THIRTEEN schools and colleges, including Burgate and Ringwood schools, have joined forces to form a new alliance aimed at keeping students safe from drugs.

The focus of Hampshire Safe, is to educate and warn students about the dangers.

Member schools have developed a drug prevention and substance misuse strategy and will be introducing initiatives and offering advice throughout the year.

The headteacher of The Burgate School and Sixth Form, David Pover, said: “We are delighted to be a member of this exciting and important new partnership that will work hard to safeguard our young people.

“I firmly believe that schools and colleges can be proactive by taking a strong stance against the use of harmful illegal substances. As headteachers and principals we all share a common goal and approach to protecting young people from the dangers and risks associated with drugs. I am very optimistic that this initiative will have a positive impact.”

Hampshire Safe includes Noadswood School, Ringwood School, New Forest Academy, The Arnewood School, The Burgate School, Totton College, Brockenhurst College, Eaglewood School, Applemore College, Priestlands School, Greenwood School, Testwood School and Hounsdown School.

Deterrents used as part of the partnership would include the use of specialist dogs to detect any drugs brought onto school sites.

The partnership is launching this new initiative with assemblies across all its schools and colleges.

Temporary Inspector from Hampshire Police, Paul Beale, said: “We welcome and support the robust action being taken by New Forest schools and colleges to tackle drug misuse.

“We will continue to work closely with schools to educate students about the dangers of drugs and deal with offences as they occur.”