The Alcohol Education Trust - Teacher Newsletter

 Summer Term, July 2016, Ed 28

Exams are over and we draw towards the end of another academic year. Is it us, or does time really fly?

We were shell shocked by the news on the 23rd June that we are coming out of Europe, we hope it won’t affect our work too much and keep our fingers crossed for stability both here and in the EU.

Below you’ll find regional updates on our work across the country from Kathryn, Helen and Sandra as well as reflections from Kate as our Schools Coordinator and Helena Conibear, our CEO.

On-line Learning Zone

As you begin planning PSHE and health outreaches for 2016/17 please do take note of the Alcohol Education Trust’s new on-line Learning Zone This invaluable resource links in with our lessons and activities and enables students to find out information, complete quizzes, and engage in virtual ‘what if’ scenarios as part of lessons, or set as a fun homework.

It is worth drawing parents’ attention to as well; there are games and challenges they can explore with their children to get the facts about alcohol. Using methods that are a key part of our children’s day to day lives is essential for effective and enjoyable learning, so please do take time to visit – it is no ordinary website!

Picture and story led activities for children with moderate learning difficulties

Please remember that we have a bespoke set of resources for children with moderate learning disabilities to be used in conjunction with our 100 page Teacher Workbook.

There is a one off cost for the package of £90, but this ensures your on-going access to a suite of powerpoints and activities as well as a teacher guidance book on effective approaches and materials. Like all our work, the programme is activity led and is suitable for a whole class approach.

Ensuring schools, Public Health and LA’s use approaches with young people that are both engaging and work!

On the 19th October 2016, at Middlesex University, we are co-hosting our first conference with Mentor on the theme 'Engaging and evidence based approaches for young people around drugs and alcohol'. Featuring speakers from The School Health Education Unit (SHEU), The PSHE Association and OFSTED, the day will showcase the most successfully evaluated programmes suitable for commissioning or for schools and organisations to use across the UK.

There will be a variety of workshops, including one featuring methods suitable for children with moderate learning difficulites. Janet Palmer of OFSTED will host a workshop on PSHE and inspections and Kate Murphy, who leads PSHE CPD training across B&NES for The University of Roehampton will focus on using activities to ensure PSHE learning is effective and enjoyable. 

Do reserve your place now. Over half of our FREE PSHE coordinator and teacher places have already been booked. Find out more, or to book your place just £90 for a full day including lunch.

Drink Spiking

As teenagers enter the season of post GCSE and A level parties, festivals and the long summer holidays, please do direct parents and carers to the parent area of We’ve just added a new feature on drinks being spiked as this topic is coming up more and more at our parent sessions held in schools. Please take a look and send the following links out to parents if possible and

Underage drinking among teenagers in England has dropped to its lowest level since records began

The latest figures released by the government show the proportion of 11-15 year olds who have ever consumed alcohol has steadily declined from 62% in 1988  to 38% in 2014. Only 4% of 11 to 15 year olds said they drank alcohol at least once a week, with prevalence increasing with age from less than 0.5% of 11 year olds to 10% of 15 year olds.

Charities Aid Foundation Fundraising

In common with most charities, fundraising is crucial to the Alcohol Education Trust's continued success. We have set up a fundraising account with the Charities Aid Foundation to help promote our organisation and manage online donations.

If you would like to make a donation, please visit the Get Involved page of our website.

£25.00 supplies 100 information leaflets for teenagers on staying safe around alcohol.

£70.00 supports a school with teacher training manual, newsletter and email support for 1 year.

£150.00 funds a parent support seminar or teacher training session.

Reflections on the academic year from our CEO and regional staff Helena Conibear CEO

As ever, it has been an incredibly eventful year for the AET, the highlight this year, has to be being selected in the top 20 charities out of 400 in the Kings Fund GSK Impact Awards, for having the most impact on health. We felt so honoured and it was a reflection of the hard work and dedication of our small team of staff and trustees. The award gave us access to a Cascading Leadership programme with The Kings Fund and Comic Relief, which will help us ensure sustainable growth into the future – always a worry for small charities like ourselves.

