The role of principals in drug education

A harm minimisation approach aims to reduce the risks associated with drug use, and promote healthier, alternative behaviours for students.

School leaders provide the overall support for the drug education program. Generally this is through:

  • endorsing the development and ongoing provision of a program that best meets the learning needs of the student population
  • ensuring appropriate consultation through the school council
  • engaging students in activities to give them some sense of ownership of their curriculum
  • committing the necessary staff time and resources
  • supporting staff training to ensure teaching staff have the ability to teach and assess drug education against the ​Victorian Curriculum F-10​
  • demonstrating an understanding of the importance of drug education
  • communicating support for drug education to the school community
  • cultivating relationships with the local school community.
Policy and Advice Library (PAL) for Schools

Read the Department’s policy on supporting a whole school approach to:   

  • reducing alcohol and other drug use   

  • responding to drug or alcohol related incidents  

  • supporting students involved in alcohol and other drug use  

Read about Alcohol and Other Drugs - Students
Available in the School Policy and Advisory Guide
Read about syringe disposals and injuries
Available in the School Policy and Advisory Guide
Drugs and Schools: Legal Issues – A Guide for Principals of Government Schools

Drugs and Schools: Legal Issues  (pdf - 214.47kb) - a 15 page guide to assist principals with practical responses to questions relating to drug issues. Principals should ensure that this information is made available to all staff and the school council. This guide is intended to be read in conjunction with the Policy and Advisory Library and Student Engagement Policy Guidelines

Student Wellbeing

Support in Schools details the critical school based workforces that assist school leaders to identify appropriate prevention or intervention strategies for students that may become disengaged from school​  

The following resources provide information for keeping young people connected to school or assist with case management planning for incidents occurring in schools.  

School drug education planning

In accordance with the Department’s School Accountability and Improvement Framework for Government Schools, schools are required to review their drug education strategy every four years to ensure that all students have access to drug education curriculum, programs and support. Victorian schools are required to:  

  • Have an effective drug education program supported by whole school policies which include procedures to respond to drug related incidents, refer to: Drug Education Policy  (dotm - 38.59kb)
  • Review their drug education strategy every four years
  • Complete a minimum of 10 hours of drug education per year per year level.

The following documents support the development of drug education plans:  

The following examples are of school drug education plans which include goals and strategies that schools may consider. They apply to Prep-Year 12 and special schools.  

Schools may wish to contact their Regional Senior Program Officers to access:  

  • information and advice on developing their drug education program
  • teacher professional development
  • resources.