Next Steps

Next Steps, previously known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England (LSYPE), follows the lives of around 16,000 people in England born in 1989-90.

The study began in 2004 when the cohort members were aged 14, with an original sample of 15,770 people. Cohort members were surveyed annually until 2010, and the next sweep after this was when they were aged 25, in 2015-16.

What’s in the study?

Next Steps has collected information about cohort members’ education and employment, economic circumstances, family life, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, social participation and attitudes.

The Next Steps data has also been linked to National Pupil Database (NPD) records, which include the cohort members’ individual scores at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 and more administrative linkages are planned (for example: Higher Education Statistics Agency, The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service, Department for Work and Pensions).

What has the study found?

Next Steps has provided important evidence about the factors that influence young people’s performance at school and their educational transitions, and about the lives of young adults in their twenties. It has had a major impact on education policy, including raising the compulsory participation age in education and training, investing in vocational education and developing guidance for schools on how to stop bullying.

Research based on Next Steps has provided insight into bullying of disabled and sexual minority people and the role of subject choice and aspirations in educational trajectories.

The study has also contributed new evidence on the experiences in the labour market of young adults today, and in particular on the association between shift work and zero-hours contracts and mental health.

Who funds the study?

Next Steps is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The study was previously managed and funded by the Department for Education (2004-12).

Next Steps sweeps

The first seven sweeps of Next Steps were managed by the Department for Education.

The most recent sweep was managed by CLS. Click on a sweep below to learn more about the information collected.

Latest from Next Steps

 
Research

Initial findings from the Next Steps Age 25 Sweep

The Next Steps Age 25 Sweep has provided valuable insights into the lives of young adults today.
News

Girls who play video games more likely to study STEM degrees, new research finds

18 October 2018 Girls who are avid gamers are three times more likely to study physical science, technology, engineering and maths (PSTEM) degrees at university, compared to non-gamers.
News

Ethnic minority children tend to set their sights highest when planning future careers, research finds

4 October 2018 Children from some ethnic minority groups are most likely to aspire to university and aim for well-paid jobs, a new study has found.
News

Less advantaged students not as likely to choose subjects they enjoy, new study finds

10 November 2017 Students whose parents had only GCSE qualifications were found to be less likely to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, when compared to students whose parents had a degree.
News

‘Aim higher’ is an effective message from teachers, study finds

5 September 2017 Students encouraged by their teachers to stay on in education are more likely to do A-levels and apply to university, according to findings from Next Steps.

Recent scientific publications

Gutman, L and Schoon, I
Emotional engagement, educational aspirations, and their association during secondary school
Journal of Adolescence, 2018, Volume 67, Pages 109-119
Read the full paper
Thornby, M, Calderwood, L, Kotecha, M, Beninger, K and Gaia, A
Collecting Multiple Data Linkage Consents in a Mixed-mode Survey: Evidence from a large-scale longitudinal study in the UK
Survey Methods: Insights from the Field, 2018
Read the full paper

Special features of this study

Education data

The study was run by the Department for Education until 2013, and designed to examine key factors affecting educational progress, attainment and transitions following the end of compulsory education.

Cohort members were interviewed every year between ages 14 to 19 (2004-2010), providing detailed and frequent repeat measures on education during this crucial period. The questionnaires covered attitudes to school, aspirations for future work and study and transitions to college, university and work. Resident parents were also interviewed for the first four sweeps.

The questionnaire data was supplemented by linked administrative data from the National Pupil Database including cohort members’ individual scores at Key Stage 2, 3 and 4.

The Age 25 sweep maintained a strong focus on education with questions on qualifications, further study, university applications and experience, and student fees and debt. Permissions to link to a wide range of educational administrative data on further and higher education were also collected, including Individualised Learner Records, Higher Education Statistics Agency, University and Colleges Admissions Service and Student Loans Company.

Study design

Next Steps is a major national cohort study following a representative sample of people born in 1989-90.

A number of notable design features make it distinct from the other cohort studies run by CLS:

  • Cohort members were recruited in adolescence, at age 13/14, rather than at birth.
  • Data was collected annually for the first seven sweeps.
  • Cohort members were recruited through schools.

The geographical scope of the study is England, rather than the United Kingdom or Great Britain.

Administrative data linkage

Linked administrative data from the National Pupil Database are available for the study, including Key Stage 2, 3 and 4 individual records.

At age 25, cohort members were asked for their permission to link to an extensive range of additional administrative records. Nine different consents were sought from four different domains:

Health

  • NHS records, including primary care data and hospital episode statistics

Economic

  • Department for Work and Pensions data on benefits and employment programs
  • HM Revenue & Customs data on employment, earnings, tax records, occupational pensions and National Insurance contributions

Cohort members who consented to economic linkages were also asked for their National Insurance number.

Education

  • Higher Education Statistics Agency information on university participation and attainment
  • Universities and Colleges Admissions Service data covering higher education applications and offers
  • Department for Education records held on participation and attainment in school and vocational education from Individualised Learner Record and National Pupil Database
  • Student Loans Company covering amount taken out in loans and institution attended

Criminal behaviour

  • Ministry of Justice information held on the Police National Computer covering arrests, cautions and sentences

These linkages are being pursued and the linked administrative data will be made available via the UK Data Service.

Sample design

The target population for the study was young people who were in Year 9 in English state and independent schools and pupil referral units in February 2004. Cohort members were born between 1 September 1989 and 31 August 1990.

The sample design considered schools the primary sampling unit, with deprived schools being over-sampled by 50 per cent. Of 892 selected schools, 647 state and independent secondary schools as well as pupil referral units participated in the study. Within selected schools, pupils from minority ethnic groups (Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, and Mixed) were over-sampled to provide sufficient base sizes for analysis. The school and pupil selection approach ensured that, within a deprivation band and ethnic group, pupils had an equal probability of selection.

The issued sample for the Age 14 sweep was approximately 21,000 young people. A total of 15,770 households were interviewed in that initial sweep, representing 74 per cent of the target sample. For the Age 17 sweep, 352 Black Caribbean and Black African pupils, selected from the original schools sample, were added to the sample taking the total number of cohort members who had taken part in the study up to 16,122.

From ages 15-20, the target sample consisted of cohort members who had participated at the previous sweep. For the Age 25 sweep, the target sample was all cohort members who had ever taken part in the study.

Popular survey documentation

Next Steps Age 25 Questionnaire

This questionnaire was given to participants of the Next Steps Age 25 sweep.

Authors: Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Date published: 01/08/2017
PDF: 965,6 KB

Download

Next Steps Age 25 User Guide

This user guide accompanies the Next Steps Age 25 sweep.

Authors: Centre for Longitudinal Studies
Date published: 01/01/2018
PDF: 539,38 KB

Download

Data access

We’ve published guidance to help users find out what’s in our data.

Most Next Steps data are available through the UK Data Service. Visit the UK Data Service study page for Next Steps [SN 2000030].

Principal Investigator

Lisa Calderwood Principal Investigator of Next Steps and Senior Survey Manager of the cohort studies

Phone: 020 7911 5510
Email: l.calderwood@ucl.ac.uk

Lisa oversees all aspects of CLS’s work on Next Steps (formerly known as the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England), and leads on the strategic and scientific direction of the study.

Lisa leads the survey management team who are responsible for the design, development and implementation of the surveys conducted by CLS.

Her research interests are longitudinal survey methodology, particularly the prevention of non-response.

Contact us

Centre for Longitudinal Studies
UCL Institute of Education

20 Bedford Way
London WC1H 0AL

Email: clsfeedback@ucl.ac.uk