On the Agenda - Teen pregnancies fall but miss target

In a nutshell Teenage pregnancies have fallen to their lowest rate in more than 20 years, according to annual statistics published last week. The 2008 ONS conception statistics showed that, despite a slight rise in 2007, the Government's teenage pregnancy strategy has led to a decline in pregnancies among under-16s and under-18s.

Teenage pregnancies: sees fall
Teenage pregnancies: sees fall

What is the bigger picture?

The decline is far short of the Government's pledge to halve teen pregnancies by 2010. Schools Secretary Ed Balls was forced to defend the Government's record during an interview with BBC Breakfast. He admitted it was going to be 'really hard' to achieve the reduction.

What is the Government planning?

Children's minister Dawn Primarolo and public health minister Gillian Merron launched Teenage Pregnancy Strategy: Beyond 2010 last week. The action plan contained announcements including pilots of one-to-one sexual health and contraception consultations for 16-year-olds, more help for teachers and better school-based health services.

PR strategy

The DCSF in-house press team handled the story. It was sent to the broadcast and national media under embargo until Wednesday. The team set up interviews with the broadcast media for ministers including Balls.

Media coverage

Balls conducted an interview on BBC Breakfast, picked up by online media including the Telegraph.co.uk, Guardian.co.uk and BBC News online. The story was covered on Sky News, ITV News and the BBC lunchtime news.

- 5.7% decrease in under-16s falling pregnant from 2007 to 2008

- 13.3% reduction in under-18s conceiving since 1998

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