Please help support the Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use Survey in Schools

The Health and Social Care Information Centre’s (HSCIC) survey of Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use among Young People is a long standing, large scale survey of young people aged 11-15 years in secondary schools across England. The survey has been running since 1982 and collects information on:

  • how many young people smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs
  • attitudes and behaviour in relation to smoking, drinking and drug use; and
  • what factors affect smoking, drinking or drug use in this age group

This is an important study as it is the only source of reliable national data on smoking, drinking and drug use across the 11-15 year old age group. It provides vital information which is used by local authorities and Government departments (including the Department of Health, Home Office and Department of Education) to better understand these behaviours and to develop policies, plan services and to monitor and evaluate their impact. 

The next 2016 survey is due to take place in schools between September and December 2016. A good school response is essential to ensure the findings are accurate and representative of all pupils across the country.  School participation has been falling in recent years as schools have got busier and the HSCIC would like to reverse this trend.

Schools are chosen at random to take part in the survey. This year 500 schools will be asked to participate. The survey is designed to put minimum burden on teachers, and survey representatives (from Ipsos Mori) manage the survey administration. There is very little for school staff to do, with the survey itself taking roughly 30 minutes to complete.

A link to the latest report for 2014 survey is here (there was no survey carried out in 2015): http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB17879

Raising awareness of this survey and encouraging school participation would make a real difference to response rates and help produce robust estimates around the prevalence of smoking, drinking and drug use in this age group. HSCIC would be grateful for help to raise awareness and encourage participation locally, so please spread the word where you can.

If you need any further information about the survey or would like to discuss this further please contact the HSCIC Surveys Team: surveys.queries@hscic.gov.uk

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