A record number of pupils have been excluded in St Helens for using drink or drugs on school premises.
Over the last full academic year, 22 pupils, including children in year eight and nine, were discplined for bringing booze or drugs into the classroom.
The council has supported schools to ensure that young people involved in any incidents are able to maintain their places in school, with permanent exclusions or any other long term measures only used in the most serious of casesCouncil spokesman
That figure is more than double the number excluded during the same period in the 2012-13 year. In total, 36 pupils have faced exclusion for drugs and alcohol offences over the past five years.
Between 2010/11 and 2011/12, just four pupils were caught but by 2013/14 that number had rocketted.
The reason behind the leap in numbers isn’t clear, although it’s believed many schools have began specifically asking staff to be vigilant for drug or alcohol use within school grounds.
The shock figures were obtained by the St Helens Reporter following a request under the Freedom of Information Act.
A town hall spokesman said: “The council has supported schools to ensure that young people involved in any incidents are able to maintain their places in school, with permanent exclusions or any other long term measures only used in the most serious of cases.
“Protocols based on the guidance from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) along with the Department for Education - and the suggested
measures needed to respond to drug and alcohol use - have been in place since 2006-2007 to ensure there is an accurate recording of the incident
and a consistency of practice across all schools.
“In every case of exclusion, the young person will be referred to the Young People’s Drug and Alcohol Team (YPDAAT) for information, advice and
“Over the years, this has demonstrated that young people very rarely go onto having a second drug or alcohol related incident within the school setting - indicating that the protocol measures have been effective.”