Over 390,000 young people in the UK have been through a DARE programme

Evaluated and proven to have a statistical effect on:
Getting help from others; Communication and listening; Making safe and responsible choices; Knowledge about drugs, alcohol and substance abuse.

As a charity we aim:

‘To educate young people to lead safe and healthy lives and achieve their potential’

‘To provide drug and alcohol education to more young people year on year’

…developing and delivering our drug and life skills education resources since 1995

We are a registered charity in England and Wales that has been developing and delivering drug and life skills education resources for teachers in UK schools since 1995.  Our programmes are developed using evidence from research and follow government guidelines and best practice.

A national issue

Drug and substance misuse by young people in the UK costs around £28 Million each year. Statistics show that 11% of young people have tried drugs at some point and we know that regular abuse can start with the casual use of ‘soft drugs’.

Life Skills Education - Keepin it REAL Workbook Cover

Keepin' it REAL

A secondary school programme

Our Programmes at a Glance

Course NameKey StageKey TopicsDelivery MethodLength of ProgrammeResources
On Track1Pre-work for later stages – growing up in a drug using world Helpful and Harmful drugsTeacher LedNine 1 Hour LessonsDownloadable worksheets / resources Lesson Plans
Keep on Track2Drugs, Alcohol, Risks and Consequences, Responsibility, Positive RelationshipsTeacher LedEight Flexible 1 Hour LessonsDownloadable worksheets / resources Lesson Plans
DARE 252Drugs, Alcohol, Knife Crime, Hate Crime, Decision Making, Resistance Strategies, Responsibility, Stress, Peer Pressure, Communication, Risks and Consequences, Support Network, Good CitizenshipDARE Officer and/or Teacher LedTen 1 Hour Weekly Lessons plus GraduationVideo’s, Presentation, Workbook, Lesson Plans
Keepin it REAL3Alcohol, Drugs, Decision Making, Resistance Strategies, Communication, Risks and Consequences, Stereotyping, Support NetworksTeacher LedSix 1 Hour Lessons / Flexible dependent on needVideo's, Presentation, Workbook, Lesson Plans
DARE Active3 / Community ResourceDrugs, Alcohol, Decision Making, Responsibility, Communication, Risks and Consequences, Stress, Support Network, Goal Setting,DARE Champion / Teacheer LedFive flexible sessions plus the Team ChallengeWorkbook, Lesson Plans
DARE Game3 / Community ResourceDrugs, Alcohol, Road Safety, Fire Safety, Internet Safety, Decision MakingTeacher / Youth Group LeaderAd- hoc, card based scenario game with discussionCards, Session Guides, Information sheets (‘how to’, ‘the Law’)

Evaluated Life Skills Education, proven to be Effective on these learning outcomes

Communication and listening

Young people who had a Life Skills Education intervention were 3.4 times more advanced than the control group.

Getting help from others

Young people that undergo our programmes are 5.4 times more likely to seek help from other people.

Making safe & responsible choices

Young people that have taken a D.A.R.E. programme are twice as likely to make safe and responsible choices

Knowledge around substances

Young people were 2.4 times more knowledgeable about drugs, alcohol and substance use/abuse.

**  Not only has an independent study shown that our programmes are effective on all major outcomes, teachers have rated them ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ against the Mentor ADEPIS Quality Standards.  Parent feedback shows that children develop new skills and knowledge as a result of our courses.  Click this link for more information on our effectiveness.

Cross Curricular Links

Our programmes are developed utilising best practice and evidence based research, they follow government guidelines and we consult with a number of organisations including local government and health authorities, Mentor ADEPIS, and specialist education providers.  This ensures that our programmes are able to fully support the statutory and PSHE (non statutory) curricula.

The National Curriculum

And DARE Programmes

Our products are designed to be a part of the whole school programme, to link to other classroom learning, and will assist in schools meeting their statutory obligations under the National Curriculum. For Key stage 2 this includes the following:

Science/Animals including humans


Pupils should be taught to recognise the impact of diet, exercise, drugs and lifestyle on the way their bodies function.

Our programmes offer facts and health effects of drugs – including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and solvents, using body maps and discussion around the risks and consequences of a range of risky behaviours

PSHE / Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to learn which, why and how, commonly available substances and drugs (including alcohol and tobacco) could damage their immediate and future health and safety, that some are legal, some are restricted and some are illegal to own, use and supply to others.

