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Numbers and rates of looked after children

There were 475 looked after children in Somerset as at 31 March 2017, representing a rate of 43 children per 10,000 population aged under 18. Historically, rates of looked after children in Somerset have been consistently below South West and national averages. A dip in the rate in Somerset in 2017 is set against a slight increase in the rate nationally (see Figure 1, below).

Source: Department for Education, SFR 2017/50

A total of 730 children were looked after at any time during the year ending 31 March 2017, a slight increase on the 715 children in the year ending 31 March 2016 (this excludes children only looked after under a series of short-term placements).

Children who started to be looked after during the year

  • The number of children who started to be looked after in Somerset during the year ending 31 March 2017 was 230, broadly the same number as in the previous year.
  • By comparison, numbers of children who started to be looked after increased nationally but declined in the South West as a whole.

Children who ceased to be looked after during the year

  • There were 260 children who ceased to be looked after in Somerset during the year ending 31 March 2017, compared to 230 children the previous year.
  • Nationally and in the South West region numbers of children who ceased to be looked after declined.

Looked After Children who were adopted

  • Of the 260 children in Somerset who ceased to be looked after in the year to 31 March 2016, a total of 35 were adopted.
  • This equates to 13% of looked after children being adopted during the year, which was broadly in line with South West region and national averages (both 14%).

See also:

" title="Children Looked After">Children Looked After
Numbers of looked after children and changes over time
  •   2013 2015 2015 % Total no. of young people (YP) 482 392   Number of YP with Difficulties 295 250 64% Emotional problems 164 91 23% Mental health problems 46 59 15% Drugs 128 58 15% Learning Difficulties 58 57 15% Offending  104 57 15% Anger management 68 52 13% Threatening behaviour 56 41 11% Violent behaviour - risk to others 39 28 7% Self Harm 57 28 7% Physical Disabilities 15 28 7% Pregnant/parent (where there are CP concerns) 22 25 6% Alcohol 77 24 6% Domestic Violence (victim) 18 18 5% Sexual abuse (victim) 25 17 4% Sexually aggressive (harmful behaviour to others) 10 14 4% Domestic Violence (perpetrator) 11 9 2%

    Note: in 2015, there were 53 young people unable to be contacted

    The highest single category reported is emotional issues which, at 23%, is concerning but decreasing. The issue of substance misuse has also declined sharply, in terms of both Alcohol and Drugs. Similarly, Offending has shown a fall. 

    Young Parents

    About half of care leavers are parents, more than half of whom have either had children removed or have safeguarding concerns regarding their children. It is thought that many of these parents may go on to have further children to ‘replace’ those who have been taken away. The leaving care cohort might benefit from parenting advice, in pre-pregnancy, in pre-birth assessments and in early years services such as health visitors.

    Housing care leavers 

    The majority of care leavers are resident in the major towns of Taunton, Bridgwater and Yeovil, although some also leave for larger towns outside the county.

    Discussions with groups of young people to support a 2015 P2i Needs Analysis identified the following housing concerns: ‘These young people are concerned about managing their finances, understanding their responsibilities, loneliness and keeping themselves safe. Generally they would like to live in shared accommodation with people they know and trust or return to live with their families or move into an independent flat. They would like information and advice on managing their finances, independent living skills (such as cooking), accessing employment, tenancy issues and access to good quality accommodation with good landlords.’

    The table below shows how many moves were experienced by Care Leavers on the caseload within the two-year period ending March 2015.  Half the young people had no more than one move. However over a third moved at least three times. The median number of moves was two.

    Accommodation moves for young people on the Leaving Care caseload between April 2013 and March 2015

    Number of moves People Percentage of total
    None 133 25%
    One 125 24%
    Two 82 16%
    Three to five 110 21%
    Six to ten 59 11%
    Eleven or more 13 2%

    There were nine Care Leavers who were of no fixed address and/or homeless on 31 March 2015.

