Alcohol and Drugs Misuse

Executive HeadChair of GovernorsReview Dates
Last Review: July 2018
Trevor Patterson Philip Cavalier-Lumley Next Review: July 2021


Policy Statement

We acknowledge that alcohol, drug and substance misuse is defined as “the intermittent or continual use of alcohol or any drug or other substance which causes detriment to health, functioning, or performance at work, and which affects efficiency, productivity, safety, attendance, time keeping or conduct in the workplace”.

We recognise we have a responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for all staff and pupils. We do not condone the excessive and/or inappropriate use of alcohol, or the misuse of drugs/substances, whether illicit or prescribed. We recognise that a safe and healthy working environment is put at risk by employees who use alcohol and other drugs/substances in such a way that their health, work performance, conduct or relationships at work are adversely affected.

We encourage staff with alcohol and drug/substance related problems to seek help voluntarily and we are fully committed to support the member of staff through this process.

We do not permit any member of staff to be at work if they are under the influence of alcohol (or smelling of alcohol) and/or drugs. We will take appropriate action through the absence control procedures and the disciplinary process if we judge that absenteeism, presenteeism or misconduct has arisen out of the inappropriate use of alcohol or drugs.

We reserve the right as part of the pre-employment selection process to undertake drug and alcohol screening. We will not interview any candidate whose screening is positive or refuses to provide the appropriate samples.

We reserve the right, and with their permission, to undertake drug and alcohol screening of any member of the current school personnel.

We will keep all information regarding a member of the school personnel who has difficulties with alcohol or drugs in the strictest of confidence.

We aim to work with other schools to share good practice in order to improve this policy.

As a school community we have a commitment to promote equality. Therefore, an equality impact assessment has been undertaken and we believe this policy is in line with the Equality Act 2010.


Role of the Governing Body

The Governing Body has:

  • appointed a member of staff to be responsible for Health and Safety
  • delegated powers and responsibilities to the Headteacher to ensure all school personnel, visitors and contractors to the school are aware of the seriousness and comply with this policy
  • support and help any member of staff suffering from alcohol or drug/substance related problems
  • responsibility for ensuring that the school complies with all equalities legislation
  • nominated a designated Equalities governor to ensure that appropriate action will be taken to deal with all prejudice related incidents or incidents which are a breach of this policy
  • responsibility for ensuring funding is in place to support this policy
  • responsibility for ensuring this policy and all policies are maintained and updated regularly
  • responsibility for ensuring all policies are made available to parents
  • responsibility for the effective implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this policy.

Role of the Executive Head / Head of School

The Executive Head / Head of School will:

  • ensure the policy is brought to the attention of all new and existing employees
  • provide leadership and vision in respect of equality
  • take action if a member of the school personnel is identified as having a work problem which may be associated with alcohol or drugs
  • take action if an employee identifies that they have a drink or drugs related problem
  • ensure that the member of staff receives the required help and support
  • provide information and training for all school personnel on this issue
  • monitor the effectiveness of this policy
  • annually report to the Governing Body on the success and development of this policy.

Role of School Personnel

School personnel will:

  • comply with this policy
  • co-operate with any help and support that is offered once a problem has been identified
  • inform the Executive Head / Head of School or line manager if they taking prescribed medication
  • consider taking part in any drug or alcohol screening
  • seek help if they feel they are suffering from a drug or alcohol related problem
  • encourage employees who they believe to be suffering from an alcohol or drug related problem to seek help
  • implement the school’s equalities policy and schemes
  • report and deal with all incidents of discrimination
  • attend appropriate training sessions on equality
  • report any concerns they have on any aspect of the school community.


Screening for Drug or Alcohol Abuse

The Executive Head / Head of School will begin the screening process if it is felt any member of the school personnel is suffering from the effects of drug or alcohol abuse by making a referral to occupational health.

Support and Counselling

School personnel will:

  • be offered a programme of counselling and treatment instead of potential disciplinary action
  • be granted paid leave of absence to undergo treatment and support
  • in consultation with the Local Authority determine if it is appropriate to continue in their current job role or to consider alternative permanent or temporary employment with the Local Authority.

Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action will be taken if a member of staff suffering from alcohol or drugs related problems:

  • continues to behave inappropriately after a programme of support and counselling has been exhausted
  • declines to seek assistance
  • discontinues a course of treatment before completion
  • continues inappropriate use of alcohol and drugs.


We ensure all school personnel have equal chances of training, career development and promotion.

Periodic training will be organised for all school personnel so that they are kept up to date with new information and guidelines concerning equal opportunities.

Equality Impact Assessment

Under the Equality Act 2010 we have a duty not to discriminate against people on the basis of their age, disability, gender, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

This policy has been equality impact assessed and we believe that it is in line with the Equality Act 2010 as it is fair, it does not prioritise or disadvantage any pupil and it helps to promote equality at this school.

Raising Awareness of this Policy

We will raise awareness of this policy via:

  • the Staff Handbook
  • meetings with school personnel
  • reports such annual report to parents and Executive Head / Head of School reports to the Governing Body.

Monitoring the effectiveness of the policy

This policy will be reviewed at least every three years but also when the need arises by the Governing Body.