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HELLAWELL WELCOMES NEW ANTI-DRUGS GUIDANCE FOR SCHOOLS

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Keith Hellawell, United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator, welcomed the publication of new guidance aimed at helping ...
Keith Hellawell, United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator, welcomed the publication of new guidance aimed at helping teachers to manage drug problems in schools.

The new document 'The Right Responses: Managing and Making Policy for Drug-Related Incidents in Schools', is published by the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA) and contains procedures for setting and reviewing an effective school drugs policy, provides step by step guidance on how to deal withemergencies, identifies the factors to consider when assessing the needs of a pupil and offers realistic responses to drug incidents designed to meet pupils' needs while maintaining firm boundaries for acceptable behaviour.

Speaking at the Secondary Heads Association Conference in Brighton last week, Mr Hellawell said:

'I have always stated that I wish to reduce the number of pupils permanently excluded from school for drug related incidents. In fact, drug incidents do not need to lead to negative consequences - on the contrary they can represent a spring board for school staff to tackle drugs issues and provide the support that may prevent a child from becoming caught up in the spiral of drugs misuse.

'The Government's ten year strategy 'Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain', aims to help young people resist drug misuse in order to achieve their full potential in society. The role that schools can play towards meetingthis aim is important. The strategy is being delivered as part of a partnership approach through Drug Action Teams, the Drug Prevention Advisory Service and other non-statutory bodies which offer guidance,support and co-ordination throughout England and the rest of the UK. There is particular support for schools and the role they can play in primary prevention.'

He concluded:

'This new guidance delivers sound, practical support which will help schools tackle this worrying phenomenon in the most constructive and effective way possible. Through this guidance, schools will find ways to reinforce the message that illegal drugs, alcohol, tobacco and volatile substances are unacceptable, while seeking to help the pupils involved learn from their mistakes and re-invest in their education.'

NOTES

1. The Right Responses: Managing and Making Policy for Drug-Related Incidents in Schools is published by the Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (SCODA). Schools may order the document free of charge from the DfEE Publications Unit - Prolog - tel: 0845 602 2260.

2. The Government White Paper 'Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain - A Ten Year Strategy for Tackling Drug Misuse', Cmd 3945, ISBN 0101394527, is available from the Stationery Office priced£6.50 (0171 873 0011).

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