     See also:

    " title="Children Leaving Care">Children Leaving Care
    A summary of numbers and needs of children and young people leaving care in Somerset
  • Young People in Rural AreasSRYP logo

    In 2014/15, the Somerset Rural Youth Project (SRYP) undertook research into young people living in rural Somerset, including their views on volunteering. In summary:-

    • Young people understood the value of volunteering but also see practical barriers to volunteering that arise from living in the countryside - travel to the volunteering placement can be impossible / costly and limiting to choice.
    • Young people had ideas on promoting volunteering opportunities to young people - and not just focused on social media.

    For more detail, please see the Somerset Rural Youth Project page.

    Somerset Children and Young People Survey (2014)

    Children and young people behave positively out of school, and participate in their communities and in decision making. The Somerset Children and Young People Survey (SCYPS), carried out in early 2014, featured a question covering the subject of volunteering.

    • When asked what they did after school the day before the survey, 5% of girls and 5% of boys of secondary age said they 'helped and volunteered outside the home'.

    National TellUs surveys (2008 and 2009)

     The former national TellUs surveys of schools provided some learnings about Somerset children making a positive contribution.

    • Tellus 4 (2009): When asked ‘what would make your area a better place for you to live in?’, the top 3 answers were better parks and play areas, better shops, more activities that all children and young people can do.  70.6% of young people in Somerset reported participating in positive activities, in comparison to 68.1% regionally and 65.8% nationally. 
    • Tellus 3 (2008): Year 8 and 10 were asked whether they felt their views were heard effectively within their local area; the Somerset picture in general appeared unfavourable when compared with the national average with 63% stating not very much or not at all in comparison with 57% nationally.  When considering whether young people’s views are listened to in the running of the school, Somerset’s response for a great deal and a fair amount combined is 63% compared to 59% nationally. 

    A PoP uP Consultation in 2010 also provided information about the attitudes of children towards activities outside school:-

    • 59% of young people reported having things to do outside of school.
    • Children in primary and middle school found there was plenty to do outside of school, and many even commented that there were too many to choose from and not enough time to do them all. 
    • Young people in secondary school felt they didn’t have enough to do outside of school.  Key issues with those activities available were the cost of taking part, and the availability/cost of transport to get to the activities.
    • Of those who would like more places to go and things to do, popular ideas included swimming pools, cinemas and better skate parks.  71% of people questioned said Somerset is a good place to grow up/raise children.
    • The young people questioned want the image of youths in the media to be more positive.
    • Children and young people from vulnerable groups (e.g. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender / minority ethnic groups) reported that they valued opportunities to meet together in the safe social contexts provided by targeted youth opportunities.

     Participation in the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Award SchemeD of E Award Scheme Logo

    The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a voluntary, non-competitive programme of practical, cultural and adventurous activities, designed to support the personal and social development of young people aged 14-24 years.  It offers an individual challenge and encourages young people to undertake constructive, challenging and enjoyable activities in their free time. 

    It has three progressive levels – Bronze (for those 14 and over), Silver (for those 15 and over) and Gold (for those aged 16 and over).  Somerset County Council (SCC) hold the Operating Licence for the scheme within Somerset and support about 50 DofE centres throughout the county in schools, colleges and community groups. 

    In 2014/15, there were in Somerset:-

    •  2,100 people starting a Duke of Edinburgh programme
    •  947 completions – 129 for Gold, 158 for Silver, and 660 for Bronze
    • at least 20,000 volunteer hours contributed by these DofE participants 
    • About 400 volunteers involved in operating the scheme

     For more information about SCC's work or the volunteer roles, please contact the DofE office on

     Somerset UK Youth ParliamentSomerset Youth Parliament logo

    The Somerset UK Youth Parliament is part of the national UK Youth Parliament. Somerset has three Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) representing the county at national level. Nationally, the UK Youth Parliament enables young people to use their energy and passion to change the world for the better. The 600 young people are elected representatives of their constituents and attend the Annual Sitting (held in July) to produce a national manifesto that is presented to the Government, informing them of the beliefs of young people across the country. The Government formally responds to this and often invites MYPs to key meetings on specific issues. 

    All the young people involved in the UK Youth Parliament are volunteers, who receive no payment for the many hours of work they put in. 

