This advice, developed by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC),  is for school and college staff with responsibility for behaviour management, including designated safeguarding leads (DSLs), their deputies, head teachers and senior leadership teams in schools and colleges in England. The PDF, which contains further information, can be downloaded here.


Possession: It is an offence for any person to unlawfully have a controlled drug in their possession.

Supply: It is an offence to either supply, be concerned in the supply, offer to supply or be concerned in making an offer to supply a controlled drug.

The school or college should first establish:

What has happened?

  • Have drugs been found?
  • Who is involved?
  • Are there suspicions of drug dealing?

If drugs are found

  • Is it on school or college premises?
  • Seize the substance — it is legal to possess an illegal substance in order to prevent an offence being committed and then destroy it, or hand it to the police.
  • If the substance needs to be kept pending police collection, then it should be securely stored in the school safe
  • Schools and colleges are allowed to dispose of substances. If this action is taken, a witness must be present and the action recorded.
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