Substance Use and Misuse Policy

Purpose

Llangors Church in Wales School has a whole-school approach to drugs as part of its commitment to being a healthy school. This policy aims to enable pupils to make informed choices by increasing their knowledge and providing opportunities for them to explore their own and others’ attitudes.  It takes account of the Welsh Government ‘Guidance for Substance Misuse Education’ (107/2013) and ‘Working Together to Reduce Harm  –  The Substance Misuse Strategy for Wales 2008  –  2018’.

To protect the safety and well-being of all pupils and staff, drugs must not be possessed or bought, sold, or otherwise obtained on school premises or during the school day, including when pupils are on school visits.  The policy and procedures apply to all adults working at and for the school. Individual exceptions will be made for pupils and staff who need to take prescribed medicines.

Relationship to other policies

This policy relates to the Behaviour policy, the Curriculum policy, the Health and Safety policy, the Child Protection policy, the Safeguarding policy, the Administering of Medicines policy, the Smoking policy and the PSE policy.

Aims:

  • Our primary aim is to keep our pupils safe. We aim to provide them with a secure environment in which to work and play and to enable them to make healthy and informed choices by increasing their knowledge and helping them to develop and practice skills. All incidents will be dealt with under Safeguarding guidelines.

Objectives:

  • To increase pupils’ knowledge and understanding of substance misuse
  • To provide consistent messages with due regard to the School’s legal obligations including the safeguarding of all pupils
  • To prevent smoking in any part of the school buildings or grounds, at any time and by any person
  • To ensure all visitors to the school comply with this policy and to ensure that they understand that it is a SMOKE FREE ZONE

The range of substances covered by this policy

The substances covered by this policy include:

  • Tobacco
  • Alcohol
  • Over the counter medicines
  • Prescription only medicines, including anabolic steroids and benzodiazepines
  • Volatile substances, including aerosol propellants, butane, solvents and glues
  • Illegal substances, including heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines, LSD, GHB and cannabis

Some pupils may need to bring long term medication in to school.  Parents must adhere to the School’s Administration of Medicines policy and sign a disclaimer for their child/children.   These medicines must be given to a member of staff for safe keeping in the staffroom.

Roles and responsibilities of Headteacher, Other Staff, Governors

The Head teacher and Governing Body have ultimate responsibility for the implementation of the Substance Misuse Policy.

At Llangors Church in Wales School, the member of staff with responsibility for Substance Misuse is the Headteacher,  Mrs Lynne Jones.

The school Governors will review this policy in line with the review policy timetable, or in the light of new guidance.

Governors may also be involved in disciplinary proceedings as and when required.

The Headteacher will ensure that:

  • a planned drug education programme is provided as part of PSE and science that reflects knowledge and understanding, attitudes and personal and social skills.
  • teachers are provided with training and guidance so that they are confident and skilled to teach drug education and to respond to drug-related incidents
  • clear procedures are in place for responding to drug-related incidents
  • those pupils who have a concern about drugs are provided with support
  • sanctions for incidents are consistent with the school’s discipline policy
  • the school 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.

All staff are expected to:

  • report incidents of drug misuse to the Headteacher
  • implement the drug education programme and attend training when necessary
  • enable pupils to make healthy, informed choices by increasing knowledge
  • ensure they work with children to discuss the problems of peer presure and link with work provided by the Police Core Liaison Officer
  • promote positive attitudes towards healthy lifestyles
  • provide accurate information about substances
  • enable young people to identify sources of appropriate personal support. 

Pupils will be expected to:

  • follow the school rules
  • alert the staff to any drug-related incidents on or around the school site.

 The governing body will:

  • ensure that its members, especially the Pupil Discipline Committee, are well-informed about the drug education programme, the potential for drug abuse and how to respond to drug-related incidents.

Parents will be encouraged to:

  • endorse the school’s approach to drugs education
  • work in partnership with the school to over come the misuse of drugs.

Curriculum

Effective Substance Misuse Education will enable children and young people at Llangors Church in Wales School to make responsible informed choices about their lives. It will not be delivered in isolation; this will reflect the approach within the Personal and Social

Education (PSE) Framework for Wales, which underpins this Policy.

Key StagePSE FrameworkWales National Curriculum KUW/Science
Foundation PhaseUnderstand that medicines are taken to make them better, but that some drugs are dangerous.Pupils should be taught about the role of drugs as medicines.
Key Stage 2Know the harmful effects, both to themselves and others of tobacco, alcohol, solvents and other legal and illegal substances.Pupils should be taught that tobacco and other drugs can have harmful effects.
Key Stage 3Know the effects of and risks from use of a range of legal and illegal drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) and the laws governing their use.Pupils should be taught that the abuse of alcohol, and other drugs affect health.