    Somerset is spilt into three constituencies (Mendip & Sedgemoor, South Somerset and Taunton Deane & West Somerset). The three MYPs each has a deputy and together they are supported by an Advisory Group of about 30 young people; the UK Youth Parliament. The MYPs each have a manifesto issue on which they campaign locally. This year’s manifestos focus on:

    • Young people for a safer community
    • Promoting and empowering young people’s voice
    • Young people’s health and wellbeing

    Somerset UKYP also acts as a representative voice for young people in Somerset, with members taking part in decision making (such as youth grant giving), consultations, interviews and much, much more. Click here to visit the website for more information.

     In 2013/14, the UK Youth Parliament Advisory Group:

    • Committed over 3,000 hours of voluntary work
    • Allocated over £74,000 worth of funding for disadvantaged young people and local youth clubs

     The Group is funded solely by Somerset County Council, but also works with other organisations to ensure that young people’s voices are heard. If you’d like to contact the group, please email

    Further Information:-

    • Somerset County Council's Youth and Community Service, Somerset Youth!
    • The Somerset based Volunteer Network (formerly known as the Somerset Youth Volunteering Network)



    " title="Young Volunteers">Young Volunteers
    Information about young people's participation in their communities outside of school
  • Mental health

    Mental health services for children and young people are crucial for the long-term management of mental health in the adult community.  By identifying young people in the early stages of emotional and mental distress, and putting in place preventative measures, support and treatment packages, the chances of a full and lasting recovery are maximised.  This in turn reduces the burden on services through transition to adulthood and creates lifelong benefits for the young person, their family and for statutory health and social services.

    Mental health problems in children and young people are associated with excess costs estimated as being between £11,030 and £59,130 annually per child.

    The Child and Maternity Health Observatory Child Health Profile for Somerset (June 2016) indicated that hospital admission rates for 0-17 year olds due to mental health conditions are not significantly different from that of England as a whole; hospital admissions as a result of self-harm, however, are significantly higher (see self-harm page).

    In October 2014, Public Health England launched a new Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing Profiling Tool. It collates and analyses a wide range of publically available data on risk, prevalence and detail (including cost data) on those services that support children with, or vulnerable to, mental illness. It provides commissioners, service providers, clinicians, services users and their families with the means to benchmark their area against similar populations and gain intelligence about what works.

    Somerset compares favourably with national and regional norms on many indicators. However, in addition to self-harm hospital admissions (see above), the county is higher than the national and South West benchmarks for:-

    • Hospital admissions for substance misuse (age 15-24)
    • Hospital admissions for unintentional and deliberate injuries (under 15s and 15-24s)

    Impact of Mental Ill Health in and shortly after Pregnancy

    In March 2016, the Child and Maternity Health Observatory launched reports on Mental health in pregnancy, the postnatal period and babies and toddlers. featuring a range of indicators covering mothers, mums-to-be and very young children with mental or emotional health problems. The reports also contain a wealth of useful references and a glossary of relevant terms, and can be exported as a Word document. The report for Somerset local authority can be read here.

    For more information, see our Perinatal and Infant Mental Health page.

    Commissioning in Somerset

    • Local authority services are commissioned through Children’s Social Care
    • Specialist (Tier 3) community services are commissioned by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Group. 
    • In addition, in-patient care and specialist health residential placements are now commissioned by the NHS National Commissioning Board (Specialist Commissioning).

    Positive Mental Health - Joint Strategy for Somerset 2014-19

    A new joint strategy was published in December 2014, and is available here.

    This strategy highlights the importance of children, young people and families in achieving positive mental health for Somerset. A dedicated work stream is already taking forward improvements in the pathway for children and young people with mental health problems, which includes commissioning developments across all tiers of provision and in services commissioned by both health and social care. The Emotional and Mental Health of Children and Young People Plan for Somerset specifically addresses issues of promotion and prevention.

