The Department of Education is firmly committed to tackling the increasing problem of the availability and use of illegal drugs. Schools have a key role to play in ensuring that young people understand the risks involved and have the confidence, knowledge and skills to avoid them. They have a major contribution to make in discouraging drug misuse, encouraging positive attitudes and self-esteem, and promoting healthy lifestyles.
Schools alone cannot solve the problem of drug misuse in society, but the implementation of an effective programme of drug education in all schools is an essential starting point.
It is currently a statutory requirement for every grant-aided school to have in place a drugs education policy. This can only increase in the near future, as the Government has committed to making the health education and relationships education / RSE aspects of PSHE (personal social health education) compulsory from September 2020.
Drugs education is provided in the curriculum, which is taught to all pupils of compulsory school age in grant-aided schools. In primary schools, pupils have opportunities to learn about keeping themselves healthy and safe through the Personal Health element of the Personal Development and Mutual Understanding area of learning.
In post-primary schools, pupils have opportunities to learn how to look after their health and well-being, keep safe and cope with their environment, and explore the risks and consequences of the misuse of drugs through the Personal Development element of the Learning for Life and Work area of learning.
However, practical real world experience in delivering the course content is often missing.
Medical, Health and Education Ltd are able to relate extensive experience in the medical, drug treatment, employment and educational sectors, and are every well positioned to cater for these requirements via interactive student workshops and staff training sessions under CPD (career professional development) and safeguarding.