Children who have truanted or been excluded from school are much
more likely to take drugs, smoke, and drink alcohol, statistics
A report for the Department of Health shows that 38 per cent of
pupils who have truanted in the past were found to have taken drugs
in the month before they were interviewed compared to 7 per cent of
those who did not truant.
More than half of pupils who had truanted had drunk alcohol in
the preceding week compared to 19 per cent of others, while a third
of those who had truanted were regular smokers compared to 4 per
cent who never stayed away from school without reason. The findings
were similar for children who had been excluded at some point in
However, the report states that it is unclear whether truanting
and exclusion makes pupils more likely to take drugs, smoke, and
drink or whether those who already did these things were more
likely to truant or be excluded.
Pupils who received free school meals were also more likely to
be regular smokers and to have recently taken drugs. However they
were less likely to have drunk alcohol in the previous week.
The report found that neatly a third of boys and girls aged
11-15 have taken drugs.