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School years (5-19 years)

Leicester Children's Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA). Health and social care needs associated with the school years (5 to 19 years).

Between the ages of 5 years and 19 years old, children will experience many transitions in all aspects of their lives, and their experiences will shape their future. Their start in life during the pre-birth and early years periods will influence how well they manage and cope with important transitions in their social lives, education and relationships during school years.

The school years population in Leicester is larger and has higher need relative to its peer areas, the East Midlands and England. There has been improvement in the health and wellbeing of children and young people locally, but for many indicators gaps remain between Leicester and its peers, the East Midlands and England.

Population Profile

In 2015 there were an estimated 66,899 children aged 5 to 19 years old living in Leicester, and there were more males (34,128, 51%) than females (32,771, 49%) in this age group.

In Leicester, the ethnicities of children aged 5 to 19 years (as per census 2011) are as follows:

  • 43% White
  • 39% Asian/Asian British
  • 9% Black/ African/ Caribbean / Black British
  • 7% Mixed/multiple ethnic group
  • 2% Other ethnic group

Who’s at risk and why?

As well as risks that apply at earlier ages, there are specific factors that affect health outcomes for 5 to 19 year olds are:

  • Access to quality services
  • Educational achievement
  • School environment
  • Family socialisation
  • Media exposure

The level of need in the population



Illness and disability may limit the amount of time a child can attend school and build social relationships with peers; both of which are determinants of long term achievement and wellbeing. The latest DLA data (May 2016) are broken down into individuals under age 16 and those 16 to 24 years old. There were 2310 children under 16 in receipt of DLA, and 640 young people aged 16 to 24 years old receiving DLA.


Type 1 diabetes and many other auto-immune conditions have their peak incidence in early adolescence. The National Paediatric Diabetes Audit showed that 70% of the childhood diabetes population is aged 12–19, and the great majority of emergency hospital admissions nationally for diabetes are in this age group. No data are available for Leicester.


In Leicester, 8% (n=1,731) of 5 to 9 year olds have been diagnosed with asthma. Prevalence is higher in males. Children in the Asian/Asian British (34%) and White (37%) ethnic groups in Leicester contribution a larger proportion of asthma cases in comparison to other ethnic groups. Asthma is most common between 5‐15 years old. The prevalence then declines until 55‐64 years, when it starts to rise again. In Leicester, 12% (n=2,415) of 10 to 14 year olds have been diagnosed with asthma. The majority of these (61%) are male.

Healthy weight and eating

20.4% of Leicester’s Reception Year pupils are obese and overweight (20.4%) which increases at Year 6 (37.3%).2.5% of Leicester’s Reception Year pupils are underweight (2.5%) which increases slightly for year 6 (3.0%).

Oral Health

In Leicester, 48.4% of five year olds had experience of dental decay in 2014/15. This proportion of decay is higher than the England average. By age 12, children in Leicester have the highest burden of dental disease when compared against similar local authorities.Fluoride Varnish (FV) treatment is a key preventative action, which is offered free to all children over 3 years old by the NHS. 42,000 Leicester children aged 6 to 12 years had FV treatment in 2015. This equates to 18.4% which is significantly lower than the England average.

Unintentional and deliberate injuries

There is a decreasing trend in the rate of hospital admissions for children aged 0 to 14 years olds caused by unintentional and deliberate injury in Leicester. Between 2010 and 2015, Leicester’s rate reduced from 101.6 per 100,000 to 70.0 per 100,000. Many of Leicester’s peer comparators have either remained roughly the same or increased over the same time period.

Determinants of health

Within this age group, in addition to the socio-economic factors that apply across all ages, there are a number of additional influences:


Much of the routine childhood immunisation programme is completed by age 5, but there are a number of important programmes that target adolescents:

  • HPV Vaccine - Leicester has achieved an uptake for 2015/16 of 72.5% in Year 8 girls and 89.1% of Year 9 girls.
  • Td/IPV (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Polio) Booster - of the 62 GP practices in Leicester, only 37% achieved the target of 90% of all eligible children receiving the booster. Almost 30% of Leicester’s GP practices achieved less than 80% uptake.
  • Meningitis C and Meningitis W - Currently there are no data available nationally on the uptake of this vaccine.


Pupils with better health and wellbeing are likely to achieve better academically. Effective social and emotional competencies are associated with greater health and wellbeing, and better achievement. Education is a key determinant for lifelong wellbeing, and continues to be important in this age group as they prepare to transition from primary to secondary to post-education.

Results for Leicester’s Key Stages have continued to improve. For more detailed information, see Annual education performance report (pdf) and Early years and foundation stage outcomes (pdf)

Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET)

Spending time not in employment, education or training (NEET) has been shown to have a detrimental effect on physical and mental health. Although Leicester is currently the third highest among peer comparators, and significantly higher than both the East Midlands and England averages, the proportion of Leicester’s young people classed as NEET has fallen significantly from 2012 to 2014.

Projected service use

The Office of National Statistics estimates suggest that there will be a significant growth in the number of 5-19 year olds in Leicester over the next few years.


Recommendations based on the findings of this JSNA.