Quality standards for drug education – consultation and survey findings

At our seminar today in Liverpool we are launching a consultation on a new set of quality standards for drug and alcohol education. In developing the draft standards we have drawn on existing guidance including, international standards, the work of  the Drug Education Forum in establishing the principles of good drug education, and the experience of a number of helpful critical readers.

The standards cover three areas:

In addition we have produced a checklist that schools can use when working with visitors who support the delivery of drug and alcohol education.

The intention is to provide practical tools that schools and others can use to assess their  drug and alcohol education and prevention, and to help them plan to further protect pupils from the harms associated with drug and alcohol misuse.

We are consulting on the content before finalising the standards, the consultation will run until the end of November – you can contribute on SurveyMonkey here or by email to adepis@mentoruk.org.

The draft standards are informed by research with teachers which we asked the PSHE Association to carry out earlier this year, which identified a number of gaps in drug and alcohol education provision. The findings from this research are also being launched today.

Drug and alcohol education in schools (summary)

Drug and alcohol education in schools (full report)

The survey of 288 PSHE teachers from across England reveals that while there is excellent practice from which we can learn, and build on, these issues struggle to find time in many schools’ timetables.

Another clear message from the field is that trustworthy and accessible classroom resources are something that teachers would find valuable.  Four out of five (81%) respondents said they would like more resources.  Teachers from primary and secondary schools expressed different needs, with primary school teachers looking for resources on particular substances, and secondary schools looking to link the risks of substance misuse with other areas of risk.

Teachers were clear where they currently look for support, with three fifths (60%) saying that they continue to receive advice and support through the local authority and four in five secondary school teachers using the FRANK website as a resource for their teaching.

We hope that the standards that we are producing and the other resources that can be found on this website help teachers, schools and those that support the delivery of drug and alcohol education to reflect on and improve their practice.

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