Code of Conduct

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1. INTRODUCTION - 1.1 Vision 1.2 Mission 1.3 Credo 1.4 Governing Body 1.5 Application for admission 1.5.1 General information 1.5.2   Admissions policy

2. THE CODE OF CONDUCT - 2.1 Legal framework / Definitions 2.2 The purpose of rules 2.3 Rights and responsibilities of learners

3. RULES - 3.1    Rules which describe acceptable behaviour 3.1.1 School attendance 3.1.2 Daily programme 3.1.3 Appearance 3.1.4 In the classroom 3.1.5 Outside the classroom 3.1.6 Leaving the school-grounds during school hours 3.1.7 Injuries / Illness during school hours 3.1.8   Changing classes 3.1.9 Extra-mural activities 3.1.10 Motorcars, motorbikes, bicycles 3.1.11 Announcements 3.1.12 Inter-personal relationships
3.1.13  Protection of property / assets 3.1.14 Security card 3.1.15  Absence during examinations and term tests

4. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES - 4.1 Objectives of disciplinary measures 4.2 Unacceptable behaviour 4.3 Transgressions:  levels, codes, descriptions and points:  see annexure B 4.4 Levels of transgressions:  sanctions:  see annexure C 4.5 Substance abuse policy:  see annexure D

5. APPLICATION OF DISCIPLINE - 5.1    The role of the disciplinary committee

6. SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION - 6.1 General information 6.2 The Governing Body 6.3 Legal dictates 6.4 Serious misconduct and the law

7. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES - 7.1 Educators 7.2 Parents

8. SUMMARY


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 VISION

Eben Dönges High School strives:

• To establish a well-resourced and well-organised school based on sound management principles;
• To procure a well-equipped staff who can facilitate the establishment of a culture of study and skills development amongst the learners;
• To co-operate sincerely and dedicatedly with the community to realize expectations formulated in the SA School’s Act regarding partnership between school and community; and
• To found and re-inforce a positive tradition at the school so that learners and ex-learners can be proud of this institution.

1.2 MISSION

We strive for quality skills based learning in a safe environment where equal opportunity and sound disciplinary values are nurtured.

Slogan : Learning today, succeeding tomorrow.

1.3 CREDO

We, the parents, learners and educators of Eben  Dönges High School, believe in God, with whose guidance, we undertake our task of education and training:

1. We believe in the family unit as a holy institution.
2. We believe in the school as the centre of education and training.
3. We believe in close co-operation between school and family.
4. We believe in the irreproachable and exemplary conduct of parent and educator.
5. We believe in mutual respect.
6. We believe in honest, hard work as the only  guarantee of success.               
7. We believe in discipline and the application  of punitive measures where necessary.
8. We believe that a child, who is a gift from God, needs to follow positive guidance.

1.4 THE GOVERNING BODY

Eben Dönges High School is managed in accordance with the dictates of the S.A. School’s Act (Act no 84 of 1996) by a body elected in by parents who represent the community. The Governing Body has decision making powers in all spheres of the school.

1.5 APPLICATION FOR ADMISSION

An application for a learner must be addressed to the school principal.  Application forms are available on telephonic, personal or written request.

1.5.1 GENERAL INFORMATION

The application for admission must include the following:

1. the most recent school report,
2. learner’s identity document or birth certificate (2 certified copies),
3. a transfer form from the previous school (does not apply to January intake  to grade 8),
4. all home and work addresses and telephone numbers of both parents as well as the name and telephone number of house doctor.

The parent or guardian who has completed and signed an application of admission form, undertakes that the learner submit to the code of conduct for learners.

1.5.2 ADMISSIONS POLICY

1. No applicant older than two years above the average age of a particular grade will be admitted to the school.  Applicants who apply to the school for the first time must submit a birth certificate and reliable scholastic  records with their application.

2. Applicants must be conversant with the language medium (English/Afrikaans) of the school. The school principal may test or have a learner’s language ability tested before an application is considered and his/her decision  about the learner’s language ability is final.

3. Applicants must have mastered the academic content of the courses of study of the previous grade.  The school principal may prescribe or apply any test in this regard and his/her decision re the applicant’s mastering of the content of the particular courses of study is final.

4. Applicants are expected to subject themselves to the Code of Conduct for Learners and accept the authority of the school.

