Lifestyle survey 2014

Published Friday, 9th January 2015
Teen girls

Over 4,000 young people in Rotherham have taken part in a survey that sheds light on their views and thoughts on a wide range of subjects that affect their lives.

Once again participation rates in the annual Rotherham Secondary School Lifestyle Survey 2014 rose from previous years with a total of 4,123 pupils out of a possible 6,527 taking part from 16 secondary schools and three pupil referral units. This equates to a participation rate of 63 per cent, compared to 55 per cent last year.

The survey, which aims to capture the views and opinions of young people in Years 7 and 10, asks questions on a wide range of subjects ranging from food and drink to sexual health.

It reveals how important subjects such as bullying, smoking and the use of drugs are viewed among Rotherham's young people.

For example, there was a drop of ten per cent - down from 38 to 28 - in the number of pupils who said they had been bullied. In addition, of those who said they had been bullied,  58 per cent said they had received help compared to 26 per cent in 2013.

Seventy per cent of Year 10 students said they had never tried a cigarette - this is up from 64 per cent in 2013 - and both the use of solvents and cannabis reduced as did those young people who had never tried alcohol.

More young people are having breakfast and school dinners and fewer are trying high energy drinks. Unfortunately, however, crisps are now the most popular snack while less young people - down from 81 to 77 per cent - say they regularly participate in sport or exercise.

The results of the survey, which will be discussed at next week's meeting of the Council's Cabinet (Wednesday January 14) will be  shared with key stakeholders to ensure their activities are built into future plans. Secondary schools also receive a copy of the report together with individual results for each school.

Cllr Christine Beaumont, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Services, thanked the schools for their efforts in achieving such a high participation rate.

She said: "The views of our children and young people are very important to both the authority and its partner organisations so it is good to see so many taking part. There are some areas of concern but obviously we do take note of them and will do all we can can to make the necessary changes that address the issues.

"This has happened in the past and has resulted in some excellent work within schools. The results of the survey have also been shared with our partners in health, the voluntary sector, South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Network Rail.

"The results will also support Ofsted inspections and the school curriculum in Personal, Social and Health Education."