Alcohol issues for youngsters debated at county council
Nearly 80 pupils have been excluded from Northumberland schools for drug and alcohol incidents since the start of the 2013/14 academic year.
The information formed part of a report to Northumberland County Council’s health and wellbeing board on alcohol misuse among the county’s under 18s, which begins by emphasising the fact that ‘the majority of young people in Northumberland do not drink alcohol’.
In terms of the school exclusions, around 40 per cent of the 77 since September 2013 were specifically alcohol-related and for those cases where the substance was not specified, it is estimated that, in the majority of cases, alcohol has been a factor.
In the current year, there has been a decline in reports of exclusions, potentially due to the provision of training for parent and school staff.
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Colleagues from Sorted, which provides specialist substance misuse support, and the education service ‘are currently launching a new exclusion pathway, which has involved meeting senior managers in all schools’.
In 2014/15, 136 young people accessed Sorted, citing problematic alcohol use, of whom 51% were 16 or 17. Another 40% were 14 or 15 and nine per cent were 13 and under.