Shropshire teenage pregnancy rate lowest in West Midlands
Shropshire has the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the West Midlands, new figures have revealed.
The figures released by the Office for National Statistics also show that the number of teenage pregnancies in Shropshire is at its lowest in more than a decade, highlighting how efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy rates in the county are having an impact. The aims and actions to achieve this were outlined in the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy launched by Shropshire Council and partners in 1999.
The data reveals that the number of conceptions per 1,000 females aged under 18 years old in Shropshire was 23.7 in 2011, compared to 23.9 in 2010.
This is significantly below the Shropshire figure of 34 per 1,000 in 1998, used as a baseline at the start of the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, and the national figure for England and Wales for 2011 which was 30.9 per 1,000.
Karen Burgoyne, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member, said:
“We are working closely with children, young people including those who are most at risk, parents and partner organisations, to improve ways that young people receive appropriate, accurate information about relationships and sexual health.
“Innovative, nationally-recognised work is taking place in Shropshire to help them make decisions about their future, and these figures show that the range of education, prevention and support offered is making a difference.
“A lot of effort has been put in to reduce the figures, and it’s heartening to see that this is having such a significant effect.”
Over the last few years, efforts to reach national targets to reduce the number of teenage pregnancies have resulted in an increased commitment from partners across the county to provide young people with the skills, confidence and information to make important choices.
This has included Shropshire Council and Shropshire County Primary Care Trust developing resources and training programmes for schools. One of these resources is the Shropshire Respect Yourself Relationship and Sex Education Programme, which won a UK Sexual Health Award for innovation in Relationship and Sex Education.
For further information on the figures click here.
For details of local services take a look at the Family Information Service (FIS) Directory by clicking here or call Shropshire Council’s FIS on 01743 254400.