Write to School to Ask About Anti-smoking Policy
Why might you be interested in a school's anti-smoking policy? Clean air affects children's health, and anti-smoking policies within schools will normally be tightly controlled, especially since the new anti-smoking legislation came into force in the UK, banning smoking in indoor places. Most schools will be designated as no-smoking sites where everyone involved with the school community will be expected to adhere to the anti-smoking policy, including not only staff and pupils, but also any student teachers, voluntary helpers, governors, contractors working on the school site, individuals using the school's facilities or attending a social event.
Students will also not usually be allowed to smoke while busy working on any off-site activity, or whilst travelling to or from school. Staff, meanwhile, will often be regarded, in terms of school anti-smoking policies, as 'role models' who should not be smoking within sight of student either on the school site or while on school excursions. Visitors, parents and carers will also usually be expected to adhere to the school's Anti-Smoking Policy and refrain from smoking on the school grounds.
How Will Smoking in School be Punished?Normally within schools' anti-smoking policies there will also be guidelines setting out how students who are found smoking on school grounds will be punished. This might include detention, and a letter being sent home to parents or carers. If a child is found smoking on school grounds repeatedly, this may be punished with an exclusion or withdrawal of privileges; parents may be requested to attend a meeting with or without their child at the school to discuss his or her behaviour and smoking.
This letter format laid out below shows you how one parent wrote to their child's school to ask about its anti-smoking policy. It can be used as an example of the kind of way you can contact a school to ask about its anti-smoking policies.
The School House
1 May 2008
We have recently been reading newspaper reports about smoking within school grounds, and young children becoming addicted to smoking through peer pressure within schools. I am very concerned about these reports - although no one in our family smokes, Connie can be a little rebellious and has previously mentioned that she would not rule out smoking in the future, so we are obviously keen to discourage this attitude.
As such, I wondered if you would be able to inform me about the school's anti-smoking policy. Do you have assemblies or class discussions about the dangers of smoking? Is there a set, and known about, punishment regime for students found smoking on the school premises? Is smoking banned for teachers and school visitors? Is it banned for students of legal smoking age on their way to school? I would be grateful to receive information on this issue, as well as reassurance that my daughter will be taught about the dangers of smoking in school.
With thanks for your time and best wishes
Mr and Mrs Smith, mother and father of Connie Smith (form 11b)