Teenage pregnancy rate falls
FEWER teenage girls in Cambridgeshire are getting pregnant following a campaign to educate and raise aspirations of youngsters in deprived areas. Figures released this week reveal the conception rate among under-18s dropped to well below the national aver
FEWER teenage girls in Cambridgeshire are getting pregnant following a campaign to educate and raise aspirations of youngsters in deprived areas.
Figures released this week reveal the conception rate among under-18s dropped to well below the national average.
In 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, there was an average of 41.5 pregnancies per 1,000 under-18-year-olds in England. In Cambridgeshire the figure was just 25.6 per 1,000.
This represents a national reduction of 11.1 per cent over the first five years of the Government's 10-year Teenage Pregnancy Strategy, but a drop of 18.6 per cent in Cambridgeshire.
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It was one of the few areas in the country to meet the Government target of a fall of 15 per cent or more by 2004.
Cambridgeshire's Teenage Pregnancy Strategy has worked to reduce the figures with professionals from health, education and social care working alongside the voluntary sector, parents and the young people themselves.
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Shona Johnstone, Cambridgeshire County Council cabinet member for children and young people's services, said: "These figures are very good news. They reflect the changes in sexual behaviour we have been working so hard to achieve.
"We have been targeting areas of deprivation, where teenage conception rates are generally higher, seeking to raise young people's aspirations and educate them about the dangers of sexually-transmitted diseases.
"The success we are enjoying in Cambridgeshire is a credit to families and teachers, particularly those in the county council's personal, social and health education service, who will continue to work closely with young people to reduce teenage pregnancies even further."
In 2003, the county council employed a schools adviser to try to keep the high number of teenage parents in Fenland in education.
At that time, Fenland was the only district in Cambridgeshire with a teenage conception rate above the national average, with a significant number among school age girls in deprived areas of Wisbech.