HC Deb 15 November 2000 vol 356 cc676-7W
Mr. Cox

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will list those projects his Department supports highlighting the dangers of drug abuse to children and young people. [137340]

Jacqui Smith

DfEE guidance Circular number 4/95 sets out the statutory position on drug education in schools and was supplemented by the guidance "Protecting Young People" (1998) which gives detailed advice to identify what works in drug education and how best to take that forward effectively. To further support schools in the dissemination of effective drug education DfEE in partnership with the Department of Health commissioned the Standing Conference On Drug Abuse (SCODA) to product further guidance for schools, the three "R's", "the right approach", "the right response" and "the right choice". DfEE has also made funding available in partnership with the charity DrugScope to identify, develop, promote and disseminate good practice in drug and alcohol education and prevention programmes for young people, parents and professionals in schools and in informal settings. DfEE will continue to fund the dissemination of guidance and support materials.

Spending on drug education will rise from £7.5 million this year to £17.5 million in 2003–04 (a 133 per cent. increase). This funding is available to all LEAs through the Standards Fund. It will help teachers deliver a drug education programme tailor-made to the needs of all young people which equips them with the knowledge to recognise the dangers of drug misuse and make informed choices. It will also fund drug advisers to work directly with schools, training costs of the Connexions personal advisers for 13-19-year-olds and ensure that key partners are engaged in developing drug education programmes relevant to the needs of the local community.

We have now established a solid base for drug education in schools. A recent Ofsted survey (July 2000) showed 93 per cent. of secondary and 75 per cent. primary schools now had their own anti-drug policies.