St Benildus College Procedure for Expulsion Policy:
The Board of Management of a recognised Secondary School has the authority to expel a student. Expulsion of a student is a very serious step and is one which will only be taken by the Board in extreme cases of unacceptable behaviour.
A proposal to expel a student requires serious grounds such as that:
The student’s behaviour is a persistent cause of significant disruption to the learning of other students or to the teaching process.
The student’s continued presence in the College constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of others in the school community.
The student is responsible for serious breaches of the College Code of Behaviour. There may be exceptional circumstances where the Board of Management forms the opinion that a student should be expelled for a first offence. This would arise when a student was involved in a significant breach of the College Code of Behaviour such as:
A serious threat of violence against another student or member of staff. Actual violence or physical assault. Supply or possession of illegal substances in the school or when on school related activities. Sexual assault or harassment.
The College authorities will follow fair procedure when proposing to expel a student. The steps will include:
1. A detailed investigation will be carried out under the direction of the Principal. In line with fair procedures and natural justice the Principal will inform the student and his parents about the details of the alleged misbehaviour and that it could result in expulsion. The student and parents will be given an opportunity to respond to the complaint of serious misbehaviour. Parents will be informed in writing of the alleged misbehaviour.
The Principal at this stage may decide to suspend the student in accordance with the provisions of the Education Welfare Act 2000 if, in his opinion, such an action is appropriate to ensure the good order and discipline are maintained and that the safety of students is served.
2. Where the Principal forms a view, based on the investigation, that expulsion may be warranted, the Principal will make a recommendation to the Board of Management to consider expulsion. The student and parents will be notified of the date of the hearing by the Board of Management and will be invited to that hearing. Parents will be advised of their right to make a written and oral submission to the Board of Management at the hearing.
The Board meeting for the purpose of the hearing will be properly conducted in accordance with Board procedures. At the hearing the Principal and the parents or a student aged eighteen years or over, put their case to the Board in each other’s presence. After both sides have been heard the Board should ensure that the Principal and parents are not present for the Board’s deliberations. It is the responsibility of the Board to decide whether or not the allegation is substantiated and, if so, whether or not expulsion is the appropriate sanction.
3. Where the Board of Management, having considered all the facts of the case, is of the opinion that the student should be expelled the Board will inform the parents in writing about its conclusions and will notify the Educational Welfare Officer in writing of the intention to expel a student. The student cannot be expelled before the passage of twenty school days from the date on which the Educational Welfare Officer receives the written notification. The Board may delegate authority to the Principal to suspend the student during the passage of these twenty days where it considers the student’s continued presence in the College constitutes a real and significant threat to the safety of others in the school community.
4. Where the twenty day period following notification to the Educational Welfare Officer has elapsed, and where the Board of Management remains of the view that the student should be expelled, the Board of Management should formally confirm the decision to expel. Parents should be notified immediately that the expulsion will proceed and of their right to appeal the decision to the Secretary General of the Department of Education and Skills under Section 29 of the Education Act 1998.
5. The Board of Management will review (at regular intervals) the College Policy and Procedures for Expulsion. This review will ensure that the Policy and Procedures are consistent with College ethos and Code of Behaviour and that expulsion is used appropriately.
This policy was ratified by St Benildus College Board of Managememt of Tuesday 8 November 2011.