McCluskey, Serena, Williams, Jane, Nyawata, Idah D. and Topping, Annie (2009) A Sexual Health Training Needs Analysis in Kirklees: a mixed-methods design. Project Report. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield. (Submitted)

There is good evidence that personal social and health education (PHSE), particularly
when linked to sexual health services, can have an impact on young people’s attitudes,
delay sexual activity, and/or reduce conception rates. However, PHSE and sexual health
training needs in non-school settings are often not addressed, yet there are many other
settings that young people access, often seeking advice more informally. Therefore, a
training needs analysis was undertaken, targeting all those who work with young people
in Kirklees in order to provide a wide-ranging assessment of their PHSE and sexual
health training needs.
A mixed-methods research design was adopted, comprising of two phases. In the first
phase, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to relevant organisations and
personnel across Kirklees (n=296). The questionnaire asked participants to rate their
level of competency (ranging from ‘novice’ to ‘expert’) in being able to provide young
people with information about key areas in PHSE and sexual health. The second phase
comprised a series of focus groups and telephone interviews to gain a more in-depth
understanding of specific training needs and of the barriers and levers to implementing
successful training programmes.
Significant variations exist in sexual health training needs across Kirklees. Specific
concerns were raised around child protection issues, communicating with young people,
practical knowledge and skills, raising self-esteem in young people, cultural and religious
issues, outreach, signposting, networking, and the need for multi-professional training.
Findings also highlighted some of the inadequacies and inconsistencies in current
training provision, and how sexual health is prioritised among relevant organisations in
Training in PHSE and sexual health affects the quality and range of services offered to
young people, as well as access to them. In order to meet the UK government’s targets
and reduce the burden of sexual ill-health and teenage pregnancy, these issues must be
viewed as a top priority by those providing training and education and for those working
with young people


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