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Rockwell College

Substance Use Policy

Substance Use Policy Rockwell College



This policy sets out the framework within which Rockwell College will address and manage issues relating to substance use and misuse. The Policy was formulated based on the DES Guidelines for Developing a Substance Use Policy (2002) and in consultation with staff, Board of Management, parent and pupil representatives.


Definitions: by ‘substance’, we mean alcohol, tobacco and drugs – i.e. any substance which changes the way the body functions mentally, physically or emotionally.

Rockwell College recognises that substances, both legal and illegal, are available in the local community and that the school has an important role to play in terms of education, prevention and support in the handling of drug-related incidents.



This policy applies to the pupils and staff – teaching and non-teaching- of Rockwell College and relates to all situations where pupils and staff are involved in authorised school activity inside or outside of normal school hours.


Rockwell College (“the school”) aims to provide a safe and secure environment for all its pupils to develop and learn. The College is committed to the welfare, care and protection of its pupils and staff and believes that this policy contributes to the furthering of these aims and is a statement of that commitment.







It is the objective of this policy:


This policy is formulated in the context of:


Rockwell College will provide for the appropriate education of its pupils in relation to substance use/misuse. Education programmes are effectively carried out within the broader context of a Personal & Health Education and Guidance module (PHEG) (or similar) at Junior level and via a range of subjects at Senior level including (but not limited to) Religion, Biology and Home Economics. All pupils will receive a minimum of 40 minutes per week of PHEG (or similar) in each of the three years of the Junior Cycle. Age-appropriate methodologies will be used in this instruction.

In-class education will be supported by visiting speakers to address pupils on related issues. These speakers will attend at the invitation of the College and will be supervised by staff.

As in all matters relating to education, parents/guardians have a key role in relation to Substance Use issues. With this in mind, Rockwell College aims to:

       Rockwell College requires the support of parents/guardians in:


In matters that involve the use/misuse of alcohol, tobacco or drugs, Rockwell College will make every effort to manage the welfare of the individual pupil(s) involved but with consideration for the welfare of the entire pupil body, the staff, legal considerations and the reputation of the College. Both the disciplinary response and the pastoral response will be considered at all times in the best interests of all concerned.

An ‘incident’ may include (but it not restricted to);




Roles of parties involved:

On behalf of the Board of Management, the Principal is the person responsible for all matters related to this area. Another staff member of appropriate position may be nominated by the Principal to investigate issues in relation to substance use/misuse when appropriate.

All matters of abuse or suspected abuse must be reported to the Principal. The investigation of matters will be overseen by the Principal but may involve other staff members as deemed necessary and appropriate to the investigation.

The Principal will communicate with parents /guardians on matters related to reports, investigations, the outcome of investigations and sanctions.

The Principal is responsible for taking possession of any substances or paraphernalia connected with reports and, if required, is responsible for handing over these materials to outside agencies or authorities.

The Principal will be responsible for the secure storage of documentation and records associated with the incident, in line with best practise in relation to data protection.

If contacted by media following an allegation, the Principal will not comment on matters under investigation but may, if deemed prudent, clarify matters following completion of an investigation.


Rockwell College welcomes collaboration between the school and parents/guardians in all matters pertaining to the academic, social and pastoral development of the pupils. Parents/guardians are asked to recognise that they are in partnership with the school in relation to informing and educating their children regarding substance misuse.

Recognising this partnership, parents/guardians are responsible for supporting the school’s policies, instructions and restrictions in matters associated with substance use/abuse. 

Parents are expected to assist and cooperate fully with the school as it seeks to deal justly with reports that are made in this matter.


In the case where incidents of substance misuse are known, the facts as known must be reported to the Principal or, in her absence, the Deputy Principal.

The staff members are expected to be positive role models in relation to tobacco/drug/alcohol use, notwithstanding the right of staff to privacy in matters outside their work.

In cases where information is brought to a staff member, that member has a duty to remind the reporting person that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed.

Staff with responsibility for administering medication will adhere to medical guidelines and record all such medical interventions accordingly. Responsible practise is expected from staff in the storing of medicines, chemicals and other substances.


The Board of Management is responsible for the ratification and implementation of this policy and for its review on a regular basis.

The Board will ensure that the Principal will adhere to her responsibilities as devolved by the Board and that the policy will be applied fairly and consistently.

All details of relevant training opportunities in relation to substance use/misuse will be circulated to staff. The school will support the attendance of programmes by staff insofar as it is practical and possible. Where possible, whole-staff training will be incorporated into the annual programme of on-site in-service for staff.




This policy was ratifies by the Board of Management of Rockwell College on _____________ following a period of consultation. The Board of Management will review this policy and all related procedures on an on-going basis to ensure legal compliance, adherence to Department of Education & Skills procedures and the maintenance of best practise.









_____________________________                                       _______________      

Chairperson, Board of Management                                        Date