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Code of Behaviour

St. Finian’s College,


Co. Westmeath.


Original Code Approved by the Board of Management on

16 February 2011.

To be reviewed on a bi-annual basis


Mission Statement.


Because St. Finian's is a Catholic School we seek to develop a sense of community that attempts to live out the teaching of Christ, especially in our treatment of others.  We endeavour to develop the spiritual, intellectual, social, cultural and physical potential of all our students. With the co-operation of the parents, this potential is developed as fully as possible, so that each student can achieve success at his/her own level of ability.
   All students are encouraged to work towards the development of an atmosphere that encourages self-respect, respect for all the teachers and fellow students. The school endeavours to create a stable, secure and happy learning environment for all the students. The school authorities do not tolerate bullying in any form and the school procedures in this regard are in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills and the National Education and Welfare Board. Parents and pupils are encouraged to bring any difficulties to our attention. We place a very high priority on honesty, truthfulness and courtesy.
 Underlying Principles and Resources.
 The College operates under the patronage of the Bishop of Meath and in accordance with the religious and educational philosophy of our Diocese. St. Finian’s is a Diocesan College that aims to serve the wider community to include Mullingar and its surrounding parishes.
 We adhere to the regulations, curriculum and other programmes as laid down by the Department of Education and Science. The financial and teaching resources of the College are provided by a combination of Department of Education and Science grants and teacher allocations, voluntary contributions and fund-raising. Our school policy and the implementation of our aims and objectives are subject to the resources and funding available to us.
 St. Finian’s recognises the right to parental choice in relation to enrolment and is committed to the principles of inclusiveness, equality of access and participation in the school, respect for diversity of traditions, values, beliefs, languages and ways of life in society.
 The above mission statement is facilitated in its aims by the school’s code of behaviour.


Code of Behaviour.

The school is legally required to have a discipline policy and code of behaviour under the terms of the Education Act 1998 and the Education Welfare Act 2000.
Under section 23 of the Education and Welfare Act 2000 – the Board of Management of each school must prepare and make available a code of behaviour for its students. The act requires that the school code of behaviour is prepared in accordance with the guidelines issued by the National Education Welfare Board (N.E.W.B.).

Under these guidelines the discipline policy and code of behaviour of St. Finian’s College aims to achieve the following goals:

  •  To create a climate that encourages and reinforces good behaviour.
  • To create a positives and safe environment for teaching and learning.
  • To encourage students to take personal responsibility for their learning and their behaviour.
  • To help our young people to mature into responsible and participatory citizens.
  • To build an atmosphere of mutual respect and mutual support in the school and to develop positive relationships between students, staff and parents.
  • To ensure that the school’s high expectations for the behaviour of all members of the school community are widely known and understood.


The code of behaviour of St. Finian’s College applies to students at the following times:

·                                             During school time, including before and after class and at break times.

·                                             While wearing the school uniform.

·                                             While travelling to and/or from school using school transport.

·                                             While on school field trips, tours or exchanges.

·                                           While involved with or supporting teams or any extra-curricular activity.


The code of behaviour is inclusive of our anti-bullying, substance abuse and Internet access policies and is mindful of our duty of care and our obligations under health and safety to the whole school community.

 Promotion of Positive Discipline.


In St. Finian’s College we positively encourage an atmosphere of care and respect for each other. This aim is promoted and developed in the following manner:

  • Our respect charter is displayed in all classrooms.
  • Through a spirit of partnership we endeavour to ease the transition from primary to secondary school for pupils and parents.
  • We communicate our code of behaviour through our admissions policy, information evenings, school home liaison through the use of newsletters and bulletins, and in particular through our college journal.
  • We operate a system of Year Tutors and Year Heads.
  • Students are advised about attendance, punctuality, uniform and behaviour on a regular basis.


Students are affirmed in a variety of ways, in particular by:

  •  Individual and collective verbal praise, and positive notes in pupil journals.
  • Rewarding groups within the school using school trips, outings etc.
  • Acknowledgement of individual and collective academic and extra-curricular achievement and positive behaviour in our awards ceremony.
  • Highlighting of individual and collective achievement and positive behaviour in the daily announcements.
  • Positive programmes like the mentoring and tutor programmes.
  • Feedback from and involvement with the Student Council.


Students are encouraged to take ownership of the Code of Behaviour through:

  •  Reading and signing it before they enrol in the school and renewing their written commitment at the beginning of each academic year.
  • Regular consultation with the Student Council regarding its contents.
  • Positive reinforcement of its contents through meetings with Year Tutors and Year Heads and the holding of class and year group assemblies.




The daily timetable is as follows:

 Class will begin each day at 8.55am.

Lunch will be from 1.10pm – 1.55pm.

Class will end at 3.55pm on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, 2.35pm on Wednesday and 3.15pm on Friday.

