Correction: 64% of Birmingham children have never been drunk

By on 12/01/2010 in News, Rebuttals

There is a story running in today’s Birmingham Mail ‘75%of city kids drunk before they’re 16 (shock Ofsted survey)’ which is incorrect. Please do not repeat the error.

This is no fault of the Birmingham Mail, Birmingham City Council’s Overview & Scrutiny report ‘Reducing the Impact of Drug and Alcohol Misuse in Birmingham’ failed to detail the full picture.

In the ‘summary’ (pg 05, penultimate par), it states that ‘Only 26% of Birmingham’s school children aged 10-15 say they had never been drunk….’ but failed to say that 38% (higher than the national figure) have never had an alcoholic drink (see Ofsted data extract below and link to full report)

This means that 64% of Birmingham children have never been drunk.

TellUs3 Local Authority Report, Birmingham, September 2008 was the source of statistics for the Overview & Scrutiny Report.

Extract from TellUs3 Local Authority Report, Birmingham, September 2008

2d

Have you ever had alcohol?

I have never had an alcoholic drink    38%
I have never been drunk                         26%
I have been drunk but only once or twice but not recently  14%
I have been drunk once within the last 4 weeks                 4%
I have been drunk twice within the last 4 weeks                2%
I have been drunk 3 or more times in the past 4 weeks   4%
Prefer not say     11%

Apologies for the error.

Statement from Cllr Mark Hill, Chairman of Local Services and Community Safety O&S Committee.

“I do need to apologise for the erroneous conclusion that can be drawn from our comment in today's scrutiny report that only 26% of Birmingham school children aged 10 - 15 say they have never been drunk. 

“Whilst this is the correct figure, drawn from an OFSTED survey conducted in 2008, it does not - as it should - have alongside it the fact that 38% of respondents in the same survey said they had never had an alcoholic drink.

“This means the survey indicated that 64% of Birmingham children had never had an alcoholic drink or been drunk.

“I am sorry that our report has not been as precise on this as it should have been.  Having made this correction however, it is very important that in our debate this afternoon we focus on the acknowledged very serious national problem of under age drinking.

“Our recommendations are aimed at doing more to get the message across to children and families about the dangers of drinking.”

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  1. M Kerr says:

    The above statics are taken from the Ofsted “Tellus3 Survey, Nov 2008″ publication. Whilst of course the true analysis of the presented figures reads well for Birmingham, can the “Education Inspector’s” findings and mathematics be trusted at all? Regarding children’s alcohol consumption,the total of responses for Birmingham 99% against the “national average” total of 101%. What drivel is this? Regardless of what the responses were, those analysed were 100% surely.

    Notwithstanding the above,Cllr Hill’s well intentioned comment to get “the message across to children and families”, in respect of under age drinking; may I suggest a magic wand? Surely by now the message has been repeated multiply without success. Don’t suggest taxing us even more as same proportion of “deaf eared”, non-contributing, know nothings will continue to ply their benefit attracting clones with cheap booze to keep them occupied else where, whilst the rest of us bear the consequences of their ignorance! Action rather than rhetoric is required here!

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