Code of Conduct
According to the South African Schools Act 84 of 1996, the school must have a Code of Conduct and it is legally binding on all learners/parents. The Code is strictly enforceable by the Governing Body via the Principal and its major aims are to ensure learner safety, effective teaching and learning and the optimum functioning of the school. The Code includes the “school rules” which are to be observed by all learners/parents. It is also expected that parents and learners will take cognisance of the directives issued in this information brochure.
The South African Schools Act, No. 34, 1996, 8(1) states “… a Governing Body of a public school must adopt a Code of Conduct for the learners…”. Clause 8(4) continues “Nothing contained in this Act exempts a learner from the obligation to comply with the Code of Conduct…”
The Governing Body of Rand Park Primary School has discharged its duty in terms of the above mandate and all parents and learners, prospective and present must ensure full compliance with all aspects of the Code as outlined below.
The Code of Conduct defines a set of behaviours that are acceptable or unacceptable within our school. The Code includes rules that govern the conduct of learners and relations between learners, educators, parents and the Governing Body.
The aim of our Code of Conduct is to establish a disciplined and purposeful school environment dedicated to the maintenance and improvement of the quality of the learning process through effective teaching and learning.
4. PRINCIPLES UNDERPINNING THE CODE OF CONDUCT
- This Code of Conduct is aimed at establishing and maintaining acceptable behaviour and general order within our school environment;
- This Code of Conduct may not be in conflict with the Constitution of the RSA or any Departmental regulations pertaining thereto;
- This Code of Conduct must be made available to learners, their parents and the educators;
- This Code of Conduct should endeavour to foster mutual respect and the formation of sound, educative inter-personal relationships between learner and educator, school and home;
- This Code of Conduct must be based firmly on the principle of non-violence. It should thus promote a culture of non-confrontation, consensus, co-operation and tolerance;
- This Code of Conduct must provide clear responsibilities for learners, educators and parents and thus promote a culture of accountability within the school;
- This Code of Conduct is binding on all learners, their parents and educators. However, the development of the Code of Conduct is an on-going process and it should thus be subject to review on a regular basis.
5. THE RIGHTS OF LEARNERS
The Constitution of the RSA states that all learners have the right to education. This right includes, inter alia, the right to:
- Learn and be taught in a safe school environment;
- Attend school unhindered;
- Regularly attend all classes, free from interference, by any other person;
- Receive tuition subject to the core curriculum and standards required by the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE);
- Regular feedback reflecting academic progress;
- Make responsible use of all school facilities subject to availability and the limitations imposed thereon by school rules and general school organisation;
- Appropriate counselling for personal and/or educational problems provided such facilities exist;
- Participate in patriotic activities. Learners also have the right to be excused from any patriotic act that is against their religious beliefs or deep, personal convictions;
- Request, in writing, to be excused from any activity which is against their religious beliefs;
- Attend a school free of drunkenness, bullying, victimisation or intimidation;
- Attend a school free of tobacco products, illegal drugs and weapons;
- Attend a school free of sexual harassment or criminal behaviour;
- Privacy with regard to their personal possessions unless the principal or his/her designee has reasonable cause to believe that illegal or harmful materials possessed by the learner are being used to disrupt the educational process or to endanger the health, safety or welfare of others.
6. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF LEARNERS
Learners undertake to:
- Be honest and refrain from forging parent’s signatures;
- Attend all classes daily and on time;
- Do all academic assignments and activities including homework;
- Have the homework diary signed, by a parent, on a daily basis;
- Have all formal tests and assignments signed by a parent, each week,
- Be in possession of appropriate working/learning materials;
- Respect all persons and property;
- Refrain from abusive language and inflammatory actions;
- Conduct themselves in a safe and responsible manner;
- Conform to normal, acceptable standards of personal cleanliness and neatness;
- Be responsible for their own work and possessions ( uniform, schoolbags, textbooks and stationery etc. )
- Protect school property;
- Refrain from and report acts of vandalism or any other damage/ misuse of school property;
- Refrain from and report any unauthorised removals of school property from the school premises;
- Refrain from disruptive, undisciplined or unco-operative behaviour both within and outside the classroom;
- Abide by the internal rules, regulations and procedures of the school and the individual class educator;
- Practise tolerance within the context of interpersonal relationships in the school, particularly racial, cultural and religious tolerance and to respect the deep personal convictions of all;
- Refrain from the use of drugs, assault, carrying of dangerous weapons, criminal or illegal activities, intimidation, bullying, sexual harassment, rape, victimisation, drunkenness, smoking or being in possession of pornographic material;
- Adhere to the extra mural timetable distributed every term
- Go home immediately after school if not involved in extra- mural activities
- Go home immediately after extra- murals have ended;
- Have the extra mural INFORMATION LETTER signed by parents and returned ASAP;
- Refrain from tampering with or removing any possessions from staff and other learners;
- Clean up after themselves at all times (litter, classrooms, bathrooms, corridors and playground).
7. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF EDUCATORS WITH REGARD TO LEARNERS
Educators must ensure that they:
- Regularly report for duty and are punctual;
- Are well-prepared on a daily basis to perform their educative task both within and outside the classroom situation and are in possession of the appropriate working materials;
- Respect all persons, property and the confidentiality of information;
- Refrain from abusive language or inflammatory actions towards learners, parents and colleagues
- Conduct themselves in a responsible and professional manner;
- Conform to normal, acceptable standards of personal cleanliness and neatness;
- Abide by the rules, regulations and procedures set out by the school and the GDE authorities;
- Adhere to the Code of Conduct set out by the official educator registering body/ authority (i.e. South African Council for Educators);
- Seek changes in an orderly and approved manner;
- Endeavour to maintain a classroom and school atmosphere which promotes good behaviour and effective teaching and learning;
- Endeavour to plan a flexible work programme that will, as far as is practicable, address the divergent needs, interests and abilities of the learners;
- Help develop good and sound working and inter-personal relations with colleagues, learners and parents;
- Utilise generally accepted teaching methods;
- Promote open and regular channels of communication between home and school;
- Encourage and endeavour to maintain learner involvement in the activities of the school (extra mural activities etc.);
- Are available for assisting with extra mural activities as indicated on the extra mural timetable;
- When facilitating home and away sports events, they may be required to remain at the school until 17:45 in the event of a learner not being collected by 17:00 as indicated in the relevant INFORMATION LETTER ;
- Only smoke in the designated smoking area, adjacent to the staffroom.
8. THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARENTS WITH REGARD TO LEARNERS
Parents must ensure that:
- They receive regular academic reports from the school regarding their child’s progress;
- Their child attends school each day, is punctual and, in case of absence, provide an explanation/reason(s) in writing for such absence to the class teacher;
- They provide for the proper immunisation of the child as required by law;
- As far as is possible, their child attends school in good health and conforms to generally accepted norms of personal cleanliness and neatness;
- They provide their child with the resources, basic equipment, learning materials needed to complete school work (both classwork and homework);
- They discourage abusive language or inflammatory behaviour;
- They bring to the attention of the school management any problem, condition or circumstance which affects their child or other children or persons in the school community;
- They maintain current or up-to-date home, work and emergency telephone numbers at the school and keep the school informed of any change of address;
- They provide the school, upon request, with the original birth certificate of the child, particularly at the time of the initial enrolment into the school system;
- They discuss Learner Reports, work assignments and homework with their children;
- They sign the homework diary on a daily basis;
- They sign all formal tests and assignments each week, Grades 1 – 7;
- They obtain a hard copy of the weekly newsletter, each Friday, from their child and school;
- Their children abide by the rules, regulations and procedures set forth by the school;
- They endeavour to promote positive interpersonal relations between learner, educator, other parents and Governing Body in the best educational interests of their children;
- They meet all their financial commitments with respect to the school;
- They respect the smoke-free status of the school and do not smoke within the school boundaries;
- They make the necessary transport arrangements for their children to be collected promptly at the end of the school day;
- They attend Parent and Info evenings;
- They sign the INFORMATION LETTER distributed by the sports co-ordinator /team manager , with times indicated , and return it to the responsible person ASAP;
- They, in the event of them not being able to collect a child after school, inform us about the time he/she will be collected and by whom (learner will be informed by secretaries);
- They refrain from interfering with decisions made by coaches/umpires at any sports events;
- They follow the correct procedure for reporting any incident between children occurring at school, as opposed to taking matters into their own hands;
- They follow the correct CHANNELS OF COMMUNICATION (Teacher – grade leader – Head of Department – Deputy Principal – Principal).
