Responsible drinking programmes
supported by European spirits producers

• “In:tuition”
COUNTRY United Kingdom
TIMING 2012 > 2014
Underage drinking


  • The Drinkaware Trust


  • To help pupils build their confidence, develop personal and social skills and explore how they make decisions and what might influence them.
  • To enable pupils to make more informed choices about a range of issues - including alcohol.


  • Intuition was a free life-skills programme for pupils aged 9 -14 years. It was launched following research showing that the average age of first unsupervised drink is just under 14 years old. It was informed by international examples of rigorously evaluated, best evidenced life-skills based education programmes, which were shown to be effective in preventing alcohol and other substance misuse – reducing alcohol misuse by 28-31%.
  • Adapted for the UK context, the free cross-curricular 10 week programme builds the esteem, confidence and decision-making skills of students aged 9 to 14 so they could make more informed decisions about a range of issues – including alcohol, sex and relationships, personal finance, health and civic responsibility. 
  • It was designed to support teachers with innovative lesson ideas which use the latest technologies to engage learners although non-techy lesson ideas were also available. It was both easy-to-use and flexible, giving teachers the freedom to tailor lessons with relevant, local examples. Each lesson could be mapped to the curriculum for all four countries in the UK and contributes to learning outcomes under PSE/PSHE/Social Education.
  • A home learning component encouraged parental involvement, reinforcing classroom messages at home. Teachers could find out more, and register to use Intuition for free on the website or follow the latest information on the Twitter feed.
  • Since parents are the key influence on children's attitudes to alcohol the programme offered homework assignments which encouraged discussion and debate in the home environment. This dovetailed into the wider campaign activity which targeted parents of 10/11 year olds, encouraging them to talk to their children about the risks of alcohol before they start drinking.


  • Until September 2014 the dedicated parents’ section of the Drinkaware website received 70,000 hits, more than 50,000 advice leaflets were distributed to parents and there were 400,000 plays of the charity’s interactive video online. On average parents are spending more than a minute and a half online testing their responses to the tricky questions their children might ask them about alcohol.


  • An evaluation took place in 2013 to 2014 using two cluster-randomised trails: one trial of the programme for 10-11 year olds in primary schools, and another for 12-13 year olds in secondary schools. The trials were carried out by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), funded and overseen by Alcohol Research UK using a grant provided by Drinkaware.
  • Schools were randomly allocated to receive the In:tuition intervention or to a ‘business-as-usual’ control. The trials compared any change over time between groups by carrying out a self-report questionnaire survey of students at two time points across two school years: before the intervention was implemented (June-September 2013) and after (June-July 2014).
  • The definitive analysis for the trial was an ‘intention-to-treat’ analysis, which included all students who completed a questionnaire at both time points, regardless of the extent of In:tuition delivery (all intervention schools are treated the same). This represented how delivery might occur in a real-world scenario. To assess any differential impact by pupil characteristics, a sub-group analysis was conducted in relation to primary outcomes using interaction terms. In addition, ‘on-treatment’ analysis was carried out, which accounts for differences in programme delivery.
  • A process evaluation, involving interviews with staff and pupils in nine case-study schools and a teacher survey, was carried out to explore programme implementation.
Key findings for the primary school trial
  • The primary outcome was resistance skills (confidence to manage peer pressure) in 10 and 11 year-olds. There was no evidence of any impact on this primary outcome.
  • There was an indication of an effect of the intervention on increased knowledge (a secondary outcome). On average, primary pupils in the intervention group had slightly better knowledge about alcohol and its effects than those in the control group, although the results were not significant at the 0.05 level (p=0.07).
  • There was no evidence of impact on other secondary outcomes.
  • In terms of programme fidelity, of 40 schools randomised into the intervention group, only 15 were known to have delivered at least some of the intervention lessons.
Key findings for the secondary school trial
  • The primary outcome was the proportion of students aged 12-13 that were drinking frequently. Overall, there was no significant effect on frequency of drinking.
  • In the intervention group, males were more likely and females were less likely to be frequent drinkers compared to their counterparts in the control group at follow up. However, there is insufficient evidence to assert this was a genuine effect of the intervention.
  • There was no evidence of impact on any secondary outcomes.
  • Of 28 schools randomised into the intervention group, only five were known to have delivered at least someof the intervention lessons; only two secondary schools delivered all or most of the lessons.
Key findings from the process evaluation
  • Perceived impacts of In:tuition on pupils included: increased knowledge and awareness of alcohol; development of strategies and skills to cope with potential social and emotional situations; and a change in projected future drinking.
  • Teachers were positive about the programme content and teaching approaches but adapted the programme to take account of the time available and the needs/context of the school.

  • 2012 evaluation: CSN a community interest company was commissioned through Alcohol Research UK to undertake an initial, independent process evaluation and feasibility study of the implementation of In:tuition. Published September 2012, it placed emphasis on a feasibility study and initial process evaluation, using quantitative and qualitative methods to understand the acceptability of the materials used by teachers and its implementation in the classroom. The programme was piloted in 18 primary schools, 3 middle schools and 12 secondary schools from across the UK. In total 20 schools piloted primary lessons and 15 piloted secondary lessons. All the schools that piloted the programme and 4 that decided not to, provided teacher feedback through the questionnaire (30 schools) and/or interviews (26 schools). Feedback from pupils was limited to questionnaire response from 123 pupils in 7 schools and focus group discussions in 11 schools.
  • Teachers evaluation showed:
  • What did you think of the In:tuition programme and lessons (Strongly agree/agree): 
    • The lessons greatly enhanced our PSHEE provision: 22.6%/67.7%.
    • The lessons were easy to accommodate in our curriculum: 31.3%/53.1%.
    • The lesson notes were clear and easy to follow: 35.5%/58.1%.
    • The content was just right for the age and experience of our pupils: 28.1%/59.4%.
    • The lessons engaged the interest of all pupils: 37.5%/50.0%.
    • The lessons provided opportunities for teachers to assess pupil's learning: 6.3%/71.9%.
    • The lessons provided opportunities for pupils to assess their own learning: 9.4%/68.8%.
  •  To what extent did the lessons meet your expectations in developing the core competencies specified (Entirely/Mostly): Confidence 9.7%/64.5%; Decision making 9.7%/64.5%; Self-awareness 16.7%/73.3%; Enterprise skill 0.0%/53.3%; Health and well-being 30.0%/60.0%; Communication 22.6%/61.3%; Relationship skills 19.4%/51.6%; Digital skills 26.7%/36.7%.
  • Pupils evaluation showed:
  • What did you think of the In:tuition lessons? And How have the lessons helped you? (Strongly agree/Agree:
    • The lessons were really interesting 25.2%/60.2%.
    • The lessons were fun 34.1%/53.7%.
    • The lessons were at just the right level for someone my age: 35.2%/53.3%.
    • The computer activities were the most important part of the lessons: 26.1%/42.0%.
    • The lessons covered lots of new things: 35.0%/43.9%.
    • It is really important that we learn about these things: 47.1%/43.0%.
    • I was always clear about what I’d learnt at the end of each lesson: 30.6%/48.8%.
    • I learnt a lot about myself and what makes me special: 31.1%/45.1%.
    • I learnt a lot about how the body works: 21.5%/43.0%.
    • I learnt a lot about alcohol and its effects: 45.9%/42.6%.
    • I learnt a lot about keeping healthy: 41.8%/45.9%.
    • I’m now much better at using online computer programs: 31.7%/44.2%.
    • I’m now much better at communicating with other people: 34.4%/41.8%.
    • I’m now much better at working with other people: 32.8%/47.9%.
    • I feel more confident about handling pressure from other people: 32.2%/52.5%.
    • I feel more confident about making decisions for myself: 45.4%/42.9%.
  • Independent evaluation conducted on behalf of Drinkaware by The Nursery: 205 representative interviews were conducted among ABC1 mothers via a web based survey. All respondents were shown a selection of the Drinkaware campaign materials and asked to identify which materials they recalled seeing. 19% of parents said they would not allow their children to drink under the age of 16. 44% said they spoke to their partner about the issue.
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