Drugs: advice for schools

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



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

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

It applies to:

  • 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 advice:

  • 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
    • liaison with the police
    • liaison with parents

It also lists further resources school staff can use to access specialist information and support on the specific issues they face.

It replaces existing guidance published in 2004.