Young People into 2015

SHEU : nationally-recognised, since 1977,
as the specialist provider of reliable local survey data about young people's health and wellbeing

TWENTY NINTH YEAR OF DATA ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE

Teenage girls are skipping meals as weight anxiety soars : Observer

Meet the 21st century child: afraid of bullies and suffering from low self-esteem : Telegraph

Two-thirds of teenage girls say they need to lose weight as survey reveals startling increase in diet anxiety among youngsters : Mailonline

Current trends in health, wellbeing and risky behaviours amongst children and young people : PSHE Association

Emotional health: the biggest issue of our time for children and young people : Politics Home

Reports on students’ risk behaviours and lifestyle choices : National Association of Head Teachers

'A curriculum for life: the case for statutory PSHE education’  : PSHE Association

 

'Free School Meals' - Example data from p.35 : Those Yr 10 pupils, in one authority, who get free school meals were less likely to want to continue with full-time education and more likely to report having tried smoking, been bullied in the last year and were sexually active.

Emotional health: the biggest issue of our time for children and young people - See more at: https://www.politicshome.com/education/articles/opinion/pshe-association...
Emotional health: the biggest issue of our time for children and young people - See more at: https://www.politicshome.com/education/articles/opinion/pshe-association...
Emotional health: the biggest issue of our time for children and young people - See more at: https://www.politicshome.com/education/articles/opinion/pshe-association...
Emotional health: the biggest issue of our time for children and young people - See more at: https://www.politicshome.com/education/articles/opinion/pshe-association...

Example pages : Contraception and HIV/AIDS
49% 12-13 yr-old girls say male condoms stop HIV/AIDS

Example pages : Participation in active sports
Outside of school, over 40% of girls enjoy Going for a walk

Example pages : I would like to lose weight
64% 14-15 yr old girls report wanting to lose weight

 

YP into 2015 Don't miss the FREE RESOURCES PAGE

This new report, Young People into 2015, is a "unique contemporary archive" of young people from the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU). Each year, since 1977, SHEU carry out healthy lifestyle surveys with young people and, in 2014, this involved over 110,000 youngsters. This report contains over 100 health-related behaviour questions and answers from over 78,000 pupils between the ages of 10 and 15. They tell us about what they do at home, at school, and with their friends. The data have been collected from primary and secondary schools across England. The report is the 29th in the series.

What's new and different in Young People into 2015?
Some of the differences are not new – they are continuations of trends that we have seen going on for some time.
Dr David Regis, Research Manager of the Schools Health Education Unit, says,
“This report provides a snapshot of our young people as they were approaching 2015 and also offers some trends where we are able to look back over the last 30 years and more of our research.  We have seen a further decline in young people's reported involvement with tobacco, alcohol and cannabis.  We saw a peak for all these figures in the mid-1990s, and since then there has been a general decline. 

"Recent news reports have carried stories about mental health awareness (e.g. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/news/blog/2929_headteachers_say_children_s_mental_health_is_most_worrying_concern ).
In 2014, SHEU reported on some trends indicating that young people, perhaps particularly older girls, were less confident than were their peers a decade ago.  We are still not sure why that is, but we have looked a little closer into our sample for this report.  We found, for example, some links between use of social media ('talking and messaging online') and both risky behaviour and poorer emotional well-being.

The table below is from p.44 of the report. It shows differences in the responses of Year 10 females, depending on whether they were light or heavy users of social media.

Percentages among Year 10 females in one authority Light social media use ( Heavy social media use on the evening before the survey (3h+)

Low self-esteem

33

50

Worry about their own mental health

26

40

Worry about the mental health of someone in their family

22

37

Know a trusted adult to talk with about worries

67

58

Follow e-safety advice 'always'

77

60

Ate '5-a-day' yesterday

25

9

Ever smoked

22

50

Ever drink alcohol

59

85

Ever offered cannabis

14

38

Believe most in their age group have had sex before 15

16

31

"There is a very plain association between heavy social media use and poor emotional wellbeing.  But the statistics don't tell us anything about cause and effect – for example, it could be that youngsters who are feeling down then spend more time online, maybe to feel better."
"It's a real dilemma – young people want to be fully involved with everything their peer group is doing online, of course, and I would have really loved to see all the great things on the Internet when I was young.  But we do worry if so much is good for them."
"Perhaps the standout result for me is the proportion of all of these young women who don't say they have an adult that they trust whom they can talk to if they are worried about something."

