Teenage Pregnancy

What are the unmet needs or service gaps?

Central Bedfordshire demonstrates some of the best practice evidenced by the 10 key elements of an effective local teenage pregnancy strategy (figure 3). For example, having appropriate strategic leadership, young people focused sexual health services, targeted work to raise aspirations and using data to shape service locations. However, a number of areas have been identified where there is scope for further work locally. These were:

Support for schools in the delivery of healthy relationship (HR) and sex and relationship education (SRE) information. There is no statutory requirement for SRE education in schools however Ofsted inspections have found that, despite progress across the country, SRE needs improving in one third of schools. Ofsted is clear that this lack of quality SRE leaves pupils vulnerable to abuse and exploitation[1].

To encourage schools to deliver SRE there is a need to refresh and update the existing Healthy Relationship resources available to schools. Within the refresh it is vital that an element of child sexual exploitation education is embedded. When completed, the resources will be a critical support for the delivery of healthy relationship education by key stage.

Supporting parents in talking to young people about sex and relationships. Not only, as highlighted above, is it important for schools to be encouraged to deliver HR and SRE education, support for parents and carers is also needed. The evidence is clear that giving young people knowledge about sex and relationships, and helping them develop the skills to manage relationships effectively is protective. Support for parents in talking to young people about SRE is one of the factors that is also present in areas that are successful in reducing teenage conceptions[2].

It is therefore recommended that further work be done locally to develop ways of supporting parents to talk to young people about SRE.

Young fathers. The lack of support for young fathers to be good parents was highlighted in the Ofsted report on serious case reviews. There is evidence that positive involvement with the father, even if they are no longer in a relationship with the mother, can have significant benefits on the outcomes for the child [3] Young fathers have reported that they feel excluded from services so more effort is needed to address this and make them feel welcome and involved.

 

[1] Brook, PSHE Association &  Sex Education Forum,  Sex and relationships education  (SRE) for the 21st century, Department for Education and Employment, London 2014

[2] Mark Osborn,  Working with fathers to safeguard children, Fatherhood Institute, Wiltshire, 2013. 

 


Last updated Thursday, 11th May 2017