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Agenda item

Rotherham 'Voice of the Child' Lifestyle Survey 2017 - Borough-wide Report

Minutes:

Further to Minute No. 45 of the meeting of the Improving Lives Select Commission held on 1st February, 2017, consideration was given to a report, presented by the Performance Assurance Manager (Children and Young People’s Services), containing the key findings from the 2017 Borough-wide Lifestyle Survey.  The report stated that the Lifestyle Survey had been open to schools during the three months from May to July, 2017, with pupils of Year 7 and of Year 10 being invited to participate.

 

Members noted that the questions had been made more appropriate for young people, after consultation with the Council’s partner organisations which will ultimately use the data obtained from the Survey.  Additional questions for 2017 were about youth centres, libraries, museums and also school councils and young people’s health issues (especially dental/oral health).

 

In 2017, only five of the sixteen secondary schools in Rotherham had not participated in the survey. There had been a total of more than 3,800 participants, being 58% of young people in the Year 7 and Year 10 school cohorts.  The Newman Special School had participated in the Survey for the first time, with questions devised for pupils of that School. The intention was that all Special Schools should participate in the Lifestyle Survey 2018. In addition, pupils who receive elective home education had participated in the Survey for the first time in 2017.

 

Each individual secondary school, special school and pupil referral unit would be provided with its own data set extracted from the Survey results.

 

The lifestyle survey results provided an insight into the experiences of children and young people living in the Rotherham Borough area and provided a series of measures to monitor the progress of the development of the aims to be a child-friendly Borough.  The results would also provide a series of measures to monitor the aims in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy.

 

The submitted report to this meeting included:-

 

-   the 2017 Borough-wide Lifestyle Survey Report;

-   the highlights of the Survey results which show areas which are showing improvement and are working well;

-  the highlights of the Survey results which show areas which remain a cause for concern.

  

The Select Commission discussed the following salient issues about this Survey:-

 

The perception amongst young people of safety within the Rotherham town centre; comparisons with previous year’s Survey results; Members suggested that the Survey in 2019 should include questions about safety within the refurbished Transport Interchange in the Rotherham town centre;

 

-   the results show an increase in the number young people who are not yet feeling safe when visiting the Rotherham town centre, even though the anxiety about protests and marches has reduced;

 

 -  more young people are physically active and are eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day; by contrast, the incidence of consumption of drinks with a high sugar content is a cause of concern;

 

-  the number of children and young people having breakfast has increased; Members questioned whether some of the children and young people may prefer to have a mid-morning snack instead;

 

-  dental and oral health and the number of young people visiting a dentist at least once per year;

 

- test purchasing has shown that fewer young people are able to obtain alcohol and cigarettes in shops;

 

-  data from previous years’ Surveys has provided useful information to assist in shaping the Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) curriculum in schools;

 

-  the Mental Health campaign for young people has made good progress during the past year; there are pilot schemes taking place in a number of schools;

 

-  the sharing of information from the Survey with Schools, enabling Schools to share the Borough-wide data with parents;

 

-  The proportion of young people seeking apprenticeships and employment, upon leaving school, instead of joining further and higher education;

 

-  The perception amongst young people of safety within the Rotherham town centre; comparisons with previous year’s Survey results; Members suggested that the Survey in 2019 should include questions about safety within the refurbished Transport Interchange in the Rotherham town centre;

 

-  The number of young people who are carers for their relatives (although not involving baby-sitting nor accompanying a younger sibling on journeys to and from school).

  

Resolved:- (1) That the report be received and its contents noted.

 

(2) That the Improving Lives Select Commission notes that the appropriate measures from the Lifestyle Survey 2017 will be shared with the Health and Wellbeing Board and the Child Friendly Rotherham Board.

 

(3) That the Improving Lives Select Commission suggests that the further analysis of the outcomes of the Lifestyle Survey should include:-

 

: analysis of the provision of breakfast clubs in schools;

 

: the progress of the mental health pilot schemes in schools (eg: has the scheme contributed to a reduction in the incidence of bullying in schools);

 

: verify the accuracy of the data collected in the Survey, with reference to and comparison with other data sources (eg: Public Health in respect of dental/oral health);

 

: continue the further refining of the Survey questions, to ensure that they are appropriate for children and young people.

 

(Councillor Senior declared a personal interest in the above item, being an employee of a charitable organisation which had participated in the Survey (although Councillor Senior herself had not participated in the work with young people); having declared her personal interest, Councillor Senior took part in the meeting during the Select Commission’s consideration of this item)

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