Not sure you need or want a policy?

Some of your answers might be: 

  • We’re a small (primary / infant) school and we don’t need a drugs incidents policy.
  • Policies can be long, wordy, irrelevant or meaningless in the context of what we really do.
  • We’ve got enough policies to cope with.
  • We're just going through the motions to get a tick in a box from someone or other.
  • We've got enough to do without working on policies we don't need.

However, the government requires schools to have certain policies, including those for drugs education and incidents management and Sex and Relationships Education. And there are very good reasons why schools, especially healthy ones, should have such policies (as long as they are practical and in practice).

The solution

We’re a pragmatic lot in the Swindon Healthy Schools Team. We want you to have really good effective policies but we sympathise with a lot of what you tell us and we acknowledge the need to help you find solutions that meet the requirements, work for your school and have an impact on your pupils’ education.

Model policies, framework policies or a blank sheet of paper?

We could say “Tough, you need one! Here are some guidelines and a blank sheet of paper, off you go!” But why reinvent the wheel? And why alienate an awful lot of people in one go?

We could provide a complete model policy with a space to add the school name and the date, but in the area of policy development one size certainly doesn’t fit all and this really would be just going through the motions for all concerned.

So we want to help schools develop meaningful, relevant workable policies by providing framework policies that will offer:

  • some guidance about what has to be included in the policy, including some of the standard text and headings
  • some key questions to get you thinking about what needs to be in the policy that will make it meaningful and relevant to your school's needs, and 
  • some pointers to sources of advice and further information about consulting on your policy, developing it, reviewing it and evaluating it.

The best way to start developing the policy is to consider what you are doing already in conjunction with the use of the documents we have put on the individual policy pages of this website: