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Drugs Policy

In St. Patrick’s we believe that the misuse of drugs endangers not only our pupils but also affects the wider community in which we live.   It is the school’s responsibility to ensure the child’s health and safety while in our care and we strive to promote their personal and social well-being.  Drug misuse undermines this and hinders the development of our pupils.  This policy forms an integral part of our existing health education and pastoral care policies and complements these policies.

RATIONALE

We recognise that young people in today’s society are exposed to the risks associated with the drug culture which exists.

St. Patrick’s wishes to promote the development of the “whole-child” which encompasses physical, mental, emotional, social and environmental health, by equipping our pupils with the knowledge, skills, attitude and values to handle their lives effectively in the present and prepare for adulthood.  Drug education therefore forms an integral part of our curriculum.

AIMS

  • To promote positive attitudes towards personal health
  • To develop self-discipline and self-respect.
  • To build pupils’ self-esteem
  • To inform pupils of the effects of drug abuse, and the risks involved
  • To develop knowledge and understanding of themselves and others as individuals.

DRUGS EDUCATION IN CONTEXT

“The purpose of a Drugs Education Programme, is to provide opportunities for young people to acquire knowledge, understanding and skills which enable them to consider the effects of drugs and other substances on themselves and on others.  It enables them to make informed and responsible decisions about the use of such substances within the context of a healthy lifestyle (DENI Misuse of Drugs –1996)”

The programme of education is integrated within the Health education programme of study.  A LIFE SKILLS approach to the awareness of drugs is essential and within the programme pupils are taught about raising self-esteem, self confidence and assertiveness to prepare them for making informed decisions about drug use, the main focus being on knowledge, social skills, attitudes and values. Parents will also have access to the programme which will be delivered to all classes within the school by the LIFE SKILLS TEAM.

In addition to the drugs education provided within the curriculum, the school offers support for pupils to explore their own attitudes and values.  This is generally done through the pastoral system within the school and the pupils are informed that confidentiality cannot always be guaranteed.

PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING ALCOHOL MISUSE

Pupils are not permitted to bring alcohol onto the premises.  Anyone breaking this rule will be referred to the principal directly.

PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING TOBACCO MISUSE

The school is a restricted environment with on one being permitted to smoke on the school premises except in the designated smoking areas.  The area is for staff  only and visitors are not permitted to smoke whilst in the building.  Adults breaking this rule will be advised by other members of staff.  Pupils breaking this rule will be referred to the principal directly. 

THE MANAGEMENT OF SOLVENTS

Pupils are not permitted to bring solvents or aerosols into school.  This includes tippex fluid, tippex thinners, glue, marker pens and spray deodorants.  Pupils are permitted to bring felt pens to school.

All members of staff are responsible for the safe storage and usage of solvents in their class.  Where possible they should be stored in a cupboard when not in use.  The caretaker and cleaners should also ensure that solvents they use are kept in a secure place.