Quality standards for effective alcohol and drug education

Ensuring the quality of alcohol and drug education in schools

StandardsFollowing feedback from teachers from our mapping exercise we have drafted a set of standards for the delivery of alcohol and drug education.

The standards, comprising statements explaining the criteria for meeting each requirement, are coupled with the following supporting tools:

  • Further reading and resources;
  • Indicative examples of how standards might be evidenced;
  • Self assessment forms.

These standards have drawn on existing national and international guidance as well as examples of good practice in alcohol and drug education and prevention. 

In addition, we have consulted widely with teachers, practitioners and those that support school alcohol and drug education in order to ensure that they reflect the best current evidence and practice.

Who are these standards for?

Each set of standards has been produced for a specific target group:

  1. Delivering effective alcohol and drug education in the classroom as part of a planned PSHE programme: Primary and secondary schools, independent practitioners or anyone else delivering alcohol and drug education, in formal or informal environments.
  2. School context for effective alcohol and drug education: School leaders and governing bodies, as well as other members of staff in primary and secondary schools – including free schools, academies, private schools, and faith schools – responsible for, or involved in the delivery of alcohol and drug education or policy.
  3. Staff policies and safeguarding: External agencies delivering alcohol and drug education within schools and employing staff and/or volunteers.

What are the aims of the standards?

  • To help schools and others assess their own practice, in and outside the classroom, and make the case for appropriate support and resources.
  • To help external providers of drug education assess their own practice and convey their aims, methodology, and approach to schools.
  • To help schools have clearer expectations of external contributors, choose those that deliver to a high standard, and work more effectively with them.

Why are these standards helpful?

The quality standards will help schools and practitioners:

1-    Meet their statutory obligation to promote children’s wellbeing and develop a healthy environment.
2-    Meet their statutory obligations to deliver alcohol and drug education.
3-    Provide evidence of effectiveness for Ofsted inspections.

Download the list of resources here:

Introductory information

The Standards


Self-assessment forms