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Drugs education policy

Adopted: March 2019

Aims

The aim of the drugs education policy is to acknowledge and clarify the academy’s role in drug prevention and drug education and ensure it is appropriate to pupils’ needs. The policy will provide information about procedures in response to any drug-related incident and provide guidance to teachers, support staff and outside visitors.

Purposes

A drugs education policy ensures that schools take a whole-school approach on the issue of drugs as part of the commitment to being a healthy school. Teachers need to be confident and skilled to teach drug education and pupils who are concerned about drugs need to be supported.

The policy aims to have clear procedures for responding to drug-related incidents. Sanctions for incidents will be consistent with the academy’s discipline policy.

Definition

Drugs are those that are legal, such as alcohol, tobacco and solvents, over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, and illegal drugs such as cannabis, ecstasy, heroin, crack/cocaine and LSD.

Subject to genuine medical exceptions, as to which later, the possession and use of drugs in the academy or during the academy day is inappropriate. All the drugs covered in this policy are not permitted to be bought, sold or otherwise obtained or present on academy premises or during the academy day, including when pupils are on academy visits. Individual exception may be made for pupils and staff who need to take prescribed medicines where appropriate. 

Drugs education

The academy provides a planned drug education programme as part of its commitment to PSHE/SMSC that reflects knowledge and understanding, attitudes and personal and social skills. Drugs education will:

  • Enable pupils to make healthy, informed choices by increasing knowledge, exploring their own and other people’s attitudes and developing and practising skills.
  • Promote positive attitudes toward healthy lifestyles.
  • Promote accurate information about substances.
  • Increase understanding about the implications and possible consequences of use and misuse.
  • Encourage an understanding for those experiencing or likely to experience substance use.
  • Widen understanding about related health and social issues.
  • Seek to minimise the risks that users and potential users face.
  • Enable young people to identify sources of appropriate personal support.

On the whole teachers teach drug education, but where appropriate, outside visitors may contribute and will be aware of the academy’s drug policy. Teachers have access to ongoing support and training as part of their own professional development and teaching materials are reviewed for quality and relevance.

The academy actively co-operates with other agencies such as community, police, social services, the LEA and health and drug agencies to deliver its commitment to drugs education.

Statutory duty of the academy

The Principal takes overall responsibility for the policy and its implementation, for liaison with the governing body, parents/carers, LEA and appropriate outside agencies and for the appointment of the vice principal, who will have general responsibility for handling the daily implementation of this policy. The Principal will ensure that all staff dealing with substance issues are adequately supported and trained.

Implementation

In instances involving substance or supply on the premises, and following discussion between staff members who know pupils well, parents/carers will be informed at the earliest opportunity by the Principal or delegated member of staff. The academy and parents/carers can then work together to support the young person involved.

If a young person admits to using or supplying substances off the premises, the vice principal and the Principal will be informed and the parents of the child will be informed.

There is no legal obligation to inform the police, though they may be able to give relevant support and advice. However, the academy cannot knowingly allow its premises to be used for the production or supply of any controlled drug, or the preparation or smoking of cannabis or opium. Where it is suspected that substances are continuing to be sold on the premises, details regarding those involved, along with all other relevant information, will be passed to the local police.

The governing body will be kept informed about drug education and drug-related incidents in the same manner as any other matter concerning the direction of the academy.

The academy will consider each substance incident individually and recognise that  a variety of responses will be necessary to deal with incidents. The academy will consider very carefully the implications of any action it may take. It seeks to balance the interests of the pupil involved, the other academy members and the local community. Permanent exclusion may be warranted as a final sanction when all other reasonable steps have been taken.

Regarding the welfare of staff, the academy will follow the county council policy on drug and alcohol misuse as part of its health and safety policy, which is designed to reduce to a minimum the possible effects of substance misuse on the user, other employees and the environment.

The Principal will take responsibility for liaison with the media, where required. As the issue of substance misuse is an emotive one, and is likely to generate interest from the local and national media, the academy will take appropriate advice and guidance from the Inspiration Trust head of communications and legal department to ensure that any reporting of incidents remains in the best interest of the young people, their families and the academy.

Procedures for dealing with drug-related incidents

The academy has adapted the procedures as set out in the document The Right Responses (produced by the drug and alcohol education and prevention team).

  • In the case of medical emergencies see appendix A.
  • Drug-related incidents will be dealt with as per appendix B.
  • Records of incidents will be recorded on a common form, see appendix C, and will be kept by the designated safeguarding lead for child protection.

Monitoring, evaluation and review

The academy will review this policy every three years and assess its implementation and effectiveness. The policy will be promoted and implemented throughout the academy.

The Principal will report on the effectiveness of the policy to the governing body as appropriate.