Home > Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 401 - Substance abuse prevention education [8357/16].

[Oireachtas] Dail Eireann debate. Written answer 401 - Substance abuse prevention education [8357/16]. (26 Apr 2016)

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401. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Education and Skills the policies and programmes on prevention and education in relation to drugs and alcohol for young persons; if there is dedicated staff in her Department on this matter; and if there have been evaluations of these programmes. [8357/16]


Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE) is particularly important in regard to educating our young people about substance misuse both at primary at post-primary level. Through the SPHE curriculum the issue is dealt with in a sensitive, spiral and developmental manner. The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) provides support for schools with all aspects of the implementation of the SPHE curriculum including substance misuse issues. My Department's Inspectorate, including dedicated SPHE inspectors at post-primary level, visit SPHE lessons and provide support and advice to teachers and schools.


In 2013 an interim review of the National Drugs Strategy was held to review progress to date on agreed actions. In September 2013, my Department Inspectorate published a composite report based on the subject inspections of SPHE carried out in post primary schools in 2010/11. My Department in 2014 published a Report of the Working Group on Educational Materials for use in SPHE in Post- Primary Schools and Centres of Education, with particular reference to Substance Use Education in the context of SPHE.


My Department, the Department of Health and the HSE are collaborating through the Health and Wellbeing partnership as a means of enriching and enhancing the health and well-being of children and young people in the school setting. Both service strands bring different and complementary knowledge and understandings about the needs of children and young people and strategies to address these. The objective of the renewed partnership is to build on previous experience and foster greater collaboration and co-operation in the implementation of both Departments' policies on health promotion in the school setting.

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