Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Time for Action – Young Londoners and Tellus3

Time for ActionJust had a chance to look at the Mayor of London’s new vision for equipping young people for the future and preventing violence.

The Mayor has 5 priorities:

1. Giving young offenders in prison for the first time the life tools that will enable careers other than professional criminality. It makes sense on all levels, even financially.

2. Teachers can only educate kids if they are actually in school. Truancy needs more co-ordinated and assertive effort.

3. Only a tiny minority of children in care go to university. They are much more likely to end up in prison. We want to change these numbers.

4. Their behaviour shows that too many young people lack self-respect and character. Organisations like the Scouts, Girl Guides and Police Cadets know a lot about character, and we need their help.

5. Sport can unify and redeem. Healthy bodies lead to healthy minds, and we want more sporty, active kids in our city. 
In addition to these themes, the Mayor wants to establish specialist Mayoral Academies across London to help equip the city and young people with the skills needed for the future.

A number of these should impact on the risk and protective factors around substance misuse.  But the text of the strategy doesn’t really have much to say about the problems young people in London might face around drugs and alcohol.

There is a brief mention about the links between gangs and drug dealing, and also that access to drugs and alcohol can be increase the risks of offending, but beyond that I didn’t see anything which would indicate that the Mayor sees drugs and alcohol misuse by young people as a priority for his administration.

And perhaps he’s got a point.

Tellus3 in London

Looking at the results for the Ofsted Tellus3 survey I’ve pulled out the London boroughs (where there is information – Hammersmith and Fulham, Westminster, Southwark and the Corporation of London didn’t participate) and there are some interesting findings.

Drugs:

london-drugs-yes

  • Fewer young people from London say they have taken drugs than the national average, 9% to 11% respectively.
  • There was no difference in number that said they had not taken drugs (86%).
  • Looking at individual boroughs young people in Kensington and Chelsea are the least likely to say they have taken drugs (3%), and those from Richmond-Upon-Thames the most likely to answer yes (17%). (Bexley didn’t provide information on this question).

Alcohol:

Ofsted Tellus3
  • Many more young Londoners say they’ve never had an alcoholic drink than the national average.
  • In Tower Hamlets over 60% of pupils say they have never had a drink.  In Havering this falls to 23%.
  • 7% of pupils from Bromley and Kingston say that they have been drunk three or more times in the last four weeks (compared to a national average of 6%).

london-alcohol-drunk-3+times

Time for Action is a consultation document.  To submit your comments complete the web-based feedback form below by 16 December 2008.

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Filed under: alcohol, illegal drugs, Ofsted,

One Response

  1. […] fits with what I found when looking at the Tellus3 survey results for London.  Though I thought there were interesting […]

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