HC Deb 20 May 1998 vol 312 c415W
26. Mrs. Ann Winterton

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps his Department has taken to extend information on the dangers of drug misuse to primary schools. [41439]

Mr. Hain

The Welsh Office has issued circular guidance to schools "Drug Misuse: Prevention and Schools" (WO Circular 54/95). In partnership with health and social services, police and the community, schools have a responsibility to respond to drug misuse through appropriate education, including the teaching of certain aspects as part of the National Curriculum, and through appropriate management of incidents on school premises. The circular advocates that each school should have a drug prevention policy.

A Strategic Prevention Action Plan on Drugs and Alcohol in Wales was developed by the Welsh Drug and Alcohol Unit (WDAU) and launched in November 1997 by my hon. Friend as part of "Forward Together"—the Government's national strategy to combat drug and alcohol misuse in Wales. This includes the recommendation that substance misuse prevention activities should be targeted at children of primary age.

As part of its prevention campaign the WDAU has developed "Lets Talk" for children of primary school age. The "Lets Talk" resource, which is unique to Wales, consists of six comic strip postcards which depict situations where young people are likely to be introduced or exposed to drugs, solvents and alcohol. The postcards serve as a lively trigger to participative learning about substance misuse and related issues. A copy of this resource is currently being distributed to every school in Wales.