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Code of Conduct, Rules & Discipline Procedure

1.0 General Introduction

This Code of Behaviour has been developed using the principles, recommendations and best practices as outlined in the following documents/guideline documents:

  • Developing a Code of Behaviour - Guidelines for Schools – National Education Welfare Board (NEWB)
  • Safeguarding Guidance for Children and Young People in Sport – Sport Ireland Rialacháin faoina dTugtar Airtheantas do Choláistí Gaeilge – An Roinn Cultúr, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta

The success of a Code of Behaviour depends on:

  • Having an effective programme for communicating the code of behaviour.
  • Ensuring that the written code is part of a programme to help parents to support the code.
  • Developing lesson plans and programmes to teach the skills and knowledge
    students need in order to behave well.
  • Paying particular attention to students who may be vulnerable.
  • Monitoring and analysing patterns of behaviour in the summer camps.

 2.0 Dden Policy Statement Regarding Children and Camp Activities

Dden encourages a positive learning atmosphere. We respect each other’s rights and place emphasis on creating a safe learning environment for all. We therefore expect all students to conduct themselves in a positive, well-mannered, and co-operative manner. To maintain a positive safe learning environment, as outlined in our policy statement, we have developed the following code of behaviour, rules and discipline procedures.

3.0 Communication with Parents and Students

The code of behaviour, rules and discipline system are communicated to parents and students during the booking process and the summer schools as follows:


The code of behaviour, rules and discipline system are openly available on our website under our booking terms and conditions.

Bookings or Application Forms

At the time of booking, prior to payment, parents are advised to read the Code of Behaviour and are required to accept the Code of behaviour, rules and discipline system. Each students’ continued placement at Dden summer school is subject to and dependent on each parents’ acceptance and agreement to adhere to (on behalf of their child) and to uphold the Code of Behaviour.

E-mail prior to the camp start date 

Parents are reminded to discuss the Code of Behaviour, rules and discipline system with their children before each camp start day. It is important that each parent takes responsibility for explaining the implications of non-adherence to the Code of Behaviour with their respective child.

Day 1 of summer camp

Dden rules are displayed in all classrooms and in various communal areas within the summer camp location. Facilitators are required to explain the rules of the Dden Summer Schools to participants on day one. Students are then asked to sign a copy of the rules as a classroom behaviour contract.

4.0 Disciplinary Procedure

In the case of misconduct and/or non-adherence to Dden rules and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour the following warning system applies: On each incident of misconduct/rule breaking, the student will receive a red disciplinary card from the relevant member of staff or facilitator. When a student receives a red card, they will receive a verbal warning from a Programme Director. Additionally, they must then attend a ‘special’ class where, based on the restorative approach, they will be asked to reflect on the reason for their misbehaviour and the rule that was broken.

On the 2nd red card parents/guardians will be phoned and asked to speak to their child and assist in a joint approach in addressing the misconduct and/or non-adherence to Dden rules and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour.  In the event that a student receives a 3rd red card parents/guardians will be contacted and advised that their child is on their last warning and further misconduct and/or non-adherence to Dden rules and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour will result in suspension or permanent exclusion from the course. In the case of serious/gross misconduct permanent exclusion from Dden’s Summer School is the recommended sanction. The “Serious Misconduct” rules are clearly indicated in the course rules section.

The parents of any student being permanently excluded from the course due to serious misconduct will not receive a refund. In our role of acting in loco parentis, it may be necessary to question a child while investigating alleged incidents of misconduct and/or breach of the Code of Behaviour and/or breach of rules. Any such investigation will be carried out in accordance with the guidelines outlined in our Disciplinary Process below.

 5.0 Rules of the Summer Camps

Dden encourages a positive learning atmosphere. We respect each other’s rights and place emphasis on creating a safe learning environment. We therefore expect all students to conduct themselves in a positive, well-mannered, and co-operative manner. To maintain a positive safe learning environment, the following rules are necessary.

5.1 English Language Rule

Since our camps are open to international students, students are permitted to briefly speak other languages during the course. Students must however make a determined effort to speak English at all times.

5.2 Serious Misconduct

Breaking the following highlighted rules are considered serious misconduct. In the case of serious misconduct, the recommended sanction is permanent exclusion from the Dden’s Summer Camp.


  • You are not allowed to take part in anything that puts yourself or anyone else in danger. A dangerous activity is one which you and/or another person’s safety is placed at risk.
  • Students are not allowed to leave the college grounds during the day without permission.


