Nova Hreod Drug and Substance Abuse Policy September 2012

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1 Nova Hreod Drug and Substance Abuse Policy September

2 Rationale It is the concern of the School to promote and encourage responsible decision-making and a healthy life-style in all students. This policy is based on the following principles: That students should be made aware of issues relating to drug use including those of alcohol, solvents and tobacco, volatile substances, illegal and prescribed drugs. That the School does not condone the irresponsible or illegal use of substances and will seek to guide students to behave with responsibility. That there is an expectation that staff will model responsible behaviour and a clear code for them to follow when aware of irresponsible or illegal behaviour. Aims To provide a positive whole School approach to drug and alcohol education, stressing the need to make balanced, informed decisions about these issues in the context of a healthy life-style programme. To give students the facility to test their views in an informed atmosphere against a body of knowledge and a moral position which is not necessarily their own. To provide guidance for staff on matters of drug use and abuse. To make parents, carers and governors aware of the School drugs and substances abuse policy and to involve them in developing a drug education programme. To liaise with the Health Authorities and Borough external agencies to ensure a comprehensive and informed approach to drug education and student concerns. Ensure the response to incidents involving drugs complements the overall approach to drug education and the values and ethos of the School. Defining Drug Incidents Incidents are likely to involve suspicions, observations, disclosures or discoveries of situations involving illegal and other unauthorised drugs. They could fit into the following categories: Drugs or associated paraphernalia are found on school premises. Students at the school inform that drugs are being brought into school by one or more of their peers and are being used, shared, distributed or supplied. A student demonstrates, perhaps through actions or play, an inappropriate level of knowledge of drugs for their age. A student is found in possession of drugs or associated paraphernalia. A student is found to be distributing/sharing/supplying drugs on school premises or under school supervision. A student, parent/carer or staff member is thought to be under the influence of drugs. A staff member has information that the illegitimate sale or supply of drugs is taking place in the local area. A student discloses that they or a family member/friend are misusing drugs. 2

3 Guidance 1. The Governors support the school in the view that the abuse, distribution and provision of drugs and substances by students at school is unacceptable and that the latter will lead to the permanent exclusion of a student from Nova Hreod. Permanent exclusion should usually be the final step in the process for dealing with disciplinary offences after a wide range of other strategies have been tried without success. Supplying an illegal drug is a serious breach of school rules and it may be one of the exceptional circumstances where the Headteacher judges that it is appropriate to permanently exclude a student, even for a one-off or first-time offence. In making this judgement the Headteacher should have regard to the school s policy on drugs and consider the precise circumstances of each case, including the nature of the incident and the evidence available. This may also include the precise nature of the supply. Where students are permanently excluded for supplying an illegal drug, repeated possession and/or use of an illegal drug on school premises, the Secretary of State would not normally expect the governing body or an independent appeal panel to reinstate the student. * Definition of Supply: Supplying another person a controlled drug giving or selling drugs to someone else, including friends. The law does not differentiate between supplying/giving drugs to friends and supplying for profit. Offences are considered on an individual case basis and the police may be very unlikely to charge someone with supply when passing a cannabis joint for smoking amongst friends. However, if charged courts may be likely to consider a lower sentence for supply to friends compared to supply for profit. (Drugs Guidance for Schools) In the context of the Nova Hreod Drugs policy the term supply is used to describe pupils sharing drugs, pupils being coerced to supply drugs, a group of friends taking it in turn to bring in drug for their own use and habitual organised supply for profit. 2. The above applies to students, parents/carers, governors, partner agencies, in school but also in relation to students participating in School trips and journeys where illicit or illegal activities may place at risk the programme and safety of other students and staff. This also applies to any placements regarding a vocational nature, work experience/school placement. 3. Nova Hreod follows a no smoking / drinking policy for all persons on the premises. 4. The school will provide all students with Drugs Education via their Personal, 3

4 Health and Social Education Programme and there will be specific work related to this within the Science schemes of work. 5. A primary intent in the delivery of Drugs Education will promote informed and responsible decision-making and identify the implications of actions rather than incite an interest in substances for their own sake. 6. In instances where classroom teaching on topics unrelated to Drugs Education leads to a discussion of drug/substance abuse, teachers must use their professional judgement in keeping the discussion of a general nature and within the bounds of the topic concerned. 7. The school will promote healthy choices for students by providing information for students and parents on Drugs Education and by raising awareness through campaigns, competition and publicity. 8. The VP will act in cases where students are found to be abusing drugs or supplying them to others. The VP will work closely with the Principal and key staff in monitoring drug abuse in the School and will be consulted whenever action is required. 9. In cases where the school suspects that a student may have been engaged in the use of illegal substances it usually will be policy to inform their parents of suspicions, making it clear that there is only indirect evidence and that they are being informed out of concern for the student s well-being. In instances where students have admitted use of illegal substances for example prior to school, they may be excluded pending a meeting with parents. Re-entry to the school will be subject to the terms of a Behaviour Agreement/Contract and a clause will include commitment to counselling for the student either internally or by an external agency. The police will be informed of any student caught in possession of an illegal substance. Where a student is found to have provided, distributed or supplied illegal substances within the school the Principal will consider a permanent exclusion. 10. A confidential record will be kept of all incidents relating to substance abuse. 11. Counselling and advice will be made available to students through the House Team, PHSE Team Leader, Science Faculty Leader, School Counsellor, School Health Nurse, Young People Substance Misuse Service or U-Turn. 12. Teaching staff are expected to demonstrate a responsible approach to Drugs Education, modelling positive attitudes and behaviours within the context of this policy. 13. All staff will, and governors will be invited to receive In-Service Training in regard of Drugs Education. Outline induction for all staff should be provided at least once a year with regular updating where necessary. 14. Alcohol may only be consumed by staff or other persons on the premises with the express permission of the Head Teacher. 15. The school will develop close links with external agencies, who can offer advice, information and support in regard to Drugs Education. 16. The School will seek to involve parents and other external agencies to support this policy. 4