Another ‘first’ for me personally this year has been completing the PSHE accredited teaching course. This has given me an invaluable insight into the planning and number of topics that are covered by PSHE and how essential the subject is to pupils' social, emotional and physical  well being, not to mention pupils feeling valued and it being fundamental to their sense of belonging at school.

We have been really pleased to extend our outreach this year into areas such as The Isle of Wight and East Tyneside, working closely with schools and continuing to evaluate the effectiveness of our programme in different regions with different needs. As such, trialling and piloting our SEN resources has been very rewarding as well as demanding, with a particular highlight for me being speaking to parents and staff at The Alderman Knight Special School near Gloucester.

We’ve had some changes in staff and trustees this year, which is sad, but also offers new opportunities. Jane Hutchings left us having been with us from the outset, and Julie Sutton has quickly settled into post with new ideas and lots of experience to offer us in governance and finance. It’s hard to believe Helen Dougan has been with us for nearly a year, as has Alison Winsborough our trustee who hosted our wonderful Talk About Alcohol launch in the Samsung technology suite at the Isle of Porltand Aldridge Community Academy, where she is Head of Sixth Form and Citizenship.

I am very much looking forward to our first conference on the 19th October on effective school based alcohol and drug education. Do book your place soon as 60% of the free places for PSHE leads and teachers have already been snapped up!

It just remains for me to say we hope you enjoy a good rest over the Summer holidays, and please may the sun shine, at least for some of the break!

Kathryn Arnott, Parent and Schools Coordinator, reports from the North West

What a busy year in the North West! Looking back over the last 12 months it has been a period of some amazing partnership developments. It’s been great to welcome new schools and organisations to the AET community through staff training sessions, parent/carer sessions, health events and meetings at a strategic level.

The exciting addition of new technology to our parent/carer sessions has added a new dimension and enabled us to continue developing our work in an engaging and innovative way. The Quizdom system challenges parental perceptions around young people's alcohol use and allows us to collect impact data to strengthen our evidence-base and provide useful stat’s for schools. It has also provoked some interesting discussion points at the parent sessions where it has been used.

I would like to offer my thanks to all the schools and organisations who continue to support the work the AET do, and during the next academic year I look forward to strengthening my existing relationships with schools and Local Authorities and building more new relationships with schools and their communities in the new academic year.

If you would like any further information or would like to book a parent session then please contact me on 07886 532254 or

Sandra Saint, Parent and Schools Coordinator, reports from the North East

Working Together to improve outcomes

Working with schools is a fundamental pillar of our work here at the Alcohol Education Trust and last term saw another successful and positively received staff CPD session. It was our pleasure to be welcomed by two neighbouring schools at the same time as they develop their own plan for working together.

The Beacon Centre and Park View schools in South Shields are collaborating to meet their pupils’ needs and it was a privilege to also be involved; supporting them to improve their alcohol education.

The session involved the exploration of our Talk About Alcohol programme and booklets, watching ‘Alan’s Story’ from the Just a Few Drinks film clips and introducing the group to our new SEND resources.

If you would like to hold a staff CPD session at your school then please do get in touch. Contact and we’ll work with you too.

Helen Dougan, Project Coordinator, reflects on the Talk About Alcohol LEAF trial in regions with high alcohol related harm for under 18s

In the autumn we shared news with you about a new project working specifically with schools in 3 areas across the country. These areas were selected to take part in the AET Talk About Alcohol intervention because their alcohol specific hospital admissions rates for under 18yrs were amongst the highest in England. The first phase of the project is now coming to a close and has been very successful.

The focus for the project was to utilise the independently evaluated AET Talk About Alcohol programme with Year 8 pupils. Research recently carried out with around 4,000 pupils in 34 schools showed that after 4 lessons in Year 8 and 2 lessons in Year 9, only 8% took up drinking versus 20% in schools without the intervention. Delaying the onset of drinking by delivering the intervention in Year 8 before unsupervised consumption begins, improves the chances of academic success, lifelong aspiration and reduces other risk taking. The Talk About Alcohol programme is also the only whole school programme to have been independently evaluated in England to demonstrate this significant delay in the onset of drinking, strengthening as the children get older.