Our programmes offer facts and health effects of drugs - including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and solvents, the law and helpful and harmful drugs

Non Statutory Provision

And DARE Programmes

The programme also gives opportunities for students to follow the (non-statutory) programme of study set out by the PSHE Association. (Though it should be noted here that in September 2020 the Health and Relationships curriculum subjects will become statutory). This will include health education (covering both physical and mental health) and either relationships education in key stages 1 and 2, or relationships and sex education (RSE) in key stages 3 and 4). For Key Stage 2 these include –

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to learn what positively and negatively affects their physical, mental and emotional health.

Our programmes offer discussion around drugs, alcohol, criminal and anti-social behaviour, risks and consequences, peer pressure and being responsible

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to learn how to make informed choices (including recognising that choices can have positive, neutral and negative consequences) and to begin to understand the concept of a ‘balanced lifestyle’.

All of our programmes include the DARE DECISION MAKING MODEL. This teaches how to make safe and healthy choices after considering positive and negative options.

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to recognise, predict and ASSESS risks in different situations and decide how to manage them responsibly (including sensible road use and risks in their local environment) and to use this as an opportunity to build resilience.

Our programmes feature the DARE DECISION MAKING MODEL which teaches how to assess a range of options in a responsible manner and how to respond appropriately and responsibly

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to learn how pressure to behave in unacceptable, unhealthy or risky ways can come from a variety of sources, including people they know and the media

Our programmes help young people consider negative peer pressure through a range of different scenarios are used to facilitate group discussion.

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to recognise when they need help and to develop the skills to ask for help; to use basic techniques for resisting pressure to do something dangerous, unhealthy, that makes them uncomfortable or anxious or that they think is wrong.

Our programmes facilitate discussion on different kinds of and sources of pressure and resistance strategies; knowledge of appropriate places and people to seek help from.

Health and Wellbeing


Pupils should have the opportunity to learn which, why and how, commonly available substances and drugs (including alcohol, tobacco and ‘energy drinks’) can damage their immediate and future health and safety; that some are restricted and some are illegal to own, use and give to others.

Life Skills Education Programmes promote facts and health effects of drugs – including alcohol, tobacco, cannabis and solvents, using body maps; discussion around the risks and consequences of a range of risky behaviours.



Pupils should have the opportunity to recognise when people are being unkind either to them or others, how to RESPOND, who to tell and what to say.

Our programmes facilitate discussion on continuum of ‘being mean’, ‘bullying’, hate incident/crime’, including resistance strategies and how to report incidents.



Pupils should have the opportunity to recognise different types of teasing and bullying, to understand that these are wrong and unacceptable.

Our programmes encourage discussion as above, using a range of different scenarios, backgrounds and circumstances, considering the effect on self and others and on being respectful and responsible.



Pupils should have the opportunity to learn strategies to resist teasing or bullying, if they experience or witness it, whom to go to and how to get help.

Our programmes offer a range of both resistance strategies and for reporting methods is considered during the programme.



Pupils should have the opportunity to identify and respect the differences and similarities between people.

Our programmes facilitate discussion and exercises exploring difference and the benefits to society that this brings, discussion and exercise on respect and discrimination.

A cost effective way to deliver your PSHE curriculum

Our courses cover a wide range of PSHE subjects including:

Pointing Finger Icon


Pen and Paper Icon

Personal Responsibility

2 People with Speech Bubble


2 Arrows in a circle

Decision Making

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Risks and Consequences

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Solvent Abuse

3 Way Arrows

Dealing with Pressure

Pill and Capsule Icon

Use & Misuse of Legal and Illegal Drugs

4 people standing in front of each other

Peer Group Pressure

Burning cigarette with line through it


Beer glass with frothy head


Cannabis plant leaf


Knife Crime

Internet Safety

Road Safety

Fire Safety

* All of our courses make use of the D.A.R.E. Decision Making model, our proprietary framework for examining risks and consequences.

We are one of the UK’s largest deliverers of Life Skills Education resources for teachers

Penn State Uni Logo

Life Skills Education programmes are run in almost 300 schools and delivered to almost 10,000 young people per year.  Since the very first course in the UK in 1995 over 366,000 young people have been through one of our courses.

That said, D.A.R.E. programmes are delivered by different organisations in 52 different countries around the world.  All use the D.A.R.E. decision making model but each is developed specifically for the country in which it is used.  We developed ours in conjunction with the original writers at Penn State University to ensure that we continue to benefit from the research that underpins the programme.

