The Alcohol Education Trust - Parent Newsletter

Summer Term, May 2017, Ed 25

How many of us have stressed teenagers at home facing GCSEs, A levels, or at a younger age, SAT’s and end of year exams? It’s a difficult time, when we have to encourage our children to do their best and work their hardest, but not feel they’re hopeless if they don’t achieve the results they hope for if they’ve worked to the best of their ability. We’re such a results driven society; it’s very difficult to get the balance right sometimes.

After this term of hard work and focus, we then need to look towards the summer, when our teenagers will have plenty of time on their hands. This can be a mixed blessing if we work, or if we don’t, as we need to keep our children busy and fulfilled. Boredom and having nothing else to do is cited by teenagers and one the prime reasons as to why they begin drinking - in places such as parks or public places, or at each other’s houses. So we need to be prepared - have a look at the clubs and holiday courses on offer in your area, through school, youth and sports clubs. There may be some great volunteering opportunities around too. Or how about a holiday job? It will encourage self-confidence and independence and can vary from informal dog walking or gardening for neighbours and friends to a job at the local café. It will help give a structure to the holidays too. Also, have a chat with other parents or relatives to see if they’re happy to help with keeping the kids entertained over the holidays - it all takes a lot of planning, so never too soon!

When and how do you get talking about alcohol?

Post GCSE parties

Your teenager may be very keen to party and celebrate having worked so hard. We have some good advice if you’re thinking about hosting a party or if your teenager will be going to parties when their exams finish in June. Take a look here – these simple tips really will make the difference between your child having a good time and perhaps it all going wrong.

Mum, put your mobile away! A third of children say they have to tell their parents to stop looking at their phone

Oh dear, it’s not just our kids who are at risk of spending too much time online or engaging with their smartphones according to a poll of 2,000 youngsters commissioned by Digital Awareness UK and the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC). The poll findings revealed that a third of youngsters thought their parents were bad role models who kept looking at phones and tablets – even if their children asked them not to!

More than a third of the 2,000 children surveyed said they had asked their parents to stop looking at their devices – and 46 per cent of those that did said it made no difference. Around one in five said the use of mobile devices stopped their families from enjoying each other’s company, and 82 per cent said they should be banned at dinner. Only 10 per cent of the 3,000 parents polled thought the time they spent on smartphones and tablets concerned their children – but 43 per cent admitted they thought they spent too much time online.

The survey found half of pupils worried about not getting enough sleep themselves because they struggled to put their own phones away. Many admitted they would not mind stricter rules and wanted their parents to be better role models. Some schools are already holding workshops for parents, the Sunday Times reported, after it emerged that around 90 per cent of pupils spend between 10 and 15 hours a day online. The HMC has produced guidelines for parents.

Mike Buchanan, chairman of HMC and head of Ashford School in Kent, said: ‘Our poll shows that children are aware of many of the risks associated with overuse of technology but they need the adults in their lives to set clear boundaries.’ Emma Robertson, co-founder of Digital Awareness UK, said: ‘We hope these findings will be a wake-up call for families and motivate them to have serious conversations about the safe and healthy use of technology

Read more here

Keeping our children safer on line

Along the same lines children may gain access to apps and games on their electronic devices that are not suitable for their age. We thought it might be useful to highlight for parents and guardians that each app and game should have a PEGI rating which gives a clear idea of what age their child should be to access it and the type of content you should expect on the site/app.  Please see below the PEGI rating and symbols and for further information you can visit the think u know / net-aware site for some really good & helpful tips.

Net Aware social media guide for parents

The NSPCC has launched an updated Net Aware site for parents and carers. The site, run in partnership with O2, and informed by 1,696 children and young people and 674 parents and carers includes: tips showing how to help your child block or report someone targeting them; a guide to 39 of the most popular social media sites, apps and games used by children and young people including information about new apps like Pokémon Go, Periscope, IMVU, and

Source: NSPCC - Social media sites failing to protect our children  Date: 27 April 2017

Further information: Net Aware

Students’ well-being analysis

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a report analysing students’ performance in school, their relationships with peers and teachers, their home life, and how they spend their time outside of school. Findings from a questionnaire completed by 540,000 15-year old students in 72 participating countries include: more than 14% of UK pupils who took part said they are bullied frequently, making the UK the fourth worst affected of all 34 countries surveyed; and 72% of UK students said they felt anxious before taking a test, even if they are well prepared, the third highest in the survey.   Source: OECD  Date: 19 April 2017  

Further information: Students’ well-being: PISA results 2015 

AET runners up in the national Education Resource Awards 2017

At the AET we were very pleased to be national runners up in the Education Resource Awards 2017 in the category 'best secondary school resource (non ICT)'. We  were also finalists in the best secondary school resource including ICT.

Our resources were pitched against huge companies such as Scholastic and Satchel and our resource was the only entry in its class to be given a highly commended award (best non ICT secondary school resource). It was an extraordinary testament to our tireless team and a valuable endorsement by Educational specialists of the quality and ease of implementation of our resources. You can learn more via

Want a parent talk to be held in your school, youth club, community centre or club?

One of three pillars of our work here at the AET, together with training teachers and providing engaging evidence based, fun activities to keep kids safe around alcohol – is to empower parents and carers in feeling confident talking to their kids about alcohol. Why not try and organise a session? The sessions are non-preachy and engaging, giving you hints and tips on how to avoid conflict with your kids, keep the dialogue open and avoid some of the common pitfalls around teenage experimentation and risk taking with alcohol. Email if so!  

Community fund raising

Thanks to our wonderful trustees, volunteers, sponsors and supporters, the AET sat 129 people down to a four-course dinner with comic entertainment and sketches on April 8th. The following day, 20 stalls and a further 20 artists showcased ‘all things made grown or created in Dorset'. A total of £7,400 was raised for the AET over the two days. Great fun was had by all and it was a wonderful opportunity to share our work with the community of Dorset whilst championing the wonderful produce and creativity of where our charity is based! If you’d like to be involved next year, please email 

AET resources comprise of and a Teacher Workbook, booklets ‘Alcohol and You’ for 15yrs+ and ‘Talking to Your Kids About Alcohol’ parent and carer guide.
We also offer teacher CPD workshops and parent information talks.

For further information on any of the above please contact
Helena Conibear, Founder, Director
Kathryn Arnott-Gent, Parent and Schools Coordinator - N Region
Helen Dougan, SE Region & SEND Coordinator
Kate Hooper, Schools Coordinator

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Gordon Redley BEd (Cantab)
Christina Benjamin BSc (Hons) PGCE
Patricia Garven Cert Ed.
Kate Larard MSc, HV, RM, SRN
Victoria Mc Donaugh MA (Hons), PGCE
Keith Newton ACA
Alison Winsborough BMus, PGCE

The Alcohol Education Trust, Frampton House, Frampton, Dorset, DT2 9NH
01300 320869
Registered Charity Number 1138775