    In respect of children and young people, it covers themes such as:

    • Perinatal mental health
    • Family life and the role of universal services for children
    • Early help and support
    • Specialist mental health services
    • Gaps and pressures

    The strategy also identifies five actions to support the emotional health of children and young people:-

    • Involve young people and their families in the co-design, co-production and co-delivery of services to support their health and wellbeing
    • Make sure that everyone in the children and young people’s workforce is well informed about emotional and mental health
    • invest in parenting programmes which are low cost, high value interventions which can be developed and delivered in a flexible and inclusive way
    • Protect children, young people and families from risks such as exposure to bullying, violence, discrimination and from the effects of harmful drinking and substance misuse
    • Invest in interventions for behaviour and for conduct disorder which have been identified as a ‘best buy for mental health’ with potential savings from each case through early intervention estimated at £150,000 for severe conduct problems and £75,000 for moderate conduct problems

    The most recent Mental Health Needs Assessment, published in 2011, is available here,; a summary of Children and Young People's Emotional Health and Wellbeing data was published in 2015.

    Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

    The Somerset CAMHS provides a specialist mental health service for children and young people aged 0 – 18 (up to 19 for young people with additional needs), who may be experiencing a range of mental health problems.  The overall goal of the service is to enable children and young people to achieve a fulfilling, meaningful life, and a positive sense of belonging in their community.

    For more details of the service, please visit the CAMHS website.

    Between April 2014 and March 2015, Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust recorded a total of 1,601 CAMHS open referrals (note that all such activity is Tier 3). Inpatient activity (Tier 4) is very small.

    CAMHS 'Pyramid of Need' in Somerset

    The numbers of young people locally who may be expected to require CAMHS services at different levels of need are conventionally calculated using prevalence rates from the 2004 Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain survey.

    UNIVERSAL SERVICES TIER 1 - Those in contact with children need to be able to have sufficient knowledge of children's mental health to be able to: identify those who need help; offer advice and support to those with mild or minor problems; and have sufficient knowledge of specialist services to be able to refer on appropriately when necessary.
    Services at this level include: GPs, health visitors, teachers, Midwives, early years providers, GetSet services, school nurses, social workers, youth workers and voluntary agencies.

    TIER 2 – Targeted Services who are child mental health professionals, working in community and primary care settings, in a uni-disciplinary way. Tier 2 workers can provide assessment and treatment for children who have mild to moderate mental health difficulties and outreach to identify severe or complex needs which require more specialist interventions. Tier 2 workers also support families and other practitioners at tier 1 with assessment and training. Services at this level include: Primary Mental Health Link Workers, Educational Psychologists, paediatric clinics, schools and youth services, Health Visitors, School Nurses, Specialist midwife, targeted youth support services, Parent and Family Support Advisors (PFSAs), SENCo, School Counsellors and the Voluntary Sector (CRUSE, Barnardos, HELP charity, SARASAS, Young Minds)

    TIER 3 – Specialist Services who are child mental health professionals working in multidisciplinary teams in community mental health clinics, GP surgeries, schools and community centres, providing specialized service for children and young people with more severe, complex and persistent mental health conditions.
    Services include: child and adolescent psychiatrists, specialist social workers, clinical psychologists, community psychiatric nurses, art therapists and mental health practitioners

    TIER 4 - Specialist Services. Tertiary level services for children with the most serious mental health problems. These can include secure forensic units or other specialist units and teams, which can either be day units or in-patient units. These units and other specialist teams, usually serve more than one district or region. Services include: Wessex House.

    Mental health disorders

    The British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys in 1999 and 2004 found that 1 in 10 children and young people under the age of 16 had a diagnosable mental disorder. Among the 5 to 10 year olds, 10% of boys and 5% of girls had a mental health problem while among the 11 to 16 year olds the prevalence was 13% for boys and 10% for girls.  To estimate the numbers of children and young people affected by mental health disorders in Somerset, we applied the prevalence rates found in the National CAMHS prevalence survey (Green et al 2004) to the population estimates for the relevant age-group. If we do this for children aged 5-16, we obtain the totals shown in the figure below:

    Somerset children affected by mental health disorder

    SCYP H&W logo

    Mental Health at School or College

    The 2016 Somerset Children and Young People Survey (SCYPS) involved asking almost 9,000 young people between 8 and 17 questions on a range of health and wellbeing issues. These included a number of questions on self-esteem, coping with worries, etc. Findings included:-

