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Schools failing on drugs and sex education, report finds

By Lunar Loops, Jul 27, 2006 | |
  1. Lunar Loops
    This from Guardian (UK) (http://education.guardian.co.uk/ofsted/story/0,,1830778,00.html) :

    Schools failing on drugs and sex education, report finds

    [FONT=Geneva,Arial,sans-serif]Staff and agencies
    Thursday July 27, 2006
    EducationGuardian.co.uk


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    Schools are failing to warn children of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and are not focusing enough attention on the emotional aspects of sex, the education watchdog, Ofsted, said today.
    Ofsted's latest survey considered 18 primary, secondary and special schools, which were chosen for their health policies. Inspectors also used evidence from 102 other school inspections for the report, which covered issues including school sport, meals and sex education.
    Inspectors said most of the schools in the survey were making "a valuable contribution" to pupils' wellbeing but they warned drug education in schools "continues to present a very mixed picture".
    The report said: "While drugs education featured in most schools' planning, and there was provision for drugs education in all the schools, there was too little focus on the social implications of drug-taking.
    "Pupils were not made sufficiently aware of the effect that drugs, smoking and alcohol might have on their lives. Schools rarely discussed the mental problems that may lead to substance abuse and there was wide variation in the support provided for teaching staff to raise their awareness of such issues through regular updating."
    The report continued: "Three of the survey schools took too limited a view of their responsibilities to provide sex and relationship education and support for pupils' emotional development.
    "Resources and teaching strategies were narrow and focused on physical changes, and staff lacked confidence and expertise in dealing with aspects of sex and relationship and drug education.
    "Work was hampered by a lack of specialist knowledge to teach these topics successfully."
    The report also found that meals that were not produced on site were of "poor quality".
    Some schools did not give enough priority to providing good equipment for children's physical activities, the report said, and some relied on delivered lunch meals rather than cooking them on site using fresh produce.
    "In a couple of the secondary schools visited, lunchtimes were too short for formal activities, but pupils often organised their own games, in particular football," the report said.
    Ofsted's director of inspection, Miriam Rosen, said: "The majority of schools are making a valuable contribution to pupils' health and wellbeing.
    "Now is the time for the government to focus on those schools that are not making such a positive contribution to their pupils' health and wellbeing. "Local authorities should improve the quality of school meals that are not prepared on school premises."

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