9. SCHOOL RULES
- Learners will at all times be correctly dressed in the official school and sports uniform;
- Learners must never do anything to jeopardise the fine name of the school, by word or deed;
- No running/ shouting on corridors or on the stairs;
- No riding of bicycles or skateboards/rollerblades, etc. within the school boundaries;
- No learner enters the pool area except in the company of an educator;
- The cricket nets are out of bounds to all learners before, during and after school, except in the event of cricket practices;
- The bus parking area is out of bounds to all learners before, during and after school;
- The three sets of jungle gym equipment are strictly out of bounds before and after school hours. They may only be used during school time under adult supervision;
- Rough play/games are not permitted on the fields; the educator on playground duty will use their discretion in this regard;
- The hall is out of bounds except when accompanied by an educator or other adult involved in extra-mural activities;
- Prefects are to be treated with respect and courtesy by all learners and their legitimate/reasonable instructions must be obeyed;
- Learners must leave the school promptly at the end of the day or after extra-mural activities. When leaving the grounds, learners must be dressed in full school uniform or in their practice outfits. Learners may not leave the grounds in swimming costumes or ballet leotards. No walking around barefoot in school uniform. No walking around without shirts after practice and no sport (soccer) to be played without shirts. Phys Ed must at all times be done in the correct physical education uniform;
- When learners arrange to leave the school during school hours, they are to wait in the foyer of the Admin block for the responsible adult to collect them;
- Keep off all banks and out of the flowerbeds;
- Treat the toilet facilities with respect;
- Do not litter;
- Chewing of gum is not permitted;
- Do not interfere with the possessions of others;
- Courtesy, respect, good manners and kindness are expected from all learners;
- Learners must attend detention if required; NO exemptions unless authorised by the Principal;
- Learners who represent the school in official school sports teams may only compete in their specific age group or category. This also applies to the sport practice sessions;
- Classrooms are out of bounds unless the educator is present or has given learners permission to be in the classroom;
- Learners are not permitted to buy or sell (trade) at the school;
- Learners must take the Newsletter home each Friday and hand it to their parent(s);
- Learners must ensure that the homework diary is signed by a parent every day;
- Learners, (Grades 1-7), must ensure that all formal tests and assignments are signed by a parent each week;
- Misuse of computers/internet facilities will result in the immediate 12 month suspension of the learner from the Computer and Library;
- Girls may not wear jewellery, coloured nail varnish or make-up. Clear nail polish is permitted. Lash tinting is not permitted. Girls with pierced ears may wear one small, plain gold or silver stud or simple sleeper per ear. No diamantes or pearl earrings to be worn. Boys are not permitted to wear earrings;
- Hair regulations must be strictly adhered to:
- Girls: Hair that touch the collar or longer, must be plaited or tied up if and where possible. The fringe must be above the eyebrows and should not obscure vision. Girls are not permitted to colour or tint their hair. Only a few simple blue or white clips, bands, scrunches, ribbons, elastics or hair ornaments may be worn. Gel, mousse, etc. is not permitted;
- Boys: Hair must be neatly trimmed. No hair is to extend below the natural hairline in the neck. The fringe must be short and not obscure vision. Gel, mousse, etc. is not permitted. Hair may not be tinted/dyed. Outlandish cult, flavour of the month, comb overs, shaved strips, step cut, undercut, wedge, Mohawk, spiky, high tops, crop tops etc. are not permitted
- Learners may not use technological devices to send or receive calls or text messages at any time during the school day. Technological devices must be switched off at these times. Devices may only be used before and after school. A first offence will result in the device being confiscated for a week; a second offence, till the end of the Term, or one month, whichever is longer. A further offence will result in a full disciplinary hearing and suspension from the school. Learners are at ALL times responsible for their own devices. The school will not take responsibility for the theft/loss of any device. It would be preferred if devices were not brought to school.
PLEASE NOTE: Serious and/or repeated transgressions could result in learner suspension and/or expulsion (refer to 11.1 for list of serious transgressions).
