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Health and wellbeing survey reveals positive attitudes towards school

One in five children in Perth and Kinross schools say social media impacts their lives but most have positive attitudes towards school and learning.

The Health and Wellbeing Census for 2021/22 asked children a range of questions about their physical and mental wellbeing.

These included questions about exercise, diet and friendships.

Older children were also asked about topics including drugs, alcohol and sexual health, as has been included in previous surveys.

Responding to the survey - and to individual questions within it - was optional.

Analysis of responses found confidence of young people is generally good and a high proportion have a trusted adult they can talk to about issues affecting them. Children also reported positive attitudes towards school and learning.

The majority of children have two or more close friends and are positive about the safety and quality of where they live.

The survey found smoking levels are low but e-cigarette use is rising. Frequent alcohol use was reported by a small proportion of secondary school pupils.

One in 10 children young people said they had experiment with illegal drugs, although a third of those said this had happened only once.

The survey also found high levels of social media use among children. This is likely to impact on sleep duration, especially for secondary age pupils.

Pupils also reported their experience of bullying and. Further work is being undertaken to address this with consultation underway on Perth & Kinross Council's Anti-Bully Strategy. This will include a training education programme for staff, and further engagement with pupils and parents and carers.

Learning and Families convener Councillor John Rebbeck said the survey is important in understanding the pressures facing children and young people to they can be given appropriate support.

"This survey lets our children and young people tell us about the issues that affect their physical and mental health, if they choose to do so," he said.

"The information provided through this survey is vital in making sure we provide the right support and guidance to help young people as they mature.

"The experiences of pupils on our schools today is different from how it was 20 years ago. Some challenges and pressures they face will be familiar to us all, others less so.

"Our schoolchildren have not only had to contend with a global pandemic that has disrupted their education but social media can also have a huge impact on their lives. Fewer than half of secondary school pupils said they were happy with their bodies, which may be caused by the pressure to conform to unrealistic body images they see online."

Councillor Rebbeck added: "We will look closely at these findings to ensure we support all our children and young people so they enjoy the best and safest possible start in life they can."

Last modified on 27 April 2023

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