Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Set schools free, says Nick Clegg


Schools should be less constrained by the National Curriculum, Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, says on Monday.

In a speech to the Centre Forum think-tank at the Microsoft headquarters in London, he will call for an end to the “one size fits all” approach to education.

He will call for the establishment of an education standards authority to tackle accusations of dumbing down by ensuring exams retain their gold standard.

I raise this as there’s clearly an ongoing competition amongst the mainstream politicians to talk up “freeing” schools from the burden of local and central government diktat.

But what happens if and when that occurs, and how do subjects like drug education the wider health education agenda do in that brave new world?

Does a more light touch centre free up more space for the personal social development of pupils, or do you get even less time as the core curriculum benefits from not being constrained by other considerations?


Filed under: education, Liberal Democrats

Just 6 child boozers face court in a year

The Mirror have a story on the numbers of young people prosecuted for purchasing alcohol. The reaction from the Liberal Democrats is interesting:

Lib Dem Justice spokesman Chris Huhne said the number of prosecutions “make a mockery” of ministers’ tough talk on underage boozing.

He added: “It is shocking that the licensing authorities do not prosecute more often.”

No questioning of whether the criminal justice system is the best place for young people who buy alcohol, just get on with it.

See also:

Filed under: alcohol, Liberal Democrats,

Nick Clegg’s Leader’s Speech Part 2

Here are the references to young people and drugs in Mr Clegg’s speech from the other day:

Teenagers trapped in a cycle of drink and drugs and crime, because they have never known anything different.

That isn’t freedom.

And it doesn’t have to be like this.

A better Britain would put education and opportunity at its very heart so no child, no parent, is ever trapped in poverty.

He returns to the theme and talks about a visit to a drugs court:

I visited a great drugs court in West London last year run by a Judge called Justin Philips.

He wants the drug addicts he sees to really feel they’ve achieved something when they’re staying away from drugs and crime.

He cajoles, encourages, admonishes, and praises the offenders as if they were from his own family.

And it makes such a difference.

I met a young man called Aaron. His story was like that of almost every drug addict.

Stealing to buy drugs.

Failed attempts at rehab.

A never-ending cycle of crime, punishment, cold turkey, falling off the wagon.

And then he was sent to Judge Justin.

Who – quite literally – held his hand through the huge task of getting clean, and keeping clean.

Aaron told me – “Justin was the first person I ever met, my whole life, who cared about what happened to me.”

It makes a difference when you treat a human being like a human being.

And it can be this way.

We don’t have to have to have tens of thousands of young people hooked on drugs.

We don’t have to have women selling themselves on the streets to fund their desperate need for a hit.

We can care for people as we punish them, not only for their sake but to make British communities safer too.

Further reading:

Filed under: Liberal Democrats, ,

Lib Dem Children and Youth Front Bench

Children and Young People Now has the details of the Lib Dem team:

David Laws keeps his role as shadow secretary for children, schools and families, but also gets an additional role overseeing public services generally.

Susan Kramer, the MP for Richmond and a former candidate for London Mayor, has been appointed as spokesperson for families.

And Lynne Featherstone, the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, has been appointed as spokesperson on youth and equality issues.

Filed under: Liberal Democrats,

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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July 2018
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