Drugs Education

Our drugs education policy was most recently updated in September 2018 and can be viewed here.

 Definition and Terminology

Definition - What is a Drug?

A drug is a substance which, when taken into the body, changes the way we feel, the way we see things and the way our bodies work.

This policy covers a range of drugs including medicines, tobacco, alcohol, solvents and illegal drugs. In line with both national advice and local guidelines, it covers drugs misuse by pupils and adults.


Riverside CP School is committed to the health and safety of everyone here and we will work together with parents and the local community to enable pupils to make healthy, informed choices and to discourage the misuse of drugs.

As part of Riverside School’s care and welfare of its pupils, we believe we have a duty to inform and educate children about drug use. Drugs are a reality in children’s lives and schools share responsibility with parents and the community to educate pupils about the risks and consequences of drug use and misuse and to encourage them to make healthy, informed choices by increasing knowledge, challenging attitudes and practising skills. We also believe that the misuse of any drugs by members of the school community cannot be condoned and will be dealt with fairly, consistently and clearly with regard to the needs of the school and the individuals concerned. Fundamental to the school’s values and practice is the principle of sharing the responsibility for the education of children with parents, keeping them informed and involved at all times. Effective communication and co-operation is essential to the successful


  • To clarify appropriate procedures in the management of drug related incidents
  • To develop a whole-school approach to drug education in the context of the Science curriculum and the Personal, Social, and Health Education programme.
  • To explore attitudes and develop skills in making decisions about drugs.
  • To have a clear and agreed understanding within the school community about the implications and possible consequences of drug use.
  • To contribute towards establishing an environment in which the school is free from the misuse of any drugs.


Roles and responsibilities


Ensure policy effectiveness and review



The Head Teacher will be responsible for co-ordinating the management of drug-related incidents, offering sources of support and liaising with outside agencies.

PSHEe Co-ordinator

  • will advise on the necessary updates and check that policy and practice conform



  • have a duty to report any issues relating to drugs/alcohol/tobacco

Parents / carers

  • have a duty to report any issues relating to drugs/alcohol/tobacco
  • must support the school over any incidents involving their child


A designated member of staff and the whole staff team

  • have a duty to report any issues relating to drugs/alcohol/tobacco
  • must ensure appropriate curriculum coverage for drugs/alchohol/tobacco within the PSHCE and science curriculum they deliver



  • will ensure the safety of legitimate substances in school
  • report any findings of drug/alcohol/tobacco and/or related equipment to the HT
  • check the school grounds on a regular basis

External agencies

  • will be contacted where necessary for support and advice


Young people’s drug and alcohol support services

  • will be contacted where necessary for support and advice

Section Two –Planned drug education curriculum, staff training and work with external agencies


Aims and objectives of drug education

All pupils will follow a drug education programme that is responsive to their needs and relevant to their age, experience and maturity. It will be delivered through the PSHE curriculum programme. It will focus on the development of self-esteem and decision making skills. Content is reviewed by PSHE leader and mapped against current requirements, keeping up to date via NYCC network meetings.

Teaching programme, methodology and resources

Within the school’s PSHE  programme, the role of pupils in supporting each other and responding safely and effectively to emergencies including drug-related incidents is made clear in a manner appropriate to the age and stage of development of each child.(see PSHE and Citizenship entitlement framework)

Aims of drug education

To give pupils information about drugs and help them develop the skills and attitudes to make healthy and safe decisions about drugs, alcohol, tobacco and medicines

To achieve this, our drug education programme will help pupils:

  • gain knowledge and understanding about the effects and risks and dangers of drugs
  • correct myths and misunderstandings
  • develop skills to make informed decisions, including communication, self-awareness, negotiation,
  • find information, help and advice, helping others and managing situations involving drugs
  • develop skills to manage situations involving drugs including assessing and avoiding risks, assertiveness and refusal skills and helping others
  • explore their own and other peoples’ attitudes to drugs, drug use and drug users, including challenging stereotypes and dispelling myths and exploring media and social influences

Where is it taught in the curriculum?

Teaching about drugs, alcohol and tobacco is taught through PSHE and citizenship and in Science where it is required in the National Curriculum.


What is taught?

We reflect the requirements and guidance in the science national curriculum, the non-statutory framework for PSHE and citizenship and the content suggested in NYCC’s PSHE and Citizenship scheme of work.


Key Stage1 focuses on what are safe and unsafe substances, what medicines are, why people take them and how to take them safely, being ill and getting better and what to do if someone persuades you to take something dangerous

Key Stage 2 focuses on what a drug is, the effects and risks of drugs including tobacco and alcohol, managing peer influences and resisting pressure to take risks and be able to make safe decisions.

Our curriculum ensures that we are covering both the statutory requirement in science to teach Year 6 to recognise the impact of drugs on the way their bodies function and the non-statutory science guidance to teach Year 6 how some drugs and other substances can be harmful to the human body and the relationship between diet, exercise, drugs, lifestyle and health.

The PSHE and citizenship scheme of work shows what is taught in each Year group.  Drug education focuses on knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes and the teaching programme ensures that there is progression from reception to Year 6 with topics and issues included which are appropriate to the age and maturity of pupils.

How it is taught (including involving outside contributors)

A wide range of active teaching methods are used that enable pupils to learn skills to be safe and healthy, discuss their views, explore their own and other peoples’ attitudes and values about drugs, as well as learn key information about the effects and risks of drugs and practice skills to stay safe if involved in a drug-related situation. Such activities include role play, discussions, debates, case studies, quizzes, research and games. Pupils work individually, in pairs, in small groups and with the whole class, mixing up so that they experience working with lots of different pupils in the class, as well as in friendship groups.

