Responsible drinking programmes
supported by European spirits producers

• “School Alcohol Awareness Programme”
COUNTRY European Union
TIMING 2005 > 2015
Underage drinking


  • spiritsEUROPE


  • AEDE (European Teachers Association) 
  • AIM (Alcohol in Moderation)
  • COFACE (Confederation of Family Organisations in the European Union) 
  • EACA (European Association of Communication Agencies)
  • Generation Europe Foundation


  • To provide teenagers with facts about alcohol (what it is, what it does and the what the law is).
  • To raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.
  • To delay the onset of regular drinking among those who are under the legal drinking age.


  • Developed in 2005 and first run as a pilot in 2006 (see evaluation below) the programme consists of:
  • A template website developed for the 11 to 16 year old age group. A team of education experts, teachers and teenagers supported the programme development (pilot website and evaluation). It contains information for teenagers, parents and teachers which can be implemented separately in order to better present the material to the national context.
    • The young people section covers the following:
      • Personality zone: Who do you think you are?; Are you a good friend?
      • Fact zone: Fast facts; Myth busters; Body watch (effects of alcohol on the body).
      • If you want to know more….(links to other resources).
      • Five zone: Five things you should know about alcohol.
      •  Challenge zone: Think for yourself; Can you get home?
    • The parents section covers the following:
      • Talking about alcohol: Approaching the topic with children.
      • Fact file: Brush up on your alcohol knowledge.
      • Are you alcohol aware?: Take a quiz to find out.
      • If you want to know more: Links to related websites and downloadable resources (presentations for parents, advice booklet for parents and teenage guide suitable for age 15+).
    • The teachers section covers the following:
      • Teaching about alcohol: General guidance on teaching alcohol to 11-16s.
      • Alcohol fact file: Facts about alcohol to help you approach the subject with your students.
      • The science classroom: Guidance and worksheets for teachers of Science/Environmental Studies.
      • The PSHE classroom: Guidance and worksheets for PSHE/PSD/PSE teachers.
  • Support materials (available upon request): 
    • English Master Script of the overall content of the template website.  This is a word document presented as a table for easy translation and implementation.
    • Implementation Guidelines: options available, processes, obligations, budgets.
    • IT Handbook for the administration of the web system.
    • Template communication tools, including a sample letter to schools and parents, posters, mailers and all of the related graphic elements that can be used for posters and advertisements.


  • Pilot:
    • 3 countries took part: the Czech Republic, Spain and the United Kingdom with 10 test (participating) schools and 6 control schools (non-participating) involved per country.
    • 1,231 students from participating test schools took part in the quantitative resource evaluation survey.
    • 1,392 students pre and 1,315 post pilot (from 30 test schools) and 850 students pre and 856 post pilot (from 18 control schools) took part in the pre/post pilot survey.
    • 81 teachers administered the pilot and 30 parents who's teenagers took part in the pilot were interviewed by telephone.


  • The pilot programme and evaluation were devised and undertaken by EdComs, the evaluation report prepared and written by Research Works. It involved four elements:
    1) A student quantitative resource evaluation survey:
    students completed a self-completion questionnaire rating the materials and the lessons.
    2) A teacher quantitative resource evaluation survey:
    teachers completed a self-completion questionnaire rating the materials and the lessons.  
    3) A parents’ qualitative resource evaluation survey:
    parents were interviewed in-depth by telephone.
    4) A student pre/post pilot quantitative behaviour, knowledge and attitude survey:
    the questionnaire was identical pre/post and was intended to provide information in relation to attitudes and knowledge as a result of the education programme.
  • Results of the student resource evaluation showed:
    • When comparing the "Talk about alcohol" lessons to other lessons students found them: "more enjoyable" (61%) and "more interesting" (63%). Students reported to have "learnt something new" (88%) a 1/4 of which learnt "a lot" and 62% having learnt "a bit". 
    • The most popular worksheets (percentage showing usage) were What happens to alcohol in the body (56%) and Long/Short-term effects of alcohol (54%) for Science classes. Good Friends (42%), You and the law (41%) and Drinking and driving (34%) for PSHE classes.
    • The most popular website pages were: Challenge Zone: Can you get Home? (70%) and Personality Quiz: Are you a good friend? (60%).
    • Almost half of students (44%) reported that they would recommend the website to their friends. 49% said that they had spoken to someone about alcohol since taking part in the pilot (28% friends; 16% to parents and 5% to other members of their family).
  • Results of the teachers evaluation showed:
    • Almost 2/3 rated the website as "successful" in engaging students. It was positively rated in terms of: "ease of use" (86%) having "sufficient background information on the website to enable teachers to teach it effectively" (80%) and offering the "right level of information" (79%).
    • Teachers felt that they would recommend the "Talk About Alcohol" programme to others: 60% to other teachers; 47% would "definitely" use it again with students; 42% would "maybe" use again with students; 43% "definitely" recommend it to parents and 42% would "maybe" recommend it to parents.
  • Parents survey showed: 
    • All were happy to have their children involved in the programme.
    • All had engaged with the website and found it was easy to navigate and were enthusiastic abouth it. A majority finding it clear and informative. The content, layout and design style were all positively rated. It was considered valuable, particularly as a means of facilitating a conversation about alcohol between parents and children. In addition, several respondents indicated that the website offered them an easily accessible reference source for the future.
  • Pre/post pilot student survey found:
    • A significant movement in understanding of acceptable frequency of drinking: 21% citing every day/few days and 55% once a month (compared with 23% and 51% pre-programme).
    • An improvement in relation to the legal age required for purchase of alcohol from shops and pubs: beer from shop up 2%  wine from shop up 4%, beer from pub up and 2% wine from pub up 3%.
    • In terms of the greatest dangers to young people if they are drunk, a shift in relative importance attributed toward "getting liver cancer" emerged post programme (50% - up 4%). While the three main dangers identified remained "liver cancer", "having sex" and "getting addicted" pre/post, there were some negative shifts in the danger level attributed to: "having sex that they later regret" (42% - down 5%) and "getting addicted to alcohol" (40% - down 12%).
    • Students were also asked to agree or disagree with the following attitude statements:
      • "People who drink alcohol look cool" was less supported post-programme with a decline of 2% to 72% disagreement with this statement.
      • "People who drink alcohol look grown up" went from 67% to 69% but there was an increase in agreement with the statement "alcohol is a good way of making you more confident" (12% to 15%).
      • "People have a good time when they drink alcohol" went from 24% to 29%.
      • "Feel confident about saying no to drinking alcohol if offered by friends" up 2% to 53%.

  • For further evaluations please see individual country reports.
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