A9. Lifeskills education and alcohol education in schools

"We will financially support the Lifeskills Education and Alcohol Foundation (LEAF) with a minimum of 250,000 thousand pounds as a start-up fund. Subject to favourable reporting and evaluation of delivery, we will seek to increase programme scope through funding from the alcohol industry and others."

The following provides background and supporting information to help organisations understand what this pledge sets out to achieve and how, by being a Responsibility Deal partner, you can help deliver this pledge.

What this pledge sets out to achieve and why it is important.
The objective of this pledge is to provide a start-up fund for LEAF to establish programmes in a number of schools in its first two years. Increasing programme scope through funding from the alcohol industry and others, subject to favourable reporting and evaluation of delivery, is expected to follow.

The Lifeskills Education and Alcohol Foundation (LEAF)
LEAF is a new charitable foundation, specifically set up to provide an impenetrable wall between funders and the delivery of education programmes in schools.

LEAF's sole purpose is the advancement of education of young people (in school and of compulsory school age), by the provision of evidence-based life skills and alcohol education programmes within schools, particularly in disadvantaged areas that are also disproportionately affected by alcohol harm.

The programmes aim to help children and young people acquire the life skills they need to navigate safely a world of mixed messages about alcohol and other risks. Only programmes independently assessed by the Centre of Analysis for Youth Transitions (CAYT) and rated 5/6 and with an impact score of 2 or more will be commissioned and delivered in schools.

The trustees of LEAF will appoint a managing agent to oversee the administration and management of the delivery of these programmes.

LEAF will commission evaluation and reporting of delivery of the programmes in schools.

Benefits to public health
Everyone is agreed we should protect young people from harm. However, contrary to the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, many children in England currently sample alcohol at a young age: 23% of 12 year olds say they have had a 'proper' alcoholic drink. By the age of 15, almost a third of young people are drinking regularly (once a fortnight or more often). Of those 15 year olds who drank alcohol in the past week, a quarter drank 15 or more units in this time.

Early drinking can cause both immediate harms and longer-term damage. Young people drinking are more likely to take risks with their sexual health. The 2007 ESPAD survey of 15- and 16-year-olds found a quarter (26%) of teenagers from the UK had had an accident or injury as a result of alcohol use, 17% had got into a fight; and 11% had engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse. Another immediate harm is the drain on NHS resources - the London Ambulance Service reported 2,625 call-outs to under-18s because of alcohol in 2009-10.

Frequent drinking by young people may cause long-term damage to normal development of the brain, liver and bones and affect hormone levels. Frequent drinking and binge drinking by under-18s are also associated with an increased risk of alcohol dependence in young adulthood.

The programmes in the CAYT repository have been independently shown to reduce alcohol use among young people and to be a cost-effective public health intervention. They can also significantly reduce the use of tobacco and other drugs. By enhancing protective factors they help protect young people from diverse risky behaviours and may also improve educational outcomes.

The probability of alcohol dependence can be reduced by 10% or each year drinking onset is delayed in adolescence.

How you can deliver this pledge
You can commit to an amount of funding for LEAF through a pledge delivery plan.

You can then submit your committed funding directly to LEAF using the following bank details:

Bank Name: Unity Trust Bank
Account Name: Lifeskills Education & Alcohol Foundation (LEAF)
Sort code: 08-60-01
Account number: 20335506

For clarification, commitments to this new pledge are in addition to commitments to the existing Drinkaware pledge (A5), that commits signatories to maintaining the levels of financial support [to Drinkaware] as set out in the Memoranda of Understanding between Industry, Government and Drinkaware.

Your pledge delivery plan

Shortly after signing up, partners will be asked to provide a pledge delivery plan, laying out how they intend to meet the pledge they have signed up to - in this case they will identify the amount of funding they are committing to LEAF. They will have up to 2,000 characters to describe their plans. All delivery plans will be published on the Responsibility Deal website.

Reporting progress on your pledge

Partners will be asked to report on their progress by the end of April each year.

For some pledges, partners will be asked to report using pre-defined quantitative measures, while for others they will be asked for a narrative update. Further information on the reporting arrangements for each alcohol pledge for the reporting period 2014/2015 is available.

Partners can complete their delivery plans and annual updates online. Please login here.

Partners currently committed to this pledge (7):

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