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Lorien Novalis School Annual Report 2009

Lorien Novalis School Annual Report 2009

4. Does not either

4. Does not either physically or verbally bully – tell a teacher if you or someone else is being bullied. 5. Include everyone as much as you can, particularly newcomers. 6. Respect the right of children to be left alone when they choose. 7. Respect everyone’s unique differences. 8. Respect school property. 9. Respect other children’s possessions; they are very important to them. 10. Respect the duty teacher’s authority. Student Discipline In general terms students value their time at Lorien Novalis. Our strong pastoral care allows students a sense of ownership of their class and school. Rules are only developed to ensure student safety and appropriate behaviour always with a along term outcome that fosters self- discipline. In a Steiner school the challenge is how to respond to government regulations that require them to see a school’s policy when as is the case at Lorien we have virtually no vandalism, bullying or aggression in the playground. Hence our student rules are expressed as a series of rights, which all in the school community are entitled to enjoy. New student disciple policies have been implemented in the last 12 months. For more information on these changes please see student guidelines as outlined in the Parents Handbook. Introduction Teachers in our school will behave in such a manner as to protect and enhance the esteem and standing of Steiner education, and provide a level of supervision and care which meets the school’s duty of care. General Requirements 1. Staff must not, under any circumstances, use any form of discipline which involves corporal punishment, or engage in any form of behaviour which could constitute the physical or emotional abuse of students. 2. All staff will have completed Prohibited Employment Declaration forms. 3. All staff will be familiar with the school’s Child Protection Policy, and will adhere to its guidelines. 4. Any incident will be investigated according to the Child Protection Policy regulations. 5. All staff will be familiar with the School’s ethos and relevant rules. Procedural Fairness Procedural fairness is a basic right of all when dealing with authorities. Procedural fairness refers to what are sometimes described as the ‘hearing rule’ and the ‘right to an unbiased decision’. The ‘hearing rule’ includes the right of the person against whom an allegation has been made to: • know the allegations related to a specific matter and any other information which will be taken into account in considering the matter • know the process by which the matter will be considered • respond to the allegations • know how to seek a review of the decision made in response to the allegations. 12

The ‘right to an unbiased decision’ includes the right to: • impartiality in an investigation and decision-making • an absence of bias by a decision-maker Procedural fairness includes making available to students and parents or caregivers policies and procedures under which disciplinary action is taken. It also includes providing details of an allegation relating to a specific matter or incident. This will usually involve providing an outline of the allegations made in witness statements and consideration of witness protection. As part of ensuring the right to be heard, the school would establish any need for parents/caregivers to be provided with interpreter services and, if required, make arrangements for such services to be available. While it is generally preferable that different people carry out the investigation and decision- making, in the school setting this may not always be possible. If the teacher is conducting both the investigative and decision-making stages, he or she must be reasonable and objective. To be procedurally fair, the teacher must act justly and be seen to act justly. While it is difficult to combine the roles of investigator and adjudicator, it is acceptable to do so given the nature of the teacher’s responsibilities. Nevertheless, it may be preferable to have another appropriate officer, such as the College, Administrator or child protection officers, carry out the investigation where possible. The review mechanism adds to the fairness of the process. In matters where a long suspension, expulsion or exclusion is contemplated, the gravity of the circumstances requires particular emphasis to be given to procedural fairness. This includes the offer of having a support person/observer attend formal interviews. The key points of the interview/discussion are taken down in writing. Grievance Policies And Resolution In a community which is human centred such as Lorien Novalis, personality and differences of opinion can occur. Full details concerning the school’s policies for the raising and resolution of disputes are outlined in both teachers and parents handbooks. In practical terms communication is important. All class guardians and teachers can be contacted by phone outside of school hours for important matters. • Teacher /guardians are responsible for the pastoral care of students. • Where the complaint is of a serious nature, the matter will be recorded and kept on file. • The rights of Students will be upheld at all times, including the use of fair, confidential, impartial and dignified resolution procedures. • Parents & staff are given information in the parent & teachers handbook regarding the formal channels for lodging a complaint or registering a concern. • If the grievance falls under the category of ‘Reportable Conduct’ it must be redirected to the Head of Agency & confidentiality upheld. 13

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