    • 45% of secondary boys in Somerset and only 25% of secondary girls in Somerset recorded levels of high self-esteem compared with 52% and 34%, respectively in a wider sample of other parts of England.
    • 36% of secondary school boys and 56% of girls in 2016 said that they worry ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a lot’ about exams and tests;
    • 71% of secondary pupils said they know an adult they trust who they can talk to if they are worried about something 
    • The most common activity amongst secondary pupils when they have a problem that worried them or they are feeling stressed is 'Playing computer games' (boys) and 'playing music' (girls). 'Talking to someone about it' comes third.
    • 54% of FE/Sixth Form boys and 75% of girls said they had experienced emotional or psychological problems that interfered with their life at some point;
    • 18% of FE/Sixth Form boys and 31% of girls responded that they have received counselling or other help for depression or other emotional problems at some point in their lives;
    • In the same age group, 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys responded that they have harmed themselves at some point in their lives.

    Emotion Coaching Training

    Somerset Public Health have commissioned Bath Spa University and EHCAP (a Somerset based social enterprise) to provide Emotion Coaching Training to the children and young people’s workforce in Somerset.  Training will be offered in each of the five districts and will allow participants to take on leadership roles within their own organisations. Working with both professionals and young people, the training will increase understanding of emotional health and wellbeing and enable a better appreciation of when and how to refer on for help.

    Analysis of the Somerset Children and Young People Survey results show that Year 8 students in schools who received Emotion Coaching are:-

    • more likely to enjoy lessons in 2016 than in 2014 (84% vs. 72%);
    • more likely to say that their school cares whether they are happy or not (49% vs. 44%);
    • more likely to be able to say ‘no’ to someone who is asking them to do something that they don’t want to do (66% vs. 59%)
    • less likely to say they deliberately hurt someone in the last year (10% vs. 16%).

     For more details, see the Somerset Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing website


    " title="Mental Health of Children and Young People">Mental Health of Children and Young People
    Information on mental health services for children and young people in Somerset
  • In conjunction with teachers across the county, the Somerset Children and Young People Survey (SCYPS) was commissioned from the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) by the Somerset Health and Wellbeing in Learning Programme as a way of collecting robust information about young people’s lifestyles.

    The first was carried out in 2014, and the second in 2016. The results were collected from a sample of primary pupils aged 8 to 11, secondary pupils aged 12 to 15 and FE students aged 16+ in the spring and summer terms.

    Teachers were informed on how to collect the most reliable data and then pupils completed a version of the questionnaire appropriate for their age group.

    • Year 4 (Y4) and Year 6 (Y6) pupils (aged 8 to 11) completed the primary version of the questionnaire.
    • Pupils in Years 8 and 10 (Y8 and Y10, aged 12-15) completed the secondary version of the questionnaire and
    • Students in sixth forms and FE colleges were offered the FE version.

    All surveys were undertaken anonymously. A total of 8635 pupils and students took part in 57 infant and primary and 26 secondary schools and FE settings in Somerset. Each survey was wide-ranging, covering themes appropriate to each group.

    Detailed results are available, including appropriate comparisons with SHEU's reference sample of other survey areas in England, from the summary report below.

    Key findings for Somerset

    Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco:

    • About 3 in 10 Y10 pupils have ever smoked cigarettes, the same proportion as those who had tried an e-cigarette.
    • 1 in 5 secondary pupils (Y8 or Y10) had tried an e-cigarette, almost double the 2014 figure.
    • Amongst Y10s, the group most likely to use e-cigarettes regularly are those who want to give up smoking cigarettes.
    • Children of any age or sex who have a parent or carer who smokes at home are much more likely to have tried smoking.
    • Primary and secondary pupils report lower levels of exposure to smoking in 2016 compared with 2014.
    • 16% of secondary pupils responded that they had an alcoholic drink, and 4% had been drunk, in the previous week.
    • 13% of Y6+ primary schoolchildren and 35% of secondary school pupils said they knew someone who used drugs (not medicines).
    • 30% of FE students said they had taken cannabis and 8% had taken Novel Psychoactive Substances.
    • Past or present smokers were six times more likely than those who'd never smoked to have tried drugs.

