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Free alcohol education scheme for schools launched

A new alcohol education package aimed at 11-16 year olds will be sent to over 500 UK schools this month.

Available in print or online, the free scheme was developed by Alcohol In Moderation (AIM) alongside teachers, governors and parents.

It is recommended as a teaching resource by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

At present, although alcohol education is not required in schools, it is subject to Ofsted school inspections.

Research has shown that it is necessary to influence children’s attitudes to alcohol before the ‘tipping point’ is reached at 13 and then modify the approach as the child gets older.

The goals set out in the project include; raising awareness of the effects of underage drinking on the body and the risks associated with underage drinking.

Other topics include the reasons why there are laws governing the sale of alcohol and what they are, as well stressing the dangers and unacceptability of drink driving.

Long-term goals involve reducing the age at which young people start drinking regularly, the prevalence of drunkenness and young people exceeding responsible daily limits.

It also looks to educate parents on becoming better role models for their children and consistent in setting rules and guidelines regarding drinking.

This follows findings from a questionnaire answered by 2,400 families, that 38% of parents don’t set rules on their children coming home or discipline them if they’re late.

A further 21% of parents admitted not knowing where their child was from one evening to the next.

Research by AIM has found that 15% of young people aged 11-15 think that getting drunk once a week is normal behaviour.

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Rupert Millar, 23.06.2010

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