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The Trinity Handbook

Smoking, Alcohol and Substance Policy

Smoking, Alcohol and Substance Policy

Introduction

This policy document outlines the key principles and vision in terms of behaviour in school. This policy is written with reference to the Trinity Catholic School Mission Statement:

"This Catholic School will seek to educate the whole person, academically, morally, socially and spiritually through the example of Jesus Christ and the witness of committed capable teachers".(Mission Statement)

Policy development process:

We have developed this policy with input and endorsement from parents, staff, governors, children's services and pupils (school council).  It applies throughout the school, including the Sixth Form, where we expect the highest standards and example of adherence to the policy.

The Policy

Alcohol and other behaviour-altering substances are a source of great concern to the vast majority of right-minded parents.  Substance abuse can put the health, well-being and education of young people at risk.  Consequently these substances are expressly forbidden at Trinity, and it is policy that:

  • Anyone found in possession of, or under the influence of, alcohol or other substances would be formally excluded from school for the matter to be thoroughly investigated and to limit the danger to other pupils.  We will judge each incident on its individual circumstances but set down that:
    • Anyone found to be supplying illegal substances will be Permanently Excluded.
    • Anyone who had previously been found 'in possession', (or where there are reasonable grounds for suspicion that they have previously been in possession) would be Permanently Excluded.
  • Parents and/or Police will be informed where appropriate.
  • Records will be kept of all drug related incidents and these will be used to substantiate actions in relation to repeated incidents.

Please note:  The school is an investigating agency and reserves the right to deal with minor incidents internally if this will ensure an effective outcome. The school considers 'evidence' on the principle of the 'balance of probability'.

Searches

When there is reasonable suspicion that a drug (includes cigarettes, solvents and alcohol) may be involved, we will search pupils' lockers with the pupils and a witness present. We will secure pupils' personal property and ask them to turn out their pockets, bags etc.  If pupils refuse we will ask parents/carers or possibly the police to come into school to carry out the search.  We will hold property securely until pupils can be searched in line with policy.

Confidentiality

Although it is important to maintain confidentiality throughout the handling of any incident or disclosure, pupils will be made aware that complete confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.  There are some agencies within the school, such as the School Nursing Service, who may be able to grant a greater degree of confidentiality to pupils.  Pupils have been made aware of this.

Support and early intervention

We recognise that some young people may experience problems in relation to drug or alcohol use or be affected by parental use and that they may need support to address these problems so that they can ensure that the problems do not adversely affect their schooling or lead to a breaking of the school rules on possession, use or supply of drugs/alcohol.

If a young person is using illegal drugs or is abusing alcohol we strongly urge them to seek advice and support through the school nurse or the Education Link Worker for Compass Drug Services.  There is also support available through the school nurse for those affected by parental use.  These services are advertised to all pupils and parents.

Risk assessment

A risk assessment of the pupil will be undertaken by the school nurse or other trained staff member if there is a drug related incident, self referral or disclosure.  This will ensure that a fuller picture of the circumstances of the pupil is gathered and ensure that the pupil or others are not at further risk.  Where risk is identified intervention will be applied.  This information will be taken into account by the school if it is relevant for them to respond.  This will happen in addition to the sanctions imposed by the school (outlined in the first section of this document).

Cigarettes and Alcohol are both prohibited on the school premises at any time - this applies to all pupils, staff and visitors.

(Exceptions to this will be with the permission of the Headteacher and Governing Body e.g. staff retirement functions and licensed events).

Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Education

We will ensure that drug, alcohol and tobacco education will be taught as part of the planned curriculum at each key stage to enable pupils to develop the skills and understanding to make healthy and safe choices and to ensure that they understand the broad range of consequences that using substances may have on their health, liberty, life chances and ability to succeed.

Health information will be also available through the school nurse.

Medicines

Pupils should not carry any unauthorised medication in school (this includes prescribed drugs and non-prescription drugs such as painkillers) or seek to supply such drugs to another (see medicines policy for more detail).

Responsibility

If you have any enquiries about drugs issues or this policy please contact the Headteacher.


Review

This policy was adopted in June 2008. 

Review Date: July 2018