Drugs Education

Drugs Policy

School Mission Statement

Let Your Light Shine

If we love others, we live in the light.  1 John 2:10

Inspired by our Gospel Values we have a shared responsibility to

  • create an environment of welcome, love and respect for each member of our learning family.
  • develop the unique gifts and talents of all, striving for excellence in everything we do.
  • live out our commitment to love, service and justice in the local and global community.
  • nurture the journey of faith and discovery for all
  • celebrate and reflect on the love of God which is at the heart of all we are.

Drugs and Illegal Substance Education Policy


In accordance with the Mission Statement of Brownedge St. Mary’s Catholic High School, each and every person is valued and respected.  This policy is based on the premise that the school disowns bad behaviour, not the person.  It is our responsibility to provide a safe and purposeful environment where individuals are encouraged to develop self regard and self respect, such that self abuse would not be considered on school premises.

Because drugs are more prevalent in society today we aim to support and educate our pupils and those associated with Brownedge St. Mary’s enabling individuals to make informed choices concerning the consequences of substance use and abuse.  Close links between school, home and parish which already exist will be maintained in the issues of drugs education and incidents so that vulnerable pupils who need extra help receive it either in school or through referral to other services.

We aim to contribute to the overall ethos of preparing pupils to take their place in our multi-cultural society and to foster the development of both staff and pupils through structured programmes of support and education.  The policy applies to all staff/pupils, parents/carers, governors and partner agencies.  School drugs policy includes medicines volatile substances alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs. 


We hope to reduce the likelihood of drug abuse by:

  • Implementing an open and positive Whole School Drugs Policy, which stresses the school’s pastoral role and its proactive approach to drug and health education.
  • Drug education will take account of pupils’ views so it is appropriate to age and ability and relevant to particular circumstances.
  • Using the curriculum i.e. Science, RE, History, Modern Languages, English, PE, Technology alongside a structured pastoral programme to discourage drug misuse among pupils by emphasising the benefits of a healthy life-style and enabling pupils to make informed, responsible choices to assist them to negotiate their way safely in a drug-using culture.
  • Providing INSET time for staff and governors, thereby raising awareness in school of the issues associated with drug use and enabling drugs related issues that may be raised in any subject lesson to be addressed.
  • Encouraging parental involvement by providing information for parents in the form of a leaflet.
  • Being committed to the health and safety of all pupils, staff and visitors.
  • Encouraging pupils, parents and staff to take a collective responsibility for preventing drug abuse.
  • Involvement of pupils through the pastoral system making pupils aware of their shared responsibility for keeping our school safe.
  • Co-operating and working with outside agencies to assist in the education and support of individuals within the school.
  • Fostering an atmosphere of trust in which individuals feel able to approach a member of staff and be confident of a sensitive response which preserves their confidentiality within the bounds of the policy (see Procedures Section).

Procedures for managing drug incidents: (including medicines, cigarettes, alcohol, illegal and socially unacceptable drugs).

Brownedge St. Mary’s has a ‘No Smoking Policy’ on the premises affecting all individuals – adult and child.  Any pupil found smoking on the school premises or in the vicinity will be reported to the Head of House, when appropriate action will be taken.

Medicines to be used by pupils during the school day should be kept in the school office.

If it is suspected that a pupil is suffering from drug or alcohol abuse in school, the Head of House, Deputy Head or Headteacher must be informed immediately. The senior member of staff will remove the child from class and provide medical attention/First Aid as appropriate and inform parent/guardian except where this would jeopardise pupil safety.  The first concern in managing drugs is the health/safety of the school community and meeting pupils’ pastoral needs.

Staff or pupils who suspect or have been informed that a pupil has:

  • taken or supplied drugs
  • is under the influence of drugs, or
  • is in possession of drugs

They should contact the Head of House, Deputy Head or Headteacher immediately when the matter will be investigated and appropriate action taken and a full record made of the incident.

Searches may be considered appropriate where the health and safety of pupils is considered at risk.

Confidentiality is vital – this matter should not be discussed with persons other than those mentioned above.  In all cases it is important that a written record of the incident and action taken is given to the Head of House, who can then monitor the pupil.

