One of the important beliefs for the Drug Education Forum is that we – drug educators -ought to be responsive to children and young people’s needs, views and opinions and find ways for them to influence the education they recieve and the context it is delivered in.
Last year we published a series of case studies showing how schools and other settings are positively delivering on that including one example of how a school had involved its pupils in developing their drug policy.
We also host a paper from the Blueprint research programme on our website about how schools can go about developing a whole school approach to drug policy, which says:
How a school educates young people about drugs and how it responds to drug incidents is of concern to the whole school community – teachers, non-teaching staff, pupils, parents/carers, governors and partner agencies – and therefore the whole community has a role to play in developing the policy.
The paper goes on to suggest the following ways of involving pupils:
representation on the working group
consultation with the School Council
questionnaires and surveys
pupil focus groups
- classroom activities which seek pupils’ views
Clearly the issue of the student voice is a much broader one than just being about drug policies or drug education, but given that it is a significant issue for us I thought I’d bring your attention to a recent speech by Lord Adonis launching a report on school councils in action.