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Schools can have a key role in identifying pupils at risk of drug misuse.
The process of identifying pupil needs should aim to distinguish those who:
Schools will be alert to behaviour which might indicate that the child is experiencing difficult home circumstances. Most are proactive in the early identification of children’s and young people’s needs, and in safeguarding the children in their care.
Screening is important in assessing needs. Where problems are observed or suspected, or if a child chooses to disclose that there are difficulties at home, and it is not deemed a safeguarding issue, the school will follow the procedures set out in its drug policy.
This policy should include protocols for assessing the pupil’s welfare and support needs and when and how to involve other sources of support for the child, such as:
Schools need to have regard to issues of confidentiality (although staff cannot promise total confidentiality to pupils).
More information on confidentiality can be found on this page, in the Department publication: Working together to safeguard children (March 2010).
The minimum age for smoking is 18 and schools are subject to the same smoke free legislation as other premises.
In most schools:
Children and young people should understand the non-smoking policy.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) have developed guidance on school based interventions to prevent the uptake of smoking amongst young people.
Some pupils may require medicines that have been prescribed for their medical condition during the school day. More detailed information can be found in Managing Medicines in Schools and Early Years Settings.
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