The 2008 Office of National Statistics (ONS) conception data show
that, despite a slight rise in 2007, the action from the Government’s
teenage pregnancy strategy has led to a decline in pregnancies among under
16 and 18 year olds.
The statistics also show:
- the rate of under 16-year-olds falling pregnant decreased by 5.7 per
cent between 2007 and 2008
- since 1998 there has been a 13.3 per cent reduction in the number of
under 18s conceiving, and the figures also show encouraging reductions in
more than 120 local authorities and at every age range
- England’s under-18 conception rate for final quarter 2008 was 5.4
per cent lower than the same quarter 2007 and is the lowest fourth quarter
rate since 1993, showing promise for the 2009 data due next year.
Coinciding with the statistics and to further the progress made in recent
years, Children’s Minister Dawn Primarolo and Public Health Minister
Gillian Merron today launched Teenage Pregnancy Strategy: Beyond 2010. This
action plan outlines new measures to tackle the root causes of teenage
pregnancy, building on the successes of the last 10 years.
A new scheme to pilot one-to-one sexual health and contraception
consultations for 16-year-olds along with more support for parents,
increasing help for teachers and improving school-based health services are
among the announcements being made today.
Children’s Minister Dawn Primarolo said:
"Teenage pregnancy is no longer a rising problem. It is important that we
recognise the progress made by many areas in driving down teenage pregnancy
rates. Last year’s increase was very disappointing so I am
particularly pleased that today’s statistics put us back on track. In
the last two years alone local authorities and PCTs have redoubled efforts
to tackle the causes of teenage pregnancy.
"Over the last 10 years information, advice and support for young people
about sex and contraception has significantly improved. Sex and
relationship education is being reformed and access to free contraception
is now easier than ever before. Young people and their parents tell us that
these were the right things to do but we know we need to go further which
is why we are announcing pilots for one to one consultations for
16-year-olds and increased support for parents today.
"These measures will give renewed focus to supporting young people before
they become sexually active so that we can delay the age at which young
people start having sex. We remain fully committed to ensuring that every
young person has access to the information and support they need to make
informed decisions about sex. But this is not just about Government.
Parents have a vital role to play in providing information and advice on
sex and relationships and helping their children understand the value of
respecting themselves and others."
Public Health Minister Gillian Merron said:
"It's very encouraging to see that the teenage conception rate fell in
2008. The Government invested an additional £26.8 million on
promoting contraception last year and these figures show that our
investment in this, and other measures, is paying off."
The Department for Children, Schools and Families