Reviewing the school drugand alcohol policyResponding appropriatelyto substance misuse andtaking a proactive roleClaire James
In contrast towhat you mightthink from themedia...
Smoking, drinking and drug use are fallingTrends among 14 year olds over the past decade.0%10%20%30%40%Ever takendrugsDrank alcoholin the pastweekRegularsmokerSmoking, drinking and drug use among young people in 2011, Office for National Statistics
However...1 in 7 13 year olds say theyhave been drunk at leasttwice.11 in 10 15-16 year olds havehad unprotected sex afterdrinking.21 in 5 15 year olds smokedcannabis in the past year(and 1 in 20 took a Class Adrug).31. WHO (2012) Health behaviours inaged children2. ESPAD (2009) The 2007 ESPAD rep3. Fuller, E. (2012) Smoking, drinkingdrug use
Different schools face different challengesGangsParentaldrug useYoung peoplewith moneyto spendLocaldrinkingcultureLegalhighs
Some pitfalls for the unwarySchool strip search: Drugsfound hidden in pupilsunderwearPrivateschoolrocked bydrugsscandalSchoolexcludespupils overpositivedrugs tests11 pupilsbarred inschool drugsscandal
Schools can help safeguard pupilsfrom drug and alcohol harms By drug education that helps equip pupils withthe knowledge and skills they need By clear school rules and effective responses todrug incidents By supporting pupils at risk of drug-relatedharm, and those with drug or alcohol misuse intheir family By raising pupils’ academic achievement andattachment to school – major protective factorsschooldrugpolicy
Drugs: Guidance for schools(2004) 126 pagesComprehensive guidanceincluding drug educationDrug Advice for Schools (2012)14 pagesSummary of what is required inthe drug policy, focusing ondealing with incidents andpastoral support.
Drug Advice for Schools: Key Points Early access to support for pupilswith drug or alcohol issues (oraffected by family use) A written drugs policy availableto all staff A senior member of staff to haveresponsibility for policy andliaising with the local police andsupport services.
Responding to drug related incidentsA school’s response is most effective when: it is supported by the whole school community; drug education is part of a well-plannedprogramme of PSHE education delivered in asupportive environment, where pupils are awareof the school rules, feel able to engage in opendiscussion and feel confident about asking forhelp if necessary; staff have access to high quality training andsupport.“”
Toolkit for reviewing your drug andalcohol policy Complementsgovernment guidance Tools for consultingteachers, parents andpupils Drug incident scenarios Checklist for reviewingdrug education
Functions of a school drug policy Clarify legal requirements and responsibilities Safeguard the health and safety of pupils and others Clarify the school’s approach to drugs for all insideand outside the school Give guidance on drug education Enable staff to manage drug incidents Ensure a consistent approach, in line with schoolethos A basis for evaluating education, prevention andincident management
Drug education Learning to manage risk – one of the factors Ofstedlook at in assessing behaviour Most effectively taught within a PSHE (life skills)frameworkWithin the school drug policy: How drug and alcohol education will be taught andhow this fits with the school’s ethos; How teaching approaches will develop pupils’skills, attitudes and values, as well as their knowledge; How the needs of all pupils will be taken into account; Policy on using external visitors; How drug education will be monitored and assessed
Policy revision and consultation Senior leadershipsupport Working group Key local contactsidentified Consultation withschool community –teachers, pupilsparents
To discuss with police: Is there a local protocol for managingincidents? When the school could manage an incidentinternally and what support might be available When police should be involved Dealing with suspected illegal substances Information-sharing Sharing information aboutunderage sales
Why consultation isimportant• getting people to buy in to it• raising awareness and understanding duringthe consultation process• making a better policy by talking throughissues with those who have to implement it.
Case study: Pupils at risk of exclusion consultedabout school drug policyA group of Year 10 pupils at risk of exclusionincluding both confirmed and suspected cannabisusers were consulted about the school’s drug policy.They discussed the issue of informing parents/carers when a pupil is found using cannabis atschool and agreed that this would be a deterrent ifit were policy.The pupils gave suggestions about how youngpeople should be questioned by the school andwhat support could be offered.Case study from Southwark LEA cited in Drugs: Guidance for schools, 2004
Just another piece of paper??... or a tool driving prevention and earlyintervention?There needs to be… Support from the senior leadership team Input from the whole school community Monitoring and evaluation
Case study: Impact of early interventionNottingham DrugAwareClear policies and external support for earlyreferrals, combined with curriculum based onneeds assessment Increase in referrals to early interventionservices (outnumbering number of incidents) Reduction in permanent exclusions because ofdrug and alcohol misuse Indications of reduced prevalence
What is Zero Tolerance?“In this school, we will make every attempt toidentify drug and alcohol issues before theybecome problematic. Zero tolerance means wewill intervene quickly, every time, withouthesitation and ensure that effective earlyintervention practice is used to respond to theissue.”(Thanks to Anna Power, Nottingham Early InterventionTeam, for this definition)
Alcohol and Drug Education andPrevention Information Service Guidance for schools and practitioners on drugand alcohol education Guidance on prevention and earlyintervention, including family misuse. Shared resources and good practice Local and national networking Research and policy firstname.lastname@example.org
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