Angela Balding, Survey Manager at the Schools Health Education Unit, says,
“We mentioned last year that the rising trend of self-esteem from 1997-2007 stopped in 2008, and the figures we are seeing for high self-esteem in 2014 have fallen again since last year especially for girls (p.94).  The 2008 date coincides with the economic recession, so that's a plausible explanation of what we see  – but we are also aware of new pressures about being online and spending so much time on social media. 
"Social media can be a source of social anxiety and of course cyberbullying and other dangers.  For example, the Year 10 Girls who spent 3+ hours messaging online were more likely to say someone they didn’t know in person had asked to meet with them, and they report more exposure to other undesirable online behaviours."

Dr Regis adds,
“The range of topics we have been asked to look at with schools continues to expand, but that hasn't made the production of our annual report any easier! We have seen some items dropped from the report, as too few clients chose those questions for their surveys, while a few items have been added to the reports.  We have published this year for the second time results about e-safety; second-hand smoke; perceptions of drugs; barriers to exercise; responses to problems and sexuality and we have had another look at religion and belief (p.100).

"As regards the aggregate data sets from which we publish this series of reports, they have become more complex and busy.  Are the figures still representative?  We reported last year that the characteristics of the schools in the SHEU data sets are reasonably well-matched to the national population of schools, and that is still true in 2015.”


YOUNG PEOPLE INTO 2015

SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1 - Food choices & weight control

  • In the sample, 64% of 14-15 year old females, 51% of 12-13 year old females and 31% of 10-11 year old females 'would like to lose weight'. This compares with 29% of 14-15 year old males, 32% of 12-13 year old males and 25% of 10-11 year old males who 'would like to lose weight'
  • 14% of Year 10 females have 'nothing at all to eat or drink for breakfast this morning' and 18% had nothing for lunch on the previous day
  • Less fresh fruit and vegetables are eaten as pupils get older and up to 55% report eating 1-3 portions of fruit and vegetables. 16% of 14-15 yr. olds and 27% of 10-11 yr. olds report eating 5 or more portions of fruit and vegetables 'yesterday'
  • Up to 72% of 12-15 year olds reported drinking less than 1 litre of water

CHAPTER 2 - Doctor & Dentist

  • Up to 30% of the 12-15 year old females, reported feeling 'quite uneasy' or 'very uneasy' on their last visit to the doctor

CHAPTER 3 - Health & Safety

  • Most 12-15 year olds report sleeping 8 or more hours ‘last night’. There is a strong relationship between sleep patterns and a number of variables. For example, for 14-15 year old females, the more sleep they get they are less likely to: want to lose weight
  • 34% of 10-11 yr. old females feel afraid (at least 'sometimes') of going to school because of bullying
  • As pupils get older fewer say schools take bullying seriously
  • Up to 88% say they have been advised how to stay safe while chatting online

CHAPTER 4 - Family & Home

  • As they get older, fewer pupils report living with both parents [59% 14-15 year old females in this sample report living with Mum and Dad together]
  • Up to 46% of the 12-15 year olds walk, at least some of the way, to school
  • More females than males did homework on the evening before the survey, and they tended to spend longer at it
  • Up to 80% of males played computer games after school 'yesterday'

CHAPTER 5 - Legal & Illegal Drugs

  • Since the mid-1990s there has been a general decline in the percentage of 14-15 year olds who smoke regularly. Around 97% of 10-11 year olds say they have never smoked. This figure drops to 71% (males) and 66% (females) by the time they are 14-15 years old. Around 36% of 12-15 year olds live in a 'smoky' home. 18% of 14-15 year old girls reported smoking and 26% reported drinking alcohol 'in the last 7 days'
  • Around 49% of the 14-15 year olds are 'fairly sure' or 'certain' that they know a drug user
  • 12% of 14-15 year olds report taking cannabis and, as they get older, fewer pupils think that cannabis is 'always unsafe'

