Code of Conduct
- Ashfield College (hereinafter known as “the College”) is a co-educational institute where an ethos of dignity and respect for all members of the school community and conscientious effort in preparation for State examinations is paramount at all times.
- Ashfield College strives to provide a warm and welcoming environment where students and academic staff work positively and harmoniously together. All students have the freedom to do their work, and study without having to suffer bullying or intimidation of any kind. Bullying will not be tolerated either in real-time or in any online environment. The College’s anti-bullying policy is rigorously enforced. This policy aims to eliminate all forms of bullying behaviour, to raise awareness of the effects of such behaviour on individuals and the learning environment and to promote a climate in which students feel free to raise complaints of bullying without fear of victimisation.
- Members of College staff are to be treated with the utmost respect at all times. This rule applies whether in class, the study hall, common areas or outside the College environs (including online).
- Ashfield College does not require students to wear a uniform, but it does impose a dress-code. Students are required to dress appropriately in a “smart casual” way. For the avoidance of doubt, the wearing of hoodies/tracksuits and runners/trainers is prohibited. The decision of the Principal is final in all matters regarding this dress-code, subject to the right of appeal set out below.
- Ashfield College has a strict no-smoking policy. Students are not permitted to smoke anywhere within the College premises or within its vicinity (within 100 meters of Dundrum Retail & Office Park and environs). Smoking on College grounds or within the vicinity of Dundrum Retail & Office Park will result in suspension on the occasion of the first and second infringement, and possible expulsion thereafter. For the avoidance of doubt, smoking or generally loitering within the vicinity of the entrance to the College on Sandyford Road is strictly forbidden, and this prohibition is rigorously enforced by College staff.
- The use of abusive language, threatening gestures or behaviours is strictly forbidden and infringement may lead to suspension or expulsion depending on the seriousness of the breach (see ‘Disciplinary Procedures’ below).
- Consumption of any illegal substance, whether on College premises or its environs, is strictly prohibited. A breach of this prohibition will result in immediate expulsion. The consumption of alcohol is also prohibited on College premises and its immediate environs. Students who are reasonably suspected of breaching this prohibition are obliged to permit the College to search their locker or school/hand bag.
- The College’s study hall is of pivotal importance to our students’ success and must be respected as a place for silent, focused learning at all times. The study hall supervisors are to be respected at all times and their decision is final in matters of discipline which may occur, subject to a right of appeal to the Principal. The use of mobile phones is prohibited throughout the College except for the canteen area, and then only on designated break periods.
- The classroom is a place of learning and questions from students of an academic nature are wholeheartedly encouraged. It is our goal to ensure that every student leaves the classroom with a clear understanding of the subject matter discussed during the class. Improper disruptions of any kind are therefore not permitted as they undermine our goals and adversely affect the learning environment.
- Graffiti or defacement of College property is considered to be a serious breach of the College’s disciplinary code. All members of the College community have a right to study and work in a clean environment. If a student causes any damage or defacement to College property they must compensate the College for same. Infringement may lead to suspension or expulsion depending on the seriousness of the breach (see ‘Disciplinary Procedures’ below).
- The College’s code of conduct remains in force for the duration of all trips outside College premises organised by the College for academic or recreational purposes. All transport providers, or other persons involved in such trips, must be afforded the same level of respect as we would expect for any member of College staff.
- The College reserves the right to refuse admission.
Progression of 5th Year Students into 6th Year
Students and parents should note that those who have completed the 5th year programme are not automatically entitled to proceed to 6th year. Applications by students who have completed 5th year at Ashfield College for admission to 6th year are considered de novo, so that admission to 5th year in no way constitutes an automatic entitlement to progression to 6th year.
The College Principal, in the first instance, determines whether a breach of this code of conduct has occurred. In the making of such determination, the student may be cautioned, suspended or expelled. A student who has been suspended on two separate occasions will be expelled from the College on the third occasion. The final decision relating to suspensions or expulsions will be made by the Principal, subject to the right of appeal set out below.
A student may also be expelled from the College, without having first been suspended, subject to the application of the procedures outlined in this Code of Conduct, should the breach be considered ‘serious’. Examples of serious breaches include, but are not limited to the following;
- Acts of theft, or fraud;
- Physical or verbal abuse of a staff member, classmate, member of the public while on College premises or its environs or employees of any organisation who have business with the College;
- The possession or consumption of illegal drugs or alcohol;
- Racial, sexual or other acts of harassment or discrimination, including sexual misconduct on College premises;
- Acts of gross insubordination, or refusal to comply with legitimate instructions
- Serious negligence;
- Willful or negligent misuse or damage to College property or the property of employees causing financial loss;
- A conviction for any non-minor criminal offence.The College is committed to the application of fair, equitable and appropriate disciplinary procedures. Students are asked to familiarise themselves with the expectations of the College as described in the foregoing Code of Conduct.
The Rights of Students or Applicants at Disciplinary and Appeal Hearings
A student who is dissatisfied with a decision by the Principal to caution, suspend or expel him or her may appeal the decision. Students have the following rights in relation to appeal hearings:
- To be given 10 days advance notice of the hearing (or less if agreed by all parties) in order to ensure that he/she can attend and, should he/she wish, organise representation. The notice shall state the time and venue of the hearing and shall specify the student’s rights in relation to the hearing.
- The right to attend the hearing. If a student fails to attend the hearing, the hearing shall proceed in the absence of the student.
- The right to be represented at a hearing by a parent/guardian, fellow student, a staff member, a friend, an adviser or a legal representative. Any costs associated with legal representation of the student or applicant shall be borne by the student or applicant unless the Disciplinary or Appeal Board otherwise determines.
- A representative may speak on behalf of the student. A student who chooses not to be represented shall be requested at the hearing to confirm in writing that he/she has been informed of his/her right of representation and has declined to exercise it.
- The right to request sight prior to the meeting of evidence to be presented at the relevant hearing, to hear and see the evidence presented, to challenge the evidence on cross-examination and to present his/her own evidence
Grounds for Appeal
Appeals are heard by an Appeals Board constituted by the College’s Chief Executive. The grounds for appeal are as follows:
- There was a breach of natural justice or a significant procedural irregularity in the handling of the allegation that the applicant was guilty of a breach of the College’s Code of Conduct.
- The student wishes to appeal against a decision to penalise him/her on the grounds of misconduct,
- That the penalty imposed was too severe bearing in mind the circumstances of the case,
- The student wishes to present information of mitigating circumstances which were not known at the time of the initial determination. In this case, the student must also show good reason why such circumstances could not have been made known prior to determination.
- That the appellant would be reasonably entitled to an appeal on the merits of his/her case.
This section refers to appeals that have been made as a result of an allegation of misconduct made by the College against a student. Where the College is satisfied at any stage within these procedures that misconduct has not taken place, no documentation relating to the alleged misconduct and the associated investigations shall be retained in the student’s file. The disciplinary process, once entered into, is confidential to all parties. Therefore, it is essential that any individuals involved in the process respect this.
The Student should become familiar with the appeals procedure and, if he/she has grounds, should appeal the decision made within the requisite timeframe of 28 days.
Chair of Appeal Board
The Chair of the Appeal Board informs the student of the outcome of the appeal hearing.