Drugs and alcohol (pupils or parents)
What is drug/alcohol misuse?
Solihull Local Safeguarding Board use the following definition of substance misuse in their Joint Services protocol re. Families and Children Affected by Substance Misuse:
Substance misuse is the use of or dependence on a substance leading to social, psychological, physical or legal effects that are detrimental to the individual or others. Substance use includes prescribed and non-prescribed, legal and illegal substances including alcohol.
Clearly both drug and alcohol this may have implications with regard to parenting capacity in adults and a range of concerning issues for children and young people.
The latest advice from Government is the 2012 Department for Education and ACPO Drug Advice for Schools. Schools are advised that as a minimum, there should be:
- early access to support for pupils with drug or alcohol issues (or affected by family use);
- a written drugs policy available to all staff; and
- a senior member of staff with responsibility for policy and liaising with the local police and support services.
It is also made clear that a school’s response to drugs and alcohol is most effective when:
- it is supported by the whole school community;
- drug education is part of a well-planned programme of PSHE education delivered in a supportive environment, where pupils are aware of the school rules, feel able to engage in open discussion and feel confident about asking for help if necessary; and
- staff have access to high quality training and support.
Searching, screening and confiscation: advice for schools – DfE advice explaining the powers schools have to screen and search pupils and to confiscate items may be of pertinence where pupils are suspected of possessing items that may compromise their safety or that of others.
For further support with reviewing policy and developing effective practice please see Solihull’s Health and Wellbeing website.
Potential school support
Following the notification or disclosure of actual or suspected drug/alcohol misuse (own or that of parent/carer/friend) by a young person to an adult in school, the following actions should be considered:
- School follows its Managing Substance Related Incidents policy once drug/alcohol misuse is disclosed or discovered. School Behaviour (when considering sanctions) and Safeguarding (a MASH referral may be appropriate) policies may also be of relevance
- Establish and implement a Pupil Support Plan if appropriate
- School may identify children and young people who are potentially vulnerable to drug/alcohol misuse and plan targeted interventions addressing risk management skills and approaches
- An Early Help Assessment may be appropriate for some children and young people in order to meet need
- Create a support plan with the parent/carer for action to be taken if that parent/carer arrives at school under the influence of drugs/alcohol
- Staff awareness raising about the impact/signs/ways of supporting children & young people experiencing problematic drug/alcohol misuse
- Training is offered to Solihull schools and information/links are published on the Health and Wellbeing in Solihull Schools website
Curriculum (Universal provision through planned PSHE and Science)
- High quality PSHE which includes appropriate learning around drugs and alcohol. (See Mentor-Adepis for further support)
- Statutory elements of the Science Curriculum in maintained schools covering how the impact of drugs and lifestyle on how the body functions
- Opportunities within a range of curriculum areas to explore risk, risky behaviour and why such behaviour might occur e.g. literacy texts
- Opportunities to learn about and develop ‘protective behaviours’ i.e. listening to what your body is telling you when something feels wrong, no problem is too big, small or awful to be shared with a trusted adult
Updates and changes
These pages are updated regularly and should be used as the main source of information. Printed versions should be used with care as they can become out of date.