CHAPTER 6 - Exercise & Sport

  • Over 91% of the sample of 10-15 year olds report exercising at least on one day 'last week'. Around 67% of all males and 64% of 10-11 year old females report exercising vigorously on 3 or more days 'last week'
  • 66% of 10-11 year old females think they are 'fit' or 'very fit'. This falls to 25% by the time they reach 14-15 years of age
  • Since 1991, there is a downward trend for some pupils reporting they are 'fit/very fit'

CHAPTER 7 - Social & Personal

  • 'School-work problems' are a worry for 14-15 year old females and 'the way you look' remains the main worry for 12-15 year old females
  • 64% of 14-15 year old females, compared with 49% of 14-15 year old males, want to continue with full-time education after Year 11
  • Statements from the 'Every Child Matters' section show a marked difference between the positive responses from primary and secondary pupils e.g. responses to, 'The school helps me work as part of a team' drop from around 63% (10-11 year-olds) to around 36% (14-15 year-olds)
  • Younger (12-13 year-old) males continue to be the most satisfied group when 12-15 year olds are asked about how they feel about their life 'at the moment

CHAPTER 8 - Some responses from primary-age children that are not contained in Chapters 1-7

  • Up to 24% of 10-11 year olds report being picked on for 'the way they look'
  • 20% of 10-11 year olds report being approached by an adult who scared them or made them upset

Notes
1. SHEU is an independent research, survey and publishing company and the 'Young People into 2015' report is the 29th in the series and based on the work of one of its divisions - The Schools Health Education Unit. The Unit provides reliable baseline data for local needs assessment to inform plans in health, education and care.
2. The accumulated databank from the hundreds of school surveys we support each year, involving tens of thousands of young people, is a valuable resource of information and provides many opportunities for research. But we caution against simple reporting and interpretation of our figures as being from 'a national survey'.
3. We compared the profile of the schools in our data sets with what we can see in the country as a whole (see above), and we were pleasantly surprised by the similarity.  This confirms what we concluded a decade ago through a similar study: that the SHEU data sets are reasonably well-matched to the national population of schools.


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Young People into 2015
ISBN 9781-902445-49-6 150pp

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"We are planning next year's programmes around this information." Health Education Adviser

Health Education Adviser

"The Unit is to be congratulated in preparing ... material of the highest standard and worthy of wide dissemination." National Association for Environmental Education

National Association for Environmental Education

"Every school involved in the National Healthy School programme should start with an HRBQ survey." Health Education Co-ordinator

Health Education Co-ordinator

I would just like to say thank you very much to Angela, yourself and all of the SHEU team for making the [survey] so successful. The survey has been well received and we are using data in new ways to help support work on local Public Health priorities.

Senior Public Health Specialist

"The Unit has a unique historical and contemporary archive of young people." Prof. Ted Wragg 1938-2005

Prof Ted Wragg, 1938-2005

"I have never looked at myself in this way before." Pupil

Pupil

"Thank you from my staff to you and all your staff. The speed of 'turn-around' of the questionnaires is outstanding in anyone's terms." Headteacher

Headteacher

"On behalf of all the health promoters in Scotland I would like to say a big thank to you and your colleagues for your excellent work over the years. This includes not only your survey work but your role as a visiting examiner in Scotland and adviser on course development."
Tribute from a Health Commissioner to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Commissioner

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Health Promotion Unit

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Public Health Consultant

"The system works and I find quite a lot of it useful in my work. I've also recommended it to others."

Teenage Pregnancy Manager

"You have made a fantastic contribution to children’s health education and promotion. I am personally grateful to you for helping to kickstart my research career." Prof. Neil Armstrong tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Prof Neil Armstrong

"We're very happy to commission another survey from you. Our colleagues in School Improvement are dead keen to work with us on this. During our last LA Inspection, we were flagged from our Tellus data as having a bullying problem. We could demonstrate with our SHEU data - which had a much better sample size and coverage of the authority - that we did not have the problem they suggested. The Inspectors went away happy and we are definitely surveying again with SHEU."

