critical early decision for your Local Drug Action Team (LDAT) is to decide
whether to link to and support the uptake of an existing evidence-informed education
program, or to support your local school/s in delivering appropriate and
effective education sessions.
LDATs are not responsible for drug education in schools as it’s the school’s responsibility to determine how it will meet its health-related curriculum. The important role an LDATs can play is to support their schools by promoting parent and community involvement with the school’s activities. LDATs may consider delivering additional complementary projects and activities beyond the school environment to strengthen this work through a whole-of-community approach.
A limited number of education programs have been shown to be effective in Australia. These include:
We encourage LDATs to link schools with existing AOD education programs that have been shown to work. In addition to the three listed here, you may find other education programs through peak youth bodies, local health services and by drawing on local knowledge and networks.
Be mindful that there are numerous examples of poor practice in AOD education in schools. Remember, education programs can be effective provided they are based on principles of ‘effective practice’
When reviewing existing education programs, consider Section 2b What works and doesn’t work in order to assess whether the program is likely to be effective or not.
Due to the limited number of quality education programs available and the need for tailored approaches, many Local Drug Action Teams will support schools to develop and deliver a targeted education program for their school community. Review Section 2e Resources required and Section 3 Delivering education in schools: Key Steps for insight into what is required when supporting schools to develop new approaches.
There is a lot of information available on alcohol and other drug-related issues. Sometimes high-profile public incidents, controversy, and the political landscape can skew perceptions around the alcohol and drug issues in communities. For guidance on gathering reliable information view the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Building Successful Local Drug Action Teams: A Practical Guide. See Tool 1: Identifying alcohol and drug issues.
Local Drug Action Teams are not responsible for delivering alcohol and other drug education in schools, unless the group has the appropriate expertise and relevant training. Their role is primarily to support schools to deliver quality AOD education. This can be done in a number of ways, including:
Setting objectives for your Community Action Plan is an important part of the planning process and helps to ensure critical components of your project are supported.
Schools that are delivering existing education programs such as CLIMATE schools can use or adapt the objectives already established for these programs.
Strong partnerships are critical to your success in preventing alcohol and other drug harms among students or in the broader community. Productive partnerships between schools, family and the community provide a strong network of connections that can help protect young people against a range of harms including those associated with drugs, emotional distress and problem behaviors.
Partners can also support the education program in many different ways, including promoting the program, recruiting schools, providing expert guest speakers, financial support, and much more.
The focus of the education (e.g. social emotional wellbeing, resilience) may influence the type of individuals, networks and organisations that your group partners with.
Partners may include:
LDATs have a key role in facilitating productive partnerships between schools, family and the community. The involvement of families and the community in AOD education in schools can increase the likelihood of their effectiveness and promote long-lasting effects.
The Parent Involvement in Drug Education: Guidelines for Schools provides the following six guidelines for parental involvement:
See Section 2d Working with community partners for further guidance on engaging with community partners.
All education programs in schools need to be adequately resourced. Below is an indicative list of resources required for schools to deliver alcohol and other drug education. Local Drug Action Teams may be able to support schools by providing some of these resources or linking them to other partners who can provide additional support.
 Victorian Government, Parent Involvement in DrugEducation: Guidelines for Schools
 Victorian Government, Parent Involvement in Drug Education:Guidelines for Schools