Wellbeing of Wales, 2022: children and young people’s wellbeing - A globally responsible Wales
This supplementary report is an extract of the analysis contained in the Well-being of Wales report concerning the wellbeing of children.
In this page
The goal for a globally responsible Wales
A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global wellbeing. This goal recognises that in an inter-connected world what we do to make Wales a sustainable nation can have positive and adverse impacts outside of Wales.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
There is limited awareness amongst adults of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The 2021-22 National Survey for Wales shows that 34% of adults have heard of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The figure is similar for females (36%), compared to men (33%).
Global citizenship education
Young people in Wales are learning about global issues but there’s been a decline in recent years in international students attending higher education institutions in Wales.
The UN SDG ‘Quality Education’ recognises the importance of obtaining a quality education and all learners acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality and global citizenship.
Physical punishment of children
The physical punishment of children became illegal in Wales on March 21, 2022. The results presented here were collected from July 2021 to January 2022, before this law came into effect.
Parents and non-parents were asked about their views on smacking children and whether they agreed or disagreed that it was sometimes necessary.
There has been a shift in attitudes since this question was asked in 2019-20. In 2019-20 35% of people said it was sometimes necessary to smack a child compared with 25% now. The proportion who strongly disagree that smacking is sometimes necessary has risen to 40% (from 30% in 2019-20).
32% of men and 20% of women say that it is sometimes necessary to smack a child. 84% of people aged 16 to 24 say that smacking is never necessary compared with 42% of people aged 75 and over.
Up until 2020/21, within the Welsh Baccalaureate Skills Challenge Certificate there was a compulsory Global Citizenship component, which engages students in learning about global issues. Since 2020/21 the Global Citizenship component has been non-compulsory, therefore any comparisons prior to 2020/21 would need to be taken with care.
In 2021/22, there were 32,535 entrants for the Global Citizenship Challenge at key stage 4, and 20,338 at advanced level who chose the global citizenship challenge component. For key stage 4, 99.1% of entries achieved a level 1 pass or above, and at the advanced level, 99.3% achieved a level 3 pass or above.
Eco-Schools is a global programme engaging millions of children across 70 countries. It is designed to empower and inspire young people to make positive environmental changes to their school and wider community, while building on their key skills, including numeracy and literacy, and encompassing Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship (ESDGC). There are currently 56,000 schools in 70 countries participating in the Eco-Schools programme.
In Wales Eco-Schools is a voluntary programme run by Keep Wales Tidy. As of April 2022 there were 805 state schools with Eco-Schools Green Flag accreditation, 387 of which had reached platinum status, for long term commitment to the programme. A further 339 schools have a bronze and/or silver award, working their way towards green flag accreditation. There were a total of 1,144 state schools in Wales with an Eco-Schools award.
A large number of students from a range of countries attend higher education institutions in Wales. In 2020/21, there were 21,565 enrolments from international students for Higher Education providers in Wales, comprising 17% of all enrolments. Of these, 5,395 were from students of European Union domicile (4% of all enrolments), while 16,170 were from students of non-European Union domicile (12% of all enrolments). At its peak in 2010/11, there were 26,290 enrolments in Higher Education institutions in Wales from international students, which made up 20% of the student population
Vaccination uptake in young children continues to be high but has decreased slightly since its highest levels.
The UN SDG Sustainable Development goal ‘Good Health and Well-being’ states the importance of providing access to affordable and essential medicines and vaccines. The World Health Organisation has a vision for a world without measles, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS).
The majority of children for the April 2021 to March 2022 year would have been due their immunisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although coverage for younger children who receive their immunisations in general practice remains positive, there has been a slight decreasing trend over the previous year. Uptake of the ‘6 in 1’ vaccine (all three doses) in children reaching their first birthday was 95.2%, compared to 95.6% in the previous year.
Uptake of both the ‘6 in 1’ and pneumococcal conjugate vaccinations remained above 95% in children at one year of age for the fourteenth consecutive year.
MMR uptake was just below 95% for the first dose at two years. This is suboptimal for preventing outbreaks of measles (target uptake is 95%).
The proportion of children who were up to date with their routine immunisations by four years of age was 87% this year. The reported inequality gap in immunisation coverage between four year olds in the most and least deprived areas was 8.5 percentage points, the same as in 2020-21. However, further work is needed to identify the root cause of these inequalities and identify interventions to reduce this gap.
Children aged 5 to 11 years are the most recent general population group who became eligible for primary COVID-19 vaccinations. During the period March to June 2022, coverage of the second dose of this vaccine has increased in those aged 12 to 17 years and coverage of the first dose has increased in children aged 5 to 11 years.
Data sources and further reading
Whether had heard of UNRC, 2021-22 National Survey for Wales
Physical Punishment of Children, National Survey for Wales
Eco-Schools, unpublished data provided by Keep Wales Tidy:
Skills Challenge Certificate Global Citizenship Certificate component entries for the Welsh Baccalaureate, unpublished data provided by WJEC
Percentage of the student population at Welsh higher education institutions who are international students, StatsWales and HESA
Vaccine uptake in children in Wales:
- Immunisation coverage (percentage) by 2nd birthday by Local Health Board and type of immunisation (StatsWales)
- National immunisation uptake data (Public Health Wales)
COVID-19 uptake, NHS Wales COVID-19 vaccination enhanced surveillance equality report (Public health Wales)