"Local commissioning" is a commonly used phrase, and our political parties all seem agreed that it's a good idea (as witnessed in their various annual conferences this month). But how can you apply that concept to health promotion for young people?
An unusual event occurred in July as we said goodbye to two long serving staff members.
Di Bish retired and Dan Hawkins moved on. They are pictured with SHEU founder John Balding.
(Reprinted from the Somerset Healthy Schools Newsletter)
"On March 31st Dr Kath Wilson, Somerset's Healthy Schools Coordinator is retiring. The team and those many people (including colleagues at SHEU) who have worked with her and benefited from her tireless support will sorely miss her.
SHEU figures from 1985 show that more 14-15 year old males than 14-15 year old females consistently report drinking more than 10 units of alcohol ‘in the last seven days’.
Over the years, there has been around a 5% ± difference between the two groups with no overall trend.
Since 1993 we have asked thousands of 12-15 year olds…”Is there a special birth control (family planning) service for young people available locally?”
Those replying ‘Yes’ show an upward trend (see chart below left).
Those responding ‘Don’t know’ show a downward trend (see chart below right).
SHEU has carried out lifestyle surveys with hundreds of thousands of young people for over 30 years and has explored the ideas around social norms. Alan Berkowitz has recently been promoting the idea that people's perceptions of social norms – that is, what you think other people are doing – are an important mechanism for enabling behavioural change.
We've just received a postcard from Angela and David who have been visiting the Institute for the Psychology and Pedagogy of Development (IPPD) at Krasnoyarsk, capital of the Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia, Russia. We were privileged to meet Elena Federenko and colleagues on previous visits to England. Angela and David are visiting with old friends from Dudley in order to explain more about Healthy Schools and learn more about their approach to health and social education. We look forward to hearing more from them on their return.
David was recently privileged to attend a small invitation conference organised by Peter Griffiths, retiring head of PSHE at OFSTED. Peter was at his vigorous, generous best, and we welcome the appointment of Margaret Jones to the post. We look forward to her first visit to us in Exeter.
Ruth Joyce has recently retired as Manager of the UK Drug Education Research programme 'Blueprint' at the Home Office.
Ruth is pictured (right) at a presentation at the House of Lords with Baroness Doreen Massey.
For some months, SHEU have been collaborating with the lobbying organisation, Stonewall on a piece of research into young people's experiences of homophobic bullying. The Stonewall survey was an opt-in survey of young people, conducted over the Internet. SHEU were pleased to be involved in this important research, although the findings were often very sobering.
In other work, we have some examples of findings about homophobic bullying from whole-population surveys in schools. For example, we have occasionally asked whether young people are being bullied for different reasons.