5. Parents must undertake to honour the school policy and mission as set out   in the Code of Conduct for Learners.   
 
6. Parents must undertake to contribute to school fees and accept responsibility for school levies.  If parents default the Governing Body may take legal steps to recover monies owing.

7. Applicants may not have a record of misconduct or expulsion from another school.

8. Applicants may not have a record of political activism which led to the disruption of school activities.

9. Applicants must have suitable transport between home and school so that school activities can be attended.   

10. Preference is given to learners in the immediately surrounding suburbs which are traditionally the natural service areas of the school.  Preference is given to applicants whose parents or legal guardians own or rent property within the service area of the school.      
                    
11. Learners who according to the judgement of the school principal and Governing Body take part in an organised stay-away action with regard to school activities and/or the disruption of classes, lose their rights of admission and can be refused further attendance of the school.

12. The size of the school must be in line with the number of learners that the school can accommodate (inclusive of numbers per grade or classgroups e.g. Computer Application Technology).

13. Difficulties, problems or positive proposals must be brought to the attention of the school principal or Governing Body.  These must definitely not be discussed with outsiders or the media.

14. The school accepts Christian norms and standards as the basis of its educational policy.

15. Parents accept the above mentioned on signature of the application form and must make sure that their children also accept these requirements for the full duration of their alliance with the school.  Parents also undertake to build on the good name of the school and its image and to work with the school as a partner.


2. THE CODE OF CONDUCT

2.1 LEGAL FRAMEWORK / DEFINITIONS

2.1.1 Code: A set of rules to allay inconsistency.
2.1.2 Conduct: The manner in which a person acts and treats others.
2.1.3 Code of Conduct: Meaning the code of conduct of learners as determined in the S.A. School’s Act 1996, Section 8.
2.1.4 Learners: As defined in the S.A. School’s Act 1996.
2.1.5 Educator: As defined in the Educators’ Employment Act, 76/98.
2.1.6 Parent: As defined in the  S.A. School’s Act 1996.
2.1.7 Head of Department: The head of the Education Department     in the Western Cape Province.
2.1.8 Member of the  Excecutive  Committee: The member of the Excecutive Committee responsible for education in the Western Cape Province.
2.1.9 The Bill: The South African School’s Act, 1996 (Act 84 of 1996).
2.1.10 Suspension: The temporary ban on a learner from attending school.
2.1.11 Expulsion: The permanent ban on a learner from attending school.
2.1.12 Principal: A principal as described in Article  1 of the Act.
2.1.13 School: A public school which may include a boarding-house.

2.2 THE PURPOSE OF RULES

Rules are drawn up to realise the values inherent in the codes.  Rules thus intend to:

• ensure a positive learning environment and maintain it.
• describe acceptable conduct as well as unacceptable conduct.
• promote educational goals.
• develop leadership in learners.
• promote the social responsibilities of the school by providing learners with the necessary knowledge and skills.
• to direct the conduct of learners and those responsible for it.    

School rules which describe acceptable conduct ultimately ensure safety and order in the school and for the learners, while the particular description of unacceptable conduct is necessary if punitive measures need to be taken and to clear up any misunderstandings.

2.3 RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEARNERS

2.3.1 Every individual has the right to develop his/her full potential.
2.3.2 Every learner will receive equal treatment under the law.
2.3.3 Every learner will treat other learners with respect and dignity.
2.3.4 Every learner will respect other learners’ values and cultural traditions.


3. RULES

3.1 RULES WHICH DESCRIBE ACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

3.1.1 SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

• Every learner attends school regularly.
• If a learner is absent through illness or for any other valid reason, parents must communicate telephonically or per letter with the register teacher.
• Every parent must ensure that any learner for whom he/she is responsible attends a school from the first school day of the year wherein the learner reaches the age of seven years to the last school day of the year in which the learner reaches the age of fifteen years or attains the ninth grade, whichever happens first.

3.1.2 DAILY PROGRAMME

• Learners line up timeously at 7:50 at different entrances.
• Learners who are late must report to the secretaries first.
• The changing of classes must take place quickly and in an orderly fashion.

3.1.3 GENERAL APPEARANCE AND DRESS CODE

• See Annexure A.

3.1.4 IN THE CLASSROOM

• All rules with regard to conduct (behaviour) in the classroom must be directed towards the maintenance and promotion of a positive educational and learning culture, eg.
• All tasks of the educator must be completed with care.
• Homework must be recorded in the school diary and timeously completed.
• Learners may not write on or violate school property.

