Scottish Schools 'failing on alcohol education'

MANY children across Scotland are not being taught about the dangers of alcohol, according to research by the Scottish Labour party.

The party's investigation found that some schools do not have formal alcohol education programmes, designed to warn children about the effects of drinking irresponsibly. It found that even in schools that did provide lessons, they was often delivered by staff with no qualifications for the task.

Scottish Labour said that the SNP's manifesto had pledged to ensure that every school operated an effective alcohol education programme, starting in primary schools.

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But Labour's health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie said the government had become "obsessed" with minimum pricing - a measure that has failed to gain cross-party support. "It is simply not acceptable to have a situation where some schools do not provide any effective alcohol education at all," she said.

Baillie added there while there were examples of good practice, one-third of primary schools in South Ayrshire and one-quarter in Aberdeen did not provide effective alcohol education.

A government spokesman said: "It is essential that young people have credible, meaningful and accessible information available from an early age, which is why we are working closely to ensure it is central to the new Curriculum for Excellence."