Drugs And Substances Policies



This policy has been authorised by the Principal and is available to parents and Students on request.   The policy relates to the misuse of controlled drugs and other substances and applies to all Students at Ashbourne College ( College).  It applies at all times whether or not the Student is in the care of the College.  The procedures and sanctions may be adapted as appropriate to meet the policy aims and the circumstances of each case.  Certain of the procedures can only be carried out during term time.  There is a separate policy for staff.

Drugs and substances

These expressions refer to the possession, use and supply of controlled drugs and the paraphernalia of drugs or substances intended to resemble drugs, or “legal” drugs which can be obtained from a chemist shop, performance enhancing drugs, anabolic steroids, glue and other substances held or supplied in each case for purposes of misuse.

Prohibited items

This expression refers to the possession, use and supply of controlled drugs as defined in section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.


This policy can be read with the College’s policies on behaviour, health and safety, child protection and the administration of medicine  and DfES guidance Drugs: Guidance for Schools.


This policy can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required.

Aims and policy


The central aim of this policy is to keep drugs out of the College.  We aim to do so by means of education, pastoral care, detection of users and a sanctions policy.


We educate the Students to understand that the use of illegal drugs is or may be a criminal offence and will be harmful to their health, integrity, independence, opportunities and careers and will damage the society in which they live.  We educate during personal tutoring sessions and by example, by discussion and, occasionally by means of lectures from people such as doctors, lawyers, the police and reformed addicts.

Middle School

Students in the Middle School follow a programme of PSHE during which contains a module on drugs education.

Parents’ Responsibility

Every parent should read through and discuss the Drugs and Substances Policy with the ir son/daughter.  The College encourages open discussion between parents and Students so that parents are aware of the issues and pressures facing their son/daughter.


Every complaint or report of involvement with drugs and substances will be followed up and investigated.  A Student suspected of involvement with drugs and substances may be suspended. 

Sanction for supplying

ANYONE SUPPLYING DRUGS MUST EXPECT TO BE EXPELLED IMMEDIATELY even if s/he is about to sit public examinations. 

Sanction for possession or use

Anyone possessing or using drugs MUST ALSO EXPECT TO BE EXPELLED but in exceptional cases, a supportive regime (see Appendix 1) may be offered as an alternative to expulsion.  The Principal is not obliged to offer a supportive regime.

Pastoral care

Pastoral care

We encourage the Students to discuss their anxieties about drugs or substances in confidence with a member of staff or the College counsellor.  Matters brought into counselling by a Student or his/her parents, in circumstances that are genuine, will be “ring-fenced” from disciplinary sanctions or adverse report but a Student suspected of involvement with drugs or substances outside this context will face the full disciplinary consequences.


The member of staff who oversees and co-ordinates drugs issues is Lee Kirby.  His role is Director of Studies. 


Education about drugs is aimed primarily at students in the Middle School.  Drug education is included in the College’s PSHE programme .  Drugs issues are also raised in Science and Drama (where appropriate) .  Key objectives include the effect of drugs on the body, behaviour and relationships.

Evaluation of drug education

The Director of Studies will carry out an annual evaluation of the effectiveness of drug education in the College.


If Parents attending College premises appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they will be asked to leave and the member of staff making the request should refer the matter to the College’s Designated Person for child protection/safeguarding.  If a member of staff suspects that a parent has driven or will drive whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the member of staff should report the matter to the Designated Person or a member of the senior management team who may telephone the Police.  If the Designated Person reasonably believes that a student is at immediate risk of harm from a parent who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the student will not be released into the care of the parent until appropriate measures have been taken.  These may include involving another member of the family, social services or the police.


Students living in accommodation provided by Ashbourne are expected to abide by the rules in regard to drugs and substances of the host family or hostel at which they reside.

Searches for drugs, substances and related paraphernalia

Informed consent

Before any search is undertaken consent will usually be sought from parents or from the Student if s/he is of sufficient maturity and understanding.  The member of staff leading the search will determine whether or not the student is able to provide this consent and may request the additional opinion of a medically qualified member of staff if required.  If the student refuses consent, s/he will be asked to say why s/he has refused.  The College will be entitled to draw inferences from his or her response and general demeanour and the police may be informed.  If a parent refuses consent, the College may draw inferences from the student’s general demeanour and the police may be informed.

Searches without consent

In relation to alcohol and prohibited items as defined in Section 2 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, the Principal, and staff authorised by the Principal, may search a Student or a Student’s possessions, without their consent, where they have reasonable grounds for suspecting that a Student has a prohibited item in their possession.

Searches generally

If staff believe a Student possesses or has stored drugs or substances it may be appropriate for a member of staff to carry out:

a search of outer clothing ; and/or

a search of College property, e.g. Students’ lockers or desks; and/or

a search of personal property (e.g. bag or pencil case within a locker)

Searches will be conducted in such a manner as to minimise embarrassment or distress.  Any search of a Student or their possessions will be carried out in the presence of the Student and another member of staff.

