This policy has been authorised by the Principal and is available to parents and students on request. It can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required. The policy relates to possession and consumption of alcohol and tobacco and applies to all students at Ashbourne College (College) irrespective of their age . The policy may also apply at times when a student is not 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. This policy has been informed by the ‘DfE and ACPO drug advice for schools’ (DFE-00001-2012).
Alcohol means intoxicating liquor of all descriptions (including beer, cider, wine and spirits) and this policy covers obtaining, consuming, and supplying alcohol.
Smoking means the use of tobacco products and paraphernalia including cigarettes, cigars and pipes.
1. Policy Aims
The central aims of this policy are:
1.1 Context: This policy will be driven by means of education, pastoral care, College rules, detection of unauthorised use of alcohol, detection of smoking and the College’s Student Behaviour and Exclusions Policy. This policy should also be read with the College’s Drugs and Substances Policy, which covers the use of illegal drugs and substances.
1.2 Education: We educate students to understand the effect and risks associated with alcohol and tobacco, in relation to their health and well-being and the law. We educate by means of personal development courses and by example, by discussion and by authorising moderate alcohol consumption by sixth formers under staff supervision at certain times in the College and on certain College trips .
1.3 Pastoral care: We encourage students to discuss in confidence any anxieties they may have about use of alcohol or tobacco with a member of staff or the College counsellor. Matters brought into counselling by a student or his/her parents, in circumstances which are genuine, will be “ring-fenced” from disciplinary sanctions or adverse report, but a student who contravenes this policy will face disciplinary sanctions.
2. College Rules
The rules forbid a student from:
2.1 Detection: Every complaint, report, or observation in relation to alcohol or tobacco will be followed up and investigated. In relation to alcohol, a student may be asked to give a sample of breath in accordance with the procedures set out below.
2.2 Sanctions: For a minor breach of this policy, the normal sanction is detention. For a serious breach or persistent minor breaches, a student may be suspended or required to leave the College permanently.
3. Testing for alcohol
3.1 Breath test: A student suspected of unauthorised consumption of alcohol may be asked to give a sample of his/her breath by blowing into a breathalyser . The reason for this policy is:
3.2 Suspicion: Reason to suspect alcohol consumption may arise as a result of information or a complaint received or because of a student’s behaviour or demeanour.
3.3 Method of use: Only members of staff who have received training will be authorised to administer the breathalyser . In general, they will be members of the Senior Management Team.
3.4 Informed consent: The relevant consent to a breath 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. Parents will normally be notified only if the breath test has proved positive.
3.5 Refusal: If a student refuses to provide a sample of breath, 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.
3.6 Record: A written record will be kept when a student is asked to take a test and its outcome will be recorded.
4. Subsequent action of testing for alcohol
4.1 Procedure: The College will treat a positive test, although not infallible, as evidence that the student has consumed alcohol. The following procedure will apply:
4.2 Sanction: If the Principal’s decision after considering all the material evidence is that the student has consumed alcohol, the Principal will outline the range of sanctions s/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 and the extent to which s/he has co-operated, before deciding on the sanction.
4.3 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 within ten days under a separate procedure, and his/her suspension may be continued in the interim.
5. Smoking: A student under the age of 16 who is caught smoking, suspected of smoking, in possession of tobacco or smoking paraphernalia will be subject to the College’s disciplinary procedures. Middle School students are not allowed to smoke even if they are over 16.
Students over age 16 may be in possession of tobacco or smoking paraphernalia, but must be stored discreetly and out of site of other students when on the College premises. Students carrying cigarettes or smoking paraphernalia around the College in an overt manner (for example by placing cigarettes behind the ear) will be subject to the College’s disciplinary procedures.
6. Review: This policy review includes an evaluation of the effectiveness of alcohol and smoking education in the College.
|Authorised by||The Principal|
|Effective date of the policy||September 2023|
|Circulation||Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request|
|Review date||September 2026|