HAMPSHIRE SAFE

Joining forces to keep our young people safe

Dear Parent/Carer

As parents, carers and teachers we all want the same for our children - for them to be safeguarded and fully prepared for adult life.

Young people today face many new pressures that were not such an issue when we were young. One area of concern is access to drugs, county lines and the range of substances now available.

We are determined to do our bit to not only educate your children about the harms of drug abuse and also make access to these substances far more difficult while young people are in our care.

That is why we, and five other Andover schools/colleges, are joining the Hampshire Safe partnership. Hampshire Safe was formed in 2018 with 12 schools and colleges in the New Forest.

We believe that by working together we can raise awareness of the impact of substance misuse and put measures in place to stop it from happening at our schools and colleges.

Over the next few weeks and months we shall be working with students to raise further their awareness of the impact of substance misuse.

We will also be offering parents/carers the opportunity to receive up-to-date information, using resources approved by Hampshire Police. As part of this anti-drug strategy, drug detection dogs will periodically be deployed with no notice in Hampshire Safe schools and colleges to ensure our premises are drugs free.

We wish to reassure you that the dogs will be deployed to search buildings and not individuals. However, during their search the dogs may detect drugs on students or in property belonging to students. Should that happen, anyone suspected to be in possession of illegal substances may be searched. Police assistance will be provided where necessary and of course parents/carers would be informed at the earliest opportunity. Additionally, students and families affected would be signposted to counselling and family support services. Any student found in possession of illegal substances could be at risk of exclusion or face prosecution.

We hope you will support us as schools and colleges that are taking a strong stance against substance abuse.

Our schools and colleges are safe places and we will do everything we can to maintain this. Above all, we shall seek to educate our young people about the dangers of drugs, because prevention is always the best policy.

You can assist us and the police in keeping our community safe by reporting any suspicious local activity to Hampshire Police by calling 101.

Thank you for supporting this Hampshire-wide initiative.

Should you wish to discuss this further, please contact your school's headteacher.

For your information, the schools and colleges working together are:

John Hanson Community School, Harrow Way Community School, Test Valley School, Smannell Field School, Winton Community Academy, Andover College, Noadswood School, Ringwood School, The Amewood School, The Burgate School, Totton College, Brockenhurst College, Eaglewood School, Applemore College, Priestlands School, Greenwood School, Testwood School and Hounsdown School.