  • Students are not allowed to be in possession of any alcoholic drinks or drugs or substances which have a physiological effect which is not prescribed by your GP for a medical illness).
  • Students are not allowed to enter any licensed premises during camp period
  • Students are not allowed to be in the possession of any tobacco or vapour
    cigarette products/vaping products.
  • Smoking (including vaping) is not permitted during the camps.


  • Any type of knife or sharp object, pellet guns, potential weapons or hazardous appliances are strictly forbidden.
  • Matches, lighters, or any item which would constitute a fire safety hazard are strictly forbidden.
  • It is requested that parents specifically remind their child of this rule in advance of packing bags for the camp.
  • Spot/Random checks will be undertaken on the first day of the course to ensure compliance. Thereafter, searches may be conducted under the Bag Search Policy. Please note that prohibited items will be confiscated and may not be returned to owners.


Students are not allowed to participate in any type of bullying behaviour, physical or non-physical. Any form of physical fighting is strictly forbidden.


  • Students are not allowed to participate in any sexual behaviour or games which have sexual connotations.
  • Students are not allowed to participate in any inappropriate contact with any other student.
  • Students are not permitted to be in possession of/nor to access any form of
    pornographic material.


  • Any behaviour or conversation that intentionally makes another person feel
    uncomfortable is prohibited.
  • Students are not allowed to participate in any inappropriate games.
  • Name calling, or “slagging” of any sort is prohibited.
  • Physically isolating a student or making them feel isolated is prohibited.
  • Students are not permitted to take photos in the changing room or rest room areas.
  • Uploading any pictures to the internet and/or social media taken on site during Dden summer camps without prior permission from Dden is not permitted – this includes but it not limited to sites such as facebook, instagram, snapchat, youtube and twitter. 
  • Students are not permitted to engage in physical behaviour of a sexual nature (this includes kissing and holding hands).
  • Students are not permitted to cut each other’s hair or make any other such alterations to their personal appearance or that of another student during the course (e.g. piercing ears, shaving eyebrows etc).
  • Intentional damage to property is prohibited.
  • Theft of money or personal possessions is prohibited.

Please note 5.2; Serious Misconduct; Breaking any of theses rules is considered serious misconduct. In the case of serious misconduct permanent exclusion from the Dden Summer School will result.

6.0 Bag search policy

In addition to random/spot searches on the first day of the course to ensure compliance with the “Prohibited Items” rule, the management of Dden reserves the right to conduct searches of student’s bags and personal belongings in the following circumstances: 

  • If there are reasonable grounds, such as concern for physical safety.
  • If there is a reasonable belief that the student is in possession of prohibited items, stolen goods, illegal substances or weapons.

In the event of a search the guidelines outlined in our bag search procedure will be adhered to. They are as follows:

  1. Parents will be informed of the circumstances leading to the need for a bag search and offered the opportunity to speak to their child.
  2.  The student will be asked to empty the contents of their bags in front of the Summer camp Directors or nominated responsible adult.
  3. A second responsible adult will be present as an impartial witness.
  4. Parents/Guardians will be immediately informed of the outcome of the bag search. 

Following the outcome of the bag search a decision will be made by the Summer Camp. Directors in relation to the need for disciplinary action (or not).

7.0 Disciplinary Procedure

There are a number of steps prior to the permanent exclusion of a student. These are as follows:

  1. First red card for rule breaking or misconduct and/or non-adherence to Dden rules and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour.
  2. Detention class 1 and restorative approach.
  3. Second red card for rule breaking or misconduct.
  4. Detention class 2 and restorative approach.
  5. Phone call to parents asking for assistance and joint approach to the problem. An email is sent to parents confirming the phone conversation and the fact that their child has received two red cards.
  6. If appropriate, a personal mentoring plan is agreed between all stakeholders (student in question, parents, camp directors, managers and facilitators). The use of green cards is encouraged for specific daily goals.
  7. Third red card for rule breaking or misconduct and/or non-adherence to
  8. Dden and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour.
  9. Detention class 3 and restorative approach. A second phone call home is made to parents. Parents are advised that their child has been placed on their final warning and why. If appropriate, a review of the mentoring plan will take place. An email is sent to parents confirming the phone conversation and the fact that their child is on a final warning.
  10. Fourth red card for rule breaking or misconduct and/or non-adherence to Dden and/or a breach of the Code of Behaviour.
  11. 3rd Phone call to parents informing them of the fact that a review and/or an
    investigation will take place to formally decide the appropriate action/consequences are a result of the alleged misbehaviour. Parents and student will be given an opportunity to be heard in relation to the alleged misbehaviour.
  12. Report from Camp Facilitator (based on the investigation) to the Camp Director. The Camp Director will review the record of incidents and checklist to ensure fairness and the right to impartiality for the student and parents and to ensure correct procedures have been followed.
  13. It is envisaged that the parents will be provided (emailed) with a copy of the Report at the same time as the Camp Director. Reports will only be available by email.
  14. Parents will be afforded an opportunity to respond in writing to the report (within 3 hours of the report being emailed to them). The parents’ written response will be provided to the Camp Director for his/her consideration.
  15. Once parents have had an opportunity to respond to and clarify any details in the report the Camp Directors will make a decision on the appropriate disciplinary action based on Paragraph 9 - Scale of consequences/disciplinary action. Thereafter, a phone call or E mail to parents by the Camp Director to inform them of the decision and their right to appeal if they so wish.

