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Drug Education

Drug education is a statutory part of RSHE and the science curriculum for schools in England and is usually delivered as part of PSHE education

The definition of 'drugs' used by schools includes all over the counter and prescription medicines, all legal drugs including tobacco, alcohol, volatile substances and all illegal drugs.

The aim of drug education is to provide planned and structured learning opportunities for pupils to develop their knowledge, skills and attitudes about all drugs and appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, relating this to their own and others’ actions.

Evidence demonstrates that effective drug education delivered by teachers trained to use normative, life-skills based approaches, supported by parental and community involvement contributes to reduced substance misuse and improved outcomes.

Schools have an important role to play in tackling drug misuse, by providing drug education and wider support to all pupils. Schools also have a role in identifying pupils vulnerable to or affected by drug misuse so that those who need extra help either receive it in school or through links to other services. Some pupils, including young carers, may be affected by parental drug use. 

  • All schools should provide drug education, delivered by trained teachers, within a planned PSHE education curriculum which is developmental and appropriate to the age, ability and needs of pupils.
  • All schools should have a range of responses and procedures for managing drug incidents.
  • All schools should have a drug policy which sets out the school’s role in relation to all drug matters – both the content and organisation of drug education, and the management of drugs within school boundaries.

Support for those working in and with schools, to address issues relating to drugs is available as part of PSHE support

As well as a focus on effective drug education, within PSHE, Wiltshire Healthy Schools helps schools implement a whole school approach to addressing the drug related needs of children and young people.

There are many national PSHE programmes of study and drug education resources that are avilable to help schools deliver drug education. 

Over the last 10 years there have been significant falls both locally and nationally in the numbers of young people using drugs, as well as improvements in the number of schools implementing drug policies.