    Healthy Eating:

    • The proportion eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables on the previous day decreases in age from 1 in 3 Y6 pupils to 1 in 5 Y10s.
    • 1 in 3 Y10 girls reported having nothing to eat or drink for breakfast that day.
    • The proportion of girls who want to lose weight rises from 34% at Year 6 to 66% of  FE/6th form students.
    • Primary pupils in 2016 were more likely to say they had drunk at least a litre of water the day before compared with 2014 (33% vs. 27%).

    Physical activity:

    • Only 28% of Y10 girls did physical activity on at least 5 days in the week before the survey.
    • Unsurprisingly, frequent physical activity is associated with enjoyment of physical activities. 79% of Y8 boys enjoyed them whereas for Y10 girls, the proportion is only 54%.
    • Lack of time was given as the main barrier to exercise (31% of secondary school pupils)
    • The proportion of secondary pupils saying they had exercised for an hour or more that made them feel out of breath or sweaty on at least five days in the last seven rose from 9% in 2014 to 14% in 2016.

    Emotional health and wellbeing:

    • Levels of high self-esteem rise with age amongst boys but fall slightly amongst girls
    • Fewer Y6 and secondary pupils in Somerset recorded levels of high self-esteem compared with the wider sample
    • If pupils worry at least ‘quite a lot’ about at least one topic, they are somewhat less likely to say that they are satisfied with life generally.
    • Year 8 students in schools who received ‘Emotion Coaching’ are more likely in 2016 than in 2014 to enjoy lessons,  say that their school cares whether they are happy or not and to be able to say ‘no’ to someone who is asking them to do something that they don’t want to do.


    • Almost 1 in 3 Primary age boys reported they had been bullied at or near school in the last 12 months
    • More than nine in ten school pupils in each age group had been told how to stay safe online.
    • 1 in 5 secondary boys and almost 1 in 3 girls had received a hurtful, nasty or scary message online.
    • Young carers and secondary pupils who are looked after are more likely to be bullied or feel unsafe than others of the same age.

    School, Work and Aspirations

    • 43% of secondary school pupils enjoy all or most school lessons
    • 47% of pupils said that they worry about exams and tests ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a lot’.
    • 55% of secondary boys and 69% of girls responded that they want to continue in full-time education at the end of Year 11.
    • 38% of FE students said that they would like to stay on in full-time education after leaving 6th form/college.
    • 65% of FE students said they had done some form of paid work this term. 24% of all students said they worked for at least 40 hours last month.

    Relationships and Sexual health:

    • About 2 in 5 secondary pupils know where to obtain free condoms
    • 73% of secondary pupils said they had learned about sexually transmitted infections from school lessons.
    • 20% of Y10 pupils are either in a sexual relationship or have had one in the past.
    • Almost 1 in 3 FE students who had had sex said that on the last occasion they had sexual intercourse they did not use contraception or protection.


    As part of the 2014/15 Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) focus on rurality, SHEU analysed the results of each of the 2014 Primary and Secondary school surveys to identify any effects that living in a rural area might have upon attitudes and behaviours. Postcodes for each pupil were classed as either Rural or Non-Rural, comprising 40% and 60% of the sample, respectively. The main findings were:-

    • Generally, there were few significant differences between the two groups, especially for topics such as self-esteem, safety and relationships.
    • Rural children were less likely than others to live with both parents together
    • Aspirations for post-Year 11 education or skills training were lower amongst rural children (esp boys) and they were less likely to think school prepares them for when they leave.
    • Secondary pupils in rural areas were less positive about lessons and school generally
    • Primary and secondary pupils with rural postcodes were more likely to be young carers
    • Rural pupils were more likely to say their parents/carers smoked and that they had themselves smoked, mainly Year 10 girls
    • Rural secondary pupils were more likely to have been offered cannabis and knew someone who takes drugs to get high
    • They were less likely than others to have missed school due to illness/injury and because of a trip to their GP or dentist
    • Rural primary children were less likely to use the internet in or out of school
    • Rural primary children were more likely to have experienced some form of teasing, pushing, name-calling and other bullying and to feel afraid of going to school because of bullying.

