As Minister for Education asks schools to ignore teaching resources from alcohol industry, Irish schools are set to ban alcohol industry material.
Over the coming weeks, all schools in Ireland are to receive a directive from the Department of Education asking them not to engage with any “educational” material developed by the alcohol industry.
The alcohol industry-funded group Drinkaware has developed teaching material for teachers and youth workers about “responsible” alcohol use.
However, following a meeting with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Alcohol Health Alliance group, Minister for Education Jan O’Sullivan said she would ask schools not to engage with or promote any such material.
Prof Frank Murray, president of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and chairman of Alcohol Health Alliance Ireland, welcomed Ms O’Sullivan’s pledge.
Our children deserve to be supported and should be protected in school from the alcohol industry,” he said.
The alcohol industry “has no role in the formulation of alcohol policies, which must be protected from distortion by commercial or vested interests”.
Senator Jillian van Turnhout, who has campaigned for a ban on any use of industry-sponsored material, also welcomed the move.
Would we let the tobacco industry into our schools to run smoking cessation campaigns? I find it incredible that that we would even consider allowing material like this into our schools,” she said.