This chapter provides guidance for teachers on how gambling education aligns with the Curriculum for Excellence framework.1

The approach and objectives of of our gambling education resources support delivery of several benchmarks in the Curriculum for Excellence. Using our Example Session Plans and Activities, you can enable young people to increase their own knowledge of gambling and gambling harms, and strengthen their capacity to make informed choices.

5.1 Health and wellbeing

Teachers can link gambling education inputs to the Benchmarks for Health and Wellbeing (Personal and Social Education) released by Education Scotland in March 2017.2 Fundamentally, awareness about gambling and its consequences can help develop young people’s skills in dealing with risk-taking behaviours.

For example, we suggest the following links:

  • HWB 3
    Gambling is specifically mentioned in HWB 3: the young person “weighs up risk and identifies potential safe and unsafe behaviours and actions, for example, the impact of gambling.”Further, through gambling education and harm prevention sessions, the young person “identifies and selects the skills / qualities required to make positive choices in challenging situations, for example, confidence, resilience, assertiveness” and “gives examples of positive coping strategies when dealing with stressful and challenging situations, for example, walk away, talk to friend / adult, physical activity.”
  • HWB2
    Raising awareness of gambling harms is linked to HWB 2: the young person “identifies the impact of risk taking behaviours on life choices and relationships, for example, job prospects, (…) family.”
  • HWB4
    Through developing a young person’s understanding of the risks involved in gambling, the young person “demonstrates the skills/qualities required to assess and manage risk, for example, self-awareness, self-confidence, composure.”

In line with these benchmarks, a gambling education session could provide a relevant opportunity to look at coping skills and ways for young people to identify and deal with gambling-related harm.

The Experiences and Outcomes in the Health and Wellbeing curriculum do not specifically address gambling. However, it is crucial to recognise that gambling is a risk-taking behaviour that often goes along other risk-taking behaviours, and affects young people’s health and wellbeing.

As such, we recommend that gambling education is included in the Health and Wellbeing curriculum. This will support young people in developing their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to make informed choices and to manage risk.

‘Substance misuse’

Consider linking gambling to the learning outcomes of other risk-taking behaviours, such as substance misuse.3 For example, the Substance Misuse section of the Health and Wellbeing curriculum states:

“Learners develop their understanding of the use and misuse of a variety of substances including over the counter and prescribed medicines, alcohol, drugs, tobacco and solvents. They explore and develop their understanding of the impact of risk-taking behaviour on their life choices. The experiences and outcomes will enable learners to make informed personal choices with the aim of promoting healthy lifestyles.”

Given that gambling can also be harmful, and has similarities and links to substance use, it may be relevant to address gambling when working towards these experiences and outcomes:

  • HWB 3-40a / HWB 4-40a (…) I can demonstrate strategies for making informed choices to maintain and improve my health and wellbeing and can apply these in situations that may be stressful or challenging, or involve peer pressure.
  • HWB 3-41a / HWB 4-41a After assessing options and the consequences of my decisions, I can identify safe and unsafe behaviours and actions.

Mental and emotional wellbeing

Consider linking gambling to the learning outcomes focused on mental and emotional wellbeing:

“The mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of everyone within a learning community should be positively developed by fostering a safe, caring, supportive, purposeful environment that enables the development of relationships based on mutual respect.”

Gambling education represents a valuable addition to the curriculum, as it could include supporting young people in understanding how gambling may affect people’s emotions, relationships and mental health.

  • HWB 0-01a / 1-01a / 2-01a / 3-01a / 4-01a I am aware of and able to express my feelings and I am developing the ability to talk about them.

  • HWB 0-02a / 1-02a / 2-02a / 3-02a / 4-02a I know that we all experience a variety of thoughts and emotions that affect how we feel and behave and I am learning ways of managing them.

  • HWB 0-03a / HWB 1-03a / HWB 2-03a / HWB 3-03a / HWB 4-03a I understand that there are people I can talk to and that there are a number of ways I can access practical and emotional support to help me.

  • HWB 0-04a / HWB 1-04a / HWB 2-04a / HWB 3-04a / HWB 4-04a I understand that my feelings and reactions can change depending upon what is happening within me and around me. This helps me to understand my own behaviour and the ways others behave.

  • HWB 0-06a / HWB 1-06a / HWB 2-06a / HWB 3-06a / HWB 4-06a I understand the importance of mental wellbeing and that this can be fostered and strengthened through personal coping skills and positive relationships. I know that it is not always possible to enjoy good mental health and that if this happens there is support available.

  • HWB 0-08a / HWB 1-08a / HWB 2-08a / HWB 3-08a / HWB 4-08a I am learning how to give appropriate support.

Social wellbeing

  • HWB 0-11a / HWB 1-11a / HWB 2-11a / HWB 3-11a / HWB 4-11a I make full use of and value the opportunities I am given to improve and manage my learning and, in turn, I can help to encourage learning and confidence in others.

  • HWB 0-13a / HWB 1-13a / HWB 2-13a / HWB 3-13a / HWB 4-13a Through contributing my views, time and talents, I play a part in bringing about positive change in my school and wider community.

  • HWB 0-14a / HWB 1-14a / HWB 2-14a / HWB 3-14a / HWB 4-14a I value the opportunities I am given to make friends and be part of a group in a range of situations.

Physical wellbeing

  • HWB 0-16a / HWB 1-16a / HWB 2-16a / HWB 3-16a / HWB 4-16a I am learning to assess and manage risk, to protect myself and others, and to reduce the potential for harm when possible.


  • HWB 0-44b / HWB 1-44b I understand positive things about friendships and relationships but when something worries or upsets me I know who I should talk to.

  • HWB 2-44b I am aware that positive friendships and relationships can promote health and the health and wellbeing of others.

  • HWB 3-44a / HWB 4-44a I understand the importance of being cared for and caring for others in relationships, and can explain why.

  • HWB 3-45a / HWB 4-45a I recognise that power can exist within relationships and can be used positively as well as negatively.

Planning for choices and changes

Gambling can also be linked to Planning for Choices and Changes, as gambling harms present a risk to a young person’s academic achievements and employability. Understanding and managing those risks will contribute to a young person’s skills and resilience:

“Learners should experience activities which enable them to develop the skills and attributes they will need if they are to achieve and sustain positive destinations beyond school.”

  • HWB 3-19a I am developing the skills and attributes which I will need for learning, life and work. I am gaining understanding of the relevance of my current learning to future opportunities. This is helping me to make informed choices about my life and learning.

  • HWB 4-19a Based on my interests, skills, strengths and preferences, I am supported to make suitable, realistic and informed choices, set manageable goals and plan for my further transitions.