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Gloucestershire Business News

Nearly one in five pupils doesn't feel safe in school

The largest ever online pupil survey covering the health and wellbeing of school children in Gloucestershire has thrown up some worrying results.

More than 32,000 children and young adults from across the county took part, representing 96 per cent of Gloucestershire's schools and colleges.

Carried out once every two years, the survey asks pupils about their lifestyle choices, their engagement with school as well as their emotional wellbeing and aspirations for the future.

And there were some results that have prompted concern.

Just 82 per cent of those surveyed said that they felt safe at school - compared to 92 per cent feeling safe at home.

That means in excess of 5,500 pupils admitted to not feeling safe at school.

Just 71 per cent of those surveyed said they felt happy, while 63 per cent said that they enjoyed their schooling.

Cllr Tim Harman (Con), cabinet member for public health, commented: "The survey gives us a unique insight into the lives of children in Gloucestershire and their experiences both at home and in school.

"While many of the results are positive, the survey also highlights areas where we must continue to work together to make sure that all children have the best start in life."

However, Cllr Colin Hay, the Lib Dem spokesperson for Children and Families, said the figures showed a worrying tend.

"It is shocking to read that nearly one in five children have not reported as 'feeling safe at school," he said.

"When school finances are stretched to breaking, and schools are having to balance fixing their school roofs with staffing, it is not surprising that they are unable to ensure that all pupils feel supported."

There was good news on the survey as it showed a continuing decline in the use of drugs and alcohol.

Just five per cent of secondary school children admitted to smoking while just three per cent revealed that had tried illegal drugs.

Research suggests that children who eat breakfast tend to eat more healthily overall.

76 per cent of pupils report eating breakfast regularly and 86 per cent say the food at home helps them to eat healthily most of the time.

However, 32 per cent wanted more cooking skills and 23 per cent wanted more knowledge about losing weight.

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