Thursday 28 October 2010

Minister's statement on teen pregnancy

This is the answer Sarah Teather MP gave in response to a question about government strategy on teenage pregnancy and sex and relationships education
Jeremy Lefroy MP for Stafford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what steps he is taking to reduce the number of teenagers who become pregnant in England. [15616]
Sarah Teather: The reduction in the under-18 conception rate over the last decade-to the point where it is at its lowest level for over 20 years-is positive. But it does not mask the fact that England still has high teenage pregnancy rates compared with many other countries.
We want local areas to continue to prioritise reducing teenage pregnancy rates, using the international evidence and the lessons from areas where teenage pregnancy rates have fallen fastest, to accelerate progress. There are clear social and economic benefits from investing in actions to prevent teenage pregnancies and improve outcomes for teenage parents and their children. These will contribute to local strategies to: reduce child poverty and health inequalities; and improve public health.
We are currently reviewing the curriculum, including the place of sex and relationships education (SRE) within it. We will be announcing our plans later this year. But whatever the status of SRE in future, we are clear that it should focus more on relationships. We know that parents are concerned about the early sexualisation of children and the worrying levels of violence reported in teenage relationships and believe that high quality SRE can help children and young people to: cope with the pressures they face to have sex-from both their peers and the media; and to understand what is meant by sexual consent.
We are also considering how best to ensure that sufficient accessible, young people-friendly contraceptive and sexual health services are available in each local area, so that sexually active young people do not risk having unprotected sex, which can result in an unplanned pregnancy or a sexually transmitted infection. We will be publishing a Public Health White Paper later this year.


  1. Just a querie: Does Wales and Scotland have significantly lower teenage pregnancy than England or is it that, reducing the rate of teengage pregnancies is a devolved issue?

    Sorry if this is a bit off topic.

  2. Reducing teenage pregnancy is a policy issue rather than a legal issue so it isn't devolved as such. It is up to the different regions to decide whether it is a priority and take action on this.