[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007, 15:01 GMT 16:01 UK
School defends morning-after pill
Morning-after pill
The school surgery handles health issues including contraception
A head teacher has defended his school's sexual health policy after admitting it handed out hundreds of morning-after pills to teenage girls.

In the past four years Lutterworth Grammar School and Community College in Leicestershire has given out 345 pills.

The figure is believed to be the highest number in the country.

It attracted criticism from pressure group Family and Youth Concern, which said schools should teach abstinence and not offer pupils contraceptives.

The comprehensive offers pupils a five-day-a-week surgery staffed by a doctor and nurses which addresses a range of health concerns.

I still think the service is in the best interests of the students
Head teacher Eddie de Middelaer

Head teacher Eddie de Middelaer said: "It's not just for sexual health, it's for far more than that.

"We are a very large mixed comprehensive. At any one time we can have up to 700 girls here who are over 16.

"When you compare us with other schools I imagine we are one of a very few that have a five-day service.

"I still think the service is in the best interests of the students."

In a statement, the school said: "The decision to provide health advice in school, and the scope of the service, was decided by the school governing body, in consultation with parents, teachers and pupils an in liaison with the Primary Care Trust."

It added that pupils are given the knowledge and skills to make positive, informed choices about all aspects of growing up.

But Norman Wells, of Family and Youth Concern, said: "Making contraception and the morning-after pill available to under-16s undermines the law on the age of consent and sends out the message that there is nothing wrong with underage sex."

Lutterworth Grammar School and Community College is currently one of the largest comprehensive schools nationally, with almost 2,000 students aged 14 to 19.

Nearly 800 of these are sixth formers.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
update



SEE ALSO
Trust offers contraception advice
26 Dec 06 |  Somerset
Chemist refuses to dispense pill
13 Oct 06 |  South Yorkshire
Free contraceptives for pupils
08 Mar 06 |  North East Wales
HIV 'morning after pill' battle
19 Dec 05 |  Health

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific