Code of conduct

Section 8 of the South African Schools’ Act provides that the Governing Body of a public school must adopt a Code of Conduct.  This Code of Conduct must ‘aim at establishing a disciplined and purposeful environment to facilitate effective education and learning in schools’.  (Government Gazette May 1998 Vol. 395 No. 18900)


    Provide an environment which will ensure the security and safety of all learners and their possessions,
    Promote and develop self-discipline,
    Instil and develop a sense of responsibility,
    Inculcate a value system,
    Enhance and project a positive image of self and school,
    Provide an environment conducive to the acquisition of academic social and physical skills,
    Promote the care of the school building and other facilities,
    Foster a sense of pride in the school.


1.1.1      A learner may receive merits and / or house points for :
• Achieving results considerably superior to past record
• Consistently supportive behaviour
• Consistent involvement in school life
• Constantly displaying respect
• Diligence
• Helpfulness / kindness
• Neatness
• Reliability / dependability
• Exemplary behaviour
• Friendliness / politeness
• Good sportsmanship
• Honesty
• Initiative
• Positive attitude
• Promoting good name of school
• Good work
• Good test results
• Effort
1.1.2   Incentives are also awarded after a number of merits have been received by the learner.  Each grade has decided on its own system.
1.1.3   Merit and Courtesy Awards are awarded fortnightly in Assembly at the teachers’ discretion.
1.1.4   Merits do not cancel out demerits.

1.2.1   Demerits will be given to learners for the breaking / infringement of School and classroom rules.
1.2.2   Every 5 demerits obtained over a specific period of time (i.e one week from Wed to Wed) will result in a detention.
1.2.3   If a learner receives 3 detentions in a term, the parents together with the learner will meet to discuss the matter and strategies put into place.
1.2.4   If this continues, the learner will be required to attend a Saturday morning detention.
1.2.5   Persistence could lead to a Governing Body disciplinary hearing where certain recommendations will be made.
1.2.6   It is important to note that the Foundation Phase have their own demerit system.


2.1.1   Learners must attend school during the prescribed hours.
2.1.2   It is the responsibility of learners to catch up any work that has been missed after a   period of absence.
2.1.3  When returning to school after of a period of absence, an explanatory note must be sent by the parents/guardian to the teacher.
2.1.4   Truancy is a severe offence.
2.1.5   All learners are expected to be at school by the time the first bell rings.

2.2.1   All bicycles brought to school must be securely locked to the bicycle racks.
2.2.2   Bicycles may not be ridden on the school property during normal school and sport hours.
2.2.3   Bicycle racks are out of bounds to everyone during school hours.
2.2.4   Bicycles should be roadworthy.
2.2.5   Bicycles are brought to school at the owner’s risk.

2.3.1   These are not permitted at school.
2.3.2   A public card telephone is available to learners to make calls.
2.3.3   Emergency calls can me made at the secretary’s office.

2.4.1   All correspondence to parents must be delivered by the learner on the same day and, if accompanied by a reply slip, returned the following day.

2.5.1   All school books must be treated with respect and if damaged or lost, they must be replaced at the learners’ or parents’ expense.
2.5.2   Visits to the toilet by learners in Grades 3-7 may only take place before school and during breaks or at the teacher’s discretion.  Please inform the school if a child has a ‘toilet problem’.
2.5.3   All learners from Grade 1-7 should have and use a homework diary, which is checked daily by parents.
2.5.4   Learners that are ill must not be sent to school.
2.5.5   No eating or drinking in the classroom, library or computer room.
2.5.6   All library books, which leave the library, must be issued by the librarian.
2.5.7   The school’s telephone may only be used by learners for emergency purposes.  The public telephone is for the use of learners who must have their own phone cards.
2.5.8   Learners must stay away from the following ‘out of bounds’ areas unless accompanied by a teacher.
(Staff room, offices, storerooms, music rooms, Art/Woodwork, garage, printing room, school foyer, hall, library and swimming pool area)    
2.5.9    No medication will be administered orally to any child unless permission has been granted by the parent in writing.

2.6.1  Appearance and dress   Learners must dress as per instructions for the specific excursion.   Make-up, jewellery and bare midriffs are not permitted when ‘civvies’ are worn.   Normal hair styles and general neatness apply to all excursions.
2.6.2    Behaviour   The general behaviour must be that of good ambassadors of T.H.P.S.   Learners who misbehave on an excursion, will not be allowed to attend further excursions.
2.6.3   Transport   No eating or drinking in vehicles.   Learners are to remain seated during the trip.   No part of the body may protrude from windows   Nothing may be thrown out of the window.   At the end of every journey, the vehicle must be cleaned of all litter.   No shouting in vehicles or gesticulating at people outside the vehicle is permitted.   An Indemnity Form must be signed by the parent otherwise the child will not be permitted to attend the outing.

2.7.1  Hair and nails   Nails should be kept clean and short.  (When looking at the underside of the fingertips, the nails may not be seen.)   No nail varnish (even clear) may be worn.   Girl’s Hair Styles:  If hair is shoulder length or longer, it must be tied back.  Ribbons (narrow), baubles, alice bands, elastics and scrunchies may only be brown or bottle green in colour.
Braids will be permitted under certain circumstances, but no hair extensions will be allowed. No colour may be applied.   Boy’s Hair Styles:  Hair must be off the ears, collar and eyebrows. No sideburns allowed.  No ‘pronounced’ steps or undercuts are permitted.  The minimum length is a ‘Number 2’ cut.  If this cut is used, all the hair (fringe included) must be this length.   No hairstyle that attracts undue attention to itself is permitted.  Under no circumstances may the normal hair colour be changed.  Because hair must at all times appear natural, no gels, no oils, sprays, etc. may be used.  Hair may not be permed.  No braid may be threaded into the hair, whether it is easily seen or not.  The use of any artificial substances (e.g gel, mousse, conditioner etc) is not permitted.    
2.7.2   Uniform   All items are to be clearly marked with learner’s name and surname.   Uniforms must be kept in a good state of repair and be clean and neat.   School shoes should be polished regularly.   Shirts are to be properly tucked in at all times.   Girls’ skirts must at least touch the calf muscles when kneeling.   An explanatory note from home is required if there is any deviation from the above-mentioned rules.   School bags may not be defaced. An official school bag may also be purchased.
2.7.3    Jewellery   Only girls are permitted to wear one plain gold stud earring or small sleepers in the lobe of each ear.  (No other rings, earrings or studs are permitted.)   No body piercing may carry any form of earring.   Only watches, Medic Alert bracelets or necklaces may be worn.   Only school approved badges may be worn.

2.8.1      Playing Areas   Learners must be on the field during breaks.   All ball games are to be played away from school buildings.   No hard balls may be used in games.   During breaks, the following areas or structures are out of bounds: soccer posts, around staff car park, walls, classrooms, on the front steps and front entrance of school, the car park, bicycle area.  No loitering or eating may take place in or around the toilets or change rooms.   Toys are brought to school at learner’s own risk and the school will not be held responsible for damage or loss.   Learners are expected to treat all school property with respect.  It may not be damaged, defaced or polluted.   Learners must stay out of the school’s gardens and ensure that trees are not damaged
2.8.2     Aftercare and Reception Playgrounds   These areas are out of bounds to unauthorised children.   No rough play is allowed.
2.8.3  Rainy days   On rainy days learners have permission to take their school bags directly to the classroom. Learners remain in their own classes and abide by their teacher’s  class rules.  Classes must be supervised by learner executives and duty teachers.

2.9   SPORT
2.9.1   Participation   When a learner has voluntarily joined an extra-mural school activity, that learner must stay committed for the whole season.   A player who cannot attend a practice or match, must inform the coach timeously.  Where a learner has not been excused, they forfeit their position in the next match.   Learners must display good sportsmanship at all times.   Teams may only be dismissed once the coach has appointed players to return equipment to the storeroom.   No learner may enter the equipment store room unless accompanied by a teacher.   Be punctual for all practices and matches.   The correct dress code must be adhered to.
2.9.2   Sportsmanship   Decisions taken by referees or umpires may never by questioned during the match.   No other player or learner may be physically or verbally abused.   Always thank opponents for the game, whether they won or lost.   Always thank the umpire or referee.   No foul language or vulgar behaviour is permitted.

2.10   GENERAL
2.10.1   Monies   All money that is handed in should be in a sealed marked envelope.  (i.e. learner’s  name, grade, amount, designation)   All school fees and payments should be handed in to the bursar or deposited at the office counter by 09h00.
2.10.2    Contraband Items   No learner may bring the following items onto the school premises:  drugs, cigarettes, contraceptives, pornographic material, alcohol, weapons or objects which can cause bodily harm.
2.10.3   Lining up Procedure   All learners must line up in an orderly fashion with their own class immediately the first  bell rings.    No talking after the second bell.    Learners must walk to their classes in single file.    Negative behaviour or talking at lines will be dealt with in the following manner :    
Learners will be required to spend part of a break in the quadrangle as punishment.
2.10.4     Behaviour in Passages   During class changes, learners must walk in single file.   No talking, jostling or disruptive behaviour is permitted.   When waiting outside a classroom, learners must stand quietly on either side of the passage leaving the centre free for others to pass through   Learners may not run in the passages.
2.10.5     Boundaries   No learner may leave the school grounds during school hours without the permission of the principal or deputy principal.   No learner may be in a classroom during breaks(except when it is raining) or after school unless a teacher is present.   The foyer of the administration block is out of bounds to all learners unless they are on an errand.   When waiting to be collected after school, learners must be inside the school gates.   The front door to the school foyer may not be used unless the learner is accompanying a parent or visitor to reception.
2.10.6    The following are not permitted under any circumstances:   Swearing   Fighting or bullying   Stealing   Stone throwing   Chewing gum   Interfering with the cleaning/ground staff &must not hinder them in the execution of their duties   Climbing of fences or trees   No learners may loiter at school after school hours (i.e until 15:00), unless they are involved in extra-mural activities   Skateboards or rollerblades


