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Substance Use Policy

•    Scope
This policy applies to students, staff, parents and all users of the school during school times, lunch breaks and school related activities including tours and outings.

•    Relationship to School Mission Statement
This substance use policy reflects the school’s ethos as outlined in our Mission Statement “Glenamaddy Community School dedicates itself to providing an holistic education where the potential and uniqueness of each student is fostered and celebrated.  With our educational partners we strive to create a caring environment of mutual respect where each individual is cherished and nurtured to a personal, intellectual and moral maturity.  We find our inspiration in the Christian message of faith, hope and love.”

•    Rationale
This policy aims to develop the full potential of all in the school community and to make explicit the schools expectations of all members of the school community regarding substance use.
The legislation that mandates and informs a school policy on substance use include the following:
o    Education Act 1998 provides that schools should promote the social and personal development of students and provide for their health education.
o    The National Drugs Strategy, which is now Government Policy, requires schools to have a policy on substance use in place.
o    The report from the National Advisory Committee on Drugs ‘Drugs use Prevention’ November 2001) underlines the importance of schools developing substance use policies.
o    Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and 1984
o    Tobacco Regulations (1995) and the Public Health Tobacco Act (2002)
o    Smoking ban in all public buildings March 2004

•    Goals
This policy seeks:
1.     To ensure that all staff be actively aware of signs of drug and substance use and to be forceful in our dealing and response to any and all incidents.
2.    To prevent substance use.
3.    To work in a pro-active health promoting partnership to maintain the school as a drug free zone.

•    Policy Content
o    The school has a wide programme of education with regard to the use of drugs and alcohol
o    Since September 2003 the educational programme has been part of S.P.H.E. to all Junior Cycle Students
o    Talks and seminars from appropriate experts are used to compliment work done in the classroom


The school is a no smoking area for students, staff and visitors (Tobacco Act 2004).
Principal will act in accordance with school rules.


We have a zero tolerance with regard to alcohol in the school, on school grounds and on school related activities including tours and outings.
The Parents or Guardians of students found to be under the influence of alcohol or in possession of alcohol in the school building or on school grounds will be called upon to bring student/students home.
Disciplinary action will be taken at a later date in accordance with school rules.

Illegal Substances and Solvents

We have zero tolerance with regard to illegal substances and solvents in the school building, on the school grounds and at school related activities including tours and outings.
All incidents reported to Principal, Parent/Guardian, Gardai and Board of Management.  Disciplinary action will be taken in accordance with School Rules.

Prescribed Medication

Any student taking prescribed medication in school must provide a letter from a parent/guardian detailing permission for their son/daughter to take prescribed medication at school, on school grounds, at school related activities including tours and outings.

•    Roles and Responsibility

It shall be the role of all in a position of authority in the school to ensure that this policy is implemented.
(a) Board of Management
1. To ensure that the policy is developed in consultation with teachers, students, parents/guardians.
2. To ensure that the policy is implemented.
3. To ensure that the policy is effective, practised and made explicit and reviewed.

(b) Principal/Deputy Principal
1. Make policy clearly known to students, parents/guardians.
2. To provide education on substance use to students.
3. To monitor the implementation of the policy.
4. To decide and implement sanctions in the event of any breach of the policy.
5. To work with parents/guardians to provide access to treatment or other professional support if necessary.
6. To make provision for talks/seminars for Staff from appropriate experts to heighten awareness of substance use.

(c) Teaching Staff
1. It should be the role of all members of the teaching staff to assist the Principal and Deputy Principal in monitoring and implementing this Policy.

•    Success Criteria
1. School is a drug free zone.
2. Awareness by all school community of substance use policy.
3. Awareness by staff and students of signs and symptoms of substance use.

•    Monitoring Procedures
o    Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Heads will review Policy annually following discussions with Form/Class Teachers.
o    Time will be given to review policy at one staff meeting per year.
o    Principal will report to Board of Management once a year.

•    Review Procedures
o    Policy reviewed periodically by Staff, Parent’s Council, Student’s Council and School Management.
o    Management of critical incidents over the previous year will be reviewed to ascertain best practice.



Glenamaddy Community School, Church Street, Glenamaddy, Via Castlerea, Co. Galway, F45KF50 


Telephone +353(0)94 9659315 | Fax +353(0)94 9659354 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

RCN: 20149543