Appeal procedure if requested (see below).

8.0 Conducting Investigations and Guidelines for Interviewing


In our role as acting in loco parentis, it may be necessary to interview/question a child while investigating events or alleged incidents. Any such investigation will be carried out in accordance with our Code of Behaviour and Discipline Procedure as follows:

8.1 Parents

In the case of serious incidents/if any sensitive information has come to light, parents of all children interviewed should be contacted as soon as possible to inform them of the reason for the interview and any information that has come to light. They should be given an opportunity to attend and/or participate if they so wish. If a parent is unable to attend and an interview must be conducted as a matter of urgency, the Camp Directors may decide that the parents’ participation in the interview by telephone (speakerphone) is sufficient.

8.2 Preparation

  • Two members of staff must be present during any interview with a child.
  • A member of staff must be present as an impartial party acting in Loco Parentis.
  • One member of staff will be designated as the primary note taker.
  • The child will be put at ease prior to and during the interview.

8.3 The interview 

  • Explain in detail what you’re doing, and why you want to talk to them.
  • The child will be asked to give their version of the events.
  • Let them set the pace and tell their story in their own time. The child will not be interrupted while they are speaking. 
  • No form of intimidation or threats may be used during the interview.
  • Ask the easy questions first – e.g. their name, age, where they live. Keep using their name when addressing them.
  • Beware of using labels (e.g. bully, victim), which they may not use or like.
  • Ask open questions and only use closed questions such as ‘do you?’ which call for a yes or no answer- when necessary. No leading questions are permitted.
  • Be aware of when the child is uncomfortable, and don’t push them on sensitive issues. Be prepared to finish the interview or move on to a less sensitive topic if they become upset.
  • Record the details of the conversation accurately including date and time of each interview.
  • Take breaks if interview is going to be of a long duration.
  • Once concluded, contact parents immediately and offer them the opportunity to speak to their child.

9.0 Suspension and Permanent Exclusion

In keeping with NEWB guidelines temporary suspension as a discipline measure is available to the Camp Directors and the management of Dden. It is accepted by Dden management that permanent exclusion for disciplinary matters is an extremely serious matter and should only be considered as a last resort. Temporary suspension is regarded as a more sympathetic method for dealing with disciplinary matters. The duration of the suspension is a matter of the Camp Directors and the Management. However, 1 day is regarded as the standard period for suspension. This hopefully gives the student time at home with their parents to reflect on and discuss the implications of their behaviour. It also gives the student an opportunity to rectify their behaviour. It also allows for other students involved in the incident to get back to normal while attending the summer camp.

As the management of Dden are fully in favour of promoting a positive learning atmosphere should be considered as an option prior to permanent exclusion.

Good communication is recommended with the parents to ensure that they understand the reasons for the suspension. While it is the responsibility of parents to organise travel arrangements where a suspension has occurred, Dden will assist where possible.

9.1 Suspension and Permanent Exclusion Procedure & Checklist

Dden seeks to uphold fair procedures when proposing to suspend or permanently exclude a student. Fair procedures have two essential parts:

  • the right to be heard.
  • the right to impartiality.

In so far as is reasonably practicable, Dden will seek to uphold fair procedures. Therefore, if suspension or permanent exclusion is being considered for a student it is essential that the Camp Directors use the checklist at the end of this chapter to ensure that the fair procedures based on the principles of natural justice have been followed.

9.2 The right to be heard means:

The right to be heard means that a student and their parents are fully informed about an allegation and the processes that will be used to investigate and decide the matter; and that they must be given an opportunity to respond to an allegation before a decision is made and before a serious sanction is imposed.

