Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Sir Alan Steer’s Report

Having had a frustrating day waiting for the report to go up on the DCSF website I’ve now been sent a scanned copy, which you can download here.

It’s not a long report, but here’s a quick summary of what Sir Alan says about drugs (including alcohol).

  • It is customary for schools to occasionally search pupils, but the law as it currently stands doesn’t give protection to schools or teachers.  He believes this should change so that they do have protection.
  • Searches should be with the consent of pupils, as a matter of good practice.  Where that consent is not forthcoming then the local police should be involved.
  • Searching should always be exercised with caution and if the power to do so is to be widened then there needs to be new guidance.  This guidance should make it clear that random searches should not happen [presumably this means with drug dogs too!]
  • School staff need training on recognising and dealing with situations of drug or alcohol misuse.
  • Drug education is imporant as a part of a wider prevention strategy.
  • Random drug testing isn’t likely to be effective and the government shouldn’t run a pilot.

My understanding is that the government has accepted all of these recommendations.


Filed under: drug policy, random drug testing, school drug policy,

4 Responses

  1. Peter O'Loughlin says:

    Sure, if you don’t want to find drugs, it’s a great idea to abandon random searches and the use of sniffer dogs. In fact the use of the latter is a highly effective way of discovering if anyone is carrying, using or been in contact with drugs.

    We need to accept the fact that illicit drug use, despite the government’s spin, is increasing, and that the time has long past for effective, pro active measures to curtail and discourage use. Therefore I see no reason why, providing there is a clearly established policy prominently displayed in all public places, including schools, that zero tolerance applies to illicit drug use, the use of dogs to detect it, together with the subsequent searching of those so identified, should not be implemented on a nationwide basis.

    Neither Civil, nor human rights, gives anyone permission to break the law.

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