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An extra $19.8 million to fight drugs in schools.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

MS TRISH WORTH, MP

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs

 

AN EXTRA $19.8 MILLION TO FIGHT DRUGS IN SCHOOLS

 

A further $19.8 million over the next four years to develop a national approach to the drug menace in our schools was today announced in the Budget by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Trish Worth.

 

This additional funding brings the total funding for drug education initiatives for schools to $27.3 million within the National Illicit Drug Strategy, Tough On Drugs.

 

“Statistics show a worrying increase in drug use by school students. It is a national problem requiring a national solution,” Ms Worth said.

 

$7.5 million was announced in the last Budget for a National School Drug Education Strategy and a further $10.5 million was promised at the last election to enhance the professional development and pre-service training of teachers, information and education for parents, and projects representing school and community partnerships.

 

“The Government today delivered on that promise and, as a result of the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 9 April 1999, an additional $9.3 million over four years has been committed to strengthen partnerships with State and Territory Governments.”

 

The COAG agreement will increase the capacity of schools and their communities to respond to illicit drug use by providing:

 

·  the development of enhanced protocols to help school communities develop better ways of handling drug use in the school community on a national basis;

·  educational material for schools and building school and community awareness and involvement in addressing drug problems; and

·  resource material to all schools for the design of local summits to strengthen the response of schools and the communities to the challenge of drugs.

 

“The agreement by Heads of Government to develop a National Protocol for drugs in schools was reaffirmed at the recent Ministerial Council on Education, Employmen t, Training and Youth Affairs. The National Protocol, along with the National School Drug Education Strategy, will provide preventative educational programs, strategies for early intervention and will inform the development of appropriate responses to drug related incidents. It will send a clear and consistent message that illicit drugs have absolutely no place in schools.”

 

“Our children are precious and the provision of a safe and supportive learning and growing environment in our schools is important to their future,” Ms Worth said.

 

Media Contact: Paul Evans 0412 544 202 or 02 6277 4337

 

FACT SHEET

 

AN EXTRA $19.8 MILLION TO FIGHT DRUGS IN SCHOOL

 

This additional funding responds to the supportive role of parents and the community and reflects the Government's strong commitment to drug education in schools. Additional funding - to the $7.5 million over three years announced in the last Budget - totalling $19.8 million over four years will be provided for two complementary measures bringing the total funding for drug education initiatives in schools to $27.3 million as part of the National Illicit Drug Strategy, Tough On Drugs, for which total funding is now over $500 million.

 

1. Enhancement of the National School Drug Education Strategy

• An additional $1 0.5 million will extend the National School Drug Education Strategy as a preventative measure for drug misuse by young people. This will bring total funding for the Strategy to approximately $18 million over five years, commencing in 1998-99.

 

• Funding wi ll enhance and build on school drug education initiatives already in place in States and Territories and will target:

 

•  professional development of teachers in the area of drug education;

•  information and education of parents on drug matters; and

• projects representing school and community partnerships including new ways of delivering drug education and information on healthy lifestyles.

 

2. National Protocols for Drugs in Schools

• At the Council of Australian Governments meeting on 9 April 1999, Heads of Government agreed to strengthen their attack on drug pushers and drug use within schools. This was part of a general agreement on the need for national action involving explicit rejection by governments of the use of illicit drugs and the harm this use causes.

 

• Commonwealth funding to the Portfolio of $9.3 million over four years will provide resources to increase the capacity of schools and school communities to respond to illicit drug use. Measures include:

 

•  development of enhanced National protocols to help school communities find better ways of handling drug use in the school community;

• educational material for schools and building school and community awareness and involvement in addressing drug problems; and

• resource material to all schools for the design of local summits to strengthen the response of schools and the communities to the challenge of drugs.

 

 

 

 

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