Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Drug Education Forum Papers

The Drug Education Forum aims to provide an authoritative voice to influence policy makers, in local and national settings, in order to promote the provision of relevant and appropriate drug education for all children and young people and their families.

One of the ways the Forum does this is by producing timely briefing papers which we hope will enhance the policy discussion on drug education.


Tell Us 2008 – a paper looking at the findings from the Ofsted survey of school, comparing the findings with those from the Information Centre’s survey and examining the findings for the group of authorities that have signed up for NI 115.

Young People’s Drug Use – a paper looking the findings from the annual survey of pupils in England.  (And a single page of facts and figures.)

The Reclassification of Cannabisa short briefing on the advice given to the government on cannabis by their statutory advisers, the ACMD, and the government’s decision to reclassify the drug to Class B.


Public Service Agreements – a briefing note on the contents of PSA 14 and 25. The PSAs are developed as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review and describe the government’s ambitions for services for the period 2008 – 2011. PSAs 14 and 25 deal with substance misuse. This briefing note looks at what they say about children and young people and the services to them and their families.

Young People’s Drug Use – a briefing on young people in England’s smoking, drinking and use of illegal drugs.

Drug Education and School Policy – a briefing on what the government’s annual survey of young people aged 11 – 15 says about drug education and school policies.

DAAT Survey Report 2007 – results from a survey of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams in England. This is the second survey of Drug and Alcohol Action Teams that the Drug Education Forum has conducted.

The results of this survey highlight the concerns that Drug and Alcohol Action Teams have about funding. This year has seen a 10% cut in the Young People’s Substance Misuse Grant, and the responses have been clear.


Involving Children and Young People in Drug Education – This report describes examples of practice across a range of settings where children and young people have been actively involved the development of drug educational approaches and/or policy. Examples of young people’s involvement were gathered through interviewing children, young people, teachers and youth workers in four settings and we have also been provided with examples by members of the Drug Education Forum.

Random Drug Testing in English Schools – With the DfES about to conduct research into the effectiveness of random drug testing across a number of schools in England this briefing paper looks at the evidence and arguments around this controversial subject. It also sets some questions for policy makers and schools to consider before they go down this route and outlines the current guidance for schools. We also have a version of the paper designed for the computer screen.

Drugs and Young People – Drugs remain a serious issue for young people in England, which is why drug education must remain a priority for government, parents, schools, youth services and young people themselves. However, public debate often makes assumptions about children and young people’s use of drugs. Our experience is that there are misconceptions which, if unchecked, damage public policy solutions.

This briefing is intended to give the reader the best current knowledge about young people’s drug use at a glance.


Drug testing in schools – a presentation from Dr Jenny McWhirter outlining the current knowledge on drug testing in schools.

Support for Drug Education 2004-05 – a survey of DATs focusing on support for drug education in the light of changes to funding.

Is That Legal – a report on Drugs; Guidance for Schools drawing on focus groups held with teachers, governors and pupils in London.


Teaching Drug Education – Adrian King sets out some key questions for teachers to ask themselves, their pupils and the school about delivering drug education. There are also tips on useful techniques and further reading in this helpful guide for teachers. This paper from the National Children’s Bureau on involving young people in work on alcohol and drugs [June 2004] may also be helpful.

Briefing on the Performance Management Framework for young people in the government’s drug strategy – an overview of the performance management arrangements that the government are using to assess the drug strategy as it affects young people.



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