The Alcohol Education Trust - Teacher Newsletter

 Summer Term, May 2017, Ed 32

Supporting children most vulnerable to alcohol harms across England

The Alcohol Education Trust began a wonderful project in January this year – that of helping ensure that some of the most vulnerable children across England learn how to stay safe around alcohol. National research shows that one in five children have some level of special educational needs across Britain, and that children who have learning difficulties are three times more likely to be abused, with alcohol, tragically sometimes used as part of the grooming process. Furthermore, children with ADHD, who are more impulsive in their behaviours, are four times more likely to face addiction in later life.

Therefore, with careful input from special educational needs specialists, The AET completed a complex set of resources in January 2017 for children of mixed abilities, using pictures and stories, activity cards, a DVD, powerpoints and games. The resources are based around understanding consent and how alcohol can affect decision making, increase vulnerability to others and susceptibility to other risk taking. It is also carefully adapted to be able to use in a variety of settings, such as small groups or on a one to one basis with 60 scenario and activity cards to promote discussion.

Through a grant we have been able to support the £90 Talk About Alcohol resource for children with moderate learning difficulties in 110 settings since January. Demand has been such that the budget is now fully allocated, but we are thrilled to say that we have secured funding for a further year. What has been of great from our point of view is this grant’s ability to open doors for us in hard to reach areas across Britain, where we are most needed. It has also helped us negotiate match funding from local authorities, youth aspiration, police and crime commissioner and safer community funds, ensuring practical, engaging resources on alcohol education, which work and are used in more schools and settings across the UK.

As part of the qualification process for the resources, which are carefully targeted at schools with high numbers of SEN pupils, special schools and pupil referral units, we asked those using the resources to complete a questionnaire on the Talk About Alcohol programme. It is early days of course, as schools have only had the resources for a couple of months, but we would like to share a couple of case studies received so far.

Litherland High School is located in Sefton, Merseyside. 32% of children in Merseyside live in low-income families compared to an average of 23% across the North West and 20% across the whole of England. The Index of Multiple Deprivation ranks all English Local Authorities using a range of different measures, where 1 = the most deprived and 326 the least deprived, Sefton scores just 76 out of 326. Litherland High school has used the Talk About Alcohol resource with 500 students so far. They now plan to use it across all year groups, commenting ‘We are currently embedding the resources into our PSHCE curriculum. The resources are invaluable to help provide young people with the skills and knowledge they need to make correct informed decisions.’

St Anthony's is a 'Foundation Special School' in Margate and a member of the Kent Special Educational Needs Trust (Ksent), catering for 96 pupils with Educational Health Care Plans Areas of Margate are in the top 1% of the most deprived areas of the whole of the UK. St Anthony’s school commented, ‘Our students have very low academic levels so we find it very useful that the resources can be easily differentiated based on ability. The DVD will be a great resource for our difficult to engage students. 60 students have engaged with the resources to date’.

Just weeks after the new mixed ability Talk About Alcohol resource was produced it was shortlisted as a finalist in the best secondary school resource (across all topics) at The Education Resource Awards at the NEC. It was the runner up in the category, pitched against huge companies such as Scholastic and Satchel and it was the only entry in its class to be awarded a highly commended award (best non ICT secondary school resource), so this was an extraordinary testament to our tireless team and a valuable endorsement by Educational specialists as to the quality and ease of implementation of our resources. You can learn more via or

Our work has only just begun, as there are over 1000 schools, special schools and Pupil referral units that we have identified as needing our mixed ability resource - We hope this project will grow and strengthen with funding agreed for a further year. Please do contact us if you think your school or organisation may qualify or to learn more email

A one-stop shop to ensure you can prepare a comprehensive scheme for PSHE

The Government has committed to making relationships and sex education (RSE) statutory in all secondary schools, and relationships education statutory in all primary schools, from 2019. This will include academies and independent schools. According to the PSHE Association, they also propose making PSHE education statutory in its entirety, pending consultation. So, to ensure you are prepared for this transition, do visit and where you will find all you need on alcohol education either by topic or by year group. In our workbook, you will also find recommended schemes of work. Our evaluation showed that scheduling 4 lessons on alcohol education (which are applicable to reducing all risk taking) with 2 top up lessons in Year 9, significantly reduces the uptake in drinking among students, an effect that only strengthens over time. Students also enjoy the positive activity based lessons and improve their knowledge and engagement with PSHE. You can learn more by visiting the case study and evaluation area of our website

Don’t forget to download the updated version of the Talk About Alcohol workbook

The 5th edition of the Talk About Alcohol 100+ page workbook is available on line and is fully interactive, linking to the relevant games, activities, quizzes and resources on There are new classroom activities, ice breakers, facts and figures too. You can access the workbook via

Don’t forget if you are a mainstream school you can receive our teacher workbook and £50 of leaflets fully funded, or you can order a full set of our new resources for a one off cost of £90 and this includes:

  • The ‘Talk about Alcohol’ 100+ page alcohol education workbook
  • Teacher guidance and 6 lesson plans for children with SEN
  • DVD of BAFTA award winning ‘Just a Few Drinks’ 4 short films
  • Full access to the SEND area of our website with lesson plans, PowerPoints etc.
  • 60 laminated discussion cards pictures, scenarios and quiz for use in class

Guidance on the roles and duties of governing boards, and advice on the skills, knowledge and behaviours they need to be effective

The DfE has updated the Governance handbook and also published a competence framework for governing bodies of maintained schools, academy EAB members / governors, clerks to governing bodies and MAT board members. The code does not apply to 6th form colleges or independent schools, but may still be useful for them to read / aspire to.  New things:-

  • There must be a nominated governor or MAT board member for the organisation’s safeguarding arrangements, which include its Prevent duty
  • A new section about governors / trustees being the key decision makers
  • 6 key features of governance 
  • Guidance for clerks on how to be good clerks!

