‘All British schools to have sex clinics’

January 6th, 2009 - 2:38 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 6 (IANS) Sexual health clinics offering free counselling and pills could soon be open in every secondary school and college in Britain as part of a drive to cut teenage pregnancies.The clinics would give pupils access to emergency contraception and pregnancy tests without their parents being told, the Daily Mail reported Monday.

Around a third of secondary schools in England - nearly 1,000 - already have clinics, with some sharing mobile units.

The paper said an influential study commissioned by the British government has now recommended extending the coverage to all state-run secondary schools and colleges in a drive to cut teenage pregnancies.

Teenage pregnancy rates in Britain are the highest in western Europe, and latest figures show that rates among under-16 girls have increased by one percent.

Despite a government strategy aimed at cutting rates by half by 2010, in urban areas as many as one in 10 girls become pregnant.

Around 20 percent of conceptions among under 18s are second pregnancies.

However, the conception rate for girls aged 15-17 has gone down slightly, from 42.8 pregnancies per 1,000 girls in 2002 to 42.3 per 1,000 girls in 2003.

The survey of school clinic provisions, carried out by the National Children’s Bureau on behalf of the Sex Education Forum, found that single-sex, faith and independent schools were less likely to have sex clinics than other schools.

“Not all young people will need to use a sexual health service at school age, but providing a service in school is the best way of making sure that those young people who need the service can use it,” it said.

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