YOUNG People in Fife will be asked to share details of their sexual health in a survey sent out to senior school pupil across the Kingdom.

The brakes had originally been put on the controversial questionnaire after councillors raised concerns about anonymity – and the nature of the questions – but Fife Council's cabinet committee gave it the go-ahead at their meeting on Thursday.

Pupils from S4 and upward will be asked if they have ever had sexual intercourse, how old they were when they had sex for the first time, was a condom used and what methods did they or their partner use to prevent pregnancy the last time they had sexual intercourse.

Fife Council has opted not to use sexual health questions used elsewhere in Scotland which asked youngsters if they have had vaginal or anal sex and when the last time was.

The online survey isn't just about sex. Pupils will also be probed on alcohol and drug use, home and school life, bullying, meals consumed, friends, physical activity, sleep, social media and smoking.

Youngsters from P5 will be asked to participate however some questions, such as the sexual health and alcohol ones, will only be given to S4 to S6 pupils.

Education chief Shelagh McLean said the survey is designed to help them promote and improve the well-being of children

and young people.

"The results of the survey will help us to understand the wellbeing and needs of children and young people in Fife and will inform our work to improve services for children and families," she said.

"Gathering this information is especially important, at this time, to help us to form an accurate picture of young people’s wellbeing after the pandemic and to help us to plan to support their recovery."

Fife Council say the information received will help plan and deliver better policies to benefit children and families, better understand some of the factors which influence the outcomes for children and target resources better.

Ms McLean said it would also "enhance the quality" of research to improve the lives of people in Fife and "provide a window" on society.

Steps have been taken to ensure participants will remain anonymous.

"Additional steps have been identified and outlined to respond to concerns regarding protection of data," she said. "The revised approach would allow children and young people to participate anonymously."

Fife Council education spokesperson, councillor Cara Hilton, said it was important to proceed with the survey.

"I think it is going to be a really valuable way of ensuring that children and young people's experiences, their views, their concerns, can be heard in a safe and anonymous way," she said.

"It is up to us as the local authority to have the data and evidence base we need to get it right for our children and young people both now and in the years ahead.

"I know there has been a lot of controversy around the questions but that is nothing new. Surveys of this nature have been carried out in Fife and across Scotland for many years."