Students’ well-being analysis

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report analysing students’ performance in school, their relationships with peers and teachers, their home life, and how they spend their time outside of school. Findings from a questionnaire completed by 540,000 15-year old students in 72 participating countries include: more than 14% of UK pupils who took part said they are bullied frequently, making the UK the fourth worst affected of all 34 countries surveyed; and 72% of UK students said they felt anxious before taking a test, even if they are well prepared, the third highest in the survey.  Source: OECD  Date: 19 April 2017   Further information: Students’ well-being: PISA  results 2015

Parent outreach funding renewed for an additional year

We are taking bookings for parent talks for next year! As you know, parents and family are the key suppliers of alcohol to underage drinkers and so it’s key, if we’re to improve young people’s outcomes, to talk to parents about their roles and responsibilities in a positive and supportive way. Suitable for parents of Year 6 upwards, our regional specialist coordinators would love to support your school. Whether as part of a transition evening, GCSE options evening, PTA or Governors’ outreach – we can support you! We often find that combining our talk with safety works well – we can give you lots of ideas as to what works from our experience up and down the country! Please email to find our more!

News from the North by Kathryn Arnott Ghent

Cheshire Constabulary – Safer Schools & Young People Partnership

I am delighted to announce that Cheshire Constabulary Safer Schools & Young Peoples Partnership have secured funding for every secondary school in Cheshire, including PRU’s and SEN Schools, (100 schools!) to receive our fabulous new SEND resource pack and training.   I would particularly like to thank PC Liz Stanton MBE, Lead Youth Engagement Officer, for her continuous support in securing the funding.  I’m looking forward to delivering the training this term and meeting teaching staff from the different schools.

Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service

I am also delighted that we have been successful in securing a bid through the Youth Aspiration Fund, which will enable us to provide Greater Manchester Fire Cadet Leaders with our new resource, training and parent sessions.  We will be focussing on 3 pilot areas, Bury, Rochdale and Oldham, where approximately 200 young cadets will benefit from AET resources.

Rock Challenge

It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Rock Challenge events in Bridlington, Rotherham and Hull. I was astounded by the amazing talent all the students displayed – I’m glad I didn’t have to judge!  I’d like to thank the 100s of students who participated in the student survey. We’ve collated some very interested results that we will be sharing very soon with the schools that attended the event.  I can’t wait to attend the Hull Youth Division event in May and the Finals in July.

Teacher Training Sessions

It was a pleasure to deliver a teacher training sessions to staff at Christ the King Catholic High School and Furness Academy.   The sessions combined both the main teacher workbook and our new SEND resource, we looked at different ways of using the resources, some great discussions around units and the ‘Alcohol Clock Game’ and also Alan’s Story. 

Claremount Specialist College received our new fully funded SEND resource earlier this year and I was delighted to attend to deliver the specialist training around the new resource.  Staff had great fun creating emoji equations and again looking at the different ways they could utilise the new resource with their students.  All staff received AET CPD certificates.

Parent Sessions

I’m looking forward to attending Chorlton High School this month with Manchester Healthy Schools Ilkley Grammar School’s safeguarding, health and mental health evening and my final session of the year with Brine Leas.

If you think you may be eligible for our funded SEND pack or would like me to attend a parents evening or book a bespoke parents session please do get in touch.  Email: Tel: 07886532254

First training session of SHAHRP delivered in April – second date in September in the North

Dr Michael Mckay from Liverpool John Moores University led a day’s training on the UK adaptation of the highly evidenced programme SHAHRP from Australia in April, kindly hosted by St Saviour’s and St Olave’s School, close to Waterloo. Attendees were taken through the proven approaches used in the lessons, the evaluation findings and finished the day with an hours walk through the AET Talk About Alcohol offer and resources. The next training day will be held in the North of England during the week of the 27th September at a cost of £190 for the training and resource. To find out more, please contact   

The UK findings on the schools programme, 'Steps Towards Alcohol Misuse Prevention Programme (STAMPP): a school- and community-based cluster randomised controlled trial', can be read here

What do teachers think about the content and delivery of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education?

A research team interested in developing new tools for use in personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education, with a particular focus on alcohol, drugs, relationships and well-being is recruiting teachers for an online survey about how these topics are taught and delivered in schools.

The researchers want to find out more about teachers’ views to inform the development of new tools to use in PSHE.  Sometimes new tools are designed without the feedback of the people who use them.  By taking part in this survey, teachers will help influence how new tools are developed at the beginning of the process.

As a thank you for taking part, individual participants will have the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win one of three £100 shopping vouchers.

The link below gives detailed information about the research, and how to participate in our survey:

If you would like any further information about the aims of our research then please contact Dr Emma Davies, Lecturer in Psychology and Fiona Matley, Research Assistant at 

If you would like to find out more about the study  updates and a summary of findings will be on  during and at the end of the study.

Community fund raising

Thanks to our wonderful trustees, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, the AET sat 129 people down to a four-course dinner with comic entertainment and sketches on April 8th. The following day, 20 stalls and a further 20 artists showcased ‘all things made grown or created in Dorset'. A total of £7,400 was raised for the AET over the two days. Great fun was had by all and it was a wonderful opportunity to share our work with the community of Dorset whilst championing the wonderful produce and creativity of where our charity is based! If you’d like to be involved next year, please email

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

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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