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Thursday, 23 December, 1999, 10:45 GMT
Crying baby deters schoolgirl mothers

The government wants young mothers to stay in education The government wants young mothers to stay in education


A half-hour tape of a crying baby is to help deter schoolgirls from becoming pregnant.

This cautionary tape is part of a government-backed campaign to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancies - which is higher in the UK than any other western European country.

The School Standards Minister, Estelle Morris, has announced an extra 10m to support such campaigns to reduce teenage pregnancies and to help keep teenage mothers in education.


Estelle Morris Estelle Morris has announced 10m to reduce teenage pregnancies
The crying baby tape is part of the Straight-talking project which has already proved successful and which could be applied elsewhere.

In an attempt to show teenagers the consequences of early motherhood, they are given baby buggies to push and told about the realities of parenthood.

For those schoolgirls who are already mothers, there will be funding for schemes which attempt to stop them leaving education - often without qualifications and into welfare dependency.

The initiative is part of a long-term government target to reduce the number of pregnancies among the under-18 year olds within the next 10 years.

Estelle Morris said the funding would help "change the fortunes of girls at risk of becoming mothers at a young age".

"This grant will help to reduce the number of teenage mothers who drop out of school after their babies are born. It is vital that teenage parents remain in education - it protects their future as well as the future of their child."

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See also:
27 Oct 99 |  Health
Sex education 'should be compulsory'
24 Mar 99 |  Health
Government pledges to cut teen pregnancies
10 May 99 |  Health
Boys told how to use condoms

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