NPS and School Policy

Most children and young people will go through life without being involved in any incident involving substance misuse. However, substances are readily available and accessible within communities and it is good practice for schools to prepare for managing incidents involving legal and illegal substances.

“Working Together to Reduce Harm” published by the National Government in 2008 sets the agenda for action on substance misuse from 2008 to 2018. One of the main aims of this strategy is to help children and young people resist substance misuse and to delay the age that children and young people start drinking.

The Welsh Government Guidance document, Guidance for substance misuse education, Guidance documentation 107/2013 recommends key points for consideration by schools in order to achieve this aim. There is an imperative for schools to have an effective policy to address substance misuse issues. The school’s policy document which sets out the procedures for managing an incident should be clear about what actions are taken by whom and when.

The policy should provide:

  • A rationale in relation to substance misuse which should express the approach and attitude to substance misuse held by the organisation
  • An outline of SME identifying what is to be covered, when, how and by whom. This should include detail of how SME:
    • Delivers the requirements of the school curriculum for Wales/YouthWork curriculum.
    • Links to the All Wales School Liaison Core Programme
    • Will be differentiated / targeted to meet the needs of particular groups
    • Fits into the wider approach of the local authority/CSP/SMAPB
    • Ensure that action taken is consistent with other policies of the organisation that relate to criminal or potentially criminal acts e.g. School Crime Beat Protocol, theft, fighting.

Which will:

  • reduce the impact of the incident on children and young people
  • keep from harm those who use substances

Appropriate and consistent responses need to be followed in instances where there are incidents involving children and young people and substances.