Drugs: advice for schools

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


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