Local Authority Senior Adviser

"Your work in developing the Health Related Behaviour Survey was ground breaking and has continued to evolve." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

"Many thanks for a major contribution to the health of children in the UK and elsewhere over many years and putting in place the continuation of the Unit." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your work regarding writing and compiling the sex education survey. The survey was well executed and the schools have found their individual reports very helpful. The results of the survey have enabled the Local Campaign Group to justify the need for young men's campaigns and given us invaluable insight as to the thoughts and experiences of this target group."

Teenage Pregnancy Strategy Manager

"Just to say a huge thank you for all your efforts in helping us with the Health survey amongst pupils. It has provided us with significant data which will be used across the school to help us improve. It helped us to obtain a healthy schools standard as well. I hope we can make this an annual feature as we can track the changing health of our pupils." Headteacher

Headteacher

"The Health Related Behaviour Survey is an incredibly useful resource for (us) as it provides schools, with invaluable data which can inform curriculum content, methods of lesson delivery and empower schools to better meet the needs of their pupils."

Health Education Advisor

"The credit goes to you for the fabulous information the survey yields!"

Assistant Director Schools and SEN

Please could our College be part of the SHEU survey this academic year? We did it in 2016 and 2017 and found it incredibly informative and it helped us shape our PSHE provision.

Assistant Principal

"Brilliant - thank you Angela. As always you and your team are so proficient at getting our requests dealt with so promptly - it is a real pleasure to work with such a great organisation."

Health Improvement Adviser

"The data for (us) are very useful ... This is especially important when evaluating the impact of interventions regarding alcohol or other areas, as the survey data are likely to provide an earlier indication than routine data sources."

Specialist Registrar in Public Health

"I really think that the HRBQ is a wonderful piece of work in terms of getting useful information for so many different organisations in one go." Healthy Children's Research and Statistics Officer

Research and Statistics Officer

"Thanks for presenting the survey to local schools this morning, I just wanted to thank you for such interesting and thought-provoking information.  
I’m really glad we were able to take part - the information (particularly headline data and differences) will support us to have some really interesting questions with the Year group as a whole about the sense they’re making of this; what they think it might mean in terms of changes they might make, and what they need to support them in this."

Deputy Headteacher

"The Unit produces an invaluable body of knowledge... providing exceptional information across time and throughout the country." Kelloggs

Kelloggs

"It's good to talk with you again - we used so much of those data and did so much with it in schools - we really got the place buzzing!"

Consultant in Public Health

I would be extremely interested to see the results as I know how useful this information has been to the other schools in the
borough

Headteacher

"Within the curriculum, we are part of the Healthy Schools programme - and the local, Director of Public Health Award. We cover many facets of health from emotional intelligence to safety education and our very strong, Anti-Bullying and Child Protection programmes. You can imagine our delight when the Local Authority and our school nurse made the following comments after we took part in the regional Schools Health Education Unit Survey: " Head Teacher.
“This was an amazing set of outcomes and really good evidence that (your school) is doing a wonderful job in prioritizing the health and well-being of its pupils … Well done to staff, governors and parents for all your work on this through the Director of Public Health award and other strategies. It is very clear that pupils feel happy, safe and involved at the school and your caring ethos shines through this data.”
Healthy Schools Coorduinator.

 

Headteacher & Healthy Schools Coordinator

"We have never consulted our young people like this before. The survey makes a great contribution to our 'best value' planning." Sports Development Officer

Sports Development Officer

"The data from last time were spot-on and we have done lots of work with it. We are very keen to repeat the survey." Headteacher

Headteacher

"I really appreciate the professional service which SHEU offers.  We have had a great experience working with Angela on the school surveys." 

Health Improvement Specialist

"The survey reports have been used to inform commissioning at specific commissioning groups. They are also being used within our Extended Schools Clusters and to inform The Annual Public Health and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment." Programme Manager - Young People

 “The (SHEU survey) helped us to prioritise where we needed to be in terms of PSHE education. We delivered assemblies based on the evidence as well as curriculum development, and dealt with whole school issues – particularly in regard to pastoral care. The answers received to the question on the survey “Who are you most likely to approach if you needed help” worried staff as “teacher” was not a popular answer. Subsequently the staff asked themselves why this had happened and what needed to be done to address the issue. There was more emphasis on wider aspects of PSHE education delivery, which needed more attention.

