Shocking figures reveal 12 year olds self harming in Central Bedfordshire


A boy “of four or five” starting school in Central Bedfordshire didn’t know his own name, it’s been revealed.

He was very quiet, so his mother was asked what he was like at home, and replied that he does not talk to me, according to Ccouncillor Brian Spurr.

“It’s that home bit,” said councillor Spurr. “She’s got to talk to her son.

“Sometimes parents feel they can pass everything on to the teachers.”

He referred to the case study as a drive for greater pupil resilience in Central Bedfordshire is being put out to tender.

Research into local children’s well-being suggests twelve and thirteen-year-olds have been turning to self-harm when they are upset or feeling low.

Targetting the causes will be a key part of the approach expected of the successful bidder.

These include:

Improving school attendance;

Raising aspirations;

Reduced involvement in harmful risk-taking behaviours of substance misuse, alcohol, smoking and drugs;

Greater self-esteem;

Better understanding of the issues surrounding consent, and their rights and responsibilities in this area;

And improved understanding of healthy relationships and keeping safe.

In a survey of around 5,000 pupils in Central Bedfordshire, they were asked what they do when they have a problem or feel stressed.

Eight per cent in Years eight and ten, and nine per cent in Year 12 said they cut or hurt themself.

Councillor Spurr said he found it hard to believe the figure of nine per cent, but that is in keeping with the national statistics he has been told.

There’s a long list of people children can talk to before resorting to self-harm, he said, speaking after a council executive meeting.

“The figures here are a fair average throughout the country,” added councillor Spurr, who’s the executive member for health and chairs the health and wellbeing board.

Central Bedfordshire Council’s public health senior practitioner Sarah James is leading a drive to improve local pupils’ ability to deal with emotional issues.

The tendering process aims to achieve “school based group behaviour change interventions for males and females to increase resilience”.

An “emotional well-being toolkit” has been developed for schools, which should be ready for the next school year.