Surveys from Girlguiding UK and Sky Academy demonstrate issues facing young people

New research from Sky Academy and Girlguiding UK show that issues related to mental health, lack of self-confidence, unsafe relationships and bullying are of greatest concern to young people and that they often don’t receive lessons in school to support them to deal with these issues.

Findings from Sky Academy, covered in detail by the Youth Sport Trust, suggest a lack of confidence in young people with one in three of those surveyed stating they are not confident, increasing to 45% of respondents by the age of 17. According to the research, this is leading to young people - and in particular young women - struggling with new and unfamiliar experiences such as their first day at a new school, college or job.

Today’s Girlguiding UK Girls’ Attitudes Survey 2015 report focusses on the pressures facing girls and young women in the UK and highlights issues such as abusive relationships, cyberbullying and self-harm as issues which girls and young women are most concerned about. One in ten of those surveyed said that they had been in a relationship in which their partner has made them feel unsafe and 81% had experienced or seen some form of everyday sexism in the past week. To help counteract this, 90% of the young women surveyed agreed that the government should make sure all schools are addressing sexual harassment and bullying.  Issues related to mental health were also a large concern to those surveyed by Girlguiding with two in five of those surveyed saying they have needed to seek help due to mental health problems. Cyberbullying was cited as a key cause, with 42% of the girls and young women aged 11 to 21 reporting having experienced it. Two in five over 13s who were bullied then went on to self-harm. Only 44% of girls say they have talked about mental health during lessons at school, despite the majority saying school is where they’d most like to receive support on it. 

PSHE Association Chief Executive Joe Hayman said:

“These two important new studies highlight yet again the importance of statutory status for PSHE education. Young people are calling out for more support on specific issues such as sex and relationships, and for more general programmes promoting self-esteem, resilience and good emotional health. PSHE education can make a major contribution to this – but only if the subject is delivered in all schools by trained teachers, and that’s why statutory status is so important.”

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