3.1.5 OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

• All learners must be on hockey fields A and B during breaks.  
• Every learner is mutually responsible for the neatness and cleanliness of change-rooms, classrooms and school grounds.
• Learners may not smoke on the school grounds or in school uniform, even after school hours.

3.1.6 LEAVING THE SCHOOLGROUNDS DURING SCHOOL HOURS

• No learner may leave the schoolgrounds without the permission of the principal or grade mentor, even during breaks.
• A Learner who has to leave the schoolgrounds during school hours must furnish a letter from his/her parents with a valid reason.
• After written permission has been extended to the learner by the principal or grade mentor, he/she must sign out at the secretary’s office.
• The parent or a person, with written permission from the parent, may then fetch the learner from the school.

3.1.7 INJURY OR ILLNESS DURING SCHOOL HOURS

• If a learner is injured or becomes ill during school hours, it must immediately be reported to the grade mentor.  He/She will furnish the learner with written permission to leave school.
• An injured or ill learner may only be fetched from school by the parents themselves or with the parents’ written or telephonic permission.
• Before a learner leaves the schoolgrounds he/she must sign out at the secretary’s office.

3.1.8 CHANGING OF CLASSES

• Two bells are rung during the changing of classes.
• Learners have three minutes for the  changing of classes.
• When the second bell has rung, all learners must be in their particular classes.

3.1.9 EXTRA-MURAL ACTIVITIES

• Learners in conjunction with their parents decide on which particular activities they will take part.
• Once a learner has signed up for a particular cultural or sports activity it is expected of him/her to take part for the duration of the activity.

3.1.10 MOTOR CARS, MOTORBIKES AND BICYCLES

• Motor cars may under no circumstances be parked on the school-grounds.
• No motorbikes or bicycles are allowed on balconies, pathways, entrances or on parking lot between motor cars.

3.1.11 ANNOUNCEMENTS

• All announcements must be signed by a member of staff before they will be made.

3.1.12 INTER-PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS

• Learners must treat others with courtesy, patience and consideration.
• Learners must refrain from aggressive or incorrect behaviour.
• Learners must show mutual respect for each other.
• Learners must respect authority, honesty and values.
• Learners may not be absent without a valid reason.
• Learners must adhere to the school rules, code of appearance and school times.
• If a learner needs to leave school early, permission must be sought from the appropriate authority.

3.1.13 PROTECTION OF PROPERTY / ASSETS

• Learners must strive to be pro-active, independant, critical and creative thinkers.
• Learners must strive to promote the effective functioning of the school.
• Learners must support the learning process.
• Learners may never threaten or endanger the lives of others.
• Learners must look after and have respect for school property and books.
• Learners must adhere to all safety and security measures.  These are in place to ensure the safety of lives and property in the school.

3.1.14 SECURITY CARD

Learners are required to carry this card on their person when entering the schoolgrounds and when representing the school at any function.This is for identification purposes.

3.1.15 ABSENCE DURING EXAMINATIONS AND TERM TESTS

If a learner is absent during an examination or for a term test he/she will receive nought for the particular question paper unless a doctor’s        certificate is submitted.  In this case an estimated mark for the subject will be made available.  This estimated mark will comprise tests, projects and other cumulative marks obtained by the pupil during the particular school term.


4. DISCIPLINARY MEASURES

4.1 THE OBJECTIVE OF DISCIPLINARY MEASURES:

• To promote responsible, independant decision making in learners.
• To promote a keen sense of duty in learners.

4.2 UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Unacceptable conduct is conduct by a learner which transgresses the rules as described in the code of  conduct.  It is thus the kind of conduct which has a negative effect on the learner or other learners.  This kind of conduct has a disruptive effect on the success of the educational objectives, as well as the general discipline in the school.  Unacceptable conduct is directly related to specific disciplinary measures.

4.3 TRANSGRESSIONS:  LEVELS, CODES, DESCRIPTIONS AND POINTS:  SEE ANNEXURE B

4.4 LEVEL OP TRANSGRESSIONS:  SANCTIONS:  SEE ANNEXURE C

4.5 SUBSTANCE ABUSE POLICY:  SEE ANNEXURE D


5. APPLICATION OF PUNISHMENT/DISCIPLINE

5.1 THE ROLE OF THE DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE

• Involves any combination of the principal, vice-principal, particular grade mentor and the teacher involved in the incident as well as two representatives from the Council of Learners.
• Internal hearing of all repeats of  transgressions on different levels or the reaching of a certain total.
• Decide on suitable punitive measures.
• Parents are given written notification of the decision taken by committee.
• A learner who makes the same transgression within the same year is directly referred to the governing body.
• The disciplinary body does not have the right to decide on suspension or expulsion.


