Good discipline in school helps create an atmosphere where each student feels secure and is taught responsibility for her actions. To help the school run safely, justly and comfortably for all of us, rules are necessary. They are seen positively as an essential means of promoting self-respect, respect for others and respect for the environment.

1. All pupils shall be in attendance at 8.45am each morning and at 1.45pm each afternoon

2. Classes shall commence at 8.50am and at 1.50pm and all students shall attend punctually. Classes finish at 3.50pm on Monday and Tuesday and at 3.10pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

3. Pupils shall show courtesy and respect to all members of the staff and to one another. They shall obey the instructions of the class teacher. Any insolence, disruption of class, defiance by individuals or classes shall be regarded as a serious offence and is punishable.

a.  Jumper with School Crest, navy for Seniors, sky-force blue for Juniors
b.  Blue shirt (to be worn under jumper and not on its own)
c.  Short sleeve crested polo shirt (can be worn without jumper and for P.E.)
d.  Knee Length check shirt

e.  Plain opaque black tights.

f.   Black Shoes.

g.  School Track Suit with Crest

Pupils shall at all times wear the school uniform and be clean and tidy in dress and appearance. Only very discreet makeup is allowed. Only natural hair colours are acceptable.
Failure to wear the school uniform (except for medical reasons – Doctor’s Cert. required) will result in the student being refused admission to class.  Non uniform clothing may be confiscated. Earrings and studs to be worn on earlobes only.

5.  Student Property

a. All clothing, books and equipment must be marked with pupil’s name.
b. A locker must be taken by each student for the safe-keeping of her property
c. Students are responsible for their own property and the School Management cannot take responsibility for its loss.  Students are advised to keep their lockers locked at all times.

6. Procedures for notifying the school about reasons for absence from school

Parents are requested to ring the school before 10.00 am to report and explain absence. A written note in the student’s journal explaining absence is presented to the Principal by the student on the morning of return to school. This note is kept on file. The signed stub is presented to each teacher at the start of each class.

Under the Education Welfare Act 2000:-

·     Parents/legal guardians are obliged to notify the Principal of reasons for a child’s absence

·     The school is obliged to inform the Education Welfare Officer in writing where a student is suspended for more than 6 days, absent for more than 20 days, or has irregular attendance)

If a pupil needs to be excused from class from any reason (e.g visit to Dentist /Doctor) she is required to bring a note requesting permission to leave and must sign out at the time she leaves the school.

7. Leaving the school grounds

.  In the interests of safety students may not leave the school premises without the permission of the school authorities.
·  TY, 5th Yr and Leaving Certificate students may leave the school premises at lunchtime.
·  All other students must remain on school premises at all times, unless they are going home for lunch.  In this situation a special permission slip must be signed by the parent/guardian at the beginning of the school year.
·  In the event of accident/illness, the parent/guardian will be informed by the school authorities, so that arrangements can be made to collect the student.
·  We recommend that medical/dental appointments be made outside of school hours. If the student has to leave the school for an appointment parent/guardian must sign a note in student diary giving permission to daughter. This note must be signed by the school authorities and the student then signs out.
· If a student gets sick in school the following procedure is to be followed:

a. Inform class teacher
b. Get permission to go to office
c. Ask office to ring home
d. Sign out in the office
e. Parents/guardians must call into the office to collect the student


8. Pupils are to leave the Sports’ Complex Dressing Rooms, sewing room, cookery room, music room, science laboratory, computer rooms and any general-purpose room in perfect order after class.

9. All pupils shall participate in P.E. Class unless exemption has been granted at the written request of parents.

10. Pupils are forbidden to smoke on the school premises or on school outings. Substance abuse in any form or promotion of same is strictly forbidden.  Consumption of energy drinks is also forbidden.

11. Any pupil who interferes with or damages school property or property belonging to anyone else will have to compensate for any damage caused.

12. The Board of Management in accordance with Health and Safety and Child Protection Legislation wishes to inform parents/guardians that the school can no longer accept responsibility for students after the official closing times except when students are engaged in activities organised by the school and approved by the Board (supervised study, homework club, after-school extra-curricular activities supervised by teachers, students waiting for school buses). These students waiting for school buses must hand in a completed Application Form, available from the school office, on their return to school in September.  Students involved in such activities are expected to behave in accordance with the rules of the school e.g. use of mobile phones, leaving the premises without permission.