Eleven schools have taken part in the project across the 3 areas of Tyneside, Burnley and the Isle of Wight involving 2,000 Year 8 pupils. The project began in October with all of the pupils taking part in a pre-intervention survey to measure their knowledge, confidence and attitudes towards alcohol. This was followed by 4 lessons delivered in a variety of ways focussing on knowledge, units, the effects of alcohol and rehearsal strategies, using the interactive lessons from the Talk About Alcohol Teacher Workbook and all the valuable on line resources. Some schools delivered the lessons through the pupil’s Tutor sessions while others fitted well into the PSHE/Citizenship curriculum. One school chose to use a project based approach in the science lessons and another had a PE focus. This variety demonstrates the flexible nature of the AET resources and the importance of teachers being able to choose how best to use them to meet the needs of their pupils. After the 4 lessons a follow up survey was completed by the pupils to measure any changes. This data is currently being analysed by Dr Lesley Gutman from The Institute of Education at UCL and will provide us with some rich data to add to our growing body of evidence, which underpins our work.

Now that the first phase is almost complete we are planning some celebrations, starting with the Isle of Wight on 12th July. The four schools involved will be attending an event where pupils from each school will have the opportunity to give a brief presentation on aspects of the project such as; something they enjoyed or learnt during the Talk About Alcohol lessons; what impact it’s had on the Year 8 pupils;  and why they think alcohol education is important for young people in their area. Certificates will then be presented for participation. We have invited a range of local agencies and individuals to attend to promote the excellent work that has been carried out in these key schools.

The second phase of the project is still being developed but will probably include the option of some additional lessons in Year 9 around the Law and staying safe. This will be reported in future newsletters. If you’d like to know more about the project or to get involved contact Helen Dougan, Project Coordinator,

Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator, AET Office update

It’s been another busy academic year in the AET office! We are delighted to have had many orders for our resources from a wide range of schools and organisations; some we’ve worked with before and many are using our resources for the first time. It’s great to know these are being used all across the UK – from Cornwall to Scotland and in a huge variety of settings!

Following the successful LEAF project, I’ve been very busy inputting the data we have received from the pupils who took part and I am looking forward to reading the final report on the findings later in the year.

I’ve been in touch with many schools across Dorset and London to let them know about our exciting new set of resources for pupils with SEND which are funded in these areas. These resources have received great feedback so far and I look forward to seeing them being used increasingly widely across the UK. Please do email me if you’d like to know more.

I love attending events such as Southampton University’s Health Day for trainee teachers as it gives me an opportunity as an former teacher to chat to some of the trainees and let them know about the support AET can offer them as they begin their teaching careers.

It’s been a fantastic year in terms of community fundraising and we held two very successful fundraising events. ‘Call my Lot’ was a really fun night with people guessing which auctioneer was telling the truth about a range of items. 'Made in Dorset' took place over two days and involved a Dorset food and drink tasting evening followed by an open house of wonderful artwork and items produced in Dorset. We were thrilled that AET raised over £3,000 at each event. We are also pleased to have a CAF account now in place. You can have a look at this via the Get Involved section of our website.

Please do feel free to be in touch via if you would like to order resources for your school -  Our ever popular Alcohol and you leaflet for older teenagers will be back in stock shortly  - you can place your order for the next academic year now. Please also get in touch if you would be interested in a teacher training session, parent talk or if I can help in any other way. I look forward to hearing from you!

AET resources comprise of and a Teacher Workbook, booklets ‘Alcohol and You’ for 15yrs+ and ‘Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol’ parent and carer guide. 

We also offer teacher CPD workshops and parent information talks.

For further information on any of the above please contact
Helena Conibear, Founder, Director
Sandra Saint, Parent and Schools Coordinator NE
Kathryn Arnott-Gent, Parent and Schools Coordinator NW
Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator
Helen Dougan, Project Manager

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Gordon Redley BEd (Cantab)
Victoria Mc Donaugh MA (Hons), PGCE
Alison Winsborough BMus, PGCE
Patricia Garven Cert Ed.
Rod Hoare, MBE

The Alcohol Education Trust, Frampton House, Frampton, Dorset, DT2 9NH

01300 320 869

Registered Charity Number 1138775