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Vulnerable children and young people • Child poverty • Obesity and excess weight • Immunisations and vaccinations

Vulnerable children and young people

Children with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)

A number of fundamental changes have been made locally and nationally in relation to the identification, assessment and provision of SEND (special educational needs and/or Disability) support as a result of the Government's SEND reforms in 2014. Statements of special educational needs and Learning Difficulty Assessments (LDA) have been replaced with a single Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan for children and young people with complex needs. For those with SEN or disabilities who do not need an EHC plan, the Government has introduced SEN support, which replaces School Action and School Action Plus.

Pupils with SEND in Gateshead - In January 2018, a total of 4,498 pupils in Gateshead were reported by schools to have a special educational need or disability, which equates to 15% of the whole school population (years 1-11). Of these, 21% had either a statement of SEN or Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and 79% were categorised as 'SEN Support' (previously School Action and School Action Plus).[1]

Pupils with either a statement of SEN or EHC Plan account for 3% of all pupils in Gateshead - The number of pupils with an EHC Plan has increased from 787 in 2011 to 965 in 2018. 180 of these pupils attend primary schools, 157 attend secondary schools and 598 attend special schools.[1]

Pupils requiring SEN Support account for 12% of all pupils in Gateshead - The number of pupils with SEN but without a statement of SEN or EHC plan has significantly decreased in line with regional and national figures, from 4,859 in 2010 to 3,533 in 2018. 2,171 of these pupils attend primary schools, 1,038 attend secondary schools and 7 attend special schools.[1]

Pupils attending a special school - The number of pupils being taught in special schools in Gateshead has risen from 400 in 2011 to 605 in 2018. Of these 598 had an EHC plan and 7 were categorised as SEN support.[1]

The largest categories of special educational need are moderate learning difficulties, social emotional mental health, speech language and communication needs, specific learning difficulties and autistic spectrum disorder.[1]


[1] Gateshead Special Educational Needs Assessment and Disabilities Needs Assessment 2018, Jan 2018 School Census, Gateshead Council

Child protection

At 31st March 2018 the rate of children subject to a child protection plan per 10,000 stood at 73.8 per 10,000 (292 children). This is 70% higher than the England rate of 43.3 and 21% higher than the North East rate of 60.6.[1]

Categories given as the reason for the child protection plan are an 'on the day' count and thus provide a snapshot picture. Those children subject to a plan as a result of neglect continue to remain the highest proportion at 60.3%. Emotional abuse has seen an increase of 25% since the same time last year.[1]

Working Together Guidance 2015 defines neglect as:"The persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development".[2]

33% of cases where section 47 enquiries have been undertaken during April 2017 - March 2018 (196/601) do not progress to an Initial Child Protection Conference, however, of those that do, 85% (344/405) become subject to a child protection plan.[1]

Compared to 2016-2017, we have seen a reduction in unborn children becoming subject to a child protection plan. There has also been a decrease in those aged 0-4. There has been an increase in those aged 5-9 becoming subject to a child protection plan, whilst the number aged 10 and over is similar to last year.[1]

Looked after children  

At March 2018 there were 392 (98 per 10,000) children and young people who were classed as being looked after.[3] This compares with 376 (94 per 10,000) reported in the previous year at March 2017 - an increase of 3%. The figure for Gateshead is also 58% higher than the latest England rate (62), and 6.5% higher than the latest reported North East rate (92).[4]

When examining the numbers of children who came into care over the last 12 months (April 2017 - March 2018), there have been similar numbers to the previous year, although there has been a reduction in the those aged 16 and over.[3]


[1] Children In Need Census, 2016/17

[2] Working Together to Safeguard Children: A guide to inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, March 2015

[3] Gateshead Council, Mar 2018

[4] Children looked after in England, including adoption - Local Authority Tables: SFR41/2017 (GOV.uk website)

Teenage parents

The number of teenage pregnancies in young people aged between 15-17 years of age in 2016 was 65 - the lowest number in recent history, and down from 90 the previous year. The longer term trend is down, having reduced from a high of 202 in 2000 and there has been a steady decrease since then.  The rate per 1,000 in 2016 was 20.6, 7.1 percentage points lower than the 2015 rate. This compares with a 3.4 percentage points reduction across the North East and a 2.0 percentage points reduction across England as a whole. Gateshead's current Under 18s conception rate of 20.6 is now between the North East rate of 24.6 and the England rate of 18.8.[1]

According to pooled 2013 to 2015 data, the wards of Birtley, Chopwell & Rowlands Gill, Deckham, Felling, High Fell, and Windy Nook & Whitehills all have significantly higher under 18 conception rates than the England median rate. Only Dunston Hill & Whickham East is significantly lower than the England median.[2]

