The Management of Drug1 Related
Incidents at Aldridge School
Aldridge School is committed to tackling drug misuse
among pupils/students. Instances of possession, use or
supply of drugs on school premises will be regarded with
utmost seriousness and, depending upon individual
circumstances, can lead to permanent exclusion from the
In managing any incidents the following tenets must apply
• The welfare of all the pupils in the school is
• Parental involvement is necessary
• The requirements of the Law and local procedure
(this policy) will be upheld
Any substance which, on entering the body, changes the way that body functions
The Management of Drug Related Incidents at Aldridge School
1.0 Drug Misuse
1.1 The Government defines “Drug Misuse” as the non-medical use of drugs that
are only intended for use in medical treatment, and the use of drugs that have
no accepted medical purpose. Such drugs are controlled under the Misuse of
Drugs Act 1971. (The Act does not cover solvent misuse).
1.2 Classification of Drugs
Class A Class B Class C
Heroin, Methadone Amphetamines (speed) Mild Amphetamines
Opium, Cocaine, Barbiturates Tranquillisers
LSD Codeine DF118 (Painkillers)
Ecstasy Cannabis (all forms)
Processed Magic Mushrooms
Any Class B drug which is
1.3 The Government’s overall drugs strategy focuses on illegal drugs only and a
clear distinction must be maintained between illegal drugs and others. These
“other” substances may raise common issues.
2.0 The Law on Drugs
2.1 It is an offence under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971:
• To supply or offer to supply a controlled drug to another in contravention of
• To be in possession of, or to possess with the intent to supply another, a
controlled drug in contravention of the Act; it is a defence to the offence of
possession that, knowing or suspecting it to be a controlled drug, the
accused took possession of it for the purpose of preventing another from
committing or continuing to commit an offence and that as soon as possible
after taking possession of it he/she took all such steps as were reasonably
open to him/her to destroy the drug or to deliver it into the custody of a
person lawfully entitled to take custody of it;
• For the occupier or someone concerned in the management of any premises
knowingly to permit or suffer on those premises: the smoking of cannabis,
or the production, attempted production, supply, attempted supply, or
offering to supply any controlled drug.
3.0 Dealing with Drugs
3.1 The School will liaise closely with the local police force to ensure that there
will be agreement for dealing with any incidents which might arise involving
illegal drugs. The Headteacher will be responsible for this or a designated
member of the Senior Management Team.
3.2 The staff dealing with an incident will, wherever possible, take possession of
any substance suspected of being a controlled drug.
3.3. The school will hand the substance to the police who will be able to identify
whether it is an illegal drug; school staff should not attempt to analyse or taste
any unidentified substance.
3.4 Whenever possible any quantity of the suspected substance must be taken to a
secure place e.g. the school safe. This should be done in the presence of the
person from whom it has been taken and another adult. The suspected
substance must be placed in a sealed envelope and the details/time/quantity
should be recorded on the outside. The envelope should then be placed in the
3.5 It is open to a member of staff accompanied by another adult to search a
pupil’s desk or locker where he/she has a reasonable cause to believe it
contains unlawful items, including illegal drugs, or other substances prohibited
by school rules.
3.6 Where pupils/students are suspected of concealing illegal drugs on their
person, every effort should first be made to secure the voluntary production of
any unlawful substance, e.g. by asking them to turn out their pockets and bags
preferably in the presence of another adult. If the pupil/student refuses, the
police should be called in to deal with the situation.
3.7 Where a member of staff is told, or is aware, of possible criminal activity
outside school premises they must inform the headteacher (or designated
member of senior management team) who will inform the police, in the
interests of safeguarding the health and safety of young people in the area.
3.8 All incidents involving illegal drugs must be reported to the headteacher.
3.9 The headteacher will retain the responsibility for deciding how to respond to
particular incidents involving illegal drugs. The headteacher will consider
each incident individually and recognise that a variety of responses may be
necessary. The implications of any action taken will be considered very
The following has been provided and will contribute to, but not constrain, the
headteacher’s decision making:
• the substance known/admitted?
• the substance legal? If not, into which category does it fall?
• there any intention to supply to others?
• the quantity such that it could only be for personal use by the
• the possessor of previous good conduct?
Summary of responses available
1. Confiscation of the substance.
2. Involving parents
3. Offering counselling
4. Referral to Health Education Unit/Coordinator
5. Institute disciplinary procedures
6. Inform the police of any relevant information
3.10 Taking into consideration the above and the individual circumstance of each
case the school will institute disciplinary proceedings within the context of
- Statement of Shared Values
- Rewards and Sanctions Policy
- Whole School Behaviour Policy
- Circular 10/99 (as revised) on exclusions.
Accordingly, infringement of the school standards by involvement in a drug-
related incident(s) will be regarded as a serious breach of the school’s
behaviour and discipline policies, for which the school reserves the right if
considered appropriate in all the circumstances to implement permanent
exclusion even for “one-off” events. Revised guidance of Circular 10/99
Social Inclusion: pupil support indicates that permanent exclusion is normally
appropriate for cases of drug dealing/supplying (including selling, offering and
distributing to other pupils) even on the first occasion and for repeated
instances of possession.
