The Guernsey Young People's survey has been undertaken since the early 1990's and is the key evidence base for the collation of the views, attitudes and health behaviours of young people in Guernsey.
The Guernsey Young People's survey took place in Spring 2019 and is administered by the Schools Health Education Unit. The unit are leaders in gathering evidence about the behaviour, views and attitudes of young people.
1400 + pupils in Years 6 (90% of total Cohort), 8 & 10 (71% of total cohort) across the Bailiwick, including St Anne's Alderney, undertook the survey.
The results have been shared with a dozen 'expert commentators' who work across a range of services that support young people.
How we use the Young People's survey
Over the years the surveys have provided an evidence base that has been used for a variety of purposes:
- To monitor trends amongst young people, especially to measure developments over time
- To benchmark the findings against other communities
- To inform practice - the survey has been especially significant in shaping initiatives such as the children and Young People's plan, the Drug and Alcohol Strategy, participation of young people in sporting activities, developments in Personal Social and Health Education
- To help shape the future provision and formulation of strategies including the Children and Young People's plan, the Drug and Alcohol Strategy, the Tobacco Control Strategy, Health Improvement and Transforming Education Programme
- Following the 2016 survey over 30 presentations were made to organisations that work with young people
- Each school will receive a summary of the results for their own school which can be compared to the results across the wider cohort
- 70+ questions were asked about aspects of Young People's lives shaped around the priorities of the Children and Young People's Plan
- Topic areas include: Drugs; Alcohol; Tobacco; Sex and Relationships; Sport and physical activity participation; Food and Health; Emotional Health
- The survey asked questions which reflected the four priority outcomes of the Children and Young People's Plan. Those four priority outcomes are that children should be:
- Healthy and Active
- Safe and Nurtured
- Included and Respected
- Able to achieve individual and economic potential
- The survey also included a number of questions that seek to find out young people's views on education
General observations from the 2019 Survey
The Guernsey Young People's Survey provides a wealth of information on the views, behaviours and attitudes of Young People in Guernsey in the 21st Century. The 1400 young people who responded (and the teachers who oversaw the completion of the survey) must be commended for responding so honestly and candidly to the 150 questions that were posed.
As with previous surveys, young people in Guernsey face similar pressures to young people elsewhere. There is continuing evidence that Guernsey youngsters are struggling with issues associated with emotional health and wellbeing with a significant minority showing lower self-esteem and increased worries and anxiety.
It is, however, reassuring to observe that for the majority they are becoming more active, improving their diet and showing increasingly healthy attitudes to alcohol, tobacco and sex and relationships
The Guernsey Young People's survey is well-established as an evidence-base that allows young people, their parents and the whole community to scrutinise how they can support each other to improve the quality of life of Guernsey's young people. The Bailiwick is going through a time of unprecedented change and development in the services and structures that shape young people's lives. The findings of this survey present an opportunity to listen to and reflect upon what young people are saying about their experience of life and to use those observations to ensure that future systems do all they can to support and enhance their health and well-being.
Comments from the Schools Health Education Unit:
Guernsey schools and their students are to be congratulated for the care and attention given to collecting the latest set of data for young people across the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Every school that took part gave the survey proper time and support, and their young people worked hard to explain what is going on in their lives.
We can see a fantastic set of data going back to the 1990s and we know that this is much more than just a data collection exercise here, but has real impact at all levels. We know that the Education Department and wider partners make good use of the island-wide figures to shape the Children and Young People's Plan among other initiatives to improve the lives of young people across Guernsey.
We see that, when compared with young people from the UK mainland, your young people have similar issues to deal with, emotional health and wellbeing is a key issue for young people everywhere.
The UK Government has recently published the first 'State of the Nation' report regarding children's mental wellbeing. The findings are broadly similar to those in the Young People's Survey and the comment made by the UK Education Secretary , Gavin Williamson are as pertinent to Guernsey as the UK:
'The pressures young people face today both in and out of school are vastly different to those their parents and grandparents experienced, so we need to listen to what they have to say and act on it.'
We are pleased to see that the continued reduction in levels of smoking and alcohol use across the UK is also mirrored in Guernsey; positive changes in 5-a-day in Guernsey since the last survey are not seen on the mainland, which is a great outcome.
Over the past twenty years the States of Guernsey has worked with the School's Health Education Unit (SHEU) in Exeter to develop a profile of young people in Guernsey.
The surveys have changed over the years. The original versions were paper-based and focused on health issues. These surveys have provided an important evidence base that has been used for a variety of purposes:
- To monitor trends amongst young people especially to measure developments over time.
- To benchmark the findings against other communities.
- To inform practice - the survey has been especially significant in shaping health-related activities such as the Drug and Alcohol Strategy, Participation of Young People in Sporting Activities, Developments in Personal Social and Health Education.