Project information

Talkaboutalcohol – for teens, parents & teachers

Drinking regularly before age 15 is linked to low attainment and an increase in other risky behaviours as well as 20 point lower predictions for GCSE's. It is essential that pupils are taught a programme that is proven to delay drinking before onset to raise the prospects of children most in need.

January 2015 - July 2016

Charity information: The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) - talk about alcohol

The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) - talk about alcohol logo
  • Need


    Underage drinking is a growing problem among poor white British teenagers, especially girls, followed by black Carribeans. Few 11 years olds drink but many 15 year olds do, much of it supplied by parents. Pupils from ethnic non-drinking families feel pressure to fit in but lack guidance from home, so hide the problem. Regular underage drinking affects brain development, savages grades at GCSE and can have many other serious consequences including substance misuse and criminal behaviour.


    We work in London’s schools with Y8 & 9 pupils. The programme shows pupils how to be healthy and stay safe. Using ‘bottom up’ activities, pupils build knowledge, confidence, resilience and life skills. We ensure teachers are knowledgeable and confident by providing training in proven techniques to support vulnerable pupils discreetly. We engage parents via schools, making them aware of the law and that they are key in setting boundaries, being role models and using 'tough love' parenting skills.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To delay the age of onset drinking from 13 ½ currently to at least 15, reflecting CMO guidelines.


    » By supporting 100 schools across London with the proven AET talkaboutalcohol programme for Years 8 and 9 with top up lessons thereafter.

    What success will look like

    By having involved a hundred schools in using the Alcohol Education Trust resources.

    Aim 2

    To ensure pupils are equipped to make informed choices about drinking.


    » By employing a specialist to work with schools across London to deliver teacher training and supporting pupils with interactive, engaging resources.

    What success will look like

    By reaching 25,000 pupils with the talkaboutalcohol programme and information leaflets via school.

    Aim 3

    To reduce drunkenness and risky behaviours once pupils do drink.


    » By ensuring materials develop resilience and life skills, engage pupils before use begins and use role play to explore consequences of rash actions.

    What success will look like

    By reaching 25,000 pupils with the talkaboutalcohol programme which is proven to raise the onset of youth drinking, reduce drunkeness, improve knowledge and engagement.

    Aim 4

    To ensure parents are good role models, set boundaries and know the law around underage drinking.


    » By holding dedicated information sessions in schools supporting parents and providing them with information and guidance.

    What success will look like

    Every school is offered a talkaboutalcohol parent session, a dedicated parent bi-termly newsletter is distributed. There is a dedicated website of parent advice and support.

    Aim 5

    To ensure teachers are equipped and knowledgeable in delivering behaviour change around drinking.


    » Having a specialist to work with schools across London to deliver teacher training and supplying teacher manual, e-mail and phone support.

    What success will look like

    Four teacher training sessions will have been held across London. These will have been made available to a member of staff in each of the 100 schools.

  • Impact


    A two year evaluation of talkaboutalcohol among 4000 pupils across England (including London) showed that delivering 6 AET lessons over two years delayed the onset of drinking significantly among 13 and 14 year olds( just 8% took up drinking between Years 8 and 9 versus 20% in schools where our resources were not used). Delaying regular drinking improves attainment and reduces the risk of smoking and other drug use as well as the likelihood of binge drinking and alcohol related problems later.


    Some schools could choose not to engage with our resources. We are able to demonstrate through evaluation, however, that delivering just 6 lessons over 2 years delays the onset of drinking significantly and improves knowledge and engagement of pupils which impresses school leads. We reduce the risk of teachers and parents not attending sessions by working with head teachers, having a dedicated coordinator and assuring parents that information sessions are reassuring and non preachy.


    Donors will receive a bi-monthly email report on the project detailing the ongoing and forthcoming activities and any necessary changes that have been made to the project plans, details of which schools have received resources and how many parent and teacher training sessions have been delivered.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £46,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £9,000 Teacher workbooks 100 page teacher workbooks for 100 schools and email and phone support for one year.
      £5,000 Training sessions 4 training sessions held across London on how to use The AET programme.
      £22,000 Schools Coordinator Employment Dedicated to delivering teacher and parent sessions in Greater London.
      £10,000 Printed resources Including information leaflets.

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    The Childhood Trust £13,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Talkaboutalcohol will provide 100 page teacher workbooks, an interactive website, worksheets, information leaflets, newsletters and training for 100 schools across Greater London where needs are greatest for alcohol education. London has a specific cultural and ethnic profile (42% of pupils have English as a second language and SEND is estimated to effect one in five children across their school life) meaning 60% of pupils in London require a programme that is visual rich and easily adaptable.


    The project will ensure that 25,000 13-14 year olds in London schools learn about alcohol and its effects, the law, units and guidelines, resilience strategies and staying safe in an engaging and interactive way.
    A dedicated schools coordinator will ensure teachers in 100 schools receive training on alcohol education with email and phone support for planning and implementation.
    Parents of pupils across 100 schools will be invited to talkaboutalcohol sessions offering alcohol advice and help.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Alcohol Education Trust’s talkaboutalcohol programme has been evaluated and proven to delay the onset of drinking, improve knowledge and pupils’ engagement. It is PSHE Association accredited, DFE approved by CAYT and selected by The Early Intervention Foundation as in the top 50 most effective early intervention programmes. Teachers find the programme easy to implement. The charity has a proven track record of engaging effectively with schools, delivering behaviour change and proven outcomes.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr Gordon Redley BEd (Cantab) LPSH

    Chair of Trustees. Retired Head Teacher and now School Improvement Partner (SIP) supporting school improvement and governor training.

    Dr John Lloyd

    Trustee; policy consultant in Public Health Education and President of The Institute for Health Promotion and Education.

    Helena Conibear

    20 years of experience in alcohol health and responsible drinking, authored all AET resources and provides parent presentation evenings to schools.

    Kate Hooper

    Formerly a secondary school English teacher, leads the coordination of schools for The Alcohol Education Trust.

'Talking to Kids about Alcohol' booklet.

'Talking to Kids about Alcohol' booklet.