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Data reveals extent of illegal drugs in schools

23 April 2015

Data obtained from police forces in England and Wales shows that there were more than 2,000 reported incidents of illegal drugs being seized or confiscated from school premises from March 2011 to December 2014. Only four incidents involved children under 11, suggesting that this is primarily a secondary school issue.

School staff have well-publicised, but often not well-used, statutory powers to search students and their property with the student’s consent, or without consent where the headteacher or any staff authorised by them have reasonable grounds for suspecting that the student may have a prohibited item. Where controlled drugs are found, these must be delivered to the police as soon as possible but may be disposed of if the person searching the student “thinks there is a good reason to do so”, taking into account all relevant circumstances.

Watch our training video on searching and confiscating items from students for more information.

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