TEENAGE pregnancies in East Renfrewshire are at their lowest level in the whole of Scotland.

The latest figures released by Public Health Scotland (PHS) in August highlighted the national average is 30 teenage pregnancies per 1,000 women and in East Renfrewshire the figure is just 10.6.

This shows a “significant reduction” in the past 10 years across the local authority area, with the figure from a decade ago being 35 teenage pregnancies per 1,000 women.

Having identified an issue with teenage pregnancy in Auchenback, Barrhead, the council’s Young Person’s Services team began working closely with high schools and other partners to tackle the issue in 2015.

The initial work achieved a 60 per cent reduction in teenage pregnancies and a reduction from 22 per cent to nine per cent of first time mums under 19 in the wider Barrhead area.

Councillor Colm Merrick, Convener for Community Services & Community Safety, told the Barrhead News: “We remain committed to supporting young people across our local authority and it’s extremely pleasing to see that the dedicated work we have put in to educate young people about parenthood is having an impact.

“The education programmes we have put in place were devised by working with young mums, so they accurately convey the realities of young parenthood and also outline information young parents wished they had known beforehand but didn’t know they needed at the time. So, the sessions resonate with our young people and allow them to make informed decisions.

“To have brought teenage pregnancies in East Renfrewshire to the lowest level in Scotland is a fantastic effort and we will continue to work to reinforce these important messages to our young people.”

In addition to the educational work done in schools, the council also runs two young mums groups, Little Bumps and Baby Love, which offer a range of support.

Both groups are for under-25s and provide advice and support throughout pregnancy, including practical skills, and up until the baby is 12 months old.

For more information about East Renfrewshire Council’s support for young mums, visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/young-mums.