Croydon has recorded a 50% reduction in the rate of teenage pregnancies.
Latest figures from the third quarter of 2011 show the rate for 15 to 17-year-olds has halved from 59.8 per 1,000 girls in 1998 – it now stands at 30 per 1,000.
That figure represents a 15% decrease from the same period in 2010.
Nationally, the rate in the third quarter of 2011 has fallen by almost 10% in one year to 29.4 per 1,000 girls aged 15 to 17.
These statistics show the success of Croydon’s teenage pregnancy strategy.
Over the last few years focus has been placed on improvement in a number of key priority areas.
This along with the creation of a range of multi-agency interventions and improvement in the development and training of the local children and young people’s workforce has contributed to the recent improvements being seen in local performance.
Targeted teenage pregnancy prevention programmes have been delivered in secondary schools across the borough. The programme consists of one-hour sex and relationship education sessions held over six to eight weeks for vulnerable young people known to be at greater risk of teenage pregnancy.
It aims to raise the self-esteem of the youngsters and provide an opportunity to discuss sex and relationship issues.
An average of 750 young people each year have benefited from the programme.
The council’s healthy schools team has also led on the development of age-appropriate sex and relationship education, and provided advice, resources and lesson plans for staff to help them discuss these issues with children and young people of all ages.
Further education sexual health clinics have also seen a huge uptake and been a great success with more than 1,200 young people attending in one year.
Councillor Margaret Mead, cabinet member for health, said: “We welcome these figures, which recognise the success of the programmes we have put in place to address the complex issue of teenage pregnancy.
“However all services must continue working together to maintain this downward trend and provide all the support we can to the young people of this borough.”