15 January 2018

The findings of our Every Child Matters Survey launch today, providing a snapshot of life for young people in Sheffield. The report highlights findings from over 8000 school children from ages six-15 in 79 schools across the city.

The survey found that over three quarters of children aged six-seven like going to school most of the time and that two-thirds of young people aged 14-15 think they have a good relationship with their teachers.

More needs to be done with regards healthy eating, with only a third of primary school children eating vegetables every day; however, over two thirds of them do some exercise at least most days.

Other positive findings from the survey include:

  • Two thirds of primary school children read at home most days
  • Three quarters of young people aged 14-15 would be able to recognise controlling behaviour in a relationship and would feel confident to do something about it
  • Fewer young people aged 14-15 are smoking every day compared to 2013 and 2014/15

But the report also finds:

  • Children as young as six have been bullied online
  • There is a high prevalence of consumption of sugary drinks across all age groups
  • One in five young people aged 14-15 sleep for only six hours or less on a school night; the main reason for this is use of technology late at night

The survey results are used by Sheffield City Council and schools as well as our partner organisations such as South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, Health Services, South Yorkshire Police, the Voluntary & Community Sector and Sheffield Young Carers. Sheffield Smokefree Programme, for example, uses the results to measure smoking prevalence and to target support to schools where smoking rates are highest. Schools use the results to drive health improvement initiatives and findings from previous surveys have informed the work on adolescent mental health, which has now led to support services going into more than 40 schools across the city.

Helen Stokes, Headteacher at Waterthorpe Nursery and Infant School said: “The survey is a valuable tool to collect the views, feelings and experiences of children in a range of important areas. It has helped us in planning our safeguarding work this year and provided excellent evidence to share with families, governors and Ofsted.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Sheffield City Council, said: “Children and young people’s voices play a vital role in shaping our services. This survey helps us to find out what matters to our children and young people, understand what their lives are like, develop our priorities and policies and make a difference to the way we deliver things. I would like to thank all the schools who enable our children and young people to take part in this important survey.”

The report of the Every Child Matters Survey is available to download at www.sheffield.gov.uk/ecm