Your activity may include some or all steps below, depending on the capacity of the LDAT and partner community organisations.
The key steps involved in supporting schools to deliver alcohol and other drug education are provided below. This is a useful starting point for developing your Community Action Plan activity and informing your approach. Please note though that these steps only provide an indicative guide and it is important to tailor your approach to your local community:
1. Engaging schools
2. Providing evidence around local need
3. Providing evidence around local needs
4. Linking schools to quality programs
5. Supporting schools with communication.
Tips for engaging schools:
• Australian Government schools are required to deliver drug and alcohol education
• Alcohol and other drugs education fits within existing school curriculum, including health and wellbeing
• Alcohol and other drugs education has benefits for individual students, families, the school and the broader community.
• School teachers are time-poor with multiple competing demands
• The school curriculum is full with little room for flexibility and additions
• The school may be concerned about the potential for parent backlash if the alcohol and other drugs education is poorly communicated or delivered. See paragraph d: Supporting schools with communication.
Local Drug Action Teams can be a resource for local primary and secondary schools.
Link schools with quality school education programs by:
1. Linking schools to existing evidence-based school education programs
2. Identify ‘suitably qualified’ expert sourced from a local network or peak body
3. Identify accurate sources of information and related materials
4. Identify training opportunities for teachers;
5. Working with the school to provide upskilling opportunities for parents.
A key role of Local Drug Action Team may be to help link schools to quality alcohol and other drugs education programs. This may include:
Communication around AOD education is important. If done poorly, it may lead to parents, students and the community being misinformed about the purpose, content and outcomes/benefits of the education.
Local Drug Action Teams have a role in supporting schools to involve parents in alcohol and other drugs education. Some strategies that schools and parents can employ to improve communication between parents and school staff include:
Measure and report on the success of your education in schools activity:
1. Collect evaluation measures to success with the schools you are engaging with as well working with the school to gather success measures from students participating in the activity (see Measure your success). Consider doing follow-up with the schools you are engaging with as well working with to track how they are going over time
2. Report on your success, acquit your funds and consider other things you can do to support young people in your community (see Next steps).