In the interests of safeguarding the education and/or welfare of all the pupils of
the school, there is zero tolerance of drug dealing/supplying (including selling,
offering and distributing to other pupils). Accordingly, save in exceptional
circumstances, any pupil will be permanently excluded from the school for
drug dealing/supplying. A pupil may also be permanently excluded for
repeated instances of possession or use of drugs on the school premises.
4.0 Signs of Drug Misuse or Substance Misuse
4.1 Early detection of drugs misuse is extremely important. If a young person’s
drug misuse is identified at an early stage, it is easier for action to be taken to
prevent further misuse of drugs. Teachers and non-teaching staff, should be
alert to the warning signs which may indicate that a pupil is misusing
drugs. Teachers need to be particularly vigilant when they are in charge of
activities which take groups away from the school premises.
4.2 Some of the main signs which may be associated with drug misuse are
summarised in Table 1, 2 and 3. The presence of these signs alone is not
conclusive proof of drug or solvent misuse; many of them are part of normal
adolescence. All incidents must be reported initially to the House
5.0 Dealing with Non-illegal substances (e.g. Alcohol, Solvents, Cigarettes,
5.1 The precepts which underpin the schools approach to illegal substances also
apply to the use/misuse of other substances.
6.0 The school will act in these cases within the letter and spirit of relevant
legislation but will work in partnership with parents and other agencies as
necessary from the outset.
Referral procedure for dealing with substance use/misuse problems
(This covers legal substances such as Tobacco, Alcohol, Solvents, Medicines and
Illegal substances such as Cannabis, Amphetamines, Ecstasy, LSD etc)
Suspected Drugs related
incident has occurred
Is the young person/people conscious, intoxicated
Is the young person/people unconscious? NO or high?
Make sure they do not wander off and injure
• Stay calm
themselves, sit them in a quiet well ventilated
• Place casualty in recovery position, loosen
room. Do not shout, threaten them or attempt
deep discussions about drug use. Talk quietly
• Dial 999 ambulance. and calmly, if distressed, calm and reassure
• Collect any evidence of what has been them, if necessary administer first aid.
taken e.g. pills, syringes, vomit material
Talk, arrange to talk about their drug use
(see Do’s and Don’ts advice)
Is the young person/people in possession of suspected NO Follow school drug policy procedure
illegal substances? regarding : Discipline procedure, parental
involvement, counselling and support.
Seize and hold substance in a safe place. Contact West
Midlands Drug Squad for information and advice or
destroy in presence of witness. Consider informing : Young Person’s
Parent/Guardian. West Midlands
Record action taken. Follow school drug policy/ Police, Governors – LEA follow
procedure regarding: Discipline/Exclusion Procedure, school drug policy procedure
Parental involvement counselling and support. regarding: Discipline/Exclusion,
YES Seek advice from Drug/Health
Was the decision taken to destroy the substance? Education Adviser
If Police informed is prosecution to follow?
Depending upon circumstances it
YES is possible to use this flowchart
with different points of entry.
Consider – internal responses to staff, pupils, governors,
parents, support services, legal aspects, support
structures, media responses, prevention programme.
Adapted from City of Liverpool Guidelines to Dealing with drug related issues.
Table 1 - Warning Signs in Individuals
• Changes in attendance, and being unwilling to take part in school activities.
• Decline in performance in school work.
• Unusual outbreaks of temper, marked swings of mood, restlessness or irritability.
• Reports from parents that more time is being spent away from home, possibly
with new friends or with friends in older age groups.
• Excessive spending or borrowing of money.
• Stealing money or goods.
• Excessive tiredness without obvious cause.
• No interest in physical appearance.
• Sores or rashes especially on the mouth or nose.
• Lack of appetite.
• Heavy use of scents, colognes etc. to disguise the smell of drugs.
• Wearing sunglasses at inappropriate times (to hide dilated or constricted pupils).
Table 2 - Warning Signs in Groups
• Regular absence on certain days.
• Keeping at a distance from other pupils, away from supervision points (e.g. groups
who frequently gather near the gate of a school playground or sports field).
• Being the subject of rumours about drug taking.
• Talking to strangers on or near the premises.
• Stealing which appears to be the work of several individuals rather than one
person (e.g. perhaps to shoplift solvents).
• Use of drugtakers’ slang.
• Exchanging money or other objects in unusual circumstances.
• Associating briefly with one person who is much older and not normally part of
the peer group.
Table 3 - Objects that may indicate Drug Misuse
• Foil containers or cup shapes made from silver foil, perhaps discoloured by heat.
• Metal tins.
• Spoons discoloured by heat.
• Pill boxes.
• Plastic, cellophane or metal foil wrappers.
• Small plastic or glass phials or bottles.
• Twists of paper.
• Sugar lumps.
• Syringes and needles.
• Cigarette papers and lighters.
• Spent matches.
• Plastic bags or butane gas containers (solvent abuse).
• Cardboard or other tubes (heroin).
• Stamps, stickers, transfers or similar items.
• Shredded cigarettes, home-rolled cigarettes and pipes (cannabis).
• Paper (about 2 inches square) folded to form an envelope (heroin).
(Tables 1, 2 and 3 are adapted form Liverpool Education Authority and TACADE