Parents back drug tests

9th January 2004 at 00:00
The overwhelming majority of parents want teenagers to face random drug-testing at school because they fear their children have access to illegal substances.

Two-thirds of parents back random testing amid concern that secondaries are not doing enough to tackle youth drug culture.

Four in five worry that their child has access to drugs at school, according to a survey by polling company IFF research.

There have been several recent high-profile cases of pupils being caught with drugs at school.

Last month, Ben Wonnacott, son of TV antique expert Tim Wonnacott, was suspended from Eton after a stash of cannabis was found under his sink.

Research for a Channel 4 documentary, This Teen Life, broadcast last September, found that more than half of 14 to 19-year-olds had encountered people selling drugs or alcohol in their school.

Nearly half of parents believe testing would be the most effective way of reducing drug abuse by teenagers, compared to fewer than one in five who favoured information campaigns aimed at teenagers and one in nine who supported a greater police presence near schools with drugs problems.

Heavier penalties for teenagers caught with drugs and the appointment of a new government "tsar" attracted even less support.

Concern about drugs was greatest in Scotland where almost all parents (95 per cent) admitted to being worried about the situation.

The findings are the result of 640 face-to-face interviews with parents and guardians of teenagers in the UK carried out for drug-test supplier Euromed whose clients include NHS Trusts and the UK Prison Service. John Fritz, Euromed's managing director, said: "Random testing has proven a successful methodology for tackling drug misuse."

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today