To summarise, the (SHEU survey) allows the PSHE department to assess the impact of teaching and learning and modify future lessons accordingly. It allows our school to look at whole school issues such as the extent to which the pastoral care system is meeting the needs of our pupils. It helps us to do need analysis of our pupils. It helps to provide important evidence for SEF / the extent to which we are meeting wellbeing indicators / National Healthy School standards.”  

Secondary School Head

"The service you provide is of national significance." Health Development Agency

Health Development Agency

"This is an excellent way of keeping up to date belt and braces style."

School Drugs Advisor

"Over the last twenty years you have achieved much. The surveys and subsequent reports have painted the clearest picture we have of what young people are doing and what they think." Tribute from OFSTED to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

OFSTED

"SHEU data proved the best source of the kind of information we were looking for (...) to provide research support to the National Healthy Schools Programme." 

Department of Health

"Thank you very much, David, for another excellent survey.  We look forward to receiving our reports."

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator

"As a result of the survey we reviewed and amended PSHE schemes of work, we are currently working on a "Green Travel Plan", a morning breakfast club was established and we further developed 6th Form mentoring."

Health Education Coordinator

"I would like to say that this survey was very useful and made me realise things about PE and health that I had never realised before......Food at school is groovy, especially if your school does Jamie Olivers School Dinners. Viva apples and thanks for the survey." Female pupil, 13 yrs old

Female pupil, 13yrs

Any comments on specific survey questions that may have caused difficulty?
Pupils at our primary school found the questionnaire very easy to understand and most of them completed the questions in less than 45min.

Teacher

...our analyst here in Public Health- is beside himself with excitement about all the juicy data pouring in...he can't wait to get his hands on it!!!!
He is happier than I have seen him for years.

Public Health Principal

"Over the last twenty years you have achieved much. The surveys and subsequent reports have painted the clearest picture we have of what young people are doing and what they think." OFSTED 1998

OFSTED

"One year (following the SHEU survey) responses from our Year 4 cohort caused us concern, so we put in place a number of team building, motivational projects. We then assessed their effectiveness by requesting the SHEU questionnaires for these pupils as Year 5's."

Learning Mentor

"The (named) Children and Young People's Partnership has benefitted from the results of the SHEU survey locally for many years now, and we should like to continue to do so in future."

Consultant in Public Health Medicine

“(The SHEU survey) was very, very useful. It gave us reassurance we weren’t missing a trick. For example not many pupils in the sample year groups were taking illegal drugs, which re-enforced our opinions. But the survey also raised issues and flagged some things up. We discovered that some of our girls weren’t eating enough – the percentage of girls in our school not eating lunch the day before the survey was higher than the county average. There were other concerns too, specifically around cigarettes, alcohol and attendance.
The school used this data and took a number of actions to address it. More female peer mentors were put in place and the school asked NEXUS (the Extended Schools service) for help, so they developed a programme for girls which addressed their eating patterns, healthy eating, sex education and self-esteem issues.
We ran an anti-bullying group for Year 9 as a preventative measure, based upon data provided by our current Year 10 students.
The travel data revealed that a high number of pupils took the car to school so we involved the BIKE-IT scheme who ran assemblies, brought in their bikes (including one with a pedal-powered smoothie maker!), and raised awareness of health and green issues.
The information about how happy the students were with their lives raised some concerns as far fewer girls were as happy as the boys, so work was done around developing aspirations, role-models and self-esteem."        
 

Deputy Head, Secondary School

"Many thanks to SHEU for your excellent professional support over the years."

PSHE teacher

I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed your talk at last week's conference.

Chief Executive, substance use charity

(Our) Senior team were very enthused with the rich source of data provided within the reports (and thought that the analyses including within the appendices section of the main reports were really interesting).

Health Improvement Specialist (Children, Schools and Families)

"You have often stood alone against the media who were often looking for the sensational headline. I have noticed an important change: the media now look out for and report very fairly and fully on the reports from the team." 
Tributes from a Health Education Advisor to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Education Advisor

We were all very impressed with the spreadsheet and can see that an incredible amount of work has gone into creating this!

