03/12/2011 03:13 GMT

Stephen Twigg, Shadow Education Secretary, Backs Teaching Children About Gambling

Labour has lent backing to proposals for children as young as 12 to be taught about gambling.

Shadow Education Secretary Stephen Twigg said pupils needed "information to prepare them for the adult world".

The call came after an industry-funded body suggested secondary schools should teach that studying the form of race horses, dogs and sports teams can improve chances of winning a bet.

In a submission to a government review of personal, social and health education (PSHE), gambling addiction charity GamCare also said youngsters should play the dice game craps and learn about fruit machines, according to The Times.

Detailed lesson plans have apparently been prepared, some of which state as their objective "to enable students to increase their knowledge and understanding about gambling".

One proposes a class discussion in which pupils are asked to identify "some of the more positive aspects of gambling" as well as negative points and to understand why people bet.

Shadow education secretary Stephen Twigg said: "This is something that shouldn't be left to chance.

"With the rise of online gambling, there is clearly a need for children and young people to be given good advice.

"It is right that, just like drug and alcohol addiction, teenagers and children are given information to prepare them for the adult world.

"The Government should listen to concerns from charities and include gambling awareness in the reviewed guidance on PSHE education. This is something that shouldn't be left to chance."