10. SCHOOL AND SPORT UNIFORMS
Boys: Grey shorts, blue short-sleeved shirt with badge, grey long socks, black lace-up shoes, navy pullover/jersey/tracksuit top with badge (optional)
Girls: School dress, short white socks, black baby doll or T-bar shoes, navy pullover/jersey/tracksuit top with badge (optional)
Boys: Grey shorts/long pants, blue long-sleeved shirt, and navy tie with badge, grey long socks, black shoes, navy pullover/jersey/tracksuit top with badge (optional), NO BEANIES
Girls: Grey tunic/regulation long pants (from suppliers), long-sleeved blue shirt, navy tie with badge, grey tights or grey long socks, navy pullover/jersey/tracksuit top with badge (optional), NO BEANIES
Boys: House T-shirt (plain yellow, green, navy blue or red, NO NEON COLOURS)/school golf shirt, regulation board shorts, school costume/board shorts
Girls: House T-shirt (plain yellow, green, navy blue or red, NO NEON COLOURS)/school golf shirt, regulation board shorts, school costume
Boys: Regulation board shorts, regulation golf shirt, takkies (as white as possible – no black, green, pink etc), white socks, regulation peak cap (optional)
Girls: Navy skirt, regulation golf shirt, takkies (as white as possible – no black, green, pink etc), white socks, regulation peak cap (optional)
Regulation board shorts, regulation golf shirt, soccer socks, takkies (as white as possible – no black, green, pink etc), regulation peak cap (compulsory for all teams)
Navy skirt or skort, regulation golf shirt, white socks, takkies (as white as possible – no black, green, pink etc)
Regulation blue soccer jersey, regulation board shorts, official soccer socks (dark blue with light blue cuff). NO GREY SOCKS ALLOWED.
Athletics & Cross Country
Boys & Girls: Regulation board shorts and golf shirt
Boys & Girls: Official school costume, regulation golf shirt and board shorts or navy netball skirt (girls), regulation peak cap (optional)
Plain white floppy hat (with school badge) / regulation peak cap may be worn by both boys and girls before school, at break time and after school.
Text and exercise books are very expensive and may be extensively damaged when placed in soft-sided school bags. Consequently these kinds of bags are not acceptable. The school bag must be rigid with reinforced sides. Please purchase bags in school colours (blue, black or grey). Multi-coloured bags are unacceptable. The school suitcase/briefcase remains the most suitable option. Would parents please resist capitulating to learner demand vis-à-vis unacceptable, fashionable school bags.
11. USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
The school recognizes that access to technology in school, when used within the appropriate and monitored guidelines and behaviours, can enable learners, parents and teachers greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate and develop skills.
Social Media includes, but is not limited to: Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram and is generally identified as a web-based platform where individuals communicate with friends, family, colleagues, clients or the general public. For the purposes of this Code of Conduct it also extends to other use of the internet for personal communication, eg. blogs, YouTube and WhatsApp groups and emails.
The school makes a reasonable effort to ensure learners’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that results from misuse of social media technologies.
Learners are expected to follow the following guidelines when using school technologies, social media or when using personally-owned devices. Parents and teachers are expected to follow the same rules for good behaviour and respectful conduct online as well as offline.
- Learners, parents and teachers are expected to use good judgement in all situations;
- Regardless of your privacy settings, assume that all the information you have shared on your social network is public information;
- Always treat others in a respectful, positive and considerate manner;
- If you are approved to represent the school, unless you are specifically authorised to speak on behalf of the school as a spokesperson, you should state that the views expressed in your postings, etc. are your own. Stick with discussing school-related matters that are within your area of responsibility;
- Be open about your affiliation with the school and the role/position you hold;
- Do not publish, post or release information that is considered confidential or not public. If it seems confidential, it probably is. Online “conversations” are never private. Do not use your birthdate, address and cell phone number on any public website;
- To ensure your safety, be careful about the type and amount of personal information you provide. Avoid talking about personal schedules or situations;
- NEVER give out or transmit personal information of other learners, parents or co-workers;
- It is generally not acceptable to post pictures of learners without the express written consent of their parents;
- Be sure to correct any mistake you make, immediately, and make it clear what you have done to fix it;
- Apologise for the mistake if the situation warrants it;
- If it’s a MAJOR mistake, (eg. exposing private information or reporting confidential information), you should let an adult know immediately so the school can take the proper steps to help minimise the impact it may have;
- Learners, parents and teachers should always use the Internet, network resources and social media in a courteous and respectful manner;
- Users should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers or future colleagues or employers to see. Once something is online, it’s out there and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways you never intended;
- If you see a message, comment, image or anything else online that makes you concerned for your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you’re at school; parent if you’re using the device at home), immediately;
- Cyber-bullying will not be tolerated by the school. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding and cyber-stalking are all examples of cyber-bullying. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting or intimidating someone else.
