Too many teachers 'ignorant on drugs'

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The Independent Online

Many teachers and school governors cannot identify drugs and fail to recognise the symptoms of abuse in children, campaigners said yesterday.

Many teachers and school governors cannot identify drugs and fail to recognise the symptoms of abuse in children, campaigners said yesterday.

The Government-backed Standing Conference on Drug Abuse (Scoda) launched a programme of courses in drug awareness, saying half of senior school managers did not have access to training.

Campaigners said there was widespread ignorance of the best ways of dealing with drugs, drink, tobacco and solvent abuse in schools. They said many governors were too ready to exclude children caught with drugs rather than given them the help they need.

Annette Dale-Perera, the Scoda head of policy, said: "Teachers can often pick up what's wrong with a pupil, but they may not be able to put it down to a substance.

"There's a fear on the part of a lot of adults. They think the children know more than them, but in some cases the children are misinformed. We have to build the confidence among governors and senior school managers."

Roger Howard, the organisation's chief executive, added: "Teachers need to know more about the effects of drugs."

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