Drugs and Substance Misuse Policy

Perry Court E-ACT Academy - Drugs and Substance Misuse Policy

Department Owner

Operations (National)

Section Owner

Education

Approver

E-ACT Education & Personnel Committee

Date Approved

July 2015

Review Date

July 2018

1                 Scope

1.1            Application:  This policy has been authorised by the Board of Trustees and is available to parents and pupils on request.  The policy relates to the misuse of controlled drugs and other substances and applies to all pupils within E-ACT Academies.  It applies at all times whether or not the pupil is in the care of the Academy.  The procedures and sanctions may be adapted as appropriate to meet the policy aims and the circumstances of each case.  There is a separate policy for staff.  

1.1  Drugs and substances:  These expressions refer to the possession, use and supply of controlled drugs and the paraphernalia of drugs or substances intended to resemble drugs, or "legal" drugs which can be obtained from a chemist shop, performance enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids, glue and other substances held or supplied in each case for purposes of misuse.

1.2  Prohibited items: This expression refers to the possession, use and supply of controlled drugs as defined in section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

1.3  Context:  This policy can be read with the Academy's policies on behaviour, health and safety, child protection, the administration of medicine and DfE and ACPO drug advice for schools: September 2012

1.4  Accessibility:  This policy can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required.

1.     Aims and policy

1.1  Prevention:  The central aim of this policy is to keep drugs out of the Academy.  We aim to do so by means of education, pastoral care, detection of users and a sanctions policy.

1.2  Education:  We educate the pupils to understand that the use of illegal drugs is or may be a criminal offence and will be harmful to their health, integrity, independence, opportunities and careers and will damage the society in which they live.  We educate by means of personal development courses and by example, by discussion and by means of lectures from people such as doctors, lawyers, the police and reformed addicts.

1.3  Parents' Responsibility:  Every parent should read through and discuss the Drugs and Substances Policy with their child.  The Academy encourages open discussion between parents and pupils so that parents are aware of the issues and pressures facing their child.

1.4  Detection:  Every complaint or report of involvement with drugs and substances will be followed up and investigated.  A pupil suspected of involvement with drugs and substances may be made subject to a fixed term exclusion. 

1.5  Sanction for supplying:  Anyone supplying drugs must expect to be permanently excluded immediately even if he / she is about to sit public examinations. 

1.6  Sanction for possession or use:  Anyone possessing or using drugs must also expect to be permanently excluded but in exceptional cases, a supportive regime (see Appendix 1) may be offered as an alternative to expulsion.  The Head Teacher is not obliged to offer a supportive regime.

2.     Pastoral care

2.1  Pastoral care:  We encourage the pupils to discuss their anxieties about drugs or substances in confidence with a member of staff or the school counsellor.  Matters brought into counselling by a pupil or his / her parents, in circumstances that are genuine, will be "ring‑fenced" from disciplinary sanctions or adverse report but a pupil suspected of involvement with drugs or substances outside this context will face the full disciplinary consequences.

2.2  Staff:  The member of staff who oversees and co-ordinates drugs issues is Liz McAndrew  her role is Home School Worker 

2.3  Staff Training:  Staff will be trained on how to recognise and manage drugs issues. 

2.4  Education:  Drug education is included in the School's PSHE programme and at assemblies. 

2.5  Evaluation of drug education:  The Home School Worker will carry out an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of drug education in the School.

2.6  Parents:  If Parents attending academy premises appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will be asked to leave and the member of staff making the request should refer the matter to the School's Designated Safeguarding Lead.  If a member of staff suspects that a parent has driven or will drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the member of staff should report the matter to the Designated Safeguarding Lead or a member of the senior management team who may telephone the police.  If the Designated Safeguarding Lead reasonably believes that a child is at immediate risk of harm from a parent who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the child will not be released into the care of the parent until appropriate measures have been taken.  These may include involving another member of the family, children's social care or the police.

3.     Searches for drugs, substances and related paraphernalia

3.1  Informed consent:  Before any search is undertaken consent will usually be sought from parents or from the pupil if he / she is of sufficient maturity and understanding.  The member of staff leading the search will determine whether or not the pupil is able to provide this consent and may request the additional opinion of a medically qualified member of staff if required.  If the pupil refuses consent, he / she will be asked to say why he / she has refused.  The Academy will be entitled to draw inferences from his or her response and general demeanour and the police may be informed.  If a parent refuses consent, the Academy may draw inferences from the pupil's general demeanour and the police may be informed.

3.2  Searches without consent: In relation to alcohol and prohibited items as defined in Section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Head Teacher, and staff authorised by the Head Teacher, may search a pupil or a pupil's possessions, without their consent, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a pupil has a prohibited item in their possession.

3.3  Searches generally: If staff believe a pupil possesses or has stored drugs and substances, it may be appropriate for a member of staff to carry out:

·                  a search of outer clothing; and / or

·                  a search of academy property, e.g. pupils' lockers or desks; and / or

·                  a search of personal property (e.g. bag or pencil case within a locker).

