A comprehensive, whole-school approach is widely acknowledged as best practice to promote student health and wellbeing including alcohol and other drugs.
A comprehensive, whole-school approach is widely acknowledged as best practice to promote student health and wellbeing including alcohol and other drugs (AOD). By adopting this approach, schools can increase engagement with the school community and are more likely to secure sustainable improvements in students’ health and wellbeing.
A whole-school approach is dependent on schools, parents and communities working together to plan, implement, support and sustain the delivery of AOD education. Best practice drug education explores and develops students’ knowledge, skills, attitudes and values through use of culturally responsive, inclusive and interactive teaching strategies. It fosters resilience through nurturing a sense of belonging and connectedness both to the school and to the broader community and works to reduce the harms associated with AOD use by students.
Whole-school drug education plans allow you to action an effective whole-school approach. Essentially the plan will document and outline exactly what a school is delivering within the 3 key areas of the Health Promoting Schools Framework, including:
Ethos and environment
Parents and community
Other key elements of the plan include:
Incident management – this is the structured, school-specific response to AOD related incidents occurring within the school. Effective incident management can minimise the potential harms to students involved and provide a fair and consistent process for the school to follow.
Intervention support - is the structured provision of evidence-based support to students who are identified as being at risk of, or who disclose, demonstrate or are suspected of engaging in AOD use.
Contact information – a list of relevant internal school contacts along with key contacts in the broader school community, for example, WAPOL, local service providers and student referral points.
Related documents – relevant legislative, policy or procedural documents for the school’s respective system or sector, for example, tobacco policy and behaviour management procedures.
Ultimately the plan is designed to guide school staff and build sustainability around the school’s best practice whole-school approach. Once complete the plan should form part of schools strategic and business planning process with annual reviews and updates scheduled in the administration calendar.
Utilising the template school staff can commence development of a whole-school drug education plan.
Road Safety and Drug Education Branch, Statewide Services, Department of Education
This template will support school staff to develop a whole-school drug education plan. Staff developing the plan can populate the relevant boxes of the template with their school specific information.