'Drug-free' zones

25th August 2000 at 01:00
THE Deputy Minister for Justice became the latest minister to take an interest in drugs education when he launched an information pack at Preston Street primary in Edinburgh last week.

Angus MacKay wants to turn primary schools into "drug-free zones" and was helped to kick-start the initiative by pupils from Newmains primary in North Lanarkshire, who helped develop it with the offical agency, Scotland Against Drugs.

Mr MacKay said the campaign against drugs had to strike a balance between education, enforcement and treatment. The role of schools lay in "stimulating the minds of young children and making themaware of dangers and life choices".

The Government wants to advance on a broad front, training teachers in drugs education, involving school sport co-ordinators and developing "positive lifestyles" projects for young people.

The School Drug Safety Team, chaired by Ken Corsar, director of education in Glasgow, is to publish guidance on what constitutes effective drug education, the role of teacher training and spreading good practice.

In the latest study, 96 per cent of primaries said they provided drug education while all secondaries said they did so. But most schools provide one-off lessons.

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