Largely, education about Substance Misuse will take place in PSE and Science / KUW lessons but can also be delivered through other subjects.

Complaints Procedure

Any complaints about Substance Misuse Education will be made to the Senior Management Team, who will report to the Governors.

Procedures for dealing with an incident

Staff who become aware of difficulties and/or incidents involving substances in the school environment will

  • take steps to secure the immediate safety of pupils and others
  • inform the responsible staff member (Headteacher Mrs Lynne Jones). The response will depend on the type and degree of risk, with some situations requiring immediate action.

Immediate action is needed when there is a clear risk to safety, for example:

Exemplars from Welsh Government guidance
ExampleAction
An adult collecting a child or young person appears to be under the influence of drink and/or drugs.Apply locally agreed child protection procedures, involve the police if adult is aggressive.
A child or young person/adult appears ill or unsafe as a result of substance misuse.Consider obtaining medical advice and note relevant facts and inform parent/carer.
Substances are being supplied on, or near premisesContact police
There is ready access to controlled drugs Contact police
The premise has potentially hazardous substance misuse related litter e.g. needles, syringes etc.Arrange safe removal of litter according to Health and Safety policy, involve police if related to illegal substance misuse.
Substance misusers behaving agressivelySeek urgent police assistance to remove
A child/young person discloses that they are misusing drugs or their parent or other family members are misusing drugsContact social services or specialist substance misuse service for advice on how to respond.

Arrangements for Monitoring and Evaluation

The headteacher will report at least once a year on the programme for teaching about drugs, the number and nature of drug-related incidents, and the outcomes of any disciplinary proceedings. These will be analysed by gender, ethnicity and year group and compared with previous years.

Contact with parents

Llangors Church in Wales school attaches importance to involvement of Parents/Carers.     They will be informed of any drug related incident unless:

  • There are child protection concerns.
  • It would interfere with a school investigation
  • It would interfere with a police investigation
  • It could result in greater harm to the child for another reason.

Parents would normally be contacted directly by telephone in the event of proven drug usage. If it is suspected but not proven, the agreed police protocol should be implemented.

Procedure for Dealing with Incidents Involving Staff

  • Substance misuse related incidents involving staff is subject to Powys County Council’s Employment and Disciplinary Policy and procedures.
  • Substance misuse outside school hours could adversely affect job performance and so trigger competency procedures. If the effects of misuse are such that student or staff safety is at risk, the member of staff can be suspended pending disciplinary action. This may include dismissal.
  • Staff are obliged to cooperate with testing procedures, including giving biological specimens for analysis when there is reasonable suspicion of substance abuse. Refusal to cooperate is a disciplinary offence that could result in disciplinary action including dismissal.
  • Supply of illegal drugs or alcohol to school students in school or on school visits is potentially gross professional misconduct and would normally be reported to the General Teaching Council for Wales.

Procedure for Dealing with Adults (not staff)

  • The school is not able to release pupils into the care of other adults where there is a possibility of harm to that pupil. Where there is evidence that parents or carers arriving at school to collect children are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, either social services or the police will be contacted in line with the school’s child protection policy.
  • Where any member of the school community, staff, parent or visitor is or appears to be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs on the school premises without the prior agreement of the head teacher, they will be asked to leave immediately and action taken to ensure their safety, with supervision if necessary. Where illegal substances are involved, the police will be informed.

Media Contact

It is important that staff do not report incidents and/or issues concerning drug misuse to the local press and media generally. The Head teacher, in consultation with the LA and Governors will deal personally with such queries.

Recording of Incidents

Staff dealing with a substance misuse incident should make prompt and accurate factual records of what has happened using Powys LEA Incident Record forms and should request adult witnesses or outside personnel (such as a police officer) to sign relevant parts of the record.

Searches

Staff are not permitted to search pupils.  In the unlikely event of a pupil being suspected of having a substance concealed on them, the Headteacher will contact the parent and might in an extreme case invite  the police to exercise their powers of search.

Safeguarding and Confidentiality

  • The school recognises that dealing with a substance-related incident is likely to involve recording and passing on to other people or agencies personal and confidential information
  • The Headteacher is responsible for the safe storage of documents / information concerning any substance related incident.
  • Staff should not promise confidentiality to anyone disclosing an apparent incident of substance misuse as it may be necessary to invoke local Child Protection procedures if a child’s safety or welfare is under threat.

Volatile substances

Currently the school has no volatile substances that are kept on the premises such as:  aerosol propellants, butane, solvents etc.  If in the future there is a need for this then it is the responsibility of the Headteacher to ensure safe and secure storage of such items.

All cleaning substances are kept under lock and key (COSH guidelines).

This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.