To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle the increase in schoolchildren taking Xanax and fentanyl.
19 June 2018
Schools have a statutory power to search for and confiscate prohibited items such as illegal and controlled drugs. Where they find other substances, which are not controlled drugs but a teacher believes them to be harmful or detrimental to good order and discipline, these can also be confiscated.
The department has produced advice for schools which makes it clear that school staff can search pupils or their possessions, without consent where there are reasonable grounds to do so. If a pupil refuses to be searched, the school may bar them from the premises. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279245/searching_screening_confiscation_advice_feb14.pdf.
Schools are not required to record and report instances involving drugs. However, when serious incidents involving the use of drugs occur, we would expect schools to record the incident and inform the parents of the pupil.
Statutory guidance to school governors on supporting pupils at school with medical conditions states that a child who has been prescribed a controlled drug may legally have it in their possession if they are competent to do so; that school staff may administer a controlled drug to the child for whom it has been prescribed; and that a record should be kept of any doses used and the amount of the controlled drug held.
The government is improving the mental health support available to children and young people, investing an additional £1.4 billion is specialist services between 2015 and 2020.