The DARE Decision Making Model

All of our courses revolve around the DARE Decision Making Model (DDMM). This is a unique framework that helps young people to make informed, balanced choices by Defining the issue, Assessing their options and possible consequences, Responding by making an informed decision and Evaluating their response.

The DDMM is a golden thread throughout our programmes which cover topics around alcohol, tobacco, new psychoactive substances, cannabis and solvents which can be delivered by our fully trained DARE Officers.

D.A.R.E. to be safe and healthy logo

* We offer 'taster sessions' of our courses with the option to upgrade to a full course if you love it.

Life Skills Education Charity in the News

Life Skills Education - loved by teachers, parents and children alike.

We have hundreds of quotes from a variety of sources and can provide contact details of schools that recommend our programmes.

‘The children thoroughly enjoy the DARE programme and through the homework activities they discuss issues at home I have had many favourable comments from parents. The children really enjoy the graduation and put a lot of effort into making up poems, songs and sketches to perform.’

Holy Trinity Catholic Academy
Holy Trinity Catholic Academy Logo

‘The course was again, very well presented by the DARE Officer.  He enthused the children and they felt they could ask questions. This work fitted superbly into PSHE lessons and the school’s bullying policy.’

John Blow School
John Blow School in Collingham Logo

Programme Facilitators

All of our D.A.R.E. Officers undergo a 6-day intensive training programme.

We have a large network of fully qualified and trained D.A.R.E. Officers, each having been through an extensive training programme (including an ‘in classroom’ assessment) and are subject to termly quality assurance monitoring.


All D.A.R.E. Officers must have an ability to engage young people and an enthusiasm for the work of prevention through education that draws on prior experience of dealing with Drug and Alcohol abuse among young people in the community, with evidence of teaching, training, or coaching skills.


All candidates go through an intensive 6-day training/certification course. This includes delivering live lessons to children in school as well as watching colleagues deliver to provide feedback. Training includes practical skills and theoretical knowledge of a variety of teaching methods.


Once qualified D.A.R.E. Officers are required to seek feedback from teachers (via our Quality Standards survey), parent and children. We Assess the standard of thier delivery at least once per term and provide feedback on areas for improvment where necessary.

Your course, your way

So you want to help your young people understand how to deal with risks and consequences and skill up your staff in the process? Great! We have a range of life skills education resources for teachers at both Primary and Secondary age groups as well as some resources for use by community groups.

Our Life Skills Education Resources for teachers provide a cohesive curriculum that progresses from primary Key Stage 2 up to Secondary Key Stage 4 as well as community based programmes and combine the use of:

  • 1. A mix of delivery staff including teachers and our own staff
  • 2. A wide range of resources including visual slides, videos, role play activities and workbooks to record learning
  • 3. A truly comprehensive set of lesson plans to facilitate delivery
  • 4. Quality Assurance, monitoring and feedback.

* Get free postage when you choose a course delivered in full or part by a D.A.R.E. Officer.


Are you Govt. funded?

Life Skills Education Charity is completely self funded. We sell our programmes to fund the work we do in over 250 schools each year.

We are lucky enough to get support from local councils, Police & Crime Commissioners and other sponsors to help fund development work and delivery in certain areas.

Are your staff DBS checked?

When D.A.R.E. Officers undergo training they are subjected to an enhanced DBS check to ensure that they are fit to working with young people.

We recheck all staff every 3 years as part of our wider child protection policy.  Every member of staff, including office staff are DBS checked.

Do your programmes work?

Yes.  We have been delivering these programmes for a long while and in that time they have been redeveloped and evaluated every two to three years.

All of our programmes follow govt. guidelines and meet best practice.  We have quantitative and qualitative data to support this from academics and customers alike.

What do you have for my children?

Key stage 1 - ages 5 - 7: On Track, Keep On Track

Key stage 2 - ages 7 - 11: D.A.R.E. Primary

Key stage 3 - ages 11 - 14:  Keepin it REAL, D.A.R.E. Active, The D.A.R.E. Game

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Tel:  0300 111 3273
Fax:  0700 607 7559
E-Mail:  info@lifeskills-education.co.uk
Address: Unit 21, NBV Enterprise Centre, 6 David Lane, Basford, Nottingham, NG6 0JU