    Further reports have been produced based on each of the five Districts in Somerset, each of the three broad respondent age groups and also for a selection of themes. These are available from the Somerset Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing website. Please note that currently these have limited public access; only people with Somerset, or email addresses are able to register for access.

    Somerset Health and Wellbeing in Learning Programme

    The programme uses results of the survey to:-

    • Enable Somerset Public Health to identify issues affecting the wellbeing of Somerset children generally;
    • Influence commissioning decisions targeting support in the areas where it is most needed, particularly for the most vulnerable children and families;
    • Enable each participating school or college to monitor development of its own pupils/students;
    • Identify training needs for staff as part of school/college development and planning;
    • Provide evidence for Ofsted of pupil voice informing policy and practice leading to school improvement.

    In 2015 the programme led to the Emotion Coaching Programme and the Mental Health LifeHacks project that supported young people's engagement in a mental health project.

    Further information

    • For more information about national and Somerset-specific data, resources and toolkits , please see the Somerset Children and Young People Health and Wellbeing website. This is hosted by Public Health Somerset's Children and Young People's team to support schools, colleges, getset services, childrens' centres and the wider children and young people's workforce to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in the county.
    • For more data and intelligence about children and young people in Somerset, please see our Children and Young People home page.

     SHWLP logo                    



    " title="Somerset Children and Young People Survey">Somerset Children and Young People Survey
    Results of the 2016 Somerset Children and Young People Survey, commissioned by Somerset County Council's Public Health team and conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU)
  • Electoral Wards with the highest numbers and proportions of children in very bad, bad or fair health   Wards




    % under-16


     Bridgwater Victoria  64  Glastonbury St. Edmunds  4.5  Bridgwater Fairfax  60  Bridgwater Victoria  4.4  Yeovil East  55  Taunton Pyrland/Rowbarton  4.3  Taunton Pyrland/Rowbarton  53  Langport & Huish  4.0  Yeovil West  48  Alcombe  4.0  Highbridge/Burnham Marine  47  Glastonbury St. John's  3.7  SOMERSET  2,312  SOMERSET  2.4


     Electoral Wards with the highest numbers and proportions of children with disability or long-term ill-health limiting day-to-day activities




     % under-16


     Bridgwater Victoria  78  Glastonbury St. John's  6.0
     Bridgwater Fairfax  74  Alcombe  5.8
     Yeovil West  71  Glastonbury St. Edmund's  5.7
     Highbridge/Burnham Marine  67  Ammerdown  5.4
     Yeovil Central  66  Bridgwater Victoria  5.3
     Yeovil East  64  Williton  5.3
     SOMERSET  3,234  SOMERSET  3.5

    Source: Office for National Statistics/2011 Census

    * excludes wards where n is less than 10

    Note: Carhampton & Withycombe ward has the highest proportion of children in both categories, but the number of children affected is under 10.


    For information about numbers of state-funded school pupils in Somerset with special educational needs or disability (SEN&D), please click here.

    Disability Living Allowance

    Disability Living Allowance (DLA) may be paid to help with the extra costs of looking after an eligible child who:

    • is under 16
    • has difficulties walking, and/or
    • needs more looking after than a child of the same age

    Data from the Department for Work and Pensions (May 2017) indicates that in Somerset there are around 3,100 DLA claimants under the age of 16, representing 3.2% of the age group population. Of these:-

    • 350 are aged under 5
    • 1,400 are aged 5 to 10
    • 1,350 are aged 11 to 15

    The wards with the highest numbers of DLA clamants aged under 16 are Yeovil East, Bridgwater Hamp, North Petherton, Taunton Halcon, Bridgwater Sydenham and Yeovil West (based on historical 2003 electoral ward boundaries).

    " title="Disability amongst Children and young people">Disability amongst Children and young people
  • Evidence Review: Children and Young People - Prevention and Early Intervention
    Overview of the available on prevention and early intervention work for children/young people and substance misuse.
  • Website content
    managed by
    Somerset County Council

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    Did you know?

    70.5% of working age people in Somerset are qualified to at least Level 2 on the National Qualifications Framework (equivalent to 5 GCSEs at grades A* to C), higher than the national average of 67.3%.