Teenage pregnancy rate falling in North Somerset as Government makes sex education compulsory
PUBLISHED: 08:00 03 April 2017
The number of teenagers getting pregnant in North Somerset is rapidly falling, with newly-released figures showing a drop of 25 per cent in the past year alone.
The statistics also show the district to have one of the lowest rates in the country, with just 49 teenagers falling pregnant in 2015, compared to 66 in 2014.
But back in 2011, the figure was significantly higher, with 89 teenagers having a baby.
Earlier this month Government ministers announced sex education would become compulsory across all schools in the country.
While sex education in the biological sense was always mandatory in secondary schools, it is now crucial schools teach students about the emotional aspects of sex and relationships too.
The Department for Education has said the new curriculum could be introduced as soon as 2019.
A spokesman for North Somerset Council told the Mercury the standard of the education which exists already in the district is part of the reason for the falling pregnancy rates.
They said: “The reduction in teenage pregnancies is welcome and has been the result of hard work across many agencies.
“Good quality relationships and sex education in schools, specialist sexual health services for young people and improving access to contraception has all helped.
“This has enabled young people in North Somerset to have more control and confidence around sex and relationships and know they can get help quickly when they need it.”
Back in 2005 there were 105 North Somerset teenagers who had conceived which shows the rate has fallen by more than 50 per cent in the past 10 years.
However, the council is keen to continue to educate young people about safe sex, as well as the fact the morning after pill is available free for under-25s from a doctor’s surgery or pharmacy.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Weston Mercury. Click the link in the orange box above for details.