Code of Conduct (Learners)

 

PREAMBLE

The Fairmont Code of Conduct for Learners is linked to the following policies that form part of the Code of Conduct:

  • Policies in Relation to the School Rules
  • Uniform Policy

All members of the School are presumed to be aware of and are required to adhere to the Code of Conduct and the Rules, Regulations, Policies and Procedures.

Fairmont High School's Learner Code of Conduct aims to:

  • Establish a disciplined, purposeful and safe environment to facilitate effective teaching and learning at Fairmont High School.
  • Promote the values of respect, integrity, service and excellence through clear moral guidelines.
  • Uphold the rights of all learners and inform them of their subsequent responsibilities.
  • Inform learners of their rights to disciplinary measures that are fair and non-discriminatory.

The School’s Mission Statement encapsulates the essence of the type of school environment we want for our School.  This environment aims at providing students with skills to take a leadership role in civil society as worthy, self-disciplined, morally responsible members.

DEFINITIONS

Code

A set of rules

Conduct

The way one behaves or treats others

Code of Conduct

The code of conduct for learners as stipulated in section 8 of the South African Schools’ Act (“SASA”) 84 of 1996, as amended

Learner

Any person receiving or who is obliged to receive education as defined in SASA

Educator

A person appointed as defined in Proclamation 138 of 1994 (xiii) Educators’ Employment Act of 1994

SGB                                              

School Governing Body

DCR

Discipline Control Room

MPC

Multipurpose Centre

Bullying

Aggressive behaviour arising from a deliberate intent to cause physical or psychological distress to others.

LEGAL

  • Section 8 of the South African Schools Act states that a Governing Body of a public school must adopt a Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct must be subject to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, the South African Schools Act, 1996, and Provincial Legislation.
  • Section 8(4) of the South African Schools Act states that nothing contained in this act exempts a learner from the obligation to comply with the Code of Conduct of the school attended by such learner.

SCOPE

The Code of Conduct must be adhered to:

  • on the School Property before, during and after school hours;
  • at all official School events, both within and outside regular school hours; and
  • in any situation, on or off School Property, where the student is recognisable as a Fairmont student.

Areas addressed by the Code of Conduct include:

  • Absenteeism
  • Cheating
  • Discrimination
  • Disrespect – for property (theft, vandalism, etc)
  • Disrespect – for authority (insolence, defiance, etc)
  • General misbehaviour
  • Intimidation
  • Initiation
  • Misrepresentation of the facts (lying, forgery, etc)
  • Physical / verbal abuse
  • Punctuality
  • Safety and security
  • Substance Abuse
  • Transgression of School Rules
  • Uniform and appearance (hair, jewellery, make-up, nails, etc)

MISCONDUCT

No written set of rules can cover all situations.  There are therefore times when students are expected to act sensibly according to approved codes of behaviour.

In the event of misconduct, remedial/disciplinary action may be taken against a student.  In order to ensure the consistent application of such action, misconduct has been categorised under various levels, according to seriousness.

The nature of the remedial/disciplinary action will depend on the level of the misconduct:

Level 1 (Minor Misconduct)

Consequences

The relevant person in authority will deal with Level 1 Misconduct immediately.  Discipline will be administered by the person in authority and could typically be a verbal reprimand and/or the allocation of an appropriate task e.g. meaningful written work, tidying up the classroom, litter clean up, etc.

Misconduct

Level 1 Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • General misbehaviour on the School premises (assembly, Classroom, Playground, etc)
  • Out of bounds
  • Late-coming
  • Uniform / ID transgressions
  • Grooming (hair; shaving; jewellery; make-up; nails)
  • Littering
  • Defiance – failure to carry out an instruction
  • Discrimination – racial/gender/religious (minor)
  • Disrespect for authority, adult or peer
  • Crude language / behaviour
  • Non-stipulated misdemeanours at this level

Level 2 (Serious Misconduct)

Consequences

Level 2 Misconduct will be dealt with formally by the person in authority.  Corrective action could typically involve counselling (where appropriate) and/or appropriate disciplinary action such as detention, etc.

Misconduct

Level 2 Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated Level 1 transgressions
  • Transgression of school rules
  • Failure to submit absentee notes
  • Inappropriate physical contact between students
  • Writing on school property, equipment or books
  • Serious grooming / uniform default
  • Truancy - bunking periods or detention
  • Discrimination – racial/gender/religious
  • Refusal to identify oneself to appropriate authority
  • Non-stipulated misdemeanours at this level

Level 3 (More Serious Misconduct)

Consequences

Level 3 Misconduct will be escalated to and dealt with by the Grade Head/Deputy Head or could involve a Governing Body hearing.  The misconduct will be recorded in writing in the Discipline Control Room.  Corrective action could include parent(s)/guardian(s) involvement, counselling (where appropriate) and/or appropriate formal discipline such as extended detention, community service, etc.

Misconduct

Level 3 Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated Level 2 transgressions
  • Fighting
  • Smoking and/or possession of cigarettes/tobacco/matches/lighter/association with smoker(s) at school or in uniform or at a school function
  • “Supporting smoking by association”
  • Leaving school without permission
  • Physical intimidation
  • Initiation
  • Defacing school property
  • Accommodating unauthorised persons on the School grounds
  • Petty theft
  • Misrepresentation of the facts
  • Serious discrimination – racial/gender/religious
  • Non-stipulated misdemeanours at this level

Level 4 (Very Serious Misconduct)

Consequences

Level 4 Misconduct will be dealt with at the highest level within the School i.e. Deputy Head, Headmaster and/or Board of Governors.  Corrective action could involve counselling (where appropriate) and discipline could involve a formal disciplinary hearing with consequent suspension or expulsion.

Misconduct

Level 4 Misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Repeated Level 3 transgressions
  • Premeditated fighting, assault and battery
  • Vandalism resulting in serious damage
  • Cheating in an examination/test
  • Forging signatures / writing own letter / impersonation
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon
  • Swearing at an educator
  • Sexual harassment of educators, adults, peers
  • Serious discrimination – racial/gender/religious
  • Substance abuse and/or possession of drugs, alcohol, etc.
  • Non-stipulated misdemeanours at this level

Level 5 (Criminal Acts – Violates School Code + Law)

Level 5 Misconduct relates to criminal acts and repeated serious violations of the School Code.  Misconduct will be escalated to the appropriate authorities in conjunction with the Department of Education.  In addition, the School would reserve the right to implement Level 4 consequences.