New report shows Britain is bottom for young people in education


Britain is bottom of an international league table showing the proportion of young people in education, a new report shows today.
The United Nations said Britain ranked 29 out of 29 countries in the survey – with fewer than 75 per cent of 15 to 19-year-olds studying.
Britain also performs badly with high teenage pregnancy rates – ranking just two places above the bottom of the league table of European nations and the US.
The UN children’s organisation Unicef warned the situation was likely to worsen as government cuts continue.
However, overall Britain’s international standing on child well-being has improved since 2007.
Britain now ranks 16 out of 29 compared with the last report in 2007 which controversially branded the country the worst place in the developed world to be a child with a ranking of 21 out of 21.
But Unicef UK said progress in child well-being – that takes in material well-being, health and safety, education, risks, and housing – risked going into reverse amid continuing government cuts.
And it cited research by the Family and Parenting Institute and Institute for Fiscal Studies predicting that 400,000 more children will be in poverty by 2015-16 owing to austerity measures.

The new report draws on statistics from 2010 and shows a general improvement in children’s well-being compared with the previous report based on data from 2001-2.
But British teenagers remain more likely than their peers in other developed countries to drop out of education and get involved in under-age drinking and teenage pregnancy.
Britain has one of the highest rates of young people not in education, employment, or training (Neets), and it has one of the highest alcohol abuse rates by young people.
A Department for Education spokeswoman said: "By raising the participation age to 18 and investing in traineeships and quality apprenticeships we are offering more opportunities for young people to stay in education and learn the skills they need to thrive in the workplace."
She added: "Teenage pregnancy rates are continuing to decline. They are now at their lowest level for more than 40 years.
"However, we still have high rates compared with many other western European countries. We want to see local areas learning from those that are seeing the most significant reductions so this decline can continue and all young people can have the best start in life, have ambitions, and reach high levels of educational attainment."

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