Drugs & Substance Abuse

1.         GENERAL STATEMENT

1.1       RSD condones neither the misuse of drugs or alcohol by members of the School nor the illegal supply of these substances.

1.2       RSD is committed to the health and safety of its members and will take action to safeguard its members.

1.3       RSD acknowledges the importance of its pastoral role in the welfare of young people through the general ethos of the School and will seek to encourage pupils in need of support to come forward.

2.         POLICY AIMS

2.1       RSD believes in and supports the following educational aims in respect of substance use and mis-use:

2.2       To provide accurate information about substance.

2.3       To increase understanding about the implications and possible consequences of use, abuse and mis-use.

2.4       To widen understanding about related health and social issues, e.g. sex and sexuality, crime, HIV and Aids.

2.5       To seek to minimise the risks that users and potential users face.

2.6       to enable young people to identify sources of appropriate personal support.

3.         HOW THESE AIMS WILL BE FULFILLED

Through aspects of the pupils’ experiences in the taught curriculum, the informal curriculum and through opportunities for extra-curricular activities.  We deliver this in the taught curriculum mainly through Guidance, Science, RE and English areas.  However, opportunities to reinforce learning will occur in other parts of the teaching programme.  In particular the School’s attitude to and general standards in these matters will be transmitted by the Heads of Year and Form Tutors in their regular meetings with all pupils in their charge.

4.         THE ROLE OF OUTSIDE AGENCIES

The School actively co-operates with other agencies such as the Police, Social Services and Health and Drug Agencies to deliver its commitment to Drugs Education and to deal with incidents of substance use and misuse.

5.         HOW PARENTS AND GOVERNORS ARE INVOLVED

5.1       The Headmaster takes overall responsibility for the policy and its implementation, for liaison with the Board of Governors, parents and appropriate outside agencies.

5.2       The School encourages parental involvement and this opportunity is provided by newsletters and evenings where the School shares with parents the philosophy and aims of many of its policies, including drugs and other substance abuse.

6.         REVIEW AND EVALUATION

6.1       This policy will be reviewed and evaluated at appropriate intervals to identify whether or not the aims are being met.

6.2       Action to be taken should instances involve substance misuse or supply on the premises are explained in Appendix A.  Guidance for staff is explained in Appendix B.

APPENDIX  A 

In instances involving substance use or supply on the premises and following discussion between

Staff Members who know the pupil well:

(i)         Parents will be informed at the earliest opportunity by the Headmaster.  The School and parents can then work together to support the young person involved.

(ii)        If the pupil admits to using or supplying substances on or off the premises.  Teachers will inform a Deputy Head.  The Deputy Head should then inform the Headmaster, who will inform the parents.

(iii)       There is no legal obligation to inform the Police, though they may be able to give relevant support and advice.  However a School cannot knowingly allow its premises to be used for the production or supply of any controlled drug, or the preparation or smoking of opium or cannabis.  Where it is suspected that dangerous substances are being sold on the premises, details regarding those involved, as well as, as much information as possible, will be passed to the Police.

(iv)       The School will consider each substance incident individually and recognises that variety of responses will be necessary to deal with incidents.  The School will consider very carefully the implications of any action it may take and seek to balance the interests of the pupils involved and other school members and the local community.  Permanent exclusion is seen as the normal punishment for the introduction or conveyancing or sale of drugs or other prohibitive substances.  In certain cases the Headmaster reserves the right to commute this punishment to a significant suspension.  In this eventuality there will, on no account, be given a further chance should there be another similar incident.

(v)        The Headmaster, or in his absence one of the Deputy Heads, will take responsibility for liaison with the media.  The Chairman of the Board will be kept informed of the situation.

(vi)       As the issue of substance misuse is an emotive one and is likely to generate interest from the local and national media, the School will take advice and guidance from various sources, legal and otherwise, to ensure that any reporting of incidents remains in the best interests of the young people, their families and the School.

APPENDIX  B

GUIDANCE FOR STAFF

(i)         Where a young person discloses substance misuse on the premises a member of Staff will automatically inform a Deputy Head or the Headmaster.

(ii)        Where Staff discover substances which are expected to be harmful, illegal or deserving investigation they should note two circumstances in which substances may be removed from a place or a person.

(a)  A Place

Remove the substance from where it was discovered, if possible, in the presence of a witness.  If this is not possible do not leave the substance there while you enlist the support of a colleague or pupil as a witness.  Continue with the procedure below.

(b)  A Person

When receiving or retrieving a substance from a pupil, do so, if possible, in the presence of a witness.  In the absence of a witness do not put off receiving substances or, within bounds of your professional discretion, removing suspicious substances from a pupil’s possession.

(iii)       The following guide-lines should be observed at all times.

(i)         Remove the substance and record the time, place and circumstances when the substance came into your possession.

(ii)        Do not investigate the nature of the substance but do record its approximate size and appearance.

(iii)       When possible have the recordings countersigned by a witness.

(iv)       Take the substance immediately to a Deputy Head, who will take it to the Headmaster, or place it in a locked Staff area.

(v)        Do not keep the substance on your person or in a personal place of safe keeping either in School or out of School, to do so may place you at risk.  In the presence of a Deputy Head or Headmaster place the substance in a suitable sealed container.  The Deputy Head, Headmaster, yourself, and when possible the witness, should sign and date the package.  An official report should be completed, recording the time, date and circumstances of the findings.

(vi)       The Headmaster can choose to arrange for the Police to remove the substance from the premises or may choose to dispose of it in the appropriate way.  In the event of the discovery of any equipment associated with substance use, especially needles and syringes, pupils should not be allowed to handle such items.  All equipment found must be handled by adults with utmost care.  The Headmaster will ensure that the materials are placed in a secure and rigid container to await collection by the appropriate service.