Young People into 2014

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

TWENTY EIGHTH YEAR OF DATA ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE

Example pages : Want to lose weight
Up to 32% 10-15 yr old boys want to lose weight

Example pages : Bullying
12-15 year olds      10-11 year olds

Example links:
14-15 yr olds and links between behaviours and characteristics

Example page : Perceptions of drinking water
78% of 14-15 yr old females report drinking less than 1 litre of water 'yesterday'

Example page : Perceptions of fitness
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

Example page : Perceptions of drugs
As pupils get older fewer think that cannabis is 'always unsafe' and the 'safe if used properly' response being strongly associated with actual use

 

YP into '14 Don't miss the FREE RESOURCES PAGE

Revealed: how pressures of online life undermine teenage girls’ self-esteem :  The Observer, Sunday 9 November 2014

Social media blamed for crisis of confidence in British schoolgirls : The Telegraph

Survey shows steep drop in girls’ self-esteem : The Day   etc. etc.

This report, Young People into 2014, 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 2013, this involved over 58,000 youngsters. This report contains over 100 health-related behaviour questions and answers from over 30,000 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 28th in the series.

What's new and different in Young People into 2014?
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,
“We saw a peak of young people's use of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis in the mid-1990s, and since then there has been a general decline in use.  We have seen a shift too in their perceptions of the dangers of cannabis.  Whether they have been deterred from experimentation by good drugs education or have been attracted to other pastimes – perhaps online – we cannot tell from these figures, but it's good news regardless."
“We have always been concerned about the emotional wellbeing of young people.  A while ago we took stock of young people's emotional wellbeing as seen in our figures (SHEU, 2005).  At the time, we were fairly sanguine, as we thought that, while different worries came and went, young people's self-esteem was holding up well and even increasing.  We suspect that this is no longer the case: the data series shows a peak in the percentage of Year 10 females scoring in the highest bracket of self-esteem scores in 2007, but the figures in that group have since declined (see p.96).”

Chart: Percentage of young people scoring in highest bracket of self-esteem scores,1985-2013, SHEU aggregate figures, by age and sex

Reference
SHEU (2005). Trends: Young People and Emotional Health and Well-Being (incorporating Bullying), 1983-2003.  Exeter: SHEU.

Angela Balding, Survey Manager at the Schools Health Education Unit, says,
“The rising trend of self-esteem from 1997-2007 stopped in 2008, and the figures we are seeing for high self-esteem in 2013 are generally lower now. 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 of online bullying.  We can also see among the pupils with low self-esteem that they are much more likely than their peers to have experienced bullying at or near school in the last year.  We don't know if that's because bullying causes a drop in self-esteem, or if pupils with low self-esteem are more likely to be picked on, or both."

14-15 yr olds and links between behaviours and characteristics
We have also this year shown more of the types of analysis we are often asked to do in local authorities, that is, showing links between behaviours and links between behaviours and demographic characteristics.  We have been able to show:

  • Year 10 pupils who have free school meals are less likely to want to stay in full-time education after Year 11 than are their peers (p.37)
  • Year 10 males who have a mixed ethnic heritage are more likely to use substances than are their peers (p.40)
  • Year 10 pupils who are young carers are less likely to have seen a dentist in the last 6 months than are their peers (p.36)
  • Year 10 pupils who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are more likely to report having been bullied at or near school in the last year than are their peers (and are more likely to report using substances) (p.103)
  • Year 10 pupils who are religious are less likely to have tried smoking than are their peers (p.102)
  • Year 10 pupils who have a disability are less likely to have tried smoking than are their peers (but are more likely to report having been bullied at or near school in the last year) (p.35)

We can see these behaviours, therefore, not as isolated items in a questionnaire, but as parts of young people's lives embedded in a social and cultural matrix.”

Dr Regis says,
“The landscape in which we work continues to evolve and make life more interesting.  The synergy between public health and education within local authorities is tangible and encouraging.  We are being pushed to develop our services in different directions and to explore new topics.
As regards the aggregate data sets from which we publish this series of reports, they have become more complex and busy.  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.  There are new items for this 2014 report about personal background; e-safety; second-hand smoke; perceptions of drugs; barriers to exercise; responses to problems and sexuality and we have had a brief look at religion and belief (p.102).
For these reasons, we have taken another look at the representativeness of the data sets from which we derive our figures.  We compared the profile of the schools in our data sets with what we can see in the country as a whole, 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.”


 

SUMMARY

 

CHAPTER 1 - Food choices & weight control

  • In the sample, 62% of 14-15 year old females, 53% of 12-13 year old females and 33% of 10-11 year old females 'would like to lose weight'. This compares with 27% of 14-15 year old males, 32% of 12-13 year old males and 27% 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 20% 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 78% of 12-15 year olds reported drinking less than 1 litre of water

CHAPTER 2 - Doctor & Dentist

  • Up to 26% 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; worry ‘a lot’ and feel afraid about going to school due to bullying
  • Up to 24% of young people say that safety after dark in their area is 'poor' or 'very poor'
  • Up to 85% say they have been advised how to stay safe while chatting online
  • Up to 12% have been a victim of violence in their area
  • 31% of 10-11 yr. old females feel afraid (at least 'sometimes') of going to school because of bullying

CHAPTER 4 - Family & Home

  • As they get older, fewer pupils report living with both parents
  • Up to 43% of the 10-15 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. 30% of the 14-15 year old males did no homework at all 'yesterday'
  • Up to 84% 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 66% (males) and 60% (females) by the time they are 14-15 years old. Around 35% of 12-15 year olds live in a 'smoky' home. 22% of 14-15 year old girls reported smoking and 27% reported drinking alcohol 'in the last 7 days'
  • Around 50% of the 14-15 year olds are 'fairly sure' or 'certain' that they know a drug user. Up to 9% of 14-15 year olds have mixed drugs and alcohol 'on the same occasion'
  • Up to 14% 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 92% of the sample of 10-15 year olds report exercising at least on one day 'last week'. At least 73% of all males and 74% 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
  • 67% of 14-15 year old females, compared with 52% 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 22% of 10-11 year olds report being picked on for 'the way they look'
  • 28% 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 2014' report is the 28th 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 2014
ISBN 9781-902445-48-9 148pp

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Comments about SHEU

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

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

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

School Drugs Advisor

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Major General Sir John Acland

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Supervisor's Notes

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Headteacher

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Teenage Pregnancy Manager

"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

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

"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

"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

"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

"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 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

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

Health Education Co-ordinator

"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

"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

"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 (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

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

"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

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

Healthy Schools Co-ordinator

"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

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

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

"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

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

Assistant Director Schools and SEN

"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

"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

"We never make a move without looking at these excellent reports." Public Health Consultant

Public Health Consultant

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

Health Development Agency

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

Daily Telegraph

"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

"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

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

Class teacher

"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

"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

"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

"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

"Please send an additional copy of our report - it is the most requested and borrowed item in the whole library." Health Promotion Unit

Health Promotion Unit

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

Health Education Adviser

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

Prof Ted Wragg, 1938-2005

"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

(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)

...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

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

Chief Executive, substance use charity

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

Pupil

"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

"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

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

"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

"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

"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

"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

"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

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

Kelloggs

"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

"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