The number of teenage conceptions in Cheshire East has fallen for the third quarter in a row.
Figures released this month by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show there were 42 conceptions in the third quarter of 2009 in Cheshire East amongst 15-17 year-olds.
It means the authority now has the second lowest average rate in the North West and is well below the national average.
It shows a fall from 47 conceptions in the second quarter and from 49 in the first and is a continuation of a sharp drop from the end of 2008 when 67 15-17 year-old conceptions were recorded.
Reducing teenage conceptions is seen as vital to improving the health and wellbeing of Cheshire East and the United Kingdom as a whole.
Councillor Andrew Knowles, Cabinet member with responsibility for health and wellbeing, said: “Cheshire East Council works in partnership with schools, colleges, Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT, Connexions and the voluntary sector to reduce the number of Under 18 conceptions in the area and it is pleasing to see that this rate is decreasing.
“It is good to see that many of our young people are taking a longer-term view about their sexual health and wellbeing.”
The authority has a multi-agency teenage conception plan which focuses on:
- Effective age-appropriate sex and relationships education in Cheshire East schools and colleges;
- Information advice and guidance for young people, their parents and carers;
- Delivering accessible young people-friendly sexual health services across Cheshire East.
This plan is faith and culturally sensitive and is based on the premise of giving children and young people the skills, knowledge and understanding to make safe and healthy choices about their lives.
It is universal and preventative but the plan also targets groups of young people who are most vulnerable to provide extra support.