Drinkaware launches life-skills based education programme

Drinkaware launches life-skills based education programme to lower young people’s alcohol misuse
03 Oct 2011

Alcohol education charity Drinkaware has today launched its In:tuition programme – a free life-skills* based interactive teaching resource for primary and secondary schools.  The resource is informed by international examples of rigorously evaluated, best evidenced life-skills based education programmes, **  which have been shown to be effective in preventing alcohol and other substance misuse – reducing alcohol misuse by 28-31%.***

Adapted for the UK context, Drinkaware’s cross-curricular programme builds the esteem, confidence and decision-making skills of students aged 9 to 14 so they can make more informed decisions about a range of issues – including alcohol, sex and relationships, personal finance, health and civic responsibility.

Drinkaware’s research shows the average age of first unsupervised drink is just under 14 years old.**** Therefore, the transition from primary to secondary school is a critical time to influence young people’s attitudes and behaviour towards alcohol. In:tuition targets young people in an age-sensitive way throughout this crucial stage, enhancing the teaching of Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education. Each of the 10 highly-engaging primary and 11 secondary level lessons encourages the use of the latest online and digital tools in the classroom to bring learning to life and develop pupils’ digital proficiency. The resource is also available as a printed handbook with ‘non-digital’ alternatives.

Developed in conjunction with education experts and teachers, In:tuition is both easy-to-use and flexible, giving teachers the freedom to tailor lessons with relevant, local examples. A home learning component encourages parental involvement, reinforcing classroom messages at home. Lessons and learning activities include:

•    exploring self awareness

•    attitudes and behaviour

•    advertising, branding and the media

•    emotions, communication skills and assertive behaviour

•    the influence of peers

•    goal setting and confidence

Teachers can find out more, and register to use In:tuition for free at

Chris Sorek, Chief Executive of Drinkaware says: “In:tuition empowers young people with the knowledge and self-confidence they need to make lifelong healthy decisions – not only about drinking but about a range of risky behaviours.  We know the later a young person has their first drink, the less likely they are to drink to harmful levels later in life. 

So, Drinkaware’s approach is child-centred, encouraging parents, schools and the community to work together to reinforce life-skills at home, in the classroom and through local initiatives.  

Through its scenario-based interactive lessons, In:tuition allows us to reach young people in the right way, at the right time, so we can give them skills that will set them up for life.  Building on a proven model and developed to be flexible, In:tuition offers professionals a tool which can be adapted to suit the needs of their pupils and meet key learning objectives.  We would like to thank Diageo for their grant towards the development of In:tuition.”   

Professor David Foxcroft, School of Health and Social Care, Oxford Brookes University says: “In:tuition is an innovative programme that should be attractive to schools, teachers, parents and students alike. Drawing on aspects of successful international programmes, Drinkaware’s alcohol education resource aims to reach as many schools, teachers and students as possible.  I look forward to new independent randomised studies to evaluate the effectiveness of In:tuition so it can become an “evidence-based” resource.”

Andrew Brown, Director of Programmes, Mentor – the drug prevention charity says: “International studies have shown that the life skills approach is a proven way to delay the onset of risky behaviour in young people.  It must be an entitlement for all young people that they are empowered with knowledge, confidence and personal and social skills to make healthy life choices.  Drinkaware are to be commended for adapting and expanding this approach for the UK context.” 

Adrian King, PSHE Consultant says: “I am delighted to see In:tuition ready to go into schools, and know that it will be a hugely valuable resource to teaching staff. Although it has an emphasis on alcohol, its focus is much wider than this, helping busy teachers to address important areas of young people’s more general personal development in creative and engaging ways. Drinkaware are to be commended for their contribution to PSHE Education.”


For more information please contact:

Anna Price

Account Manager
Email: [email protected]
Tel:    0207 3315351
Mob:    07920 870982

Kelly O’Sullivan

Senior Communications Officer
Email: [email protected]
Tel:     0207 7669909
Mob:   07979 844023

Notes to editors

* Life Skills aim to:

•    Teach students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs

•    Help students to develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence

•    Enable students to effectively cope with anxiety

•    Increase their knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse

•    Enhance cognitive and behavioural competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviours

**The recent Cochrane Collaboration review of 53 school-based programmes provides new evidence that school-based initiatives can be effective and their impact on behaviour can be lasting.

Unplugged is a European intervention strategy aimed at delaying alcohol, tobacco and drug initiation among adolescents.  The EU-Dap study evaluated the outcome of the programme in 143 schools across 7 countries involving more than 7,000 students.  In the short term it found that the programme was able to reduce the use of tobacco, drugs, and intoxication drinking by 25-30% compared to the expected trends.  A follow-up survey found that among intervention groups, the frequency of drunkenness in the past 30 days was reduced by 28% and 31% for at least once and regularly respectively.  For the full reports, visit:

*** Stated reductions are based on relative risk estimates.  For more information about relative versus absolute risk please visit:

**** Drinkaware Annual KPI Research conducted by Ipsos Mori, January 2011.

•    In:tuition will be rolled out in school across the UK from October 2011. A minimum of 40 schools will take part in an independently evaluated pilot.  Through an interactive web portal, Drinkaware will encourage feedback and input from teachers and parents to inform future editions.  There are long term plans for a longitudinal study to assess the impact the programme has on children over several years. 

•    Professor David Foxcroft is a chartered psychologist and prevention scientist with expertise in the prevention of alcohol misuse.  He is a Drinkaware trustee and has advised the British Government and the World Health Organisation on alcohol misuse prevention for young people. 

•    Andrew Brown is Coordinator of the umbrella membership organisation Drug Education Forum and also Director of Programmes for Mentor, the drug prevention charity. 

•    Adrian King is an independent PSHE Consultant, previously PSHE Advisor for Berkshire Education Authority. He is a member of the Advisory Group to the Drug Education Forum.

•    Drinkaware provides consumers with information to make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles.  Our public education programmes, grants, expert information, and resources help create awareness and effect positive change.  An independent charity established in 2007, Drinkaware works alongside the medical profession, the alcohol industry and government to achieve its goals.  For further information visit 

•    Diageo is the world's leading premium drinks business with an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JåB, Windsor, Buchanan’s and Bushmills whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Jose Cuervo, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is a global company, with its products sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands, and performance, visit us at For our global resource that promotes responsible drinking through the sharing of best practice tools, information and initiatives, visit Celebrating life, every day, everywhere


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