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SCHOOL DRUG PROBLEMS - WELSH MEASURES

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The Welsh assembly has issued a statement following the ...
The Welsh assembly has issued a statement following the announcementby the education minister in England on measures to tackle drug problems in schools.

Line on action being taken in England:

1. No plans in Wales to make the video available to schools.

2. Guidance in Wales (circular 3/99) is currently under review. Following the Disaffection Conference in Swansea last autumn the minister has decided to commission some 'task and finish' groups to address specific issues - substance misuse will be one of the areas .

3. Next month we will be launching our new circular on substance misuse education. The circular Substance Misuse: Children and Young People' gives guidance to teachers and youth workers and people involved in voluntary youth organisations on:

* drawing up a substance misuse policy

* good practice on teaching children and young people about the dangers of substance misuse

* guidance on dealing with incidents of substance misuse

Background

Our current guidance on Permanent exclusions states that a decision to exclude a child permanently should be taken only:

- in response to very serious breaches of a school's discipline policy. It would be up to the school but I think most schools would judge drug dealing to be a serious matter.

On substance misuse it says that exclusion should not automatically be seen as the first and only option. Permanent exclusion may be a necessary response in some cases. In other cases, fixed term exclusions may be more appropriate. Whatever course of action is embarked upon schools need to ensure that the needs of the individuals is taken into account. It is for school's to decide what action to take based on their own school's Policy on Substance Misuse. Exclusion should be seen as only one of many responses.

Our guidance contains the remit of the appeal panel. The appeal panel must take into account all relevant factors. When considering their decision, the appeal panel must also consider the broader interests of those in the school. It does not contain guidance specifically on drug dealing.

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