Hostel Code of Conduct

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Hostel Code of Conduct

Click Here to Download the Hostel Code of Conduct PDF

A. Preamble

St Andrew’s School is committed to providing an environment for the delivery of quality teaching and learning by:

  • Promoting the rights and safety of all learners and teachers and parents.
  • Ensuring learners’ responsibility for their own actions and behaviours.
  • Prohibiting all forms of unfair discrimination and intolerance.
  • Eliminating disruptive and offensive conduct.

The Hostel Code of Conduct spells out the rules regarding learner behaviour in the School hostels and describes the disciplinary system to be implemented by the School concerning transgressions by learners.

All hostel learners are subject to the rules and procedures outlined in the school’s Code of Conduct.

B. Hostel Rules

For an individual to enjoy the privileges of a community, club or institution, he or she must abide by the rules and norms of that body. When a child enters a St Andrew’s hostel, he automatically becomes a member of our hostel community. Rules and regulations exist to encourage the highest possible standards of behaviour and to enable the St Andrew’s hostel community to run as smoothly as possible. Underpinning any system of rules and regulations must be common sense, decency and concern for the well-being of others. St Andrew’s pupils are expected to recognise the need to behave in a way which graces the School, wherever they are.

1. General Principles

  • The basic rule is that no-one may disrupt hostel life.
  • Discipline is important. Self-discipline is preferred, but if anyone is incapable thereof, the school must provide the necessary procedures to enforce discipline.
  • Respect must be shown for the needs and interests of others.
  • It is the collective responsibility of all to ensure that all school facilities are adequately and properly cared for.
  • No form of intimidation, political or otherwise is allowed.
  • No learner has the right at any time to behave in a manner that will cause another learner physical or emotional harm.
  • Learners are expected to abide by the School rules with regard to appearance and behaviour when representing the School both during School hours and after School hours, at School and away from School. Learners may not say or do anything that will discredit themselves or the School.

2. Hostel Prep

Rules

  • Prep takes priority over ALL other activities. Any arrangement to miss prep is at the discretion of the housemaster. (If academic work is not satisfactory do not expect a sympathetic hearing i.e. learners may have to forfeit squash league, bible study etc).
  • If for any reason (choir, squash, bible study etc.) learners are not in their room during prep, they must sign out in the FLOOR signing out book.
  • During Prep the following (amongst others) arrangements apply:
    • Learners must be seated at their desks doing work or reading an approved novel (no magazines)
    • Doors unlocked
    • Doors open
    • No music
    • Cell phones switched off and placed in cupboards
    • No “group” prep except by arrangement with duty master
    • No walking around (looking for book, asking question etc.)

Times

Twells/ Chandler House

  1. 18:20 – 19:10
  2. 19:20 – 20:10
  3. 20:20 – 21:10

Late Prep:  21:30 – 22:30  Rules as for ordinary preps.

Storey House

  1. 18:20 – 19:10
  2. 19:20 – 20:10
  3. 20:20 – 20:50

Dunn House

  1. 16:30 – 17:30

Meals

  • It is compulsory to attend all meals
  • Correct dress as per the school’s code of conduct must be worn
  • It is expected that all learners will display the correct manners in the dining hall at all times.
  1. Valuables and Personal Belongings

The School will not be held responsible for theft of or damage to personal belongings on hostel premises (e.g. cell phones, bags, books and clothing).

  • Learners should avoid bringing cell phones, large sums of money and valuables to the hostel.
  1. General Rules
  • All learners are expected to co-operate in maintaining the attractive appearance of the hostel. Above all, this would include an active participation in the prevention of littering.
  • Wilful damaging, vandalising or neglect of School property and the property of others, either by writing or by a physical act, is prohibited.
  • Theft of School and private property is also prohibited.
  • Disruptive, unruly, rude and/or offensive behaviour will not be tolerated.
  • The learner will respect the beliefs, culture, dignity and rights of other learners, as well as their right to privacy and confidentiality.
  • Language that is seen as pejorative, discriminatory or racist is prohibited.
  • Any act that belittles, demeans or humiliates another learner’s culture, race or religion is prohibited.
  • All learners have the right to an education free of interference, intimidation and/or physical abuse. The learner will respect the property and safety of other learners. Fighting or threatening of other learners is forbidden.
  • The learner will respect those learners in positions of authority. A learner who is in a position of authority will conduct himself in a manner befitting someone in authority. He will respect the rights of other learners and will not abuse such authority bestowed upon him through his position.
  • The carrying, copying and/or reading of offensive material is prohibited.

