‘Talk About Alcohol’ listed as a Promising practice on the European Platform for Investing in Children

‘Talk About Alcohol’ has been listed as a Promising practice on the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC)! The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) is an evidence-based online platform which was launched in 2013. Operated by the European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) website features summaries of practices that are proven to improve outcomes for children. To be categorized as “promising” by EPIC, a practice’s research evidence must meet certain criteria: (1) The practice has achieved + in “evidence of effectiveness” as the evaluation utilizes at the minimum pre/post design with appropriate statistical adjustments employed in order to control for selection, the sample size is at least 20 in each group and significant positive results (p<0.1) are shown from at least one relevant outcome. (2) The practice is “transferable” and has been evaluation in at least one additional population beyond the original study population or has been marked as having “enduring impact” as an evaluation of the practice which meets the basic criteria for inclusion has conducted a follow-up of at least two years and find at least one positive outcome (p<0.1). Read more  ...

Report on the parental engagement through schools in Halton

The AET have trialled a new approach with a group called Social Sense who run a programme called RU Different? in schools to make young people aware that most young people don’t smoke, get drunk or try drugs – we engaged with 9 schools across Halton to involve parents in a fun questionnaire about how many children in their school they thought were drinking and who supplied them with alcohol! We did this as the research shows that children in year 9 form their drinking habits largely based on the behaviours of parents and carers and the house rules we set them – and whether we stick to them too!. Often the problem for parents/guardians is the lack of knowledge of where to set boundaries, or how to begin conversations about alcohol with their children. We often base our expectations on ‘what we were doing at that age’, when in fact, underage drinking has halved over the past 20 years. Some of us are too laid back and others too strict – which can lead to unsupervised risky drinking – what we need is ‘tough love’! Piloted in 9 schools across Halton, we combined the latest technology with traditional emails and newsletters, to tempt parents to test their perceptions through five questions! Most encouraging of all is that 78% of parents/guardians said they will now change the way they talk to their children about alcohol! Click here to view the...

Can six lessons over 2 years in school on alcohol really affect the age that teenagers start drinking?

**Strictly under embargo until 00:01 (BST) Wednesday 2nd September 2015** Can six lessons over two years in school on alcohol really affect the age that teenagers start drinking? Over 40% of all the 4,400 children surveyed at outset had already had a whole drink, usually at home by age 12 or 13 (year 8). 36% of these children who were then taught the AET programme, chose not to drink at 15/16 years old, compared to only 21% who had not been exposed to the programme. Teens are more likely to drink if they have more siblings, have a poor relationship with their father or if their parents drink. A small charity based in the depths of Dorset has successfully proved that talking to children early enough in an engaging way, without preaching about alcohol, in just a few lessons over 2 years taught by the schools non-specialist teachers, can significantly delay the age kids decide to start drinking. The National Foundation for Education Research, leading evaluators who conduct the annual Smoking, drinking and drug use of young people report, followed the effect of the Alcohol Education Trust’s  ‘Talk about Alcohol’ programme among school children in England over 3 years (2011 – 2015). At the outset 4,500 pupils in 34 schools were recruited – 16 schools who delivered the lessons and 17 schools who didn’t were carefully matched for Ofsted ranking, number of free school meals and ethnic mix, for example.  You can read the executive summary of the report via http://www.alcoholeducationtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/TAA-nfer-exec-summary.pdf By the end of Year 9 when the kids were on average aged 14, 4,000 children in 30 schools completed...

The AET calls for Alcohol Education to be taught in schools as part of PSHE

The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) welcomes the report of the Education Select Committee on PSHE and SRE Life Lessons: PSHE and SRE in Schools to make personal, social, and health education (PSHE) statutory in schools in a bid to encourage safe, sensible and responsible alcohol use by young people. AET wants ministers at the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure the inclusion of alcohol education in PSHE in order to help delay the onset of alcohol use by young people.   Recommendations highlighted in the select committee report include reinstating funding for the continuous professional development for PSHE teachers and school nurses, as well as calls for Ofsted to resume its regular subject surveys of PSHE provision.   It also suggests the DfE should develop a working plan for introducing PSHE as statutory subjects in primary and secondary schools.   AET Founder and Director Helena Conibear believes ‘this is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that the entitlement to high quality PSHE, which includes alcohol education for all children and young people in our schools, however they are funded, is met and for them to receive a properly planned curriculum taught by well trained, confident and competent teachers.’ For more information visit www.alcoholeducationtrust.org or email kate@alcoholeducationtrust.org. Notes: The Alcohol Education Trust charity, with PSHE specialists and teachers as Trustees, provides a widely used and highly evaluated evidence based programme, talk about alcohol for 11- 18 year olds across the UK. It is an early intervention, social norms based programme which significantly delays the age that young people begin drinking and improves knowledge and engagement in PSHE. Schools may order a copy...