School proms, year 11 celebrations and sixth-form leavers events are becoming increasingly popular in schools and colleges across the UK.
As a member of staff attending the event you will want to celebrate the successes of your pupils and enjoy the celebration with fellow staff.
At Edapt each year we see a number of cases being raised from school staff involving allegations or misunderstandings at school proms and after-school events.
It is important to remember, that even though you are off the school site, you will still have to adhere to the policies at your school.
It will be worth checking with your headteacher the policy on drinking alcohol at the event and be aware of photos which might be shared on social media.
For the vast majority of occasions, common sense prevails, however, it might be worth checking your own school policies and procedures for information regarding after-school and off-site events.
We look at some examples of these below.
School proms: advice for staff
Ryelands Primary and Nursery School in Lancashire has an alcohol and drug policy for staff.
On page 7 it explains:
“If any employee attending a school function for example Christmas party, birthday celebration, leavers party, school prom etc. behaves inappropriately, or brings the school into disrepute due to their actions following the consumption of alcohol/drugs, their conduct may be regarded as taking place ‘in the workplace’ and disciplinary action may be deemed appropriate.”
Avon House Prep School in Essex has an alcohol and drugs policy.
On page 2 it explains:
“The school recognises that work-related events such as Christmas parties, birthday celebrations or other social or informal events are an extension of the workplace. The School appreciates that alcohol will be consumed at such events but nevertheless expects employees to behave responsibly. The School will not be held responsible for bad behaviour on the part of staff and any agreements made by staff under the influence of alcohol will not have any contractual status. Such conduct will be dealt with through the School’s disciplinary policy along with any inappropriate behaviour that may be induced due to alcohol consumption. Staff are expected to turn up at the workplace in a fit state to perform their contractual duties on the day after the event if this is a normal workday. Absences will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action.”
Colfe’s School in London has a drugs and alcohol policy. On the topic of school events where pupils are present it explains:
- No pupil will be served alcohol where there is a pay bar, nor must alcoholic drink be purchased for any pupil. This ensures the school does not breach the licensing law.
- No pupil will be allowed to have any alcohol at any function unless they are a member of the sixth form
- When members of the sixth form are invited to a school function where alcohol will be offered to pupils, the organiser of such an event must, prior to the event, send a letter to the parents/guardians of any pupil who will be attending This letter asks parents to confirm in writing whether or not they are happy for their child to drink a limited amount of alcohol at the event
- It is the responsibility of the organiser of an event where alcohol is offered to pupils to ensure that pupils only drink “limited amounts under supervision”
- Should a colleague not wish to take on this responsibility, they will be supported by the school in their decision that the event will be alcohol free
School proms: further reading
Was this article helpful?
The information contained within this article is not a complete or final statement of the law.
While Edapt has sought to ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, it is not responsible and will not be held liable for any inaccuracies and their consequences, including any loss arising from relying on this information. This article may contain information sourced from public sector bodies and licensed under the Open Government Licence. If you are an Edapt subscriber with an employment-related issue, please contact us and we will be able to refer you to one of our caseworkers.