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Children: Gambling

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL15232, tabled on 22 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what evidence they have that the requirement in the statutory guidance Relationship Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education, published in June 2019, that “pupils should know … the risks related to online gambling including the accumulation of debt” has assisted in reducing gambling among those under 18 years old.

Answered on

28 April 2021

The statutory guidance for Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (RSHE) was published in June 2019 and the subject has been compulsory since September 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, some schools have only just started to deliver their RSHE curricula and others are planning to start theirs later this year.

Due to this, it is too early to assess the impact of the RSHE curriculum on pupils’ knowledge and skills, including gathering evidence of any link between teaching and a reduction in gambling among those under 18 years of age. However, the statutory guidance is clear that pupils should be taught about the risks related to online gambling, including the accumulation of debt, how advertising and information is targeted at them and how to be a discerning consumer of information online.

The department has published a one-stop page for teachers, including training modules developed by subject experts and teachers. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-relationships-sex-and-health.

In particular, ‘teacher training: internet safety and harms’ includes teaching about the risks related to online gambling. The module also covers the law in relation to gambling and that for many gambling activities the legal age is 18. Pupils are taught how to be resilient towards gambling, the signs of problem gambling, and how and where to access support, including for debt and gambling addiction. More information on this module is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/teacher-training-internet-safety-and-harms.

The department is developing plans to monitor the implementation of RSHE over the coming years and will continue to build its evidence base to inform future RSHE policy, including by working with other government departments to access relevant data and influence research plans as appropriate.