Engaging in these behaviours, or any online activities intended to harm another person (physically or emotionally), are regarded as unacceptable and constitute a very serious infringement of the Code of Conduct. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained by others.
12. INFRINGEMENT OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
- Unacceptable behaviour:
The following behaviours are regarded as unacceptable and constitute a very serious infringement of the Code of Conduct: abusive language, inflammatory actions; arson; malicious damage to educators’ property; irregular or sustained non-attendance (truancy) of school or class; theft (possession of stolen property); lying; bullying; intimidation; assault; fighting; cheating; carrying of dangerous weapons; use, selling or distribution of drugs or alcohol (drunkenness); sexual harassment, abuse or rape, or any other inappropriate sexual behaviour; defiance of school authority (e.g. breaking of school rules, etc.); disruption of the educational process within and outside the classroom; extortion; gambling; leaving school property without permission; use, selling or distribution of tobacco products; involvement in bomb threats; gross neglect of schoolwork; gross disrespect; proven criminal activity outside the school situation; possession or distribution of pornographic material; racial discrimination.
- Procedures and principles underpinning disciplinary measures for serious transgressions (i.e. transgressions that could lead to suspension and/or expulsion).
The following principles will be borne in mind whenever disciplinary action is instituted against a learner thought to be guilty of a serious transgression of the school Code of Conduct:
- Due process: the following rights of learners are recognised in this regard:
- The learner must be informed of and understand the charges;
- The learner must be given the opportunity to be heard;
- The learner may choose to be represented by a parent or guardian or educator;
- The learner is to be treated with dignity and civility during the process;
- The person chairing the hearing must be impartial and should endeavour to ensure that all relevant evidence is presented and fairly considered;
- As far as practicable, the privacy of the learner should be protected;
- The learner has the right to appeal to the relevant authority as laid down in the Department Regulations from time to time.
- The disciplinary process must be fair and sanctions must be just, corrective and educative;
- The sanctions must fit the offence and mitigating factors (e.g. frequency of transgressions, personal circumstances, etc.) must be taken into account;
- The parent/guardian of the learner must be timeously informed and offered the opportunity to be involved in the disciplinary process.
Sanctions may embrace the range from a quiet, private talk, through to suspension and, ultimately, expulsion. Sanctions within the range include:
- Verbal and/or written reprimands issued by the educator/Principal/Governing Body;
- Limited ‘time out’ of the classroom;
- Additional and meaningful academic work;
- Community service within the school (e.g. cleaning, gardening, administrative tasks);
- Detention (remaining after school);
- Replacement of or reimbursement for damage or loss;
- Contacting of parents to enlist their aid and support in dealing with problematic learners;
- Suspension or exclusion from specific school activities (sports, cultural, field trips, excursions, etc.)
- Emergency removal and/or suspension pending a disciplinary hearing;
10.3.10 Expulsion after due process. Expulsion is the prerogative of the Head of Education;
10.3.11 Referral to GDE support services for assessment and suggestions re corrective measures.
Any form of corporal punishment is prohibited in terms of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Schools Act.
It is not possible for the school management to stipulate a specific sanction for a specific infringement. A certain degree of flexibility is educationally more accountable as infringements range from minor to very serious and the sanction must also take into consideration the age and nature of the learner, personal circumstances, the school history of the child, number/frequency/severity of previous infringements and any other mitigating circumstances.
13. THE JURISDICTION/SCOPE OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
The Code of Conduct is in force:
- On school property prior to, during and following regular school hours;
- At all bona fide (official) school events, both within and outside the regular school hours, where said school events are held under the auspices of the school management structures;
- At all bona fide (official) school events being held off campus;
- At all times when the learner is dressed in the official school uniform and is recognisable as such, both within the school property or in public view outside the school.
REVISED: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 14 April 2016 , 30 November 2016, 18 January 2018, 28 February 2019.