Under-age Drinking

Charles Walker asks the Education Secretary about measures to reduce under-age drinking among school pupils

Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she is taking to reduce the incidence of under-age drinking among school pupils; and if she will make a statement. [18559]

Jacqui Smith: The statutory National Curriculum Science Order requires that all pupils should learn about the effects of alcohol and other drugs. In addition, schools are expected to use the non-statutory frameworks for Personal Social Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship at key stages 1 and 2, PSHE at key stages 3 and 4 and the Citizenship programme of study at key stages 3 and 4 as the context for developing drug and alcohol education further. In 2004 all schools were issued with guidance on all aspects of drug education, including alcohol.

Since 1997, we have made over £70 million available to local education authorities to support drug, alcohol and tobacco education and prevention in schools. Over the last three years more than 3,000 teachers have undertaken the PSHE certificate which sets standards in the teaching of PSHE, including alcohol education.

Together with the Home Office and Department of Health, we are supporting a national five year research programme called "Blueprint" to test the effectiveness of drug education initiatives in schools. It will make a significant contribution to developing a UK evidence base for drug, alcohol and tobacco education.


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