One of Norfolk’s biggest schools is drafting in a sniffer dog as part of a raft of measures to curb the use of vapes amongst its pupils.

City of Norwich School (CNS) has introduced the tough tactics hoping that they will act as a deterrent.

It comes amid mounting national concern about the number of children using vapes.

Yesterday, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to ban disposable devices in order to combat a rise in youngsters using them.

Experts have warned that the health implications of using them are not yet known, while schools have reported behavioural issues linked to their use.

Eastern Daily Press:

Alongside plans to use a sniffer dog, CNS is also planning to: 

  • Use vape detectors in toiltes and other areas,
  • Increase CCTV measures,
  • Carry out bag and pocket searches of pupils,
  • Increase staff patrols in toilets and other areas.

A spokesman said: "As with schools across the country, we recognise the negative impact the use of vapes and other prohibited substances can have on our students, both in terms of their health and the influence it can have on behaviour.

"While we do not currently have an issue with this at the school, we are aware this is a rising challenge within society and therefore want to take proactive steps to help counter and deter this.

"We are committed to providing an environment for our staff and students that is safe and supportive and as such the proactive measures we have planned will help to educate students on the risks of vape use and other banned substances."

Eastern Daily Press: The City of Norwich School, an Ormiston Academy. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The sniffer dog is scheduled to be brought into the school next month.

Alongside this, pupils will be taught the potential side effects and dangers of vaping.

It is not the first time the school has called on canine assistance, with the site currently employing a therapy dog to help pupil welfare.

The spokesman added: "To complement this educational drive, we have taken steps to deter the use of unsafe and prohibited items.

"In February, a passive deterrence dog will be guided around the school site for a day, so that students can understand the role of deterrence and how this would work.

"The organisation that is supporting this has significant experience delivering this service in schools.

"Taken together, we believe these precautionary measures will help students to remain safe while and school and when out in the community."

The school has already sent out a letter to parents to advise them of the measures.

In it, assistant headteacher Andrew Innes said the school would consider several "deterrents" to combat vaping. 

Children with concerns or fears of dogs have been encouraged to raise this with staff.Eastern Daily Press: Rishi Sunak                                                                                                               PICTURE: Rishi Sunak

On Monday, prime minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to ban disposable vapes, with new data showing the number of youngsters using vapes has tripled in the last three years.

It is already illegal for vapes to be sold to anybody under 18, but the authorities have warned that children are still able to get hold of the devices, particularly disposable varieties, often sold in smaller, more colourful packaging than refillable ones.

The PM announced the move during a visit to a school in Darlington during which he was told by pupils the problem is "getting worse".

He said: "As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children and so we must act before it becomes endemic."

He suggested adult smokers trying to quit would still have access to alternatives like vapes under the proposals.