  • that the student and their parents have the right to know that the alleged misbehaviour is being investigated.
  • that the student and their parents have the right to know the details of the allegations being made and any other information that will be taken into account.
  • the right to know how the issue will be decided.
  • the right to respond to the allegations including the right to ask questions where there is a dispute about the facts prior to a decision being made.

If a parent (and/or the emergency contact person) is uncontactable or is unable to participate in an interview and/or unable to respond to a written report (if provided), the Camp Directors will decide (on a case-by-case basis) whether the circumstances are such that the interview with the child must proceed in the parents’ absence/without the parents’ involvement. See above re parental involvement in interview via telephone.

9.3 The right to impartiality means:

  • the right to an absence of bias in the decision-maker.
  • the right to impartiality in the investigation and the decision-making.

Freedom from bias entails ensuring that a person with an interest in the matter is not involved in the investigation or decision-making. If a person has pre-conceived opinions, a vested interest or personal involvement in the matter, they should not attempt to settle that matter.

An impartial process is one that allows a decision to be made based on an unbiased evaluation of information and evidence. Generally, impartiality requires that the investigation is separated from the process of making a decision so that the decision-maker comes to the task with an open mind.

Absence of bias in the decision-maker would mean, for example that if a facilitator was directly involved in the misconduct that might warrant suspension or permanent exclusion, the facilitator question would not be involved in the decision.

The principle of impartiality in decision-making means it is preferable that, the Directors conduct the investigation and presents a full report on the facts of the case and any other relevant information. The person alleging the misbehaviour, or who is a victim, or a witness should not usually conduct the investigation.

Thoughtful application of professional judgement and knowledge of the requirements of fair procedures will generally guide decision-making about suspension and permanent exclusion. However, in circumstances of particular complexity, camp authorities may need to seek legal advice to support their decision-making.

Fair procedures apply to:

  • the investigation of alleged misbehaviour that may lead to suspension or permanent exclusion and
  • process of decision-making as to (a) whether the student did engage in the misbehaviour and (b) what sanction to impose

The way in which fair procedures are applied will take account of the seriousness of the alleged misbehaviour and will have regard to what is reasonable in the context of Dden rules and/or Code of Behaviour.

The principles of fair procedures always apply, but the degree of formality required in implementing fair procedures will depend on the gravity of the alleged misbehaviour and on the seriousness of the possible sanction. The level of formality required, for example for a suspension of fewer than three days, would be less than that required in the case of a longer suspension or in circumstances that might lead to a permanent exclusion. Even informal processes, however, must be fair and be seen to be fair. The principles of ensuring the right to be heard and the right to impartiality apply in all cases.

9.4 Time and timeliness

The Directors have a duty to ensure that there are no undue delays in an investigation and in making decisions about the imposition of suspension or permanent exclusion.

9.5 Confidentiality

Great care should be taken to ensure that all matters to do with an investigation of alleged misbehaviour are dealt with in confidence.

10.0 Appeals procedure

Parents are entitled to ask for an appeal of the decision. In this case the appeals procedure is for two independent members of management to review the case and the decision made by the Camp Directors to ensure that the principal of fair procedure and natural justice was followed and that the Code of Discipline and anti-bullying procedures were adhered to. The grounds of appeal should be set out in writing (sent by email) by the parents and/or child and submitted to Den within 24 hours of the decision. The appeals board should make a decision and respond to the parents within 24hrs.

11.0 Involving the Gardaí

Where allegations of criminal behaviour are made against a student, referral to the Gardaí will be necessary. It is our responsibility to report any behaviour which constitutes the investigation of criminal matters.

    • Digital and Creative Skills for Young People

      Dden is a social enterprise that teaches through activity-based learning approaches digital and creative skills to build and enhance the lives of young people aged between 10-12, 13-15, 16-19 and 20-24 who lack the necessary digital skills for school, study, or who are experiencing unemployment, underemployment, or wish to upskill.

    The Digital Future

    Since the pandemic, many young people in Ireland are unemployed or are in precarious employment. Research shows that young people supported with high quality education and skills training opportunities have an increased chance of building a prosperous life. They need to however be supported to access programmes that build digital and/or creative skills and equip them for further education and/or a job. (Rethink Ireland)

    • Digital Skills

      Improving digital skills and digital literacy in young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment.

    • Creative Skills

      Inspiring and enhancing creative skills in young people to prepare them for further steps in education, training and employment

    • Work Readiness

      Preparing young people with work readiness skills, including digital skills and creative skills, confidence-building and interview skills to prepare them for employment

    • Work Experience

      In due course, Dden will be connecting young people with work experienceopportunities in the digital and/or creative sectors to further their career opportunities.

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