Key findings from the longest running health behaviour study of young people

A national survey of the health of secondary aged pupils was published in January 2020. The data was collected in 2018 and examined the school environment and found these key points:

– Nearly a quarter of young people said they liked school “a lot”, while around half of like school “a bit”. The amount of young people who said they liked school decreased with age for boys and girls.

– Pressure from school work was a common concern, particularly among girls. For the last few years there has been an increase in both boys and girls feeling pressured by school work.

– Around two thirds of young people said they felt safe at school, and over half felt like they belong in school. However, the proportion of young people perceiving the school environment favourably has decreased since 2014.

– Young people felt that their teachers cared for them as a person and they reported having at least one teacher they felt they could turn to if they had problems.

– Young people were less positive about their peers, with just over half reporting peers to be kind and helpful. Younger adolescents were much more likely to report positive relationships with their teachers and peers.

– The proportion of young people who rated teacher and peer relationships positively has declined since 2014.

– Young people were more likely to report experiencing traditional bullying (physical, verbal and relational bullying behaviours) compared with cyberbullying. The proportion of young people who reported being a victim of bullying in the past couple of months has increased between 2010 and 2018.

– The majority of young people were positive about the subjects which had been covered in PSHE classes. Since 2014, there have been increases in the numbers of young people who feel issues concerning health and well-being and staying safe have been well covered during PSHE classes.

Written by Dean Johnstone