agreed to attend.

The student will not be expelled until 20 school days pass following receipt of notification by the Educational Welfare Officer. This is without prejudice to such other steps as are appropriate to ensure that good order and discipline is maintained in school and that the safety of the students is secured.


The NEWB may appeal the expulsion or refusal to enrol decision to the Secretary General in accordance with S.29 Education Act. It may also make submissions on an appeal brought by a student or parent.

Where a decision in relation to expulsion or refusal is upheld by the appeal committee appointed under the section and no appeal is brought against the decision, the NEWB must make reasonable efforts to have the child whom the decision concerns, enrolled in another school. If it cannot succeed in having the child enrolled it must make reasonable efforts to ensure that the child receives a certain minimum education.

The Education (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act  2007 amended the provisions regarding appeals arising from decisions to suspend, refuse to enrol or expel. It transferred certain functions from the State Examinations Commission, National Council for Educational Assessment and other bodies to the School Inspectorate.


The appeals committee in relation to expulsions, refusals or suspensions may consider a range of factors including

  • educational interests of students taking the appeal,
  • those of other students
  • nature  scale and extent of behaviour,
  • reasonable efforts made by the school
  • safety and health and welfare of teachers and students,
  • school practices
  • code of behaviour,
  • the extent to which it complied with guidelines,
  • the statutory duty of schools,
  • other relevant matters.

There is a provision for an appealed committee to refuse, the appeal, which is frivolous, vexatious, or an abusive process.


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