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Teenage Pregnancy Unit

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 18 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) who is responsible for maintaining the Teenage Pregnancy Unit website; and how often it is updated; (116410)

(2) what research projects are being undertaken by the Teenage Pregnancy Unit;

(3) what the terms of reference are for the Teenage Pregnancy Unit;

(4) whose responsibility commissioning research from the Teenage Pregnancy Unit is;

(5) how many civil servants work at the Teenage Pregnancy Unit; and how many worked at the unit in each year since its establishment.

The Teenage Pregnancy Unit (TPU) is currently staffed by six civil servants. Shortly after the launch of the strategy in 2000, TPU employed 16 civil servants. TPU does not have published terms of reference, but its role is to oversee implementation of the strategy and to develop it in the light of evidence of what is working to reduce conception rates.

The TPU website is managed internally, with one member of staff taking lead responsibility for its maintenance. It is updated on an ongoing basis. However, during 2007, the information on the website will be migrated on to the Department's “Every Child Matters” website as part of a wider exercise to rationalise the number of websites that the Department is responsible for maintaining and to make it easier for stakeholders to access information from a single source.

TPU does not carry out research itself. But it did commission a national evaluation of the first four years of the strategy and a number of individual research projects (through a competitive tender exercise), to fill gaps in the existing evidence base. There were a total of nine research projects commissioned—the findings of which have all been published on the TPU website—brigaded under the following five themes.

The impact of growing up in rural and seaside resorts on the sexual behaviour and life-chances of young people.

Long term consequences of teenage births for mothers, fathers and their children.

Attitudes and behaviour of black and minority ethnic young people relating to sexual activity, contraceptive use and teenage pregnancy.

Black and minority ethnic young people’s experience of teenage parenthood.

Educational experiences of pregnant young women and young mothers of school age.