Supporting schools to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people
Toggle menu

Guiding principles for an ideal ‘drop-in’ 

Guiding principle



The ‘drop-in’ will comply with the principles of equality and diversity, regardless of colour, race, colour or ethnic origin, language, religion or belief, gender or gender reassignment, marital status, sexuality, disability, age, or any illness or infection.


The ‘drop-in’ organisers will take into account the links between physical health, mental and emotional well-being, social development and life experiences, enabling young people to discuss issues affecting their well-being in a safe environment.


A multi-professional method of work based on respect for the competence of different professions is essential within the ‘drop-in’ which will facilitate a holistic view and work collaboratively across relevant agencies and with young people and their parents.

Responsive to need

The ‘drop-in’ will develop to meet young people’s needs.

School community

The ‘drop-in’ has the full commitment of the school community and its partner agencies. The whole school community is aware of its role, purpose and value within the school.

User friendly

The ‘drop-in’ targets and tailors its services to meet the needs of young people, developed in consultation with young people.


The ‘drop-in’ encourages young people’s access by respecting their right to confidentiality, whilst making it clear that absolute confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Young people understand that if they are at risk of serious harm others may need to be involved in order to help them and keep them safe. Young people are always encouraged, but cannot be obliged, to talk to their parents/carers about any concerns or worries they may have.


Everyone involved in providing the ‘drop-in’ must have received appropriate child protection training to ensure they can recognise child protection concerns. They should know who to talk to and know what to do if they have a child protection concern about any child or young person.


The ‘drop-in’ will work to enable young people’s acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding associated with personal well-being and social development.


The ‘drop-in’ will enable young people to recognise the choices they can make, then to make informed decisions, strengthening their ability to act and take responsibility for themselves.


The ‘drop-in’ will increase awareness about both health issues and sources of advice, guidance and information about well-being. Insights gained can later link to the development and planning of the PSHEE curriculum in the school.

Reflective practice

Reflective practice provides systems to monitor and evaluate regularly, enabling planned development and sustainability. Planning, evaluation and development will take place with the involvement of young people.


Amended from: Developing On-site Sexual Health Services in Secondary Education: A resource pack, by Lucy Emmerson, National Children’s Bureau, 2009.