We are committed to tackling all of the harms associated with cannabis use, including poor school performance or disengagement from education. Although there is no specific research currently planned on the effects of cannabis use on academic outcomes, we will keep this under review as part of our work in relation to developing a cross-Government drugs research strategy. Through delivery of the National Drugs Strategy we will continue to drive the sustained fall in cannabis use amongst young people that we have experienced since 2001.
The Department's guidance, Drugs: Guidance for Schools (DFES 2004) makes it clear that head teachers can introduce voluntary drug testing if they consider that such an approach is appropriate. It is essential that before a school takes the decision to introduce drug testing that it considers very carefully all of the factors outlined in the guidance, including whether such action will result in appropriate support for pupils most in need. In deciding whether to use this approach, schools are encouraged to consult with local partners, such as the police, who may be able to offer advice and support.