One thousand schools in England will be randomly selected by the government to take part in a survey during the autumn term that will assess youngsters’ use of alcohol, nicotine and drugs.
The survey takes the form of a questionnaire which NHS Digital, who are calling on schools to participate, said pupils will complete under exam conditions and will be anonymous.
The data drawn from the survey will help the likes of Public Health England, NHS England and Improvement and local and central government formulate their policies and services. The data will also be accessed by charities, voluntary organisations and academia to aid research.
It will contain information on the proportion of students who have smoked, drunk alcohol or taken drugs and will examine their attitudes to tobacco, alcohol and drugs, with a focus on age, gender, ethnicity and geography.
“Without schools volunteering to participate in the smoking, drinking and drugs survey, the NHS and the Government would not be able to understand the habits and attitudes of young people and how these have changed during the pandemic,” said Gary Childs, head of delivery for analytical services at NHS Digital.
“We are therefore extremely grateful to all those schools and pupils that give up their valuable time and resources to take part.”
A report based on the survey’s findings will be released next summer.