NOTE:

  • Good manners are important at all times. We stress the basic courtesies of boys to girls and pupils to adults. This includes the customary greetings and assistance to each other and our visitors. Lack of manners, including veiled insolence, snide comments and rudeness will not be tolerated.

C. Disciplinary System

  1. All learners will abide by the discipline system that has been developed to assist and guide learner behaviour in the hostel.  This system uses order marks which are awarded when a learner transgresses.  Once the learner has fulfilled his obligations with regards to punishment the order marks are reversed.
  1. Serious Offences

In addition to the list of offences listed in the school’s Code of Conduct, the following offences are regarded as serious in the school hostels.  This list is not limiting and other offences that are regarded as serious by the school disciplinary committee will be dealt with in the same way.

  • “Bunking out” of the hostel
  • Leaving the hostel without signing out
  • Presenting false information to his housemaster about his or another learner’s whereabouts
  • Damaging or defacing any part of the hostel.
  • Continuous infringement of hostel rules.
  1. Suspension from the hostel of a Learner by the Principal as a Precautionary Measure
  • The Governing Body authorises the Principal to institute suspension, as a precautionary measure, with regard to a learner who is charged with a serous misconduct offence.
  • Before a learner is suspended, the learner and his parents must be given an opportunity to indicate why the suspension should not be considered.
  • The disciplinary proceedings must commence within one (1) week after the suspension.
  • This suspension will be applicable until a finding of not guilty is made or, in the case of a finding of guilty, until the appropriate sanction is announced.

4.  Disciplinary Hearings

The following official forms will be used for misconduct and disciplinary hearings:

  • Written warning (disciplinary warning form) (Annexure D)
  • Final written warning (Annexure E)
  • Notice of disciplinary hearing (Annexure F)
  • Record of disciplinary hearing (Annexure G)
  • Review form (lodging of appeal) (Annexure J)
  • Written notice of a disciplinary or tribunal hearing will be given at least five (5) School days before the hearing, which could imply temporary suspension from classes, excluding formal scheduled tests and examinations which count towards the year mark.
  • When a notice is issued to a learner the learner must acknowledge receipt of notice by signing for it. This is not an admission of guilt.
  • Should a learner not attend the hearing at the specified date and time, the school may, after a reasonable enquiry into such non attendance, proceed in his absence.
  • A written verdict of the hearing will be issued to the offender. The offender must acknowledge the content by signing the document.
  • A learner has the right to request a review of the disciplinary action taken against him if sufficient grounds exist. Disregard of punishment of the Disciplinary Committee will lead to temporary suspension pending a hearing.
  • The Disciplinary Hearing Commission will consist of the following members:
    • the School Principal or Discipline Officer delegated to oversee this function who will when necessary provide guidance on the procedure to be followed (this person may not be the complainant);
    • a teacher
    • The hearing will also be attended by the learner, and any other learner he may need for his defence.
  • Disciplinary measures that a Disciplinary Hearing Committee may impose include:
    • Demerits
    • Community Service
    • Suspension from School for a minimum of two days up to a maximum of five (5) days, ratified by the Governing Body, to be effective immediately.
    • Recommendation with respect to counselling/ attendance of a life skills programme.
    • Progress monitoring process initiated for a minimum of two (2) weeks, followed up with a progress report.
    • A written conduct and behaviour warning issued. A signed copy of acknowledgement will be kept on record.
    • Payment to cover the cost of repair or replacement of the damaged, lost or stolen item.

5. Procedure during Hearings

  • The Chairperson of The Committee must lead the proceedings and:
    • Introduce those present and state their functions.
    • Ensure that witnesses are present only while giving their evidence.
    • The Chairperson must inform the learner of his rights:
      • The right to a formal hearing.
      • The right to be present at the hearing.
      • The right to be given time to prepare for the hearing case.
      • The right to be given advance notice of the charges.
      • The right to be represented at the hearing by one (1) internal representative.
      • The right to be accompanied at the hearing by parents/guardian if the learner is a minor.
      • The right to ask questions on any evidence produced, or on statements of witnesses.
      • The right to call witnesses to testify on his/her behalf.
      • The right to an interpreter, to be requested 24 hours prior to the hearing.
      • The right to appeal within five (5) days against any penalty imposed by the Disciplinary Committee.
    • Should a learner not attend the hearing at the specified date and time, the school may, after a reasonable enquiry into such non attendance, proceed in his absence.
    • The Chairperson is to explain the nature of the alleged breach or misconduct to those present at the hearing.
    • The procedure of enquiry is to be explained by The Chairperson. The evidence of the complainant and his/her witnesses will be heard first. The learner and panel may ask questions about the evidence. The learner and his witnesses may then give evidence and the complainant and Committee may ask them questions.
    • When all the evidence has been heard, The Chairperson must close the enquiry, dismiss the complainant, the accused, their representatives, the parent/guardian and all the witnesses.
    • The Disciplinary Committee must discuss and weigh the evidence and come to a decision.
    • The Chairperson must reconvene all interested parties.
    • The Chairperson is to communicate the decision of The Committee.
    • The Chairperson will then allow the complainant and learner to present aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
    • The Disciplinary Committee will then consider the aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
    • The Chairperson must explain the decision of The Committee and the reasons for the penalty (if any) that has been imposed.
    • The learner must be advised of his right to appeal to the SGB Chairperson (Annexure E).
    • The complainant and learner must sign the disciplinary form and a copy must be handed to the learner. (If the learner refuses, a witness must sign in the presence of the learner).
    • The signing of the document by the learner does not imply an acknowledgement of guilt.

