Advice for Teachers
What is a whole of school approach?
School well-being coordinators and individual teachers do an excellent job. But without consistency the effectiveness of individuals is lessened.
Therefore, promoting health and safety around drugs is most effective when the whole school adopts a consistent approach. This means:
- Fostering supporting environments that provide accurate and appropriate information that is relevant to your students
- Having evidence-based whole school policies in place to manage the use or possession of substance at school, along with
- Providing information for teachers and support staff about what to do and who to refer to if they suspect a young person may have an issue.
School policies and practices around drugs are best when informed by harm reduction principles. This means that they aim to promote safety and reduce the harms associated with substance use. Policies which automatically exclude students if drug use is detected are can be counter-intuitive as they are unlikely to stop young people using substances while also preventing young people from feeling comfortable from seeking help.
Having policies that are clear and transparent about managing drugs in the school and about helping students who are experiencing problems with their substance use are strong steps in having an effective whole-of-school approach.
Check out more info about a whole school approach in the DEECD’s wellbeing coordinator guide.