Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Thursday, 8 January 2009

Pupils 'are happier in the north'

Pupils
Schools could be rated on pupil's well-being.

Children in the north of England are more emotionally secure than elsewhere in the country, according to an Ofsted survey of pupil well-being.

The poll of 150,000 10 to 15-year-olds also shows teenagers in some of the most disadvantaged areas are less likely to take drugs and alcohol.

Pupils in inner London reported the lowest rates of substance misuse. Rates were higher in London's leafy suburbs.

Children in south west England were most likely to report being bullied.

Ofsted's Tell Us survey gives each local authority a score on five different measures: happiness, bullying, participation in activities - such as sports, substance misuse and satisfaction with parks and play areas.

Well-being ratings

Its overall findings were released in October but this is the first time details of the regional differences have been published.

Children in Knowsley on Merseyside, where educational attainment is relatively low, reported high levels of emotional well-being. They also have some of the lowest levels of bullying and relatively high participation rates in positive activities.

Some of the country's most affluent areas, such as the London Borough of Richmond-Upon-Thames and some wealthier rural areas report lower levels of pupil well-being.

Bullying rates, as measured in the survey, were lowest in Liverpool and highest in the Isle of Wight.

Local authority bosses are being asked to set targets, taking into account the findings, to improve children's lives by next year.

The government is planning to introduce report cards and on these schools might be rated on pupil well-being as well as the views of parents and children.



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