Drugs Guidance For Schools
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Drugs Guidance For Schools



The DCSF are consulting on new guidance on drug issues for schools. The consultation closes on 15 February 2010.

The DCSF are consulting on new guidance on drug issues for schools. The consultation closes on 15 February 2010.



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  • Does this include academies and independent sector?
  •  All the other drugs are named by substance, why not Class A’s?
  • One-off sessions, drop-down-days, talks to large groups and short sessions, such as registration time or form tutor time used alone, are not recommended as it is difficult to provide continuity and progression of learning within this delivery method.
  • Point 4 - e.g. writing invitation and thank you letters

Drugs Guidance For Schools Drugs Guidance For Schools Presentation Transcript

  • Drugs: Guidance for Schools
    Under Consultation until 15 February 2010
  • Who the guidance is for
    All staff, particularly senior managers, the person responsible for coordinating drug issues within the school and staff who teach drug education.
    It applies to primary, secondary, special schools and pupil referral units (PRUs) in England.
  • Key Messages
  • Key Messages – Staff Awareness
    All school staff should receive drug awareness training, understand the school’s drug policy and their role in implementing the policy. 
    Senior managers should ensure that staff have access to high-quality support and continuing professional development opportunities. Schools should ensure that pupils vulnerable to drug misuse are identified and receive appropriate support either from within the school or through referral to other services.
    Schools should be aware of and establish clear referral protocols with the range of relevant agencies providing support to pupils vulnerable to drug misuse.
  • Key Messages – Drug Education
    All schools should have a drug education programme which is developmental and appropriate to the age, maturity and ability of pupils.  
    Drug education should be delivered within the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum Science Order and as part of PSHE education. It is most effective when supported by a whole school approach.
    Drug education should cover all drugs and, when appropriate, should focus on drugs of particular significance to pupils such as alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, volatile substances and Class A drugs .
    The programme should be based on pupils’ views and build on their existing knowledge and understanding.
    Drug education should be taught by skilled and confident teachers.
  • Key Messages – Drug Policy
    All schools should have a drug policy which sets out the school’s role in relation to all drug matters – both the content and organisation of drug education, and the management of drugs within school boundaries.
    Schools should appoint a designated senior member of staff with overall responsibility for all drug issues within the school.
    The drug policy should be developed in consultation with the whole school community including pupils, parents/carers, staff, governors and partner agencies.
  • Key Messages – Drug Incidents
    All schools should have agreed a range of responses and procedures for managing drug incidents, which are understood by all members of the school community, and documented within the drug policy.
    Schools should make clear that the possession, use or supply of illegal and other unauthorised drugs (including alcohol) within school boundaries is unacceptable.
    Schools and police should establish an agreed policy which clarifies roles and mutual expectations before incidents occur.
  • Actions
    Headteachers and other senior staff will want to:
    review existing drug education provision in the school
    review the school’s drug policy consulting staff, governors, parents/carers and pupils
    consider whether the needs of vulnerable young people are being identified and if appropriate links have been made with relevant agencies
    consider staff training and support needs.
  • Drug Education
  • Age Appropriate and Spiral Curriculum
    Drug education should start in primary schools and the primary age classes of special schools. It should continue throughout a child’s development, with topics and issues being included which are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils and revisited over time. The overall programme should be coordinated across the curriculum and from year to year.
    The transition from primary to secondary is particularly important; drug education in Years 7 and 8 should reinforce and build upon drug education in primary schools.
  • Links to PSHE Education
    PSHE education is central to schools’ responsibilities to promote pupils' good health and wellbeing...
    Links between drugs and other areas of PSHE education, for example emotional health and wellbeing and sex and relationship education, should also be made. This is particularly relevant to young people as their use of drugs, especially alcohol, can have an impact on their relationships and on sexual activity and sexual health. Exploring the effect of alcohol on decision-making may be particularly helpful.
  • A well-structured curriculum
    There are some units of work focused on drug education for each year
    There is progression year-on-year, building on earlier learning
    Topics are introduced in a logical order
    Emotional and social skills and development of values is included as well as knowledge and understanding
    There is discrete time for drug education and adequate allocation for PSHE education in the timetable
    Links with other curriculum subjects can be anticipated and used to enrich learning
    Learning outcomes are documented
    Opportunities for assessment of learning are built in
  • Principles
    Factually accurate and evidence-based
    Relevant, providing clear messages about the impact of drug use
    Inclusive, promoting equality and acceptance of diversity
  • Teaching Methods
    ensure that every pupil succeeds: provide an inclusive education within a culture of high expectations
    build on what learners already know: structure and pace teaching so that students know what is to be learnt and how
    make learning vivid and real: develop understanding through enquiry, e-learning and group problem-solving
    make learning an enjoyable and challenging experience: stimulate learning by matching teaching techniques and strategies to a range of learning styles
    enrich the learning experience: infuse learning skills across the Curriculum
    promote assessment for learning: make children partners in their learning.
  • Schools using External Contributors
    clear about the desired learning outcomes before deciding who is best able to help achieve them
    the external contribution is integrated into the school’s programme
    the external contributors are competent educators and facilitators and do not provide input outside their area of expertise
    where possible, pupils are involved in the preparatory and follow-up work
    the content of lessons is negotiated and consistent with the overall aims of the drug education programme
    the contribution is grounded in a pupil-centred approach to learning
    all external contributors are fully aware of the school’s values and approach to drug education, the drug and other relevant policies, including those covering confidentiality, disclosure and child protection, to ensure that their approach is consistent with that of the school
    all external contributors are aware of their roles, responsibilities and boundaries
  • Involving Parents and Carers
    Ensure that parents and carers are:
    made aware of the school’s approach and rationale for drug education
    involved in the planning and review of the drug education programme and policy
    given information about their child’s drug education and school rules in relation to drugs
    encouraged to support their child’s learning at home
    able to access information about drugs and local and national sources of help
  • Purpose
    clarify the legal requirements and responsibilities of the school
    reinforce and safeguard the health, wellbeing and safety of pupils and others who use the school
    clarify the school’s approach to drugs for all staff, pupils, governors, parents/carers, external agencies and the wider community
    give guidance on developing, implementing and monitoring the drug education programme
    enable staff to manage drugs on school premises, and any incidents that occur, with confidence and consistency, and in the best interests of those involved
    ensure that the response to incidents involving drugs complements the overall approach to drug education and the values and ethos of the school
    provide a basis for evaluating the effectiveness of the school drug education programme and the management of incidents involving illegal and other unauthorised drugs
    reinforce the role of the school in contributing to local and national strategies.
    set out the arrangements for collaboration and communication with local agencies offering targeted and specialist support for young people in need and their families
  • Drug Incidents
  • Dealing with illegal drugs
    In taking temporary possession and disposing of suspected illegal drugs schools are advised to:
    ensure that a second adult witness is present throughout
    seal the sample in a plastic bag and include details of the date and time of the seizure/find and witness present. Some police forces provide schools with drug bags for this purpose
    store it in a secure location, such as the school safe or other lockable container with access limited to two senior members of staff
    without delay notify the police, who will collect it and then store or dispose of it in line with locally agreed protocols. The law does not require a school to divulge to the police the name of the pupil from whom the drugs were taken. Where a pupil is identified the police will be required to follow set internal procedures
    record full details of the incident, including the police incident reference number (see section 6.7)
    inform parents/carers, unless this would jeopardise the safety of the pupil.
    School staff should not attempt to analyse or taste unknown substances.
  • School trips
    Schools should prepare their policy on and procedures for the disposal of suspected illegal drugs and on dealing with alcohol while on school trips and ensure that these are clearly understood by all.