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Speaking as the government confirmed their commitment to making PSHE a compulsory part of the school curriculum by September 2011, Stephen Burgess, Chairman of the Drug Education Forum, said:

At long last the government is according the health and wellbeing of our children the same status as other subjects on the curriculum.

However it is not enough simply to ensure there is sufficient time in the school day. We need to be confident that what young people learn about drugs and alcohol is factually correct and effective in helping them grow up safely.

While we know that fewer young people are taking illegal drugs, Britain continues to have one of the highest rates of drug misuse in Europe, so much more work needs to be done.

Drug education needs to be based on the best evidence available, and for that we need to learn more about what is being done in other countries and do further research into what might work better here.

Later this month the Drug Education Forum will be holding a seminar on effective approaches to drug education and publishing a paper to help educators put the principles of effectiveness into practice.

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