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Substance Misuse

The approach outlined below is based on the ESF Substance Misuse Policy.


ESF is committed to creating an environment in which students are able to make well-informed, positive choices in avoiding substance misuse. We prioritise safety and wellbeing in learning, and we provide substance education that helps students to live healthy lives.

Substance Misuse

ESF considers the following to be substance misuse and prohibits them at all times, both on site and during any school activity:

  • Possession, consumption and/or supply of alcohol

  • Possession, consumption and/or supply of tobacco and related products (including e-cigarettes/vaporisers)

  • Possession, consumption and/or the supply of dangerous drugs

  • The supply, possession and/or consumption of medicines for which permission by SLT/School Nurse has not been granted

  • Possession and/or supply of drug paraphernalia

  • Involvement in the supply of dangerous drugs or drug paraphernalia

Investigation and Intervention

Schools may investigate situations in which suspicions or allegations of a student breach of the ESF Substance Misuse Policy arise. During such an investigation, schools may require students to submit to a search of their belongings. Schools may also, during such an investigation and/or as part of an ongoing behavioural agreement, require a student to undergo drug testing using procedures be determined by the ESF.

Parents wishing their child to undergo a drug test may approach their child’s school for advice.

Based on the outcomes of an investigation into suspected or alleged substance misuse, a school may determine interventions for a student that include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Facilitating access to medical and/or counselling services

  • Additional substance education

  • Seeking input from relevant professionals

  • Establishing a behavioural agreement

  • Contacting the police

  • Suspension and/or exclusion according to the provisions of the ESF Suspension and Exclusion Policy

In some cases, schools may initiate interventions including those listed above where actions by a student that have occurred off site affect the good order and management of one or more ESF schools and/or there is a risk to the health and safety of one or more members of the ESF community.

Enrolment Requirement

It is a requirement of enrolment of their child at an ESF school that parents of an ESF student ensure their child complies with ESF’s approach to handling substance misuse matters.

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