6. SUSPENSION AND EXPULSION(PROCEDURE ACCORDING TO THE REGULATIONS OF ARTICLE 9(3) OF THE S.A. SCHOOL’S ACT, ACT 84 OF 1996 AND PUBLISHED IN THE PROVINCIAL GAZETTE NO 5190 AND THE GOVERNMENT GAZETTE NO 18900)

6.1 GENERAL INFORMATION

6.1.1 The Governing Body may, after a fair hearing, suspend any pupil found guilty of a transgression as dictated in the Code of Conduct (See annexure C):

(a) for a period of seven school days; or
(b) pending a decision by the Head of Department,  on the recommendation of the Governing Body, on whether the learner should be expelled or not.

6.1.2 A  learner who is expelled, or his/her parent, may appeal against this decision within 10 days after such a decision.  This appeal is lodged with the Member of the Executive Committee.

6.1.3 Where a learner is transferred for disciplinary reasons the Head of Department must find an alternative school for the learner until he/she is older than the compulsary school attendance age, as a learner’s right to education may not be violated.

6.1.4 All decisions which result is suspension or expulsion must take cognisance of the relevant laws.  For example a learner whose parents are unable to pay the school fees, as stipulated by the governing body, may not be suspended or expelled.

Section 9 of the South African Schools Act, 1996, is hereby amended by (a)    the substitution for subsection (1) of the following subsections: The governing body may on reasonable grounds and as a precautionary measure, suspend a learner who is suspected of serious misconduct from attending school and (b) A governing body must conduct disciplinary proceedings in the manner contemplated in section 8 against a learner within seven school days after the suspension of such learner.

6.2 THE GOVERNING BODY

6.2.1 According to the dictates of the Act, a learner at a school, after a fair hearing of serious misconduct where he/she is found guilty, may be suspended by the Governing Body or expelled by the Head of Department.

(a) The school principal gives written notification of 5 working days of the particular act of misconduct and the resulting decision of punitive measures to both the learner and the parent(s).

(b) The principal must call a meeting of the Governing Body where the learner and/or parent(s) or representative have a chance to verbally or in writing protest against the intended suspension or expulsion.

(c) The Governing Body must, after hearing the protests, decide whether the learner is suspended for a maximum of one week or whether the  Head of Department is recommended to expel said learner.

6.2.2 Where a Governing Body has recommended to the Head of Department that a learner be suspended, said learner is denied attendance at school until the Head of Department has made a decision on the matter.

6.2.3 Where a Governing Body has decided to recommend expulsion of a learner to the Head of Department, the parent(s) of the learner must be given written notification and be provided with an account of the reasons for the decision. The following documentation must be submitted to the Head of Department within 14 days of the decision:

(a) a complete account of the circumstances which resulted in said decision;
(b) the minutes of the meeting at which the decision was taken; and
(c) any written protest from the learner, parent(s) or representative.

6.2.4 The Head of Department must, within 14 days of receipt of the documentation outlined in 6.2.3, decide whether the learner is to be expelled or allowed to return to the school and this decision must be communicated to the Governing Body and parent(s) in writing.

6.2.5 Where it is decided to expel a learner of compulsory school attendance arrangements must be made by the Head of Department to transfer said learner to another school.

6.2.6 Any learner no longer of compulsory school attendance age who has been expelled as a result of serious misconduct must be allowed to write the  final examination of the year in which he/she was expelled with the understanding that she/he writes apart from the other learners of said school.

6.3 LEGAL DICTATES

6.3.1 The South African School’s Act dictates that a fair hearing must take place before a learner is allowed to be expelled by a Governing Body of a school.  It also dictates a fair hearing before a learner may be suspended for a period of seven school days or expelled by the Head of Department.  (This suspension may thus be for a period longer than one week).

6.3.2 Any learner, who is accused of infringement of any rule where the punitive measure is suspension or expulsion, must appear before the principal.  The principal must give the learner’s parent(s) written notification of the intended action and arrange for a fair hearing before a small decision- making-body consisting of members appointed by the Governing Body.  In the case of very young learners special arrangements must  be made for the hearing.  The parent(s) or guardians may represent the learner.

