LONDON (Reuters Life!) - About one in seven British school children have tried illegal drugs while one in five regularly get drunk, a government survey revealed on Friday.
The online survey, TellUs2, found a significant level of drinking, smoking and drug taking among some of the 111,000 secondary school youngsters in England who took part.
It discovered 48 percent of all the children aged between 10 and 15 had had an alcoholic drink, and 19 percent said they had been drunk at least once in the previous four weeks.
Sixteen percent of the 14 and 15 year olds who responded claimed to have drunk alcohol three or more times that month.
The survey, carried out by Britain's Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted), also found that one in five of all children, 21 percent, had smoked a cigarette, rising to 41 percent for 14 to 15 year olds.
About 15 percent of children aged between 12 and 15 said they had tried drugs, mostly cannabis.
Three percent of all children surveyed said they had used other drugs such as cocaine, LSD, ecstasy, heroin, speed or magic mushrooms.
"We now urge policy makers, local authorities and schools to look hard at the findings and use them to influence their plans and actions," Ofsted chief inspector Christine Gilbert said.
About a third of the respondents said they had been bullied at least a couple of times in the previous four weeks, but 57 percent said they thought bullying was handled well by schools.