“We don’t get taught enough”

The findings from Mentor's recent work on school-based alcohol and drug education have been published by the peer-reviewed international journal, Drugs and Alcohol Today.

19 October 2015 | Research

The findings from Mentor’s recent work on school-based alcohol and drug education have been published by the peer-reviewed international journal, Drugs and Alcohol Today.

An assessment of drug education provision in schools in England

 The paper, “We dont get taught enough”: an assessment of drug education provision in schools in England, presents recent findings from our London Youth Involvement Project and ADEPIS research, as well as key learning from the implementation of ADEPIS in schools in England. In doing so, we offer insight on the current provision of drug education in schools, with implications for national policy and practice, and present ADEPIS as a framework for supporting schools to deliver quality, evidence-based drug education.

ADEPIS Programme Manager Jamila Boughelaf also presented these findings with a poster at the Sixth EUSPR Conference in October 2015 – click on the poster image (right) to see a full-size version.

Key Points

  • Low frequency of drug education delivery: 48% students received drug education once per year or less.
  • Inconsistent adherence to evidece-based standards: 3 in 10 teachers favour ‘hard-hitting messages’, which can have a negative impact. Less than half of teachers use ‘challenge myths and misconceptions’, a key component of quality drug education.
  • Only 68% of students ‘trust the drug education they get in school’.
  • Schools are constrained by a lack of curriculum time, a lack of financial capacity, and the impact of non-specialist teacher training.
  • There is a need both to enhance the status of drug education within the curriculum, as part of statutory Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, and to provide centralised guidance and support.

The paper is published in Drugs and Alcohol Today (2015) Volume 15, Issue 3, pp. 127-140. You can view a post-print version of the article here.

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