Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Drug Education; An Entitlement for All

One of the commitments from the Children’s Plan was to “examine the effectiveness of current delivery arrangements for all drugs education – including alcohol – and act to strengthen them if necessary.”

The Government have today published the report of the Advisory Group on Drug and Alcohol Education and the government’s response to the recommendations made by the advisory group.

Drug Education an Entitlement for All

Drug Education an Entitlement for All

The Advisory Group on Drug and Alcohol Education make three key recommendations to the government:

  • Increase parents’ and carers’ knowledge and skills about drug and alcohol education and prevention enabling them to better inform and protect their children;
  • Improve the quality of drug and alcohol education by making PSHE a statutory subject – to enable schools and colleges to promote well-being effectively, and to improve the quality of training for PSHE teachers; and
  • Improve identification and support for young people vulnerable to drug misuse in schools, colleges and non-formal settings.
Government response

Government response

As are result of the Advisory Group’s report the government’s response says they:

  • will ensure that all parents have access to accurate information and guidance about the risks to young people of drugs and alcohol through, amongst other things, our FRANK campaign and the new campaign on youth drinking;
  • will improve the quality of drug and alcohol education by issuing new guidance, which will also cover the early identification of those beginning to experience problems; and
  • have asked Sir Alasdair MacDonald, Head Teacher of Morpeth Secondary School in Tower Hamlets, to conduct an independent review of how the decision to give PSHE statutory status can be translated into a practicable way forward, to help improve young people’s knowledge and skills, enabling them to enjoy safe, healthy, productive and responsible lives.

Speaking on behalf of the Advisory Group on Drug and Alcohol Education Eric Carlin, Chair of the Drug Education Forum, said:

The problems that drugs and alcohol cause are too important for drug education to be an optional subject for parents or schools.

The Drug Education Forum has been championing the importance of supporting parents for many years. This can be done by ensuring that parents have the right information and that every child and young person receives high quality drug and alcohol education from trained professionals.

The review and the government’s response offer a significant opportunity to reduce the harm to children, young people and their families from drug and alcohol problems.

We are delighted to see the government’s intent to make Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) a compulsory subject and look forward to working with the government to complete the technical review.

Also published today are the findings from two surveys carried out to inform the Advisory Group’s review.

The Drug Education Forum’s Effective Drug Education Survey

DEF Survey

DEF Survey

A web based survey of over 350 drug education professionals. Key findings include:

  • 36% of respondents think the drug education they know has the support of senior staff.
  • 45% think it is taught by skilled and confident staff.
  • 52% say that the drug education they know is based on the latest evidence.
  • 68% were able to agree that drug education meets the current curriculum requirements.
  • 67% said that lack of specialist staff was the biggest barrier to improving drug education.

Parentline Plus’s Drug and Alcohol Education Report

Parentline Plus Survey

Parentline Plus Survey

A web based survey of 120 parents and an analysis of calls to Parentline Plus. Key findings include:

  • Almost a third of parents do not feel that they have the knowledge to discuss drugs and alcohol with their children.
  • Parents and carers want drugs and alcohol education delivered in schools as well as other settings.
  • Parents and carers are more likely to express concern about their sons’ behaviour relating to drugs and alcohol than their daughters, except with girls aged 10-15 who are consuming alcohol
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Filed under: drug education, Government, parents

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