About the Alcohol Education Trust
Who we are
The Alcohol Education Trust is a small focused charity which works across the UK to keep young people safe around alcohol. We are a leading early intervention charity that supports young people aged 11 – 25 in making more informed life choices through the 4,500 schools and youth organisations we support free of charge with our award-winning resources and training.
What we do
We aim to catch children before they begin drinking and help them work out why it makes sense to wait until they are older (if they choose to drink) and how early and heavy drinking increases their risk of injury, accidents and assault and makes them more vulnerable to others. We build children’s resilience and life skills, helping them
make responsible, informed choices as they encounter alcohol.
TRAIN THE WORKFORCE
We train teachers and professionals working with children and young people in how to deliver evidence-based, interactive and enjoyable alcohol awareness to young people of different abilities and backgrounds in a variety of settings.
IMPROVE LEARNING AND LIFE CHANCES
Our interactive activity-based and award-winning Talk About Alcohol programme is evidenced to improve knowledge and delay the age that teenagers choose to drink whole drinks. We focus on regions where alcohol harms are highest and have bespoke approaches for those most vulnerable to alcohol, such as looked-after children.
SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE LEGACY
Those we train become our ambassadors and cascade their learning to others, meaning Talk About Alcohol costs just 50p per child. We continue to update resources, provide professional development and ongoing phone/email support.
STRENGTHEN ROLE MODELS AND BOUNDARY SETTING
As parents and carers are the prime suppliers of alcohol to children, we build parental confidence, knowledge and skills around alcohol. We encourage parents to monitor their children and to understand the risks associated with underage drinking, particularly in unsupervised settings.
A joined up approach to reduce alcohol-related harm
Why We Are Needed
SCHOOLS AND HEALTH PROFESSIONALS
- Health Education became a statutory requirement for schools to deliver in September 2020, including alcohol and drug education.
- Teachers and youth workers cite not having enough time and not being subject experts as barriers to delivering effective health education.
- The time dedicated to health education (RSHE) decreased by 32% in KS3/KS4 between 2011-15.
A record number of school exclusions were issued in 2018/19 in England due to drugs and alcohol.
- RSHE from 2020 is statutory, but schools have little budget, training or guidance.
- We provide an easy one stop shop for busy, time-poor teachers where they can download lessons plans, PowerPoints, implementation and evaluation guidance by topic or by ability for each year group.
- We make our evidenced programme available free of charge to all secondary schools across Britain.
- We train teachers and provide ongoing guidance so they feel confident and knowledgeable in teaching about alcohol.
- We provide games, one to one and small group activities suitable for use with young people in alternative settings, sports and youth clubs together with free training.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
- The average age at which young people first consume a whole alcoholic drink is just 13 in Britain. Early and regular use of alcohol can affect brain development and increases the risk of dependency later in life.
- Children who drink regularly and heavily before the age of 15 are significantly more likely to try drugs, smoke, engage in unprotected or risky sex, be injured or assaulted. GCSE predictions fall by 20 points, the difference between a grade 9 and a grade 5.
- Children who experience childhood adversity are twice as likely to binge drink and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are three times more likely to face addiction when older. Children with learning difficulties are three times more likely to be abused, with alcohol a factor in grooming and violence.
- Between 2016/17-2018/19 there were 11,233 alcohol-specific hospital admissions for under 18s in England – that’s 10 per day. The UK is one of the few countries in the world where more girls are admitted than boys.
- In 2018/19, 11,492 children were excluded for a fixed period and 688 were excluded permanently from state schools in England due to alcohol or drugs.
- We engage children with an interactive online platform talkaboutalcohol.com that encourages them to build knowledge and find out in a fun way, through games and quizzes, about the effects of alcohol on their physical and mental wellbeing.
- Our activities, rehearsal strategies and role play allow young people to work out for themselves the effect of impulsive behaviour or drinking too much, enabling them to make more responsible, informed choices.
- We focus our training and support workers in areas of high deprivation where alcohol-related harms are highest. We have developed story and picture-led activities and games around alcohol for those who find reading a barrier to learning. We have targeted streams of work supporting looked-after children and those with learning difficulties who face a greater risk of alcohol dependency and misuse.
- From 2021 we will reduce the potential harms from alcohol to 16 – 25 year olds by equipping them with the knowledge awareness and life skills to prepare them for the legal drinking age and its risks and responsibilities.
COMMUNITIES AND FAMILIES
- Parents and carers are the prime suppliers of alcohol to under 18s.
- Children living in households where parents drink to excess are more likely to drink early and problematically.
- Our research shows that 93% of parents and carers overestimate the number of teenagers who drink and get drunk and so supply their children with alcohol, thinking they will get it elsewhere otherwise.
- We help parents and carers to understand why drinking at too young an age and drinking too much can harm their child’s short and long term health and also how drinking outside of the home raises the likelihood of other risk taking such as smoking or taking drugs.
- We correct perceived social norms with positive messages on how teenagers are drinking and getting drunk far less than they were 10 years ago.
- We give positive parenting tips that reduce all risk taking such as how to set boundaries, be a good role model and know where their children are.
- We empower parents to resist teen pressure and manipulation.
Impact and reach
Impacts and awards