The number of under 16 conceptions in 2016 was 17, a rate per 1,000 of 5.7. This rate has reduced from 7.6 in 2015. Although it is difficult to be definitive about the trend because of the small numbers involved, it had been upwards since 2011 until a small reduction in 2015 and this larger reducation in 2016. Gateshead's current under 16 rate of 5.7 is higher than the North East rate of 4.9 and higher than the England rate of 3.1.[1]

In 2016 the percentage of under 18 conceptions leading to abortion was 55.4%, an increase from 50.0% in 2015. The North East average in 2016 was 41.6% and the England average was 51.8%.[1]


[1] Conceptions Statistics, ONS, 2016, (ONS website)

[2] Conceptions Statistics for wards, ONS VSOB, 2013-15

Child poverty

The most recent validated data on local levels of child poverty available is from 2015, when there were 7,720 or 19.4% of children in Gateshead in poverty (compared to 22.2% in 2014); the England average is 16.6% and the North East average is 21.5%. 2015 has seen the resumption of a downward trend in child poverty. Prior to 2014 child poverty had consistently reduced in Gateshead almost ever year from a high of 24.8% in 2007. 2014 saw an increase of 1.7 percentage points, but this has reduced by 2.8 percentage points in 2015. The Public Health Outcomes Framework tool provides a useful graphical display of the data, although it is updated less frequently [Chart - Child poverty]. The decrease in child poverty does not necessarily imply that the income of families has increased, rather the '60% of median' income threshold that is used to determine child poverty can vary from year to year.[1] Loughborough University has combined the 2014 version of the above child poverty measure with a national survey measure which looks at families with low incomes before and after housing costs using data from September 2017. The resulting measure estimated that at that time there may have been as many as 27.3% of children in poverty after housing costs are taken into consideration.[3]

The official national measure of child poverty shows that nationally two thirds of children in low income households live in households where at least one person is in employment (before housing costs).[2] This is thought to be linked to low wage levels, zero-hours contracts, part-time work, and other flexible labour market initiatives.

The Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI) ranks Gateshead as 78th out of 326 local authorities in England (where 1 is the highest level of deprivation).[4] 28% (9,991) of dependent children aged 0-15 live within one of the 20% most deprived areas in England in terms of IDACI. [Interactive Map - IDACI 2015]

In addition to unemployment and low income, national research suggests that families are at greater risk of child poverty if they are a lone parent household, headed by someone from an ethnic minority (particularly from Pakistani or Bangladeshi origin), contain one or more disabled member, or are a larger family (i.e. 4+ children).

The wards that have a high proportion of children in poverty are clustered in or around the central area of Gateshead and include Felling (40.1%), Deckham (31.9%) and High Fell (31.2%). Small pockets of significant child poverty are evident in Old Fold, North Felling, Beacon Lough East, Springwell Estate and Sheriff Hill, where more than 4 in 10 children live in families below the poverty line.[1]

See also: NE Child Poverty Commission Data


[1] Personal Tax Credits Related Statistics, Children in Low-Income Families Local Measure  HMRC 2015 (GOV.uk website)

[2] Children in low income families - below 60% median (relative measure), Composition of low income groups of children data table 4_3db, Family Resources Survey, HBAI Report, DWP, 2016/17 (GOV.uk website)

[3] End Child Poverty - Map of the UK, Loughborough University Centre for Research in Social Policy, Sep 2017  (endchildpoverty website)

[4] Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index (IDACI), DCLG 2015

Obesity and excess weight

69.0% of adults in Gateshead have excess weight [Chart - Adult excess weight] according to survey data.[1] This is significantly worse than the England average of 61.3%.

A local survey conducted in 2016 (Adult Health and Lifestyle Survey) showed variation in excess weight for men. For example, whilst 75% of men aged 35 to 64 and 74% aged 65+ are overweight or obese, this compares with just 40% of those aged under 35. The rate for women aged 35 to 64 is much higher at 58%, but the proportion does not differ in the older age bands for women, at 54% and 58% respectively.[2]

The local survey also asked about self-perception of weight. Of those who were overweight or obese (based on the measurements they provided), 92% realised they were in that weight zone. In addition, 92% said they would like to lose weight.[2]

9.6% of 4-5 year olds and 24.6% of 10-11 year olds living in Gateshead were obese in 2016/17 [Chart - Child obesity aged 4-5] [Chart - Child obesity aged 10-11].[3] The proportion for 4 -5 year olds is the same as the England average of 9.6%. However, the proportion for 10-11 year olds is significantly higher than the England average of 20.0%.

Of children attending Gateshead schools, 22.0% of 4-5 year olds and 38.5% of 10-11 year olds were classified as overweight or obese (excess weight).[4] Whilst the proportion for 4-5 year olds is similar to the England average of 22.6%, the proportion for 10-11 year olds is significantly higher than the England average of 34.2% [Chart - Child excess weight aged 4-5] [Chart - Child excess weight aged 10-11].

