Yesterday the Office National Statistics published their conception statistics for Quarter 3 of 2009. The statistics are really starting to show the impact of sustained activity and resource to educate young people about relationships, sex and contraception, and provide them with the support to make active choices about sex and pregnancy.
· The rate of under-18 conceptions was 36.3 per 1000 girls aged 15-17 – 6.2% lower than the rate of 38.7 for third quarter 2008. For under-18 conceptions, the rolling quarterly average continues to fall and has now fallen over the last eight quarters. The rolling quarterly average for under-18 conceptions is at its lowest rate since quarterly data collection.
· The rate of under-16 conceptions was 7.0 per 1000 girls aged 13-15 – 7.9% lower than the rate of 7.6 for third quarter 2008.
This welcome news comes hot on the heels of an article in Children and Young People Now in which Gill Frances, Chair of the Independent Advisory Group on Teenage Pregnancy, whose work ends in December, warns that without strong national leadership, and continued investment at the local level teenage pregnancy rates will rise. The link to the article is here www.cypnow.co.uk/news/1042283/Teenage-pregnancy-services-risk-funding-diverted/