Where a Student is searched, the searcher and the second member of staff present will be the same gender as the Student.

Prohibited items: Where the Principal, or a staff member authorised by the Principal, finds anything which they have reasonable grounds for suspecting is a prohibited item, they may seize, retain and dispose of that item.

Police involvement


If the College seizes a controlled drug, the drug may be destroyed if there is good reason to do so.  Otherwise the College will deliver it to the police as soon as reasonably practicable.  In all other cases, the School may decide to request the involvement of the police from the outset. If the police suspect that a student possesses or has stored drugs, substances or related paraphernalia, the police may elect to investigate using their own procedures or may pass the matter back to the College to investigate.

Contacting the Police

The College may use its discretion to decide whether Police involvement is appropriate.    

Liaison Officer

The College’s police liaison officer is Lee Kirby. His contact details are 0207 937 3858; lee.kirby@ashbournecollege.co.uk  and are also available on the College’s website.

Testing for drugs

Urine sample

If, outside the context of confidential counselling, there is reason to suspect that a Student has been involved with drugs or substances, s/he may be asked to supply, under medical supervision, a urine sample for analysis.

The reason for this policy is:

to deter the use of drugs and substances;

to identify users;

to absolve those who have been wrongly suspected.

Reason to suspect use of illegal drugs may arise as a result of information or a complaint received or because of a Student’s behaviour.

Informed consent

The relevant consent to a drugs test is that of the Student rather than the parents, even if the Student is under 16 years of age, provided s/he is of sufficient maturity and understanding and gives his/her informed consent in writing.  The member of staff leading the search will determine whether or not the student is able to provide this consent and may request the additional opinion of a medically qualified member of staff.

Notifying parents

Reasonable endeavours will be made, before a urine sample is taken, to notify a parent, guardian or education guardian of the requirement for a urine sample and the reasons for that requirement.

Medical supervision

The urine sample will be taken under medical supervision .  A member of the College staff will be present. All due care will be taken to respect the Student’s privacy and human rights.


If a Student refuses to provide a urine sample s/he will be asked to say why s/he has refused.  The College will be entitled to draw inferences from his/her response and general demeanour and the police may be informed.  If a parent’s consent is required and they refuse to consent to their son/daughter providing a urine sample, the College may draw inferences from the Student’s general demeanour and the police may be informed.

Testing procedures

These will be in accordance with standard good practice:
care will be taken (including the careful measurement of the urine temperature) to make as certain as possible that the sample provided is genuine and uncontaminated;
the urine sample will be poured into two clean sample bottles which will be sealed and labelled immediately in the Student’s presence.  The bottles will then be placed in an appropriate envelope;

the supervisor will organise the paperwork.  The donor will be asked to sign various seals and documents which confirm that the specimens are his/hers.  The donor will also be asked to sign a form which signifies that s/he has been satisfied with the collection procedure and gives consent for the results of the test being made available to the Principal;

the forms and one sample will then be sent immediately and securely for testing.

Medical record

The outcome of the test, whether positive or negative, will not form part of the Student’s permanent medical record.


When the College receives the laboratory report:
reasonable attempts will be made to notify a parent by telephone;

if the result is negative, the second sample will be destroyed immediately;

if the result is positive, the second sample will be made available for independent analysis.


Sensitive personal information about Students is disclosed only on a “need to know” basis with careful attention to Students’ rights and needs.

Subsequent action


The College will treat a positive test, although not infallible, as evidence that the Student has been using drugs.  A meeting will be arranged at which:
the Student will be asked to attend a meeting with the Principal (or, in his absence, one of his deput ies ) with his/her parents or a member of the College staff chosen by him/her to assist him/her;

the evidence of the positive sample and all other relevant evidence will be put to the Student and s/he will be invited to respond;

his/her response will be heard and considered and further enquiries will be made if necessary;

the Principal will make a finding of fact based on the evidence and supported by reasons.
Sanction:  If the Principal ‘s decision is that the Student has been using drugs, the Principal will outline the range of sanctions he is considering and will then, or at a later meeting if requested, hear mitigating circumstances and consider the Student’s academic and disciplinary record before deciding on the sanction.
Review:  If the Student is expelled or required to leave, s/he and his/her parents will be offered a Review which will normally take place under a separate procedure, within ten days and his/her suspension may be continued in the interim.


This policy will be reviewed

following any serious incident involving Students and drugs;

following the issue of any new guidance from the Department for Education (DfE); and
in any event, every three years.

The review will be carried out by Lee Kirby  A report will be made to the Principal who will authorise any necessary amendments.
National help lines and local services


Organisation Contact
Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Drug and Alcohol Team – 020 7361 3768
UK National Drugs Helpline 0800 77 66 00
FRANK www.talktofrank.com; 0300 1236600; TEXT 82111
Insight KCcentral (RBKC) 020 8960 5510




Authorised by The Principal
Date November 2019
Effective date of the policy November 2019
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2020