SO YOUR SCHOOL HAS BEEN APPROACHED BY AN EXTERNAL ORGANISATION...

March 3, 2017

SO YOUR SCHOOL HAS BEEN APPROACHED BY AN EXTERNAL ORGANISATION...

We posted this article back in 2016, but we think it's worth re-visiting.  There are an increasing number of external organisations offering alcohol and other drug prevention sessions for school students. While there are benefits in local services connecting with students in order to promote their service, we know that poorly designed AOD prevention programs can have unintended impacts, including increasing substance use and harm. It can be difficult for schools to know if the prevention programs offered by external agencies are evidence-based. To help with this, we came up with some suggestions to assist school-based workers in assessing whether an externally delivered program might be effective.


  1. Does the program comply with the "Principles of School Drug Education"?
  2. Has the program been evaluated and found to change behaviour - (not just "the students enjoyed it")?
  3. Has the program been developed, endorsed or supported by a university or a goverment department like Queensland Health or Education Queensland?

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, then the chances are you have found a quality program for your school.  If you answer "no" to these questions, the program might be inappropriate for schools and could have unintended outcomes for the students. If you're not sure, feel free to get in touch with Dovetail and we'd be happy to help you decide if the program is suitable for your school.