AET newsletter for professionals and teachers

Autumn Term, October 2017, Ed 34

Well, we’ve survived the first few weeks of term and hopefully life is a little less manic for you all. Certainly, we’ve been whizzing around the country delivering teacher training and parent information sessions from Stockton to Kent, across London and in Northumbria and the Isle of Wight too, with lots more planned as Alcohol Awareness Week (13-20 November) draws closer. Don’t forget to contact for resources and ideas.

We were also thrilled to be in the top six charities  shortlisted for the Charity Times Awards 'Best Small Charity of the Year'  – This is such an accolade and testament to the dedication of our small team and trustees! We didn’t win sadly!

Testimonials from Stockton and Waltham Forest

As you know, at the AET we believe in piloting trialing and evidencing everything we do, but personal testimonials are also really important to us. We’ve had some wonderful ones this month. We held a three hour CPD training session for schools in Waltham Forest in October where participants fed back ’You covered everything I can think of! I’m further informed about alcohol and the law and about activities that allow alcohol awareness learning to be fun'.

'Very informative The information pack and interaction (using games) made it easier to follow and understand. Very good course’

'I think everything was covered – very informative. Interactive, informative, lots of good resources to take back, variety of materials. Catered for SEN pupils as well, fun activities for the kids. I think everything was perfect. Very happy I was able to come'.

Teachers and professionals fed back from a shorter CPD training in Stockton ‘Really excellent session and looking forward to implementing the resources into school - thank you!' And ‘It makes me more enthusiastic to work with young people – excellent session'. We had lovely feed back from East Kent College student support centre in Broadstairs last week too – thank you!

Don’t’ forget to contact Kate via if you’d like to book a parent or teacher session!

Just a few drinks on our new youtube channel

As you may know we’ve updated the Just a Few Drinks BAFTA best secondary school resource 4 short films to reflect the revised low risk drinking guidelines. The films are available from us as a DVD for £10 from our store or the updated versions can now be viewed here.

Don’t forget there are accompanying lesson plans  to ensure children think about how these true life stories, told by those affected, can affect their own ability to make informed decisions and better choices.

Film clips to use with 16+

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) have launched an awareness campaign’ “Not an Ambulance”, which consists of a 90-second YouTube video to encourage young people to look after their friends if they become intoxicated. LAS statistics indicate that more than 6,650 intoxicated people were treated by ambulance crews in August 2016, and a LAS spokesperson commented that “[a] lot of the people our control room and ambulance crews respond to on Friday and Saturday nights don’t need an ambulance – they need a friend to take responsibility to get them home safely and look after them.” #notanambulance

For older students who may be drinking regularly, you may want to point them towards, an app which is written and designed by top psychologist and addictions specialist Adam Winstock. It will help them re-evaluate the consequences of drinking and how cool it really is – or indeed isn’t.

Finally there’s a good conversation starter film for sixth form students on a male talking about having his drinks spiked at university that you can view here:

Save the date! 2nd Alcohol and Drugs Education in Schools Conference

We’re very pleased to confirm that our second alcohol and drugs education in schools conference in partnership with Mentor will take place at Liverpool John Moores university on the 21st June next year. One of our keynote speaker is Andy Burnham Mayor of Manchester and we hope to welcome a key Minister again too! The morning will involve presentations from experts in PSHE and alcohol and drugs, while the afternoon will involve workshops – with an in depth workshop of two hours on the talk about alcohol resources this time as feedback said there just wasn’t enough time last time! To register your interest as a participant, speaker or exhibitor, please email

Research and evidence round up

Talk About Alcohol is equally effective in areas where alcohol related harms are highest among under 18s

We’re very pleased to have released three studies that are now available in the evaluation area of our website. The first, conducted by UCL Institute of Education looks at the effectiveness of our Talk About Alcohol programme in areas of high deprivation, where alcohol related harms for under 18s are among the highest in the country.

Dr Leslie Gutman, Lead Author commented on the findings, ‘The results of this one year evaluation suggest that Talk About Alcohol is an effective intervention programme in high risk areas for alcohol related indices of harm for under 18s. The students who participated (2000 in 11 schools, in three locations) showed lower increases in the onset and frequency of drinking..’ To read the findings click here.  

Challenging parental perceptions

Through our interactive qwizdom handsets we’ve been able to monitor both parent and student perceptions around how many and how much young people drink. 93% of parents and carers over estimated the number of 16 – 24 year olds who get drunk as well as the number of 11- 15 year olds who have tried alcohol. Students don’t expect their parents to supply them with alcohol before age 15/16, whereas parents guessed that 13 was the average age for first whole alcoholic drink. Read each report here:

Child perceptions

Parent perceptions 

An interesting US study looks at body image and substance use

Ramseyer Winter and her co-authors, Andrea Kennedy and Elizabeth O'Neill, used data from a national survey of American teenagers to determine the associations between perceived size and weight, perceived attractiveness, and levels of alcohol and tobacco use. Adolescent girls who perceived their body size to be too fat were more likely to use alcohol and tobacco. Boys who thought they were too skinny were more likely to smoke, and boys who considered themselves fat were more likely to binge drink.

