Drugs are a daily issue for PRUs and colleges says Ofsted

The DfE have a new piece of research out about behaviour of pupils.  It doesn’t have much about the role of drugs and alcohol other than to remind us that teachers have powers to search pupils for a range of prohibited materials, including drugs and alcohol.

The report suggests that these powers are not being widely used, though there isn’t a lot of data to go on.

The report did however point me in the direction of an Ofsted report from 2005 which found that across the 78 settings they looked at:

Drug abuse is a daily challenge in some of the settings for older pupils visited, more often PRUs and colleges than schools. In most secondary schools there are drug-related incidents at least once a term.

Mentor carried out a literature review of interventions available to colleges and universities in 2007 and found:

Universities and colleges are committed in promoting students’ health and wellbeing and are in a good position to prevent alcohol and drug misuse and related harm (Dunne & Somerset, 2004; Aveyard, 1999). However, there is a general lack of good quality evidence about drug education in colleges and universities. Colleges are using a variety of approaches such as drug education, peer education and youth work to educate and challenge students’ perceptions and attitudes toward drugs and alcohol (DrugScope & Alcohol Concern, 2004). Drug and alcohol awareness campaigns carried out in conjunction with students’ unions appear popular in universities. However, little is know about the impact of existing awareness campaigns, and although efforts show promising good practice (Branigan & Wellings, 1998), more emphasis is needed on monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of drug education/prevention (Aveyard, 1999; Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, 2006).


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