P-06-1180 Increase the teaching and readily available information on drugs in Welsh secondary schools, Correspondence – Petitioner to Committee, 23.08.21

Petitions Committee


Dear Petitions Committee,

Firstly, I would like to thank you for welcoming my thoughts on the document attached to my email.Also, I would like to show my gratitude towards Jeremy Miles for taking the time to explain his plans to widen the Curriculum for Wales and, I would like to show my appreciation to Jack Sargeant for passing on this exciting information.


I believe that, by expanding the Curriculum for Wales withthe introduction of a Health and Well-being Area of Learning, the Welsh Government are taking a step in the right direction. In addition, I feel that, if executed correctly, Welsh students will have the ability to make more educated choices in their lives. Moreover, whilst acknowledging that the innovative new area aims to invite pupilsto reflect, and change, their behaviour in order to improve their physical and emotional health : it should be considered that some decisions are not within the grasp of the child. For example, when discussing diet, on occasionthe child will have little to no choice over what they eat - in severalcases this could be to do with family income, and in other cases this may involve a child's medical needs. Also, the same idea should be taken into consideration when discussing the child's choice of activities. For instance, a child may not possess the means of  transport to participate in certain activities and, there may be a lack of information on activities in a child's area. Thus, in summary, I think that it is vital to include widely accessible choicesin the new area in order to ensure that the impact of the new area of curriculumis similar for all children.


Furthermore. the new area of curriculum will need to be introduced correctly to  see positive results in students, so I believe that the teachers of the new curriculum should be thoughtabout carefully. Upon reflection, I believe that the differences  in teachers  who deliver lessons on the new area of curriculum will create disparities amongst the students who are taught. To be quite frank, I do not believe that students will take in as much of the new area of curriculum being taught by an elder,old­ fashioned, science/history teacher as they would in comparison to a younger,more flexible, specialist teacher. Perhaps this idea may be seen as ageist but, this thought has crossed my mind when thinking of the deliveryof lessons in the innovative new area.


In addition, I am really overjoyed that the Welsh Government has chosen to create a base line knowledge on drugs for students in Welsh schools. And, from readingthe information about the 'Area of Learning and Experience: Healthand Well-being' on theHwb, I have assumed that the topic of drug misuse falls under 'an understanding of health-harming behaviours'. I completely agree that the topic of drug misuse belongs within this category, however, I believe that 'an understanding' should literally be 'a full understanding' because if students are just informed that'drugs are bad the cycle will never end. I believe that students should be informedabout; what drugs are, why are

they illegal, who you can talk to about a situation involving drugs, why do people use drugs and, last but not least, the wider implications of drug dealing. Overall, the letter in question (written by Jeremy Miles) does address my plea to implement more mandatory teachingon drugs into the secondary school syllabus but, I do believe that the new area of curriculum could be entirely successfulif the consequences of drug dealing were included. Ultimately, with no teaching on drug dealing, childrenare oblivious to the possible detrimental effects for the economy, law and societyas a whole.


So, in response to the letter written by Jeremy Miles, I would like to know more about how the delivery of lessons will avoid wideninginequality amongst students.And, I would also like to know how much (if any) of the new area of curriculum will teach children about theimplications  of drug dealing. Lastly, I would like to add that,with reference to the Wales Police Schools Programme (WPSP), in some communities, the police are not widely regarded as reliable or trustworthy and, this does trickle-down to the children of these communities.


Therefore, it  should be acknowledged that, due to reasonsbeyond their control,

some childrenmay not make an effort to listento police officerswhich may prove detrimental to the deliveryof lessons.


I hope that my thoughts are helpful in shaping a brighter futurefor all.


Kind regards,

Pearl Crumb.