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County's pupils feel glad about who they are & in control of their lives


Over 29,000 local young people have shared their feelings in a fantastic turnout for the online pupil survey.

The 2016 results are overwhelmingly positive and show that generally pupils are happy and healthy.

Of year 8 and 10 pupils, 84 per cent are glad about who they are, 87 per cent feel they have control over their life, and 70 per cent like their appearance. In years 4 and 6, 92 per cent are glad about who they are, 83 per cent feel they have control over their life, and 83 per cent like the way they look.

This year's responses also show that young people drinking alcohol has continued to drop over the last 10 years. 77 per cent of year 8 and 10 answered that they don't drink alcohol, compared to 46 per cent in 2006. There has also been an increase in year 8 and 10 pupils who have never tried drugs. In 2006, it was 90 per cent and this year it was 93 per cent.

Bullying was another important topic and the survey results show an improvement on how young people feel bullying is being dealt with in schools. Seventy-one per cent of year 8, 10 and 12 pupils felt schools were dealing with bullying better, compared to 65 per cent ten years ago.

This year, the survey asked a new question about going to sleep. Almost 70 per cent of pupils in years 8 and 10 revealed that they take an hour or longer to get to sleep each night. 10 per cent of year 8 and 25 per cent of year 10 going to bed after 12pm. Almost a third play computer games or use the internet in bed and 12 per cent watch television for more than an hour after going to bed. 65 per cent of younger pupils in years 4 and 6 are also awake in bed for hour or longer before falling asleep.

Getting enough sleep is important for health and wellbeing and is linked to healthy weight, good mental health and being able to concentrate the next day. Young people should aim to get around 9 hours of sleep each night. Gloucestershire County Council has also produced a sleep guide for schools to use. This recommends that families limit the use of electronics in bedrooms and encourage earlier nights.

Cllr Paul McLain, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "Thank you to all our pupils who took part. The online pupil survey means we get to hear directly from young people about how they feel and what they do.

"When pressures on our young people seem on the rise, to know that ours are feeling happy about who they are and in control of their lives is fantastic.

"It's important for wellbeing and learning that children and young people get enough sleep and being active. Parents can get information about sleep and bed time routines on the NHS Livewell website."

Cllr Andrew Gravells, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: "This impressive reduction in the number of young people drinking is something our county should be really proud of.

"The NHS' Change for Life website has easy tips everyone can follow to be healthier."

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