"While poor body image disproportionately affects females, our findings indicate that body image also impacts young males," Ramseyer Winter said. "For example, it's possible that boys who identified their bodies as too thin use tobacco to maintain body size, putting their health at risk."

Girls who thought they were not at all good looking were more likely to smoke. Girls who thought they were very good looking were more likely to binge drink. Ramseyer Winter suggests this is because attractiveness may be associated with popularity, which is related to increased alcohol use.

To improve body image awareness, Ramseyer Winter suggested that parents, schools and health providers need to be aware of body shaming language and correct such behaviour to help children identify with positive body image messages. Body shaming language can affect teenagers who have both positive and negative perceptions of themselves.

"Adolescent tobacco and alcohol use: the influence of body image," recently was published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Substance Abuse. Kennedy is a doctoral candidate at the University of Southern California and O'Neill is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas. The MU School of Social Work is in the College of Human Environmental Sciences

Free access to special edition on Health Promoting schools

A special issue on Health Promoting Schools was published by the journalHealth Promotion International ‘ in April 2017. It carries articles from across the world. There is free access to all the papers in this issue: Health Promotion International. Vol 32 Issue 2 April 2017 Health promoting schools special supplement

Teens’ alcohol consumption down 22.5% in a decade in Guernsey

Following our work in Guernsey in the Summer training PSHE leads and Action4children staff funded by Public Health,  we’re very pleased to know that regular alcohol consumption among teenagers has dropped by 22.5% in the last 10 years, a report into the States’ Drug and Alcohol Strategy has shown.

Further evidence that fear arousal and scare tactics don’t work – and correcting social norms does!

Campaigns designed to persuade young people from so-called “bolting,” or chugging, an alcoholic drink appear to be completely ineffective, and in certain cases, may even make them more likely to do it, according to new research published in the journal Addiction Research and Theory.

For the study, researchers from Exeter University analysed participants’ reactions to a poster warning of the consequences of bolting (rapidly drinking an alcoholic drink), and they discovered that the message had virtually no effect on people’s future intentions. Furthermore, when a statement was added to the poster expressing how other people disapprove of bolting, it made participants want to bolt in the future. However, when the statement was changed to a message saying that most people “do not bolt drinks on a night out,” the message was far more effective.

“Many young people overestimate the extent to which their peers both approve of and engage in risky drinking behaviours,” said study author Dr Joanne Smith of the University of Exeter. “In our research, we wanted to explore what kinds of messages are more effective in changing people’s intentions to bolt. Our results highlight the potentially harmful effects of exposure to what’s called an ‘injunctive norm’ — a message about the approval or disapproval of others. Meanwhile, a ‘descriptive norm’ — telling people what others do rather than what they think — had a positive impact.”

The researchers point out that beliefs about how other people behave are often the “best predictor” in terms of general drinking behaviour and binge drinking. However, they say that using these beliefs to change behaviour needs to be done carefully to ensure campaigns have the desired effect.

“This demonstrates how careful we need to be in selecting the right message in campaigns, and evaluating them before wider dissemination, as poorly designed campaigns, however well-intentioned, can backfire,” said Professor Charles Abraham of the University of Exeter Medical School.

Alcohol Awarenss Week 13-20 November

We're very pleased to see our 'Talking to Kids about Alcohol' leaflets on display well ahead of Alcohol Awareness Week! Do get in touch if you can support our work in anyway, help us raise funds and awareness of our crucial work – please email as to how we can support you.

Photo of AET leaflets in Scunthorpe Pharmacy

AET resources comprise of and, a Teacher Workbook, booklets ‘Alcohol and You’ for 15yrs+ and ‘Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol’ parent and carer guide. 

We also offer teacher CPD workshops and parent information talks.

For further information on any of the above please contact
Helena Conibear, Founder, Director
Kathryn Arnott-Gent, Parent and Schools Coordinator - N Region
Helen Dougan, SE Region & SEND Coordinator
Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator

Gordon Redley BEd (Cantab)
Christina Benjamin BSc (Hons) PGCE
Patricia Garven Cert Ed.
Kate Larard MSc, HV, RM, SRN
Victoria Mc Donaugh MA (Hons), PGCE
Keith Newton ACA
Alison Winsborough BMus, PGCE

The Alcohol Education Trust, Frampton House, Frampton, Dorset, DT2 9NH

01300 320 869

Registered Charity Number 1138775

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