13. Eating during class or chewing gum on the premises at any time is not allowed.

14. Any action by a student, whether inside or outside the school, which is damaging to the school or brings the school into disrepute is a breach of school rules.

15. Use of MP3 players, ipods and mobile phones is strictly forbidden. If confiscated they may be collected only by parents/carers.

Further to the above rules any other breaches of discipline will be dealt with at the discretion of the Principal.

In the interests of Health and Safety parents are requested:

  • Not to contact their daughters by phone during the day.  In case of emergency, please contact the office.
  • Not to drive into or park in the school yard to drop off or collect students.


Lunch Time Detention:- Lunchtime detention (1.15-1.45pm) one day a week.  Used for minor breaches of discipline e.g. uniform, homework, disruption.  Students are referred for this sanction by subject teachers – work give by subject teacher relating to misdemeanour or by teacher in charge of detention.

After School Detention:- After school detention is organised one day a week at the discretion of the Principal. Used as a sanction for being persistently late in the mornings, without a note explaining the reason for staying out of class.  As student is informed that she will be on detention for 1 hour on a given day.  A letter is sent home to communicate the sanction to parents.

Alert Letter:- This letter is sent home by school management at the request of a teacher to bring some difficulty to the notice of parents/guardians.  It may be for persistent non completion of homework or for constantly forgetting equipment/ingredients etc.

Discipline File & Report Card:- A teacher may record a student’s name in the Discipline File. The Year Head will be informed.  If the student is recorded in the Discipline File a second time, the student goes on Report Card.  If there is further infringement, a second Report Card will be issued.  If a student fails to satisfactorily complete the Report Card, or if there is a further incident of indiscipline, the student will be issued with a Record Slip and parents are called to the school.

Record Slip:- This is filled out by the teacher and gives the date, student’s name, an indication of the type of misconduct or poor study habits and other relevant details. A copy is brought home by the student and must be signed by the parent. The student returns it next day to the teacher. Another copy goes into the student records.

Withdrawal of Privileges:- Students who have received a Record Slip or who have been suspended will not be allowed on School trips for the remainder of that school year.

Parents requested to call to the school:- This will happen if the Year Head’s efforts fail to bring an improvement in the student’s behaviour or study habits.  It is a consultation between parents, Principal and/or Deputy Principal and other relevant staff to see if by their combined efforts the student can be persuaded to improve her behaviour.

Damage to Property:- Any student, who deliberately causes damage to school property or to the property of another student or staff member, will have to make good the loss.

Suspension:- Serious or continual breaches of the school’s code of behaviour may result in a student being suspended.  Suspension may also be applied for a single serious breach of school discipline e.g.
a) Gross insolence – blatant defiance
b) Unruly, disruptive or violent behaviour
c) Smoking on the premises – or any other substance abuse or promotion of same
d) Leaving school premises without permission.

For Cases of Gross Misbehaviour:- A student may be suspended  and will only be re-admitted to the school after signing a Behaviour Contract.  If a student re-offends in this manner, she will only be accepted back on a contract basis for one week at a time and if she misbehaves at any time during the week she will be suspended or the rest of that week.  Parents and students will sign the contract at the end of each week for the following week.

Expulsion:- The Board of Management in St. Mary’s Secondary School will only resort to expulsion (permanent exclusion) in the most serious cases of indiscipline and usually after every effort at rehabilitation has failed and every other sanction has been exhausted. If a pupil is causing severe disruption, the school may have to exclude such a pupil in order to allow the education of the other pupils in the  school to proceed. The rights of the other pupils must also be taken into account. The pupil and her parents will be advised of the nature of the complaint and be given every opportunity to respond. Parents will also be informed of their right of appeal to the next level of authority. An appeal may be made to the Secretary General of the Department of Education & Science in certain very serious matters such as permanent exclusion and cumulative suspensions of more than 20 school days.

This policy applies to students of the school at the following times:

  • during school time, including before and after class and at breaktimes
  • while representing the school
  • while travelling to or from school
  • while using school transport
  • while on school trips, tours or exchanges
  • while supporting school teams or activities