ENYAN Two-thirds of secondary pupils ‘begin school year worried about their appearance’

Fears about their looks can prevent pupils from taking part in PE lessons – or even from raising their hands in class, research shows

More than two-thirds of secondary pupils begin the new term worrying about their appearance, according to a new survey.

And a quarter say that the way they look is one of their biggest concerns at the start of the school year.

The youth charity YMCA and toiletry brand Dove surveyed more than 1,000 pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. They found that 69 per cent return to school worried about their body shape, their weight and their skin.

These fears also increase as pupils go through school. While 20 per cent of 11- and 12-year-olds worry about their appearance, this proportion rises with age. By the time pupils are taking their GCSEs, at the age of 15 or 16, one in three – 32 per cent – say that their looks are one of their main concerns about the return to school in September.

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