This policy applies to pupils, teachers, auxiliary staff members, users of the school premises, parents, visitors, i.e. every person who enters the building. It is applicable during school-time – including breaks and to ALL school related activities. It applies to the school building and grounds and to any area where a school related activity takes place, e.g. School Tour.
The Education Act 1998 provides that schools should promote the social and personal development of students and provide health education for them. The National Drugs Strategy ‘Building on Experience’ is now government policy and it requires schools to have a substance use policy in place. The school authority in RMDS has a moral and legal obligation to ensure compliance with the criminal law.
A record will be kept in school of all substance use incidents. A copy of this policy will be issued to all staff members and a reminder of its contents will be given at the first staff meeting of each year. This policy will be regularly reviewed.
Management of Alcohol, Tobacco and Drug Related Incidents
Incidents relating to alcohol, tobacco and drug use are addressed in the school’s Code of Behaviour. The school’s shared understanding of a ‘drug related incident’ is:
The reporting procedure for such incidents is:
Step 1: Witness to drug related incident informs teacher/staff member/Principal
Step 2: Principal inform parents/guardians
Step 3: Principal informs Chairperson of Board of Management
Step 4: Gardai informed depending on seriousness of incident
Step 5: Area Health Board informed for disposal of items
Parents will be informed of an incident involving their own child in line with the Code of Behaviour. Parents will be involved in incidents involving another child only if deemed necessary by the school authorities; if parents are aware that another child is involved in drug-related incidents under the scope of this policy they should inform the teacher, Principal or a Board member. The school may invite representatives from the local Garda station to speak with senior pupils. Whether or not to inform the Gardai of minor incidents will be at the discretion of the Principal and the Chairperson of the Board of Management, but they will be involved in any serious substance abuse incidents
Management of Persons in the Workplace Under The Influence of Drugs And/or Alcohol
The Board of Management shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that pupils and other persons in the workplace are not exposed to risks to their safety, health or welfare from persons under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The term “in the workplace”, in the preceding sentence includes all school related activities taking place under the supervision of a teacher, with the Board’s approval, and both within and away from the school premises.
Every school employee shall, while at work, ensure that he or she is not under the influence of an intoxicant as required by Section 13 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.
Should the Principal and/or Deputy Principal have reasonable grounds to believe that a staff member is unfit for work, due to being under the influence of an intoxicant, the Principal and/or Deputy Principal shall ask that person to remove him/herself from the workplace, in the interests of the safety, health and welfare of the employee and others. In the case of employees who are at work under the influence of an intoxicant, disciplinary procedures may be implemented.
Should the Principal and/or Deputy Principal have reasonable grounds to believe that an employee of any contractor is unfit for work, due to being under the influence of an intoxicant, the Principal and/or Deputy Principal shall ask the contractor to remove his/her employee from the workplace.
If a member of staff has reasonable grounds to believe any person, other than a staff member or employee of a contractor, is unfit to be on the premises, due to being under the influence of an intoxicant, the staff member shall report his/her belief promptly to the Principal and/or Deputy Principal, who shall ask that person to remove him/herself from the workplace.
If a member of staff has reasonable grounds to believe that a parent or adult collecting a pupil from school or presenting themselves on the premises for another reason is unfit to be on the premises or to take care of the said pupil, the Principal and/or Deputy Principal will be informed and the duty of care will apply to the pupil. All necessary steps will be taken to protect the pupil and safeguard their best interests.
In the event that a staff member or any other person, referred to above, refuses a reasonable request to remove him/herself from the premises, the Principal and/or Deputy Principal may call the Gardaí to forcibly remove the person in question.
The Board of Management acknowledges its responsibility in promoting the welfare at work of teachers. An Employee Assistance Service (telephone: 1800 411 057 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) is available to employees. In the event that substance abuse appears to be adversely affecting the performance and/or attendance pattern of any member of the teaching staff, the Board of Management may request such staff member to contact the Employee Assistance Service.
The Board of Management also acknowledges its responsibility in promoting the welfare at work of all other staff members. In the event that substance abuse appears to be adversely affecting the performance and/or attendance pattern of any member of the non teaching staff, the Board of Management may request such staff member to seek counseling or other professional intervention.
All incidents, relating to the presence of persons at school, under the influence of an intoxicant, shall be recorded and reported as soon as possible to the Board of Management.
The Board of Management shall consider all such reports and decide on the appropriate action to be taken in the circumstances of each particular case.
Code of Behaviour/anti –bullying policy
Health and Safety Policy
Critical Incident policy
Ratified by RMDS Board of Management December 2013
Signed Colm Healy (Chairperson)