Azara Blog: An online survey of English children

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Date published: 2007/11/17

The BBC says:

Nearly half of all 10 to 15-year-olds in England have tried alcohol, a survey for schools' inspectors suggests.

One in seven 12 to 15-year-olds has tried illegal drugs and a fifth have been drunk, the Ofsted research on lifestyle, habits and concerns shows.

Around a third of school pupils said they had been bullied and half said their greatest worry was exams.

Four out of five of the 111,000 children questioned said they wanted lessons to be more fun and interesting.

The vast majority (86%) of children considered themselves to be quite or very healthy.

Children also have a strong sense of community and 65% have helped raise money for charity or a local group.

The TellUs2 online survey targeted children aged between 10 and 15 in England.

It asked them about their habits, lifestyle and general concerns and anxieties.

First of all, it's an online survey, so quite likely not representative. Was there even any way of confirming that the respondents were aged 10 to 15? Secondly, there's no way of knowing whether anyone is telling the truth, or whether many respondents just put down what they think they ought to put down. So all in all, the figures are rather meaningless.

However it is rather amusing that the BBC leads the story with "nearly half of all 10 to 15-year-olds in England have tried alcohol". Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Presumably the corresponding figure is higher in France, which the British chattering class always like to point out as a country with sensible alcohol use. So perhaps the figure should be deemed good, or if anything not nearly high enough. But presumably the BBC, as part of the current British chattering hysteria about alcohol, thinks instead that this figure is way too high, so a bad thing.

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