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Survey reveals how children and teenagers feel about growing up in Wirral
MORE than 3,700 Wirral youngsters have responded to a new survey developed to assess their emotional well-being.
The results provide a fascinating, if sometimes concerning, snapshot into how the borough’s young people feel.
Most youngsters said they are happy in their lives and felt they could discuss any problems with their parents or carers.
But bullying in schools obviously still is a problem, with many children reporting they had been suffered from it.
And for all children and young people, the thing they worry about the most is school work and exams.
The probe, called “HELP” - Health, Education and Lifestyle Profile - was developed by Wirral Council following the end of the national Tellus Survey in 2010, a series of annual confidential online surveys for school children.
The questionnaire had primary and secondary school versions, the primary aimed at pupils in year 6 and the secondary at students in years 8 and 10. Questions in both surveys were largely the same.
For primary girls, 48% say they worry about school work and exams, 37% worry about their friendships and 33% are concerned about “the way I look.”
For primary boys, the survey shows 37% worry over exams, parents and family issues are concerns for 24%. 27% say nothing worries them.
The pressure is shown to grow when pupils reach secondary school. Now 70% of girls worry about school work and exams while concern about “the way I look” leaps to 55%. Worry about what to do after year 11 affects 47%.
Slightly more than 48% of boys are troubled by their school work and exams, almost 40% fret about what they will do post-16 and nearly 30% worry about money.
Yet most young people in secondary school say they feel happy about life at the moment - 61% of girls and 69% of boys - and they generally feel very safe or quite safe in the area they live, travelling to and from school and using public transport.
However, 17% feel “a bit or very unsafe” in their home town.
Sadly in primary schools, 40% of children say they had been bullied at some point.
Of those, 23% say bullying took place in the last four weeks and 53% that this had happened “a few times” in the last year.
More than 80% of children are satisfied with the way their school handles bulling and 71% say school deals with the issue “quite well” or “very well.”
In secondary schools, 32% of young people say they’d been bullied at some point. Of those, 16% say bullying had taken place in the last four weeks and 43% that it had happened “a few times” in the last year.
Both boys and girls report a high level of good friendships and feel able to talk to their parents and carers if they have a problem.
For primary schools, 93% of children say they have never smoked, with girls more likely to have never indulged than boys.
Overall, nearly 4% of all primary school children state they have been drunk at least once in the last four weeks.
The secondary survey asked for details over drug and alcohol misuse and almost 89% of students say they have never taken drugs. 71% say they have never smoked, with little difference across genders.
Overall 18.5% of young people say they have been drunk at least once in the last four weeks.
The survey also asked teenagers about places to go on Friday and Saturday nights. A total of 20% say they have been to a youth club or taken part in an activity such as sports, arts or media.
More than 60% either didn’t know of, or disagreed, that there are safe places to go out on Friday and Saturday nights.
A total of 3,792 children across all schools responded compared to 1,460 the previous year. The results have been used by the education authority to develop an improvement action plan.