D. Guides for Punishment

Punishment and the process by which it is imposed must be:

  • Fair
  • Reasonable
  • Appropriate (not only to the offence but also to the child and the school community)
  • Relatively immediate
  • Acceptable having regard to the Bill of Rights and the ethos of the school community
  • Consistent

Disciplinary action taken by the school should be as “transparent” as possible.  Effective discipline demands effective communication between the disciplinary structures, the staff and the pupils and the parents.  Written reasons must be furnished at the request of parents.  Nothing in this Code detracts from the desirable approach that disciplinary matters be resolved by way of counselling and/ or other less formal methods.  The SGB may formulate and adopt a policy regarding pardon for and expungement of records of punishment after consultation with the educators, parents and learners of the School. The rights of parents and learners to appeal against convictions of learners and/ or the imposition of punishment for misconduct are set out in the Code of Conduct.

E. Appeal

There is a right of appeal by the learner or his/ her parent(s) to the Principal against a conviction and/ or sentence imposed by any of the other Internal Disciplinary Structures (ie disciplinary committees or structures other than the committee referred to in point 4 above).  The appeal must be in writing and lodged with the Principal’s Secretary 24 (twenty four) hours after the conviction and sentence have been communicated to the learner.  No late appeals will be allowed.  The decision of the Principal in such cases will be final (there will be no further right of appeal).  The procedure for appeal must comply with the following:

  • Only the written appeal and written decision of the relevant disciplinary structure will be considered
  • The relevant and applicable requirements for adjudication by Internal Disciplinary Structures must be observed
  • The onus is on the appellant to show on a balance of probabilities that the conviction is unjustified and/ or that the punishment is inappropriate
  • The Principal may uphold the appeal, or dismiss it, wholly or in part, and may substitute his own finding on conviction and/ or punishment, provided that where he is of the view that a conviction for another or more serious misconduct and/ or harsher punishment is warranted, he shall give notice to the parties, giving them adequate time to prepare, and re-hear the matter as a Disciplinary Structure of the first instance. After the hearing, he may:
    • Set aside the original conviction and punishment and substitute it with his own: or
    • Acquit the learner of the new charge, but deal with the original appeal in the manner prescribed
    • Where he substitutes his own conviction and sentence on re-hearing, advise the learner of his/ her right to appeal to the SGB’s Disciplinary Committee
  • The decision on appeal or on re-hearing must be given in writing with reasons to the appellant and the relevant Disciplinary Structure.
  • The conviction and/ or sentence are suspended, pending the decision on appeal, which once given, must be executed forthwith.

A learner or his parent(s) may appeal to the SGB’s Chairperson against a conviction and/ or sentence of the Principal, sitting as a tribunal of first instance.  The provisions above apply equally to such an appeal.  The decision of the SGB’s Chairperson shall be final.

Annexure A

St Andrew’s School

Learner Commitment

I, …………………………………………………….., a learner at St Andrew’s School, understand the rules and their implications and hereby commit to:

  • Abide by the Code of Conduct and Disciplinary System.
  • Behave in a courteous and considerate manner and respect other learners all members of staff and visitors to the School.
  • Treat everyone with respect regardless of differences in culture, religion, ability, race, gender, age, sexual orientation or social class.
  • Take responsibility for my learning by attending regularly and punctually and completing all my assessment tasks on time.
  • Cooperate with my teachers and other School staff.
  • Assist in making the School a safe place for all.
  • Seek help if I need it.
  • Let the School know if I feel my rights have been infringed, or if I experience any other difficulty.

………………………………………………….

Learner                                                                             

………………………………………………….

Parent/Guardian

………………………………………………….

Date