National Alcohol & Drugs Education Conference

On 19th October 2016 Mentor and The Alcohol Education Trust jointly hosted the first National Alcohol and Drugs Education Conference on evidence-based practice in alcohol and drugs education. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Home Office Sarah Newton MP delivered her first Ministerial speech on the Government’s alcohol and drugs strategy and policy, praising the work of Mentor and The Alcohol Education Trust and their prevention work in schools and wider communities.

Delegates can access the full set of conference presentations here.

About the conference

Alcohol and drugs are taught at a basic level through the science curriculum in schools, but the life and resilience skills that young people need to prevent drug use and enable them to make healthy choices about drugs and alcohol as they get older can be better developed through Personal Social Health and Economic (PSHE) education or other teaching opportunities. Schools, local authorities and educators in non-formal education settings can benefit from guidance regarding effective, evidence-based alcohol and drugs prevention programmes, as well as support to improve training, content and delivery.

 The morning session was dedicated to exploring drinking and drug use trends among young people in the UK, Government and Public Health priorities for preventative and early intervention work in drugs and alcohol in England and about evidenced-based programmes. The morning concluded with a Q+A session where delegates shared their questions and experiences around drugs and alcohol education with a panel of experts.

The afternoon offered delegates an opportunity to attend workshops on: effective PSHE planning for alcohol and drugs education; bespoke approaches for children with special educational needs; and meeting OFSTED criteria. The afternoon also included taster training sessions for evidence-based programmes such as Talk About Alcohol, SHAHRP, Unplugged and the Good Behaviour Game.


Conference organisers

The Alcohol Education Trust

The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) is a national charity providing evidence-based resources on alcohol for 11-18 year olds across the UK, training for teachers and youth leaders and good parenting workshops. Visit and to learn more.


Mentor is a national charity working to prevent the misuse of alcohol and drugs among children and young people. Their work is rooted in building young people’s resilience, helping them develop the life skills they need in order to negotiate challenging situations. Mentor provides children and young people with the appropriate knowledge, skills and positive health values to help them develop the self-confidence to make their own decisions. Visit to learn more.



Barnardo’s Northern Ireland

The LifeSkills Training Programme is an evidence-based prevention and early intervention programme, which aims to prevent smoking, alcohol and substance use by young people. It is delivered to groups of children aged between 8 and 14 in schools or in the community. It targets the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance misuse and other risky behaviours. Learn more.


Wellbeing People

The Really? teaching resource from Wellbeing People and Golding Vision is a film which has been written and directed to engage young people around key PSHE education topics and themes, such as pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, bullying, self harm and more. This resource is PSHE Association assured and the teaching pack includes guidance notes, subject guides and lesson plans to help teachers explore the topics raised by the DVD in lessons. Learn more.


Social Sense

R U Different? offers young people the opportunity to share their perceptions alongside their own participations in a range of risky behaviours such as: smoking, alcohol use, drugs use and underage sex. With over 100,000 young people currently taking part throughout the UK and Europe, R U Different? is now the largest social norms programme of its kind in the world. Learn more.


Cut Films

Cut Films is an anti-tobacco project aimed at young people, encouraging them to make anti-smoking films for their friends. Cut Films will also be doing some filming at the conference, so look out for their volunteers if you want to share your thoughts on the day!


Drug Aware

Drug Aware is an aspirational standard for schools and their communities, supporting them to address drug and alcohol issues through early intervention. The standard, set out for schools to build on existing work, helps to develop a more effective, evidence-based approach. Learn more.