School principals say they will be more likely to turn to the police for help in light of new guidelines on searching students for drugs and weapons.
The guidelines clarify school powers following changes made in the Education Act last year.
They say schools can search students only for things that are harmful, and there are restrictions on how searches are conducted.
The Principals Federation says schools will be more likely to call the police as a result of the new guidelines.
Police say they were consulted on the amendments and are not expecting any changes in their work with schools.