Drugs: advice for schools

Guidance for school leaders and staff on managing drugs, drug-related incidents within schools and pastoral support for pupils.

Applies to England


DfE and ACPO drug advice for schools


This guidance, produced jointly with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), is for:

  • school leaders
  • school staff
  • governing bodies
  • local authorities

It applies to:

  • local-authority-maintained schools
  • academies and free schools
  • pupil referral units
  • non-maintained special schools
  • independent schools
  • sixth-form colleges

It may also be useful for:

  • further education and community settings
  • parents
  • school nurses and other health professionals who help with drug issues
  • police and local agencies working with individual schools to prevent drug misuse among pupils

This guidance:

  • answers some of the most common questions raised by school staff about drugs
  • explains the relevant powers and duties schools have in relation to:
    • powers to search for and confiscate drugs
    • working with the police
    • working with parents
  • includes information to help and support pupils

Pupil referral units provide education for vulnerable children unable to attend a mainstream school.

Published 10 September 2012