6.3.3 The Governing Body must conduct the hearing according to the dictates of provincial regulations as stipulated by the Member of the Executive Committee.

6.3.4 For the hearing the learner must –

(a) be informed of the accusations against him/her.  Written notification must be given five days before the hearing and must include the date, time and place. The learner must understand the accusations;
(b) receive details re the accusations to which he/she is legally entitled, if so requested;
(c) be given the opportunity to respond and be heard re the accusations;
(d) not be prohibited from legal representation in which case a written explanation of the accusations must be made available, or in less serious cases may be represented by a  member of the Council of Learners, a parent, guardian or educator;
(e) be heard by an objective person or persons;
(f) be treated with dignity;
(g) be given written notification of the decision of the Governing Body whether he/she has been found guilty or not and informed of the action to be taken in the case of suspension or expulsion; and
(h) has the right of appeal, in the case of suspension, to the Head of Department and in the event of expulsion, to the Executive Committee if he/she is unhappy with the decision of the Governing Body.  This appeal must be lodged within 10 days of receipt of written notification.

6.4 SERIOUS MISCONDUCT AND THE ACT

Serious misconduct, which can include transgressions stipulated in the act may be investigated by the police and if necessary referred to a court of law.  Serious misconduct will be acted upon according to the state notice and regulations as stipulated by the Member of the Executive Council in the Provincial Gazette of the particular province.


7. RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF

7.1 EDUCATORS

RIGHTS RESPONSIBILITIES

An Educator has the right: For this right an Educator must:

1. to work in a safe environment
    
(a) strictly apply safety  measures

2. to be respected    
 
(a) act in a professional  manner both inside and outside of the school context

3. to work with disciplined learners    

(a) act in a consistent and fair manner

4. to uninterrupted class time    
 
(a) always be present in the classroom
(b) be prepared for class

5. to work in a clean environment    
 
(a) not litter
(b) make sure that school environment is kept clean
(c) be clean and neat on person

6. to a clear job description    

(a) complete tasks diligently
(b) give clear instructions to learners

7. to participation in decision making    

(a) always keep confidentiality in mind

8. to be listened to    
 
(a) always be truthful
(b) have objective, pure and truthful motives

9. that learners be present    

(a) control learner’s school attendance
(b) act against learners who are absent without just  cause

10. to act in a personal capacity be it verbally or actively re-education policy or departmental decisions which effect his/her future    

(a) conduct him/herself in a morally justified manner and within the law

7.2 PARENTS

RIGHTS RESPONSIBILITIES

A Parent has the right : For this right a parent must:

1. to be heard    

(a) attend parents’ meetings
(b) have objective, pure and  truthful motives
(c) contact the principal

2. to be informed    

(a) take cognisance of information circulars and send reply slips back to  school
(b) attend parents’ meetings
(c) be enlightened of the facts

3. to pay for quality education for his/her children
    
(a) pay school fees
(b) make sure that children:
    i)   attend school daily
    ii)  complete tasks
    iii) act in a dignified and disciplined manner
(c) bring shortcomings to the attention of the principal
(d) attend school functions

4. to an orderly and disciplined school    

(a) discipline learners at home
(b) support the discipline measures taken by the school


8. SUMMARY

The purpose of the Code of Conduct is to ensure a disciplined and goal orientated school environment which is committed to the promotion and
maintenance of the learning process.
 
This means that:

• positive discipline is promoted
• self discipline is advanced
• exemplary conduct is established

No dictate of the School’s Act (Act no 84, 1996) frees a learner from the responsibility of acting in accordance with the Code of Conduct of the
particular school which the learner attends.

The Code of Conduct will be revised annually in order to remain relevant, within the framework of the School’s Act.

ANNEXURES:  

The following addenda form an integral part of the Code of Conduct and should be read as such:

Annexure A: General appearance and school uniform
Annexure B: Transgressions:  levels, codes, description and points
Annexure C: Level of transgressions:  sanctions
Annexure D: Substance abuse policy
Addendum – Annexure D: Drug Testing of Learners
Annexure E: Cellphone Policy
Annexure F: Pregnancy Policy
Annexure G: School policy on random search and seizure and alcohol liquor and illegal drug testing
Annexure H: Academic detention