South East Cornwall Schools Combine Forces to combat substance misuse

Secondary schools in the South East Cornwall Learning Partnership (Torpoint, Liskeard, Saltash, Looe and Callington) are working together to combat substance misuse and illegal drug taking by young people.

Headteachers and staff in SECLP schools are concerned about the potential damage these substances may cause to the health and wellbeing of students and care deeply that young people are given information about the latest research and best available advice.  Each school has comprehensive and well thought through drugs education programmes.  Strategies including providing education within the curriculum are clearly important to deter young people from using illegal drugs

During the autumn term, schools in the partnership will be working with Devon and Cornwall Police to arrange for police trained passive drugs dogs and their handlers to take part in special assemblies in each school.  These assemblies are designed to warn students about the use of recreational drugs and explain the harmful effects they can cause and so help deter young people from using them in the first place.  They will also provide information about how passive drug dogs are used by the police.  All schools have, at some stage, had to deal with infringements of their drugs policies.  The work with the passive drugs dog is all part of carefully considered and planned preventative strategies to help ensure our schools remain drug free zones/communities.

 Chair of the SECLP, Headteacher at Torpoint Community College, Andrea Hazeldine said “It is vital that young people are made aware of their vulnerability if they participate in illegal drug use and substance misuse.  Giving students the best life chances is central to the values of each Headteacher within the partnership.  By working closely together, SECLP is committed to sharing resources, joint policies and excellent practices in all our schools in order to combat such behaviour”.

 All the schools in the Partnership work closely with Devon and Cornwall Police, who support schools and colleges with both education and enforcement, in respect of recreational drug use.  This involves educating young people on the effects of drug use, preventing young people from becoming involved or becoming victims of drug use and the deterring and detection of drug use by young people.  PC David Thompson, Youth Intervention Officer for the area, is keen to support these schools as they continue to develop shared approaches.

 The initiative has been welcomed by Jane Black, Cornwall Council’s Head of Service for Learning and Achievement said “It is really pleasing to see Headteachers working with local agencies to help young people to an understanding of safe behaviour to ensure their healthy and successful future outcomes”.