Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 1395 - Alcohol and drug awareness programmes [34083/14].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 1395 - Alcohol and drug awareness programmes [34083/14]. (17 Sep 2014)

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Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Education and Skills her plans to encourage schools to provide alcohol and drug awareness programmes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34083/14] 

Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): The programme for government, Government for National Recovery 2011-2016, requires that learners get ample opportunities to explore substance use issues, including those related to alcohol and drugs. Schools along with parents are concerned about the well-being of the young people and of raising awareness about drug and alcohol abuse. 

The provision of a Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) programme in our primary and post-primary schools is particularly important in this regard and now includes a new Junior Cycle short course option.

Schools have access to a number of programmes and resources that support the delivery of SPHE and increase students' awareness of well-being, including drug and alcohol issues. Examples include the "Walk Tall" Programme for primary pupils and a post-primary resource available from the Professional Development Service for Teachers, called "On My Own Two Feet". 

The Department hopes to glean further advice on education about substance use from the recently published Report of the Working Group on Educational Materials for use in SPHE in Post- Primary Schools and Centres of Education.

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