Assessors Insight

Assessors & the Initiative

Assessors are the key people in the Initiative.  They are volunteers drawn from organisations such as Rotary and Soroptimist International and also from other walks of life.  The backgrounds of these special people are very varied, and they bring with them a wealth of personal and professional experience – with the most important skill of all being the ability to question and listen objectively. They have all undergone a comprehensive training and awareness-raising programme to equip them with the further areas of knowledge and understanding needed to assess the applicants.  The training provided will have ranged from drugs awareness to policy development, also covering effective teaching strategies.

How can I become involved?

If you are a member of either Rotary or Soroptimist International, you might like to discuss the Initiative with other members of your organisation: or you might arrange an information evening, to which members of the Charter Initiative could be invited to give a presentation and answer any questions you may have.

Use your Rotary or Soroptimist contact details if your club wishes to support the Initiative by sponsorship or donation, or if you think you have the skills and commitment to become an Assessor.

If your school is interested in finding out more about the Charter Initiative, we would be pleased to hear from you.
Please contact us via the Website:


Marion Le Pla and Geraldine Tolan

Marion Le Pla and Geraldine Tolan are members of Soroptimist International of Bradford and have been assessors with BSDPI since its inception. They receive a portfolio of evidence from the school they are assessing which they scrutinise to ensure it meets Initiative guidelines and requirements. Geraldine and Marion then visit the school to speak to pupils from all year groups . They are able to check out that the pupils have understood the relevance and usefulness of the information they have received throughout the school year.

They are constantly amazed and heartened at the creative, innovative and sensitive way in which the information is shared with the pupils and how each year group is taught in a way that maximises their understanding and equips them with safe, sound and sensible knowledge.

Marion & Geraldine continue to work with BSDPI as volunteer assessors and committee members, and helping to train new assessors to ensure the future of the Charter Award programme.

Dr. Anne Raine

“I loved being with my own children and watching them mature into well-balanced, happy, confident adults. So it distresses me to know that this is not the experience of some children who somehow become involved in drugs.

My experiences in Bradford over the years, both as a Mum and as a GP, have taught me the devastation drugs can wreak in an entire family, how easily teenagers can acquire the addiction once introduced to drugs, and how easily drugs are obtained even at the school gates.

So my interest in BSDPI was aroused when I became a Rotarian and found that my Club had been involved in this initiative since its conception.

This year has been my first opportunity to be involved in the scheme and I was lucky enough to be partnered with our very experienced club secretary, Brian, who did the assessment whilst I watched him work, leaving me free to absorb the experience without the responsibility!

And what a pleasurable experience it was.

As we entered the school, the atmosphere was warm, welcoming, calm but with a sense of “fun”. And this was subsequently reflected in each classroom, member of staff, pupil, parent and governor we met.

We were greeted by staff and introduced to two charming Year 6 girls. They took great pride in showing us around their school, confidently answering any question we threw at them.

Without exception, the children were well-behaved, polite, attentive and obviously enjoying their lessons. Most impressively, they all had an understanding of what was expected of them, how and what they would be taught and the rewards that could be obtained by them as individuals and as part of a team, reflected in the charts and posters prominently displayed in the classrooms.

Even when pupils had not yet been taught about drugs this year, they remembered all the relevant information from previous years, were very open in their discussions  and made me feel they were already very well informed and would make the right decisions when faced with a drug-related situation.

So I was delighted that, in addition to my subjective impressions, the school also fulfilled the strict and numerous criteria required to obtain their Charter.

This was presented to the school – pupils, teachers, parents and governors turned out in force – by the Lord Mayor at City Hall.

My initial impression was reinforced on this occasion when the “family, fun” atmosphere in the school was also felt here in the magnificent Council Chamber. The pupils’ behaviour was impeccable during the ceremony and their happy smiles were genuine as they received their Charter and had their photo taken with the Lord mayor.

I, too, was smiling, glad to have this opportunity to be involved in such an important and potentially life-changing initiative.”


Brian Marshall

“I became involved with the ‘Drugswatch’ programme some, 7 or 8 years ago through Rotary which along with the Soroptimists supports the Bradford Schools Drugs Prevention Initiative.

My role with BSDPI is as an assessor which involves contact with the school(s) allocated to ensure they are following the criteria set by the BSDPI committee.

My previous employment as a project manager meant that I was used to investigating the need for technical equipment and managing its purchase, installation and operation. These skills meant I was used to reading information given and looking at the actual equipment to see if the descriptions given were actually true. Reading the information given by the schools in their submissions and visiting the schools to test that information is not much different to my previous employment.

Having not been involved with schools for such a long time it is lovely to meet the children at the school inspections and to see and hear their enthusiasm about their work and their school.

The Charter Award gives the children, parents and school staff tangible evidence of a job well executed.

The use of illegal drugs, and rising obesity amongst other things needs to be combated and if we can educate the young at an early stage about these dangers they are more likely to avoid them in later life.”

Further Information

Further information can be obtained by contacting:

Annaliese Emmerson, Secretary – 01274 376243