Kids making better lifestyle choices

Teenagers in Rotherham are putting the braks on bad lifestyle choices - like smoking, and drinking sugary drinks - according to a new school survey.

Thursday, 9th February 2017, 5:00 am

Hundreds of school children responded to Rotherham Council’s annual Lifestyle Survey, saying they they drink one or less high sugar drinks a day, which is being put down to campaigns to ban such drinks from schools. And there has also been an increase in pupils saying they have never smoked, which is a higher percentage than national figures in similar surveys.

Other highlights of the survey show the use of contraception has increased among those having sex, and an increase in awareness about child sexual exploitation, with more school lessons on this than ever before.

However, there are still areas of concern, including a rise in the number of pupils reporting issues around bullying and cyber-bullying, along with a slight increase in young people saying they have tried drugs, even if this was only once. Officials are now set to meet to discuss strategies to deal with this.

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Ian Thomas, strategic director of Children and Young People’s Service at Rotherham Council said the ambition of the annual survey is to change the experiences of children and young people in Rotherham. He said: “We are committed as a council to ensuring every child gets the best start in life.

“Part of this commitment is making sure the voices of our young people are not only heard, but also have a direct influence on the work we do for them. That is why it is very important for us and schools to heed the results of surveys like this and listen to what Rotherham’s children are telling us, good or bad.”

This year’s survey will go out to schools on May 3.