Health Improvement Specialist

"We were talking about (the SHEU survey) data at our recent NSCoPSE Conference, for PSHE advisers and consultants. It would be really helpful if some of this powerful data and the trends could be shared in the consultation around the PSHE Review. Colleagues shared their very positive experiences of (the SHEU survey). It provides excellent evidence of behaviour change for children and young people and of the impact of PSHE and wider interventions."

Personal and Social Development Consultant

"I very much value the contribution the Health Related Behaviour Survey has made to the public health agenda and feel confident it will continue to do so." Tribute from a Director of Public Health to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Director of Public Health

"...the most comprehensive health education survey."

Daily Telegraph

"The Schools Health Education Unit has been a unique inspiration to all of us. For me, as I have worked in the many different areas of the NHS, the SHEU, its principles and your determination have always been a cornerstone in what a health promoting service should be about."
PCT Performance Manager paying tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

PCT Performance Manager

"I would like to say how much we appreciated the work you and your team have put in to this project, a big thank you for the excellent reports that you have completed on our behalf." Assistant Director of Public Health

Assistant Director of Public Health

"...the only question to cause a problem was 'has everyone got a pen?" Supervisor's notes following a school survey

Supervisor's Notes

"We use the data to inform whole school practice: Pastoral programmes for target groups of pupils; Items for discussion with School Council; Information to help us achieve the Healthy School gold standard; To develop and dicuss with pupils our Anti-Bullying Policy; Targeted whole class sessions with the Police Community Support Officers; To share pupil perceptions of all aspects of their school life with parents, staff and governers." 

Learning Mentor

"As a Deputy Head in a large secondary school I was involved in taking part in a city wide health and wellbeing survey over a period of six years. Completing the survey every two years grew in importance year on year, with the final cycle having a major impact on our SDP, PHSE curriculum, Ofsted outcomes and governor understanding.
Over the six year period we moved from a small sample in two tutor groups filling in a paper survey to two year groups completing an online survey. The reports produced give graphical analysis of a wide range of issues. As a result of the survey we increased the number of PSHE workshop days for students to address issues such as smoking, drug and alcohol awareness, anti-bullying workshops. The surveys helped Governors make a positive informed decision to allow Brook Advisory Clinic nurses on site to support students.
As a result of taking part and using the evidence provided we were able to offer more support for students which had a direct impact on improved attendance and outcomes."

Deputy Head Secondary School

"Our use of the Health-Related Behaviour Questionnaire was commended as part of our accreditation for the National Healthy Schools Scheme." Headteacher

"The children found the survey very interesting and enjoyed doing it." Class Teacher

Class teacher

"Many thanks for all of the fantastic information that you have sent to me over the years, it has really helped me to plan relevant courses for my students to follow and to help me to focus on the needs of the students I teach."

PSHE teacher

"You and the team have the evidence to show how young people's behaviour has or hasn't changed over time." 
Tribute from a Health Education Co-ordinator to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

Health Education Co-ordinator

"I have valued greatly the work I have done with the team in Exeter, it has been a highlight of my years here." Health Promotion Specialist

Health Promotion Specialist

"This week I have been working on a major strategy for service design -- it is easy to get solely focussed on hospitals, performance targets, and work force planning -- all very important; but at the same the needs of young people and how we need to work across agencies to address the health needs of today and tomorrow must be recognised. SHEU is founded to do just this."

PCT Performance Manager

"We would like to take part in the next ECM survey. We have found the data produced invaluable for supporting evidence in our SEF etc."

School Vice Principal

"You have made a truly significant contribution to health education and health promotion of young people in, not only England, but all over the United Kingdom and beyond." Colleague from NHS Scotland paying tribute to John Balding, presented at his retirement lunch, May 2005

NHS Scotland

"The Schools Health Education Unit is the jewel in the crown of the Health Education Authority." Major General Sir John Acland 1928 - 2006

Major General Sir John Acland

"The Schools Health Education Unit has gained a reputation as one of the most reliable sources of information about young people's health." BBC

BBC