Here you can search our series of working papers, dating back to 1983. These papers use data from our four cohort studies and cover a wide range of topics, from social inequalities and mobility, to physical health, education and cognitive development. Other papers in the series seek to improve the practice of longitudinal research. At the present time, we are only able to accept papers if at least one author is a member of the CLS research team.
For more information about our working papers series, please email us at email@example.com.
This paper presents the approach taken to the implementation of activity monitors on the main stage of the Millennium Cohort Study Age 14 Survey, and highlights a number of considerations for the implementation of objective physical activity data collection in large-scale face-to-face surveys.
This paper examines the relationship between parents’ and children’s vocabulary scores for a nationally representative birth cohort born in the UK – the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS). We investigate both socio-economic and ethnic differentials in children’s vocabulary scores, and the role of differences in parents’ vocabulary scores in accounting for these.
Linking survey responses with administrative data is a promising practice to increase the range of research questions to be explored, at a limited interview burden, both for respondents and interviewers. This paper describes the protocol for asking consent to data linkage on nine different sources in a large-scale nationally representative survey of young adults in England: the Next Steps Age 25 Survey.
This study used a large, representative sample of university students studying in England to explore the relationship between student attitudes and socio-economic disparities in subject choices.
A major part of the 2010-2015 UK government’s education reforms in England was a focus on the curriculum that pupils study from ages 14-16. Most high profile was the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) performance measure for schools, incentivising study of “subjects the Russell Group identifies as key for university study” (Gibb, 2011). However, there does not appear to be good quantitative evidence about the importance of studying such a set of subjects, per se. This paper sets out to analyse this question, considering whether otherwise similar young people who study specific sets of subjects (full set for EBacc-eligibility, two or more sciences, foreign languages, applied subjects) to age 16 have different probabilities of entering university, and specifically a high-status university.
Over the past twenty years governmental efforts to promote social mobility have included widening access to higher education as a major focus. This is in an attempt to give more individuals the opportunity to benefit from the economic returns to a university degree (Walker and Zhu, 2011). Despite this, there remains a significant level of socioeconomic inequality in access to universities (Anders, 2012a; Boliver, 2013; Chowdry et al., 2013). Much of this inequality is explained by, or emerges through, differences in prior attainment at age 16.
The subjects that young people study from age 14 onwards may have important consequences for their future academic and labour market outcomes. These decisions are shaped by the schools in which they find themselves. Schools also face constraints of their own. This paper explores the extent to which individuals’ decisions are affected by the school they attend and to what extent this is affected by the composition of schools in terms of academic attainment, gender and socioeconomic background.
This paper considers whether subject choice at 14-16 influences post-16 transitions, taking into account prior academic attainment and school characteristics, and if so, whether this accounts for socio-economic, gender and ethnic differences in access to post-16 education.
Using information on all English students who entered UK universities with three A-levels in 2010, 2011 and 2012 – nearly 475,000 in total – this working paper aimed to find out how those doing certain A-levels fared in the competition for a university place.
Rhian Barrance and Jannette Elwood consider ways in which young people experience the curriculum through the lens of subject examination syllabuses (for GCSEs), their associated assessment techniques and structures and educational policies at national and school level concerning subject choice. Drawing upon an original qualitative dataset from a mixed-methods study of students’ views and experiences of GCSE from Northern Ireland (NI) and Wales, the paper explores students’ perceptions of choice and fairness in relation to studying various subjects at GCSE and the freedoms they feel they have to make valid and relevant choices of what to study.
Keywords: education, curriculum planning, equality, subject choice, mixed-methods.
Richard Pring provides a historical but critical context for examining the relation of the pursuit of greater equality in schooling to the development of curriculum. The different ways of conceptualising equality are explained in terms of:
• ‘rational curriculum planning’ with its detailed definition of ‘aims, objectives, methods and evaluation – and thereby a ‘science of teaching’;
• ‘forms of knowledge’ or ‘realms of meaning’ to enable all pupils to have a basic understanding of the physical, social and moral worlds they inhabit;
• the pursuit of enquiry through which, for all learners, understanding is enlarged;
• provision of common curriculum experience as a basis for citizenship;
• taking diversity seriously.
Keywords: education, curriculum planning, equality.
Emer Smyth draws on a mixed methods longitudinal study of students in twelve case-study schools to trace the school and student factors influencing take-up of higher level subjects within lower secondary Irish education.
The paper draws on data from the Post-Primary Longitudinal Study (PPLS) conducted over the period 2002 to 2008. The initial stage of the PPLS involved a postal survey of all (over 700) secondary school principals, with a response rate of 78 per cent. The survey data were used to identify case-study schools for a more in-depth analysis of young people’s experiences in the early years of secondary education.
Keywords: mixed-mode, education, Irish Republic, higher-level subject choice.