Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Teachers to police students’ lifestyles

The Evening Standard pick up on concerns voiced by the Association of School and College Leaders (a Drug Education Forum member) about targets they may be asked to deliver on pupils health choices:

Teachers face being saddled with tough new targets to stop pupils drinking, smoking and taking drugs.

They fear being ordered to police the lifestyles of their students in unprecedented detail or risk black marks from Ofsted inspectors.

John Dunford, the general secretary of the union is quoted as saying:

“We really think it’s going to be very dangerous and difficult if schools are held to account for all of these things.

“Schools cannot control average alcohol consumption, for example, among young people. We can influence some of these things through education.

“But from that to be held to account with what could be a huge new range of targets could be yet more micromanagement.”

The story is also covered by The Guardian.

The report the newspapers refer to can be downloaded from here, and I think the paragraphs that have generated the media interest are on the response to the Every Child Matters agenda. They say:

The wellbeing of young people

What is working well

ASCL supports the thrust of the Every Child Matters agenda. It welcomes the emphasis on the welfare of the whole person. ASCL also supports the need to address childhood obesity and to promote healthy eating – not least because it can improve behaviour and concentration. Partnership with other agencies to tackle complex social problems issue is also not a concern: it is a style of working that most school and college leaders already practise.

What is working less well
The Every Child Matters agenda has the potential to blow intelligent accountability out of the water. If the targets being considered are imposed in a rigid or hasty way, with schools and colleges expected to deliver the bulk of them, it will undermine institutional autonomy and divert resources away from teaching and learning.

Schools and colleges have no control over some of the targets; they should not be held accountable for matters over which they have no power. Schools are already making changes to address the broader welfare of the child. But school and college leaders must have the fi nal say as to how they address these issues and the relative priority they give to them. The government cannot commit to school and college autonomy one week and take it away the next. [more]

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One Response

  1. […] are very similar points to ones he made in 2006 when talking about the Every Child Matters […]

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