Regular and punctual attendance for all classes and school activities is required. In particular, given the important we attach to our Catholic heritage and ethos, students are required to attend all religious education classes and to participate fully in all of the liturgical and religious services that are an integral part of our educational programme. Non-Catholic students are exempted from liturgical and religious services that are incompatible with their ethos and beliefs. The Junior Certificate Religious Education Examination is mandatory for all students

All students must register their attendance each day before morning and afternoon classes. The College operates an electronic scanning system where every student has their own individual swipe card. Failure to register attendance will result in detention.


If a student is unable to attend owing to illness or for any other serious reason, parents must ring the school office before 10am on the first morning of the absence.


When a student returns from an absence, the ‘Explanations for Absence’ page must be completed in the College Journal. This must be presented at the office before first class in the morning and should be shown to all teachers during the school day. All medical and dental appointments should be arranged if possible, outside of school hours.

 Students are not permitted to leave the college grounds at any break time. Students who reside in Abbeylands, Brookfield, College Hill and Irishtown will be given permission by the school authorities to go home for lunch under the following conditions:

  •  Parents must provide the College with an official signed authorisation note.
  • The office will issue that student with a pass card for the current academic year.
  • Authorised students may leave the College during lunchtime only if they carry their pass card.

 A student who absents herself/himself from class and/or leaves the college without permission is liable to be suspended.


If a student becomes ill in school she/he must report to the School Office. The school authorities will inform the parents who will make arrangements for their daughter/son to be looked after. Parents must leave a daytime contact number with the school for this purpose or any other emergency,


Under no circumstances should a student ever leave the College premises during the school day without clearance from the Principal/Deputy Principal.





If a student arrives late for school in the morning he/she must report to the office with a note an explanation (a phone call to the office from parents will also suffice).


All students are required to be in time for class throughout the day. Any student coming late to class without due reason will be issued with a late slip by the teacher. An accumulation of three late slips in any school term will result in after school detention.

                                                                                                                          Dress Code.

 St. Finian’s College reserves to itself the right to decide what is becoming in dress and appearance.

 All students are required to wear the designated school uniform, including the school crest. The school jacket is mandatory for all students. The school uniform must be worn during school hours and on the journey to and from school. Only the official school uniform with the school insignia may be worn. To allow for accident, loss or damage all students should have spare items of uniform.

 All uniforms must be neat, clean and in good condition. In general, hair must be neat, clean, well groomed, not distracting and in natural colours. Make-up or nail polish is not permitted. Boy’s hair must be short, tidy and without colourings.  Boys must be clean-shaven. Girls are permitted to wear one pair of stud earrings. No more than one bracelet or necklace is permitted. Actual or simulated body piercing is not permitted. Boys are not permitted to wear earrings, or any form of body piercing on the school premises. They are not to be covered by a bandage or tape. No visible tattoos are permitted for either boys or girls. For health and safety reasons the wearing of rings by either boys or girls is not permitted.

 Boys and girls must wear black shoes with black soles. Black Trainers, Runners or Pumps are not permitted. Girls’ shoes must have a heel of two inches or less. Knee length navy blue socks should be worn with the skirt. The skirt must be no shorter than mid-calf length.

 Because of the unique and constantly changing nature of fashion, the school reserves the right to classify any style of dress or appearance as inappropriate. Students attending St. Finian's College must accept the judgement of the Principal, Deputy Principal, and teaching staff as final in matters of dress and appearance at school.


 While every care is taken to protect the property of students, the College does not accept responsibility for articles lost or stolen. Students are advised not to leave money or valuables unattended. Students should not leave books or school bags on the corridor window-sills or under stairs. Students must make compensation for any damage they cause to College property, accidental or otherwise.


The residential areas of the College are totally out of bounds to all students. Any student found in a residential area will be liable to serious sanction.



The only safe place to leave property is in ones locker. Student lockers are the property of the College and are hired out to students each year. While the school respects the privacy of students it reserves the right to inspect students lockers, bags, possessions and rooms at any time, in the interests of Health and Safety and the good of all the student body.


     Mobile Phones.

 Mobile phones must be stored in student lockers during the school day and may only be used at morning break and lunchtime. Mobile phones found in class, study class, study or on the corridors between classes will automatically be confiscated and kept for one month in the school office. They can then be reclaimed upon payment of a €6 fine. The taking of photographs using camera phones is not permitted. Students found doing so will have their phone confiscated.

 Parents should be aware of advice issued to education authorities regarding the risks to young people from overuse of mobile phones. Parents should also be warned that any student with a mobile phone which has internet access can easily download inappropriate pictures, jokes and ring tones.

 Making nuisance phone calls and/or sending unwanted or nasty text messages to fellow students or members of staff is defined as harassment under the law and is contrary to the schools’ dignity in the workplace charter and its anti-bullying policy.

 Computer/E-mail/Internet User Policy

 Students are expected at all times to adhere to the School’s E-Mail/Internet User Policy. Students who send or receive inappropriate E-Mails or who access or down load inappropriate web material from the internet etc. while using the school computers, will be liable to serious sanction. Before being permitted to access the internet on the school computers, a student must have signed the school ‘Internet Acceptable U