BCS70 10-year Special Needs Survey

8 October 2012

Data from the age 10 special needs survey of the 1970 British birth cohort is now available to access from the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS).

This valuable dataset contains the results of special tests administered to a subset of 456 children who had difficulty completing the educational attainment tests administered to the whole cohort at the age 10 survey.

Children were included in the special needs subset if:

  • they scored in the bottom five per cent on the 10-year Edinburgh Reading Test or the Friendly Maths Test
  • they were receiving Special Educational Treatment
  • they were regarded as having severe or moderately severe learning disabilities
  • their teachers applied for their inclusion because the teachers considered the standard testing too hard for them.

Special instruments were developed or adapted to fit the children’s particular educational, mental, physical and behavioural needs. Sub-scales were introduced within the instruments that would yield more interesting and meaningful information than could be obtained from simpler tests.

The presentation of the tests was modified for partially sighted and blind children, those with severe hearing loss, and those identified as having severe motor or locomotor disabilities (many of whom had significant hand-eye coordination problems).

The Special Teacher Questionnaire included in the age 10 survey asked about the children’s behaviour, health, skills and play activities, and any remedial or special education they were receiving.

Access the data and supporting documentation from ESDS Data Catalogue:

SN 7064 -1970 British Cohort Study: Ten-Year Special Needs Survey, 1980

The special needs survey dataset contains over 1,500 variables and is accompanied by a comprehensive guide containing diagnostic grids for interpretation of the tests.

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