If a pupil admits to using, possessing or supplying drugs on the school premises, or where there is proof that this has taken place, parents will be informed at the earliest opportunity, according to the Headteacher’s discretion.  There is no statutory obligation to inform the Police, but the Headteacher will have regard for the fact that they may be able to offer help and support.

If there is credible evidence that students are using illegal substances out of school, then the Head Teacher has a duty of care to pass that information on to parents/carers.

Where it is suspected that a pupil is concealing illegal drugs about his or her person, he or she must be escorted by a member of staff to the Deputy Head or Head of House who will seek the voluntary production of the substance, in the presence of a member of staff acting as a witness.  In the event of a refusal, the Headteacher or Deputy Head Teacher has the power to search without consent (See February 2014 DfE Guidelines). The Head Teacher or Deputy Head Teacher may sanction sending for the pupil’s parents and/or  the Police. There is no requirement for a parent/guardian to be present during a search.   Every effort should be made to keep the pupil under constant supervision and in the presence of a witness.

Students can expect a reasonable level of personal privacy when conducting searches as detailed under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Whenever a suspected illegal drug is found on a pupil or on the school premises, it must be handed over immediately to the Deputy Head or Headteacher who will keep it securely and hand it over to the Police as soon as possible.  No substance should be tested or tasted before handing it over to the Police.

The Governing Body has a clear view on the punishments appropriate for pupils in possession, taking or supplying of illegal drugs within school.  It has a zero tolerance towards the possession, use or supply of drugs within school.  It recognises that pupils need to be properly educated into the facts and dangers of drugs through a Drugs Education programme.  It also recognises that parents have an absolute right to know that the school will protect their children from any persons giving or selling drugs in school.

The term “drugs” given by the United Nations Office on Drugs is:-

“A substance people take to change the way they feel, think or behave”;

  • All illegal drugs (those controlled by the misuse of Drugs Act 1971).
  • All illegal drugs including alcohol, volatile substances (those giving off a gas or vapour).
  • All prescription medicines and tablets.

(The use of cigarettes is covered in a separate policy).

The term school includes: journeys to and from school in school uniform, work experience, residential trips, and college courses.

The following disciplinary procedures will be employed in all cases:

  • Possession and/or consumption of alcohol and class C Drugs

1st offence: parents contacted; fixed term exclusion up to 5 days.

2nd offence: parents contacted; up to 11 day fixed term exclusion; possible behaviour/health intervention from other agencies; contractual agreement on return of pupil and appearance at Governors’ Pupil Discipline and Welfare Committee.

3rd offence:  Permanent Exclusion.

  • Possession of cannabis and other Class B Drugs. 
  • 1st offence: 5 – 10 day exclusion and referral to a support programme such as Drugline.  Parents and Police contacted; referral to the Governors’ Pupil Discipline and Welfare Committee.
  • 2nd offence: Permanent Exclusion
  • Possession of a suspected class A or B drug including Cannabis

    • 1st Offence:  Substance confiscated; parents and police contacted.  Fixed term exclusion of 10 – 15 days pending substance identification which may on assessment be made permanent.  Referral to the Governors Pupil Discipline and Welfare Committee.
  • 2nd Offence: Permanent Exclusion
  • Social supply of an illegal drug in school

    • 1st Offence:  10-25 day exclusion which may be made permanent.  Parents and Police contacted.  Referral to the Governors Pupil Welfare and Discipline Committee.
    • 2nd Offence: Permanent Exclusion
  • Dealing for profit, selling, exchanging drugs for other items

1st Offence: Almost always will lead to Permanent Exclusion.  


Aspects of drugs, alcohol and smoking etc are discussed with and by all House groups in “Learning for Life” .

Multi-agency protocols are used together with PCT is available including new direction of Child Protection and substance misuse.

Lists of useful organisations and web sites are held by SMT and HOHs.  The school works proactively with Addaction, Police and Young Peoples Services and other agencies as appropriate.  Guest speakers from these organisations are invited into Assemblies to offer advice and improve awareness.

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