Searches will be conducted in such a manner as to minimise embarrassment or distress.  Any search of a pupil or their possessions will be carried out in the presence of the pupil and another member of staff.

Where a pupil is searched, the searcher and the second member of staff present will be the same gender as the pupil.

3.4  Where the Head Teacher, or staff authorised by the Head Teacher, find anything which they have reasonable grounds for suspecting is a prohibited item, they may seize, retain and dispose of that item. 

4.     Police involvement

4.1  Procedures:  If the Academy seizes a controlled drug, the drug may be destroyed if there is good reason to do so.  Otherwise the Academy will deliver it to the police as soon as reasonably practicable.  In all other cases, the Academy may decide to request the involvement of the police from the outset. If the police suspect that a pupil possesses or has stored drugs, substances or related paraphernalia, the police may elect to investigate using their own procedures or may pass the matter back to the Academy to investigate.

4.2  Contacting the police:  The Academy may use its discretion to decide whether police involvement is appropriate.    

4.3  Liaison Officer:  The Academy's police liaison officer is [• name].  His / her contact details are [• contact details].

5.     Testing for drugs

5.1  Urine sample:  If, outside the context of confidential counselling, there is reason to suspect that a pupil has been involved with drugs or substances, he / she may be asked to supply, under medical supervision, a urine sample for analysis.  The reason for this policy is:

·                  to deter the use of drugs and substances

·                  to identify users

·                  to absolve those who have been wrongly suspected.

Reason to suspect use of illegal drugs may arise as a result of information or a complaint received or because of a pupil's behaviour.

5.2  Informed consent:  The relevant consent to a drugs test is that of the pupil rather than the parents, even if the pupil is under 16 years of age, provided he / she is of sufficient maturity and understanding and gives his / her informed consent in writing.  The member of staff leading the search will determine whether or not the pupil is able to provide this consent and may request the additional opinion of a medically qualified member of staff. 

5.3  Notifying parents:  Reasonable endeavours will be made, before a urine sample is taken, to notify a parent or guardian of the requirement for a urine sample and the reasons for that requirement. 

5.4  Medical supervision:  The urine sample will be taken under medical supervision, normally by Dr [• name] or a member of his practice.  A member of the school staff will be present. All due care will be taken to respect the pupil's privacy and human rights.

5.5  Refusal:  If a pupil refuses to provide a urine sample he / she will be asked to say why he / she has refused.  The Academy will be entitled to draw inferences from his / her response and general demeanour and the police may be informed.  If a parent's consent is required and they refuse to consent to their child providing a urine sample, the Academy may draw inferences from the pupil's general demeanour and the police may be informed.

5.6  Testing procedures:  These will be in accordance with standard good practice: 

·                  care will be taken (including the careful measurement of the urine temperature) to make as certain as possible that the sample provided is genuine and uncontaminated;

·                  the urine sample will be poured into two clean sample bottles which will be sealed and labelled immediately in the pupil's presence.  The bottles will then be placed in an appropriate envelope;

·                  the supervisor will organise the paperwork.  The donor will be asked to sign various seals and documents which confirm that the specimens are his / hers.  The donor will also be asked to sign a form which signifies that he / she has been satisfied with the collection procedure and gives consent for the results of the test being made available to the Head Teacher;

·                  the forms and one sample will then be sent immediately and securely to a specialist company

5.7  Medical record:  The outcome of the test, whether positive or negative, will not form part of the pupil's permanent medical record. 

5.8  Outcome:  When the Academy receives the laboratory report:

·                  reasonable attempts will be made to notify a parent or guardian by telephone;

·                  if the result is negative, the second sample will be destroyed immediately;

·                  if the result is positive, the second sample will be made available for independent analysis.

5.9  Confidentiality:  Sensitive personal information about pupils is disclosed only on a "need to know" basis with careful attention to pupils' rights and needs.

6.     Subsequent action

6.1  Procedure:  The Academy will treat a positive test, although not infallible, as evidence that the pupil has been using drugs.  A meeting will be arranged at which:

·                  the pupil will be asked to attend a meeting with the Head Teacher (or, in his / her absence, the Deputy Head Teacher) with his / her parents or a member of the academy staff chosen by him/her to assist him / her;

·                  the evidence of the positive sample and all other relevant evidence will be put to the pupil and he / she will be invited to respond;

·                  his / her response will be heard and considered and further enquiries will be made if necessary;

·                  the Head Teacher will make a finding of fact based on the evidence and supported by reasons.

6.2  Sanction:  If the Head Teacher's decision is that the pupil has been using drugs, the Head Teacher will outline the range of sanctions he / she is considering and will then, or at a later meeting if requested, hear mitigating circumstances and consider the pupil's academic and disciplinary record before deciding on the sanction.

6.3  Review:  If the pupil is made subject to a fixed term or permanent excluded, this will be done in accordance with the Academy's Exclusions policy.

7.     Monitoring

7.1  This policy will be reviewed:

·                  following any serious incident involving pupils and drugs

·                  following the issue of any new guidance from the Department for Education (DfE); and

·                  in any event, every three years.

 

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