5 17. This policy will be evaluated by the Senior Leadership Team and reviewed regularly with the view to monitoring its effectiveness and in light of changes in legislation and DFE guidance. 18. This policy should be read and applied in the light of Guidance on Medical and First Aid procedures and Child Protection. Managing Drug Related Incidents in School a) General Principles There is an overriding necessity to have a pro-active approach to actually managing incidents so that they are dealt with consistently, sensibly and sensitively. We need to show that we are a caring school but that at the same time we have realistic measures and sanctions in place to deal effectively with incidents when they occur. However this is a highly complex part of the policy because of the enormous number of variables involved. i There are many different types of substances. ii There are many different levels of use ranging from experimentation for the first time, through to casual, controlled recreational use and on to the more serious dependent use. iii There are many different types of incident. Using the guidelines laid down in the policy the school will therefore consider each substance related incident individually, recognising that a variety of responses will be necessary to deal with each different incident. A breakdown of the different incidents and responses is given on the following pages but some general principles appropriate to all incidents should be borne in mind: Any action taken will be considered very carefully together with the implications of that action. Any action will seek to ensure a balance between the interests of the students involved, other school members and the local community. A balance will be sought between the support offered to help students involved and the appropriate sanctions, which reflect our stance on not condoning substance misuse. Government guidance in 2012 identifies FRANK, NHS Smoking Services and Drinkline as approved sources of support, and these can and are made available to students where appropriate. The school also uses U-Turn and the school nurse for supporting individual 5

6 students. All commissioning of external support takes place through the SAM Meeting system. The rules and sanctions are agreed as appropriate and understood by staff and students and followed fairly and consistently. 'In school' is taken to mean on school premises, including buildings and grounds at any time and includes journeys to and from school. It also applies to off-site activities, visits and school trips whether these fall within normal School hours or not. When discussing an incident with students we should listen to them and try to create a dialogue in order to encourage trust and honesty. Although sanctions might well be applied, the needs of the student must also be recognised. The confidentiality of the dialogue and information recorded should also be stressed including confidentiality around the names of any student disclosing to staff in order to keep their anonymity to any external parties. Searching The following extract is important when considering any type of search. "Storage areas including lockers and desks remain the property of the school. The Principal, or deputy, may authorise a search of these when there is reasonable cause to suspect the presence of prohibited items. Such searches must be carried out in the presence of a witness and if named students are implicated they should be present. The Government s drug strategy (2010) gave schools wider powers of search and confiscation. All searches will take place with the approval/involvement of the VP and will follow the guidelines set out in January 2012 government papers. Two members of staff must be present. A student can be invited to turn out pockets, shoes, bag etc. but cannot be forced to. If a student refuses this, the police may be called to conduct a search, on the basis that there is a strong suspicion of possession or drug-taking. Parents would usually be informed of a search, at the discretion of the VP, and always if a substance is found The school, in line with national guidance, will confiscate all suspected substances (including cigarettes and alcohol), including those known as legal highs. Confiscated items will usually be handed to police or destroyed in the presence of a senior member of staff. Where the confiscated item is legal (e.g. cigarettes, lighter) the confiscating member of staff may return them to parents, but not to the student. Parents It is obviously important to involve parents but careful consideration must be given as to when and how this should be done. We do not want to add to parents anxiety by making hasty 6

7 accusations however we are voicing concerns only and bringing parents into our confidence. The VP should be involved early on and they will make the decision about parental involvement. It is also important to involve the students in taking this decision in order to retain trust between teacher and student. It is important to ascertain whether there has been any similar behaviour at home or whether the student is perhaps on medication of some kind. It is recommended that if possible another member of staff should be present during parental /student interviews regarding substance use. Involving the police There is no legal obligation for teachers to inform the police if we have evidence of substance misuse. However as stated earlier we are committed to not allowing the use, supply or production of any illegal substances on our premises and in these cases the police will normally be informed. The decision to inform the police should normally be made by the VP/Principal although in an extreme emergency and with authorisation of a member of the Senior Leadership Team any member of staff may contact the police directly. There will be random testing and occasions when Police may bring dogs onto the school site. Legal taking possession of illegal substances In accordance with guidelines issued by the Secretary of State, having taken possession of it the member of staff must in consultation with the Drugs Incident Co-ordinator either pass the substance to the police as soon as possible or destroy it. It is advisable to have an adult witness when taking items from students or any other person. It is also important to obtain a receipt if an item is passed to the police. Dealing with the Media The Principal is responsible for media liaison. As the issue of substance misuse is an emotive one, and is likely to generate interest from local and national media we will seek appropriate advice and guidance from the LA Press Office and Legal Department to ensure that any reporting of incidents remains in the best interests of students, their families and the School. Signed Principal Signed Chair of Governors Date Date Policy Review Date 7

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