Hartlepool pupils less likely to have breakfast and more likely to worry about SATs than children nationally, according to new findings

Pupils in Hartlepool are less likely to have breakfast and more likely to stress over SATs tests than other children in the UK, new findings have revealed.

Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 3:47 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, 5:54 pm
Picture c/o Pixabay

The information is contained in the Schools Health Related Behaviour Questionnaire, an independent survey which has been carried out for more than 30 years nationally to compare issues within schools.

In Hartlepool, pupils at 13 primary schools, three secondary schools, a primary specialist school and the pupil referral unit, were surveyed in February 2019, with 992 pupils taking part in total.

Several areas in Hartlepool showed significant differences to the national average, according to the report before the council’s Children’s Services Committee.

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For example 11% of primary pupils in Hartlepool said they were likely to have nothing for breakfast, compared to just 4% nationally, which council bosses said was concerning.

Craig Blundred, deputy director of public health on the council, said: “One of the benefits of this survey is it gives us a really good indication of where we need to focus work going forward across the board.

“Some of the things that really struck me, things like primary schools where the primary sample is more likely to have nothing for breakfast, things like that are quite indicative of things like the poverty agenda”.

Year six pupils in Hartlepool were also more likely to be worried about SATs, with 53% of pupils raising the concern compared to 45% nationally.

Coun Brenda Harrison said: “That is a very concerning result.

“I think if you ask more you would probably get a higher percentage and that is worrying, that it is top of their five worries in year six.”

However in Hartlepool year six pupils are more likely to be able to say no to a friend asking them to do something they don’t want to do, with 66% stating this compared to 60% nationally.

In secondary schools the survey showed Hartlepool pupils are less likely to live with both parents together, with just 50% compared to 63% nationally.

According to the survey pupils in Hartlepool were also less likely to be happy with life, with just 51% responding positively compared to 70% nationally.

However it did show pupils in Hartlepool are more likely to say lessons on sex and relationships and drug education have been useful, although it did also show they were more likely to have smoked.

Hartlepool pupils in both primary and secondary school are also more likely to say they want to lose weight, according to the survey.

Coun Sue Little raised concerns the survey showed 14% of 12-15 year olds in Hartlepool said they had been offered illegal drugs or new psychoactive substances.

She said: “To me that is too high because it leads on to other things in later life.”

Council bosses said education was a priority on the matter and it would also form part of the reshaping of the council’s drug and alcohol treatment plan.

They added the survey would help guide the council on areas to target and shape future reports.

Mr Blundard said: “It is a really useful document with some really useful information which we can use across the board and across the council, which we will hopefully be able to develop to produce an interesting piece of work from that.”