Child obesity data at ward level suggests that there are variations across Gateshead, with higher rates in a number of the more deprived areas and lower levels in less deprived areas. This is particularly noteworthy in Felling, Deckham, Pelaw & Heworth, Windy Nook & Whitehills, and Dunston & Teams at year 6, which all have excess weight rates 41%.[5] [Map - Ward child excess weight at reception] [Map - Ward child excess weight at Year 6].[6]

Inequalities studies suggest that overweight and obesity is more prevalent in more deprived areas. This is demonstrated in both the national deprivation profile of adults who are overweight or obese [Chart - Adult excess weight deprivation profile][1] and the local deprivation profile of children attending Gateshead schools at both age 4-5 and age 10-11 [Chart - Child excess weight aged 4-5 deprivation profile] [Chart - Child excess weight aged 10-11 deprivation profile].[4]

See also: 


[1] Active Lives Survey, Sport England, 2015/16 (Health Profiles website)

[2] Health and Lifestyle Survey, Gateshead Council, 2016

[3] NCMP, HSCIC, 2016/17 (NCMP Local Authority Profile website)

[4] NCMP, HSCIC, 2016/17 (PHOF website)

[5] NCMP, NHS Digital, 2014/15 - 2016/17 (GOV.uk website)

[6] NCMP, NHS Digital, 2013/14 - 2015/16 (Local Health website)

Immunisations and vaccinations

In 2016/17, 73.8% of people aged 65 years or older had the seasonal influenza vaccine [Chart - Flu vaccination coverage aged 65+].[1] This is below the Chief Medical Officers' target of 75% or higher.

In 2016/17, 54.9% of people younger than 65 years of age considered to be at risk received the flu vaccine [Chart - Flu vaccination coverage at risk individuals].[1] This almost meets the Chief Medical Officers' target of 55% or higher.

Vaccination coverage at age 2 for diphtheria, pertussis (whopping cough), tetanus, haemophilus influenza type b and polio (Dtap/IPV/Hib) is high at 97.5%, and above the England average of 95.1% [Chart - Dtap/IPV/Hib age 2 vaccination coverage].[1]

In 2016/17, the percentage of eligible children who had received their Hib/MenC booster by their fifth birthday (96.6%) was higher than the England average of 92.6% and the local target of 90% and was close to the national target of 95% [Chart - Hib/MenC vaccination coverage].[1]

In 2013, following an outbreak of measles in the North East, there was an MMR catch-up campaign targeted at 10-19 year-olds who had not had two doses. A total of 3,190 children and young people were identified in Gateshead.[2] Following this, the percentage of eligible children who had received two doses of the MMR vaccine by their fifth birthday in Gateshead increased from 89.5% in 2012/13 to 91.5% in 2013/14, but dropped back to 89.0% in 2016/17 - below the local target of 90% [Chart - MMR vaccination coverage].[1]

In a pilot to offer flu vaccination (by nasal spray) to primary school children from reception to Year 6, a total of 7,784 children were vaccinated. This represents an uptake rate of 56.9%. The programme will be continued in 2014/15, but parents will not be required to be present at vaccination (identified as a major barrier to uptake in 2013/14).[2]

Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination protects against two high-risk HPV types - 16 and 18 - that cause over 70% of cervical cancers. Vaccination coverage in 2013/14 (among girls 12-13 years of age) in Gateshead is significantly better than England - 93.5% compared to 86.7% [Chart - HPV vaccination coverage].[3] This is higher than the 2012/13 coverage of 90.8%.

Vaccinations can be given for pneumococcal infections. These include bronchitis, otitis media, sinusitis, bacteraemia, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, pneumonia and meningitis. Between 2012 and 2014 there were 301 deaths due to pneumonia in Gateshead, a rate (DSR) of 56 per 100,000 compared with the England average of 53.[4] In 2016/17 there were 237 emergency hospital admissions for children (under 16) with lower respiratory tract infections (including bronchiolitis, bronchopneumonia and pneumonia). This equates to a rate (ISR) per 100,000 of 591 compared with a much lower rate of 446 for England as a whole.[5]


[1] Vaccination data, 2016/17 (PHOF website)

[2] Health Protection Assurance 2013-2014. Annual Report of Director of Public Health (Gateshead Council website)

[3] DoH 2013/14 (PHOF website)

[4] Mortality due to pneumonia, HSCIC 2012 - 2014 (NHS Digital website)

[5] Emergency hospital admissions for under 16 year olds with lower respiratory tract infections - Indicator 3.2, HSCIC 2016/17 (NHS Digital website)

Last modified on 4th May 2018

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