Home > 302. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the steps she will take to raise awareness of the dangers of so-called legal highs.

[Oireachtas] 302. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the steps she will take to raise awareness of the dangers of so-called legal highs. (01 Jul 2010)

URL: http://debates.oireachtas.ie/dail/2010/07/01/00219...


Drugs Awareness Campaigns

302. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the steps she will take to raise awareness of the dangers of so-called legal highs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29139/10]
 
Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) forms a mandatory part of curriculum provision in primary schools and in junior cycle. The overall aim is to help develop students’ confidence and self esteem, and promote the skills for living, for responsible decision making, and for mental, physical and emotional health and well-being. The junior cycle syllabus for SPHE includes a specific module on Substance Abuse. The implementation of these programmes in schools is supported by full-time support services at primary and second level which provide professional development for teachers and advice and support to schools. The second level support service is operated jointly with the Health Sector. A range of resources are available to support the programmes. These include the Walk Tall Programme at primary level, On My Own Two Feet at post- primary level, the Teacher Guidelines for SPHE developed by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, a Substance Misuse Prevention Information Booklet for schools and parents, Guidelines for Developing a School Substance Use Policy, including a policy template, and links and
references to relevant websites.
 
At second level, the SPHE Support Service also provides support and assistance to schools in the development of their Substance Use policies, and offers a resource directory, which includes the materials of the Teaching Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs Education in England. Copies of these materials were made available to the network of Education Centres around the country by the support service. In relation to the supports available to primary teachers, personnel have now been appointed to commence work with the newly formed Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) that will provide support on a regional basis from September next. These personnel will form multi-disciplinary teams that will work in close co-operation with the Education Centre Network to respond to needs identified by schools in the region including support for the SPHE and the Walk Tall Programme where possible.
 
In addition to this, the Transition Year Programme, which is available to schools on an optional basis provides a flexible menu of options designed to further support pupils’ personal and social development, to provide a bridge between junior and senior cycle and to offer a broad educational experience which can aid the maturing process. As part of this, there is scope for schools to offer alcohol and substance misuse programmes.
 
The central objective of a school substance use policy is the welfare, care, protection and education of every young person. The school policy can ensure schools have a coherent framework for providing appropriate education and managing issues relating to substance misuse in a planned and considered way.
 
Vol. 714 No. 2 
Written Answers – Drugs Awareness Campaigns
Thursday, 1 July 2010
Item Type:Dail Debates
Source:Oireachtas
Date:1 July 2010
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > New (novel) psychoactive substances
VA Geographic area > Europe > Ireland
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention approach > Prevention through information and education
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Substance use prevention > Substance use harm reduction
A Substance use, abuse, and dependence > Effects and consequences

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