According to our Government, every child deserves to have access to a safe school environment where they can learn without disruption. However, new statistics reveal that a record number of suspensions were issued to school students last year for alcohol and drug-related issues. The figures show that students are being suspended for issues relating to alcohol and drugs at the fastest rate in almost 10 years. Every day, around 50 students are sent home from school for bringing illegal substances into playgrounds, turning up to school high, or trying to deal illegal drugs to their classmates.
Drugs in Schools
There were almost 9,000 instances in England in the 2016/17 school year where students were temporarily removed from school for breaching alcohol, drug, and cigarette rules. This is a shocking and worrying statistic because this figure is up almost 30% from the 2012/13 school year, making it the highest figure for eight years.
In addition, in the same year there were 565 circumstances whereby pupils were permanently expelled from school because their offences were so serious. The academic year in England consists of 190 days, which means that three students were permanently expelled every day, and 47 children were suspended every day for breaking alcohol and drug rules.
More worryingly is that the latest figures reveal there’s been a sharp increase in alcohol and drug offences amongst students aged 12 years and above. The data also includes students who were discovered to be abusing prescription drugs, and were therefore unable to study.
These figures from the Department of Education agree with a recent survey of police forces conducted by the Freedom of Information Act, which determined that, every week, approximately 30 students are arrested on suspected illegal drug dealings.
And, it stands to reason that a certain percentage of drug abuse in our schools goes undetected, thus contributing to violence and disorder. Sadly, these figures as stated do not show the true state of alcohol and drug abuse in our schools, and the real figures are likely to be much higher.
Expulsions and suspensions from all schools are categorised and recorded by teachers, regardless of the reason.