All classes establish clear ground rules to ensure that pupils discuss opinions with respect and listen to one another as well as ensuring that pupils and teachers do not disclose personal information.

Drug education is taught by the class teacher and sometimes involves other professionals. It is also an element of the Y6 visit to ‘Crucial Crew’.


Assessing, monitoring, evaluating and reviewing Drug Education

should involve all staff, PSHE lead, HT and Governors


Section Three  – Managing drug-related incidents which includes identifying sources of support for pupils and alternatives to exclusions

What to do in the event of finding a drug or suspected illegal substance

Procedures (see below for details)

N.B.   these could  Include tobacco, alcohol, solvents, correction fluids, aerosols, pills medicine, controlled drugs etc

Medicines - The school has a policy and procedure for the administration of medicines that must be followed for everyone’s safety.(see separate policy)

Tobacco - the whole school and school grounds are designated No-Smoking areas.

Alcohol - no alcohol will be consumed during the course of a normal school day.

Solvents - the school will ensure that potentially harmful substances are stored safely, and pupils supervised carefully in the event of them having to be used in the course of their work. The use of aerosol deodorants is not permitted because of the potential risks to people with asthma or other bronchial problems.

Illegal Substances - no illegal substances should be brought to school or used on school premises or at formal or informal events organised by the school.

What to do in the event of finding or suspecting a pupil is in possession of a drug

N.B.   Including tobacco, alcohol, solvents, correction fluids, aerosols, pills medicine, controlled drugs etc

Any member of staff who suspects a pupil of being involved in a drugs-related incident must report the matter immediately to the Headteacher, who will ensure that the correct procedures are followed

If a pupil is found to be in possession of drugs or drug-related equipment on school premises, the parents/guardians will be informed immediately and will be asked to attend the school as a matter of urgency. In such a case, the school will also inform the Police in line with the authority policy

  • equipment if open to view. (You do not have a right to search).
  • Remind pupils of the school’s policy on the use of alcohol and other drugs and on confidentiality - need to pass on the information to relevant sources (parents/guardians/Social Services / police etc.)
  • Summon medical support if drugs have been consumed.
  • Record the facts and store in a safe place and disclose on a need to know basis.
  • If confronted by the media refer to Head Teacher. Do not be drawn into a conversation.
  • Do not identify individuals to others - even other members of staff. The Head Teacher holds the responsibility for appropriate dissemination of information.


If in any doubt about a pupil’s medical safety

  1. Send for an ambulance.
  2. Arrange for an appropriate adult to accompany pupil(s) to hospital.
  3. Make sure the Head Teacher is contacted.
  4. Seek assistance from another member of staff.
  • Arrange for safe removal of drugs and/or drug equipment in accordance with set procedure. To be retained as evidence.
  • Invite parents to school.
  • Arrange interview of pupil(s) when recovered.
  • After investigation, consider further action including exclusion and referral to support agencies.
  • Provide feedback to staff involved in the incident.

What NOT TO DO in responding to a drug-related incident.

  • Do not ask leading questions of the pupil/s involved.
  • Do not interrogate or accuse.
  • Do not assume guilt.
  • Do not detain a pupil in a locked room or provide no access to food or drink.
  • Do not remove or search personal belongings or conduct a body search.
  • Do not pledge secrecy or keep drug related incidents to yourself.
  • Do not rely on memory – make a note of the facts of the incident.
  • Do not identify – to a third party individuals or information, prejudiced to individual pupils staff or the school


Searching and Confiscation

see above

Procedures for managing a pupil suspected to be under the influence of a drug or substance. 

see also above guidelines re possession

  • Stay calm
  • Send for Head Teacher
  • Ask for facts.
  1. What drugs are involved?
  2. Have they been consumed?
  3. By whom?
  4. How much has been taken?
  5. Has anyone else also taken the drugs?

Isolate from others but do not leave the pupil alone. Confiscate the drugs.

Sanctions of appropriate severity will be applied in the event of intentional misuse of any of the substances described above by any member of the school community on the school premises or while on school activities, trips and visits.

Sanctions, up to and including exclusion will be applied for: -

  • Possession of any illegal drug with the suspected intention to misuse
  • Misuse of drugs on school premises
  • Supplying/dealing drugs for the purposes of misuse



Procedures for managing a parent/carer suspected to under the influence of a substance when collecting their child(ren) and parental use of substances.

Refer to headteacher; senior member of staff on site


Suspected drug use off the school premises.

Sanctions of appropriate severity will be applied in the event of intentional misuse of any of the substances described above by any member of the school community on the school premises or while on school activities, trips and visits.


When to contact the police

The Headteacher will determine when to contact police for advice/involvement.



Investigating and supporting a drug-related incident

see above


Responses to a drug related incident

see above


Exclusion for drug-related incidents

see above


Recording Drug-related incidents

Use of school incident/concern forms


This policy will be evaluated and reviewed on a two year basis. Next review date


September 2018



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Contact Us

General queries to:
Mrs J Coates/Mrs J Kavanagh/Mrs V Scoot/Mrs Bain-Mackay - School Administrators
Mrs S Borradaile - School Business Manager

sampleTel:  01937 832 899

sampleEmail us here

Wetherby Road, Tadcaster
North Yorkshire LS24 9JN


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