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Since the Teenage Pregnancy Strategy was launched in 1999, there has been a steady decline in the under-18 conception rate. Latest annual data (2006) show a rate of 40.6 conceptions per 1,000 females aged 15 to 17, a fall of 12.9 per cent. from the 1998 baseline rate. The 2006 under-18 conception rate is the lowest for over 20 years.
Tackling England's high rate of teenage pregnancy rates remains a Government priority and we are determined to reduce rates further, using the lessons from local areas where rates have fallen fastest to drive progress. At a national level, the key focus will be on:
strong performance management of the minority of local areas where rates are static or increasing;
using new funding from the Department of Health to improve sexually active teenagers' access to effective contraception;
implementing the recommendations from the recent review of sex and relationships education (SRE) in schools; and
strengthening our communications to young people and parents.