Recommendation ID

How effective are education-based alcohol prevention interventions (universal or targeted) for children and young people aged 11 to 25 with SEND in full-time education?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

Why the committee made the recommendations

Evidence from qualitative studies showed that pupils and their teachers believe that the content of alcohol education needs to be age appropriate and should not be taught to a group of mixed ages. Pupils and teachers also believe that it should be tailored to the levels of need and maturity. Evidence from expert testimony highlighted that accounting for these factors will help avoid unintended consequences.

Experts told the committee that making alcohol education age appropriate can be achieved using a 'spiral curriculum' approach. Taking into consideration the need for alcohol education to be age appropriate to minimise harm, the committee agreed that the spiral curriculum concept is a logical approach to do this.

No evidence was identified for alcohol education specific to pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and intervention studies carried out in schools often exclude pupils with SEND. Therefore the committee could not recommend any specific adaptations to alcohol education for SEND pupils. But they thought it was important for schools to consider adapting alcohol education to the needs of their SEND pupils. The Department for Education's SEND code of practice sets out how schools can ensure equality of access to the curriculum and inclusion in all school activities for SEND pupils. Therefore research is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of such interventions for this group and of alcohol education (research recommendations 1, 3, 4 and 5).

How the recommendations might affect practice

The recommendations will aim to reinforce current best practice because they are based on existing processes that all schools should be following. Schools should already be considering adapting education for their SEND pupils so it is not anticipated that there will be any resource impact.

Full details of the evidence and the committee's discussion are in evidence review A: universal interventions.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Alcohol interventions in secondary and further education
Date issued
August 2019

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 31/08/2019