ONE in 14 schoolgirls in Haringey falls pregnant by the time she is 17. Critics have blasted NHS Haringey and Haringey Council for not doing enough to curb the “out of control” rates.

The figures, published in a London Assembly report on Wednesday, show Haringey has the fourth-highest pregnancy rate in London and one of the highest in the country.

In Haringey, 70 out of every 1,000 teenage girls aged between 15 and 17 fell pregnant in 2007. That year, NHS Haringey spent £15.5 million on sexual health, including chlamydia testing and contraception, but pregnancies in the borough rose by nearly 15 per cent.

In that time, London’s overrall teenage pregnancy rate dropped.

Gail Engert, Liberal Democrat spokesperson for children and young people, said: "It is clear that Haringey’s teenage pregnancy rates are out of control with little evidence that NHS Haringey or the council are taking effective action. It is hardly surprising, considering the controversial cuts of clinics providing local family planning services two years ago."

In the council’s children and young people’s plan, there is a detailed breakdown showing that in Bounds Green 107 in every 1,000 girls fell pregnant.

In west Haringey, rates were highest in Hornsey where 67 per 1,000 fell pregnant.

In Bruce Grove, in south Haringey, 132 per 1,000 girls fell pregnant.

The revelations are in keeping with the trend that pregnancies are highest in areas of deprivation.

Eugenia Cronin, joint director for public health at NHS Haringey, said: "Teenage pregnancy is a complex issue, and there is no simple answer. It can be an indicator of many factors in a young person’s life, such as poverty and social exclusion, low academic achievement, poor quality sex and relationship education, peer pressure and alcohol use.

“We are convinced that strong teamwork is the right way forward, and we will double our efforts to reduce teenage pregnancy through better education for children and young people, and through better access to contraception.”

She said the PCT has been working to improve sex and relationship education in and outside schools and was also improving access to contraception advice through its 4YP (4 young people) sexual health service, which has clinics across the borough and a mobile bus.

Cllr Lorna Reith, cabinet member for children and young people, said: "We know this is a major challenge but we have made some recent improvement.

“We are also setting up a new teenage pregnancy executive board in September which will focus on what more can be done. We will be looking at initiatives which have been successful in other parts of the country.”

Tottenham MP David Lammy said the figures are “depressingly high”.

“We must do more to support teenage mothers and fathers if we are to break the cycle of young parenthood.

“The answer to reducing teen pregnancy is found in better sex education, and empowering our young people to choose to have safe sex or exercise the right to say no. This cannot just be a message left to health and education professionals; we need families, young people themselves, and the wider community to be more engaged in educating and supporting our young men and women.”