The Department for Education has released new data as to how much money local authorities across England spend on young people’s support services in schools – in particular, substance misuse services. The figures show that in the last five years, a staggering £7.7million less has been spent on this vital substance misuse support service in schools.
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In 2014/15, local authorities across England spent £16.43million on substance misuse services for young people in schools. This has been cut by 47% to just £8.72million in 2019/20. Regionally, the biggest cuts can be felt in schools across Yorkshire, the South East and the Outer London boroughs.
Only schools across the East of England have benefitted from an uplift in expenditure on substance misuse services.
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We at UKAT simply don’t believe this is good enough. Especially when we also know that the number of offences for the possession of cannabis, the possession of hard controlled drugs like heroin, cocaine and ecstasy and drug trafficking in these institutes across England have all risen in the last few years.
Our exclusive Freedom of Information data shows that drug offences for cannabis possession in schools, colleges and universities across England have almost doubled, from 371 in 2015 to 544 in 2019, a 47% rise.
The number of offences for the possession of controlled drugs has also risen in the same time period by 65%; from 63 to 104.
It cannot be a coincidence that as decisions are made by local authorities to spend less on substance misuse support services in schools each year, drug offences within schools rises.
This is why we have launched our free education awareness programme. Led by a qualified drugs and alcohol specialist, the programme is engaging and educational, and most importantly, an opportunity for pupils to learn about the short and long-term dangers and health risks that come with the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Click here to find out more and to book your free programme.
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