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Written Statement - Draft guidance for substance misuse education – outcome of consultation

Leighton Andrews, Minister for Education and Skills

A consultation on the Draft guidance for substance misuse education, the proposed replacement to Substance Misuse: Children and Young People National Assembly for Wales Circular No: 17/02 closed on the 26 September 2012. The consultation ran for twelve weeks and provided an opportunity for stakeholders to comment on and inform the proposed new guidance which would supersede Circular No: 17/02.

I asked my officials to undertake a thorough analysis of the consultation responses as I want to ensure all views are fully considered. In the main there is general agreement with the content of the draft guidance. In light of the views expressed by respondents, the draft guidance document has been subsequently revised, mainly to reflect the most up to date position with policies and related legislation.

Revisions include the use of the term ‘New and Emerging Drugs (NEDS) instead of ‘legal highs’; the insertion of a paragraph outlining the ‘Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure’ 2011 as well as the acknowledgement of the input which Neighbourhood Policing teams could have.

It was also clear that further revisions were required in light of recent legislative changes; this included legislation introduced under the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act requiring local authorities to make reasonable provision for counselling services for all children and young people aged between 11 and 19 in their area; also, the introduction of the Protection from Tobacco (Sales from Vending Machines) (Wales) Regulations 2011 to protect children and young people the dangers of smoking by restricting their access to tobacco products, as well as, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 which made changes to the definition of ‘regulated activity’ from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, and merged the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) to create the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).

The summary of responses document will be available on the Welsh Government website, alongside the revised final guidance for substance misuse education before the end of the summer term 2013.