LEVEL 1- Classroom related offences (demerits awarded)
(Minor offences dealt with at teacher’s discretion – Day to Day Discipline)
1.1    Disrespect, disruptive behaviour or constant talking in class or passages
1.2    Homework not done
1.3    Homework book or tests not signed
1.4    Not adhering to the dress code (i.e. uniform infringement)
1.5    Reply slips not returned to school
1.6    No absentee notes
1.7    Books left at home
1.8    Lack of necessary stationery items
1.9    Copying of homework or other class work, cheating in tests / exams
1.10  Littering
1.11  Untidiness and sloppiness
1.12  Chewing gum
1.13  Abuse of school property
1.14  Persistently arriving late for school
1.15  Possession of cellphone, iPod, or MP3 player

Cope with negative behaviour by:
1.16  Discussion with learner
1.17  Warning verbal and message in homework book to parent
1.18  Dictionary drill
1.19  Use of demerit book/chart
1.20  Time out (inside or outside classroom-limited time)
1.21  Staying in after School (parents will be informed)
1.20  Discussion with Parent, Grade leader, Head of Department, Deputy or Principal

As a result of 5 infringements/demerits over a period of one week (i.e Wed to Wed), the child automatically qualifies for a Friday afternoon detention.  Demerits are not carried over from one week to another.
In the detention class the Code of Conduct will be written out or another form of appropriate punishment may be given.  This class is compulsory, even if the detention reply slip is not completed by the parent.

Teacher completes detention sheet and reply slip is returned to School the following day by the learner or parent.  The Foundation Phase have their own detention class on a Friday. Grade 4 detention is from 12:50 – 15:00.  Grades 5 – 7 will be in detention from 12:50 – 17:00. Only in extreme cases will a Foundation Phase learner attend a senior detention class.

LEVEL 2 – School related offences (Immediate detention)
(More serious offences, defiant or dishonest in nature may result in an immediate Friday afternoon detention class.  At this stage parents need to be made aware of repeated offences).
2.1   Repeated offences of previous level
2.2   Swearing
2.3   Violent behaviour
2.4   Minor theft
2.5   Arrogance, insolence, backchatting or display of temper
2.6   Fighting, bullying or picking on others
2.7   Wilful destruction of property
2.8   Truancy
2.9   Dishonesty
2.10 All cellphones, MP3 players and iPods will be confiscated.  These may be collected by the parents at the end of the term.  A R50 ‘release fee’ must be paid.

(If a learner is placed in detention for 3 or more times in one term, the parent(s) must be called in by the teachers to discuss the matter.  If the situation persists the learner will be required to attend a Saturday morning detention.  If there is still no improvement, a disciplinary discussion with the principal will be held.  Finally a disciplinary hearing with the Governing Body will be convened)

LEVEL 3 – Disciplinary Hearing
(Very serious offences; Governing Body Disciplinary Committee)
3.1   Continuous offences of previous two levels
3.2   Racism, degrading or crude remarks or behaviour.
3.3   Graffiti.
3.4   Vandalism.
3.5   Verbal and physical sexual harassment
3.6   Foul language towards adults.
3.7   Gross defiance.
3.8   Theft / stealing.
3.9   Possession or abuse of substances or contraband items.


The amended section 9 provides for four main points:
1. For the SGB to suspend a learner without a disciplinary hearing provided that:
• there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the learner may be guilty of serious misconduct.
• there are circumstances [usually relating to safety and security] that suggest that the learner should not for the moment be in the school.
• the school provides an opportunity for parents/learner to say why the suspension should not be implemented.
• the usual disciplinary hearing is held within 7 school days or permission is obtained from the HoD to continue the suspension until the hearing can be held.

2. After the completion of the usual disciplinary hearing and finding the learner guilty of serious misconduct the SGB may
• suspend the learner for a maximum of 7 school days or impose another sanction from the code of conduct
• recommend expulsion to the HoD
• extend the suspension for a maximum of 14 days while the HoD reaches decision

3. The HoD must
• decide on the expulsion recommendation within 14 days
• impose a suitable sanction after consultation with SGB if the HoD declines expulsion OR refer the matter back to SGB for alternative sanction from code of conduct
• determine how the learner will access education during hearing of appeal by MEC against expulsion while protecting the rights of other learners at the school [this could include using alternative methods of providing education to the learner concerned]

4. The MEC must consider appeal by learner/parents against decision to expel if lodged within 14 days of written notification of the expulsion.