Longitudinal Survey of Young People in England: Cohort 2

LSYPE2, 'Our Future' Study

LSYPE2, known as “Our Future” to respondents, started in 2013 and is managed by the Department for Education (DfE). This is a major study of young people that will build upon the first LSYPE (also known as ‘Next Steps’), which DfE ran from 2004 to 2010 and is now being continued by the UCL Institute of Education.

LSYPE2 follows young people who were aged 13/14 in 2013 annually. The aims of this survey are:

  • to follow a sample of young people through the final years of compulsory education.
  • to follow their transition from compulsory education to other forms of education, training, employment and other activities.
  • to collect information about their career paths and about the factors affecting them.
  • to provide a strategic evidence base about the lives and experiences of young people.

The breadth of the topics asked about in LSYPE2 is wide-ranging and covers, for example, educational experiences as well as health, risky behaviours, relationships, future plans, employment and use of leisure time. This provides a holistic view of the young person’s life, and the role of education within it. Data was also collected from the young person’s parents (waves 1-3) which allows LSYPE2 to link information about parental background and socio-economic status, as well as parental views on their children’s lives, to the data from the young people.

The study was designed to be as comparable as possible to the first LSYPE (Next Steps), in terms of methodology but also, to some extent, question coverage. Many of the topics covered in the first cohort are still relevant today, and therefore questions have been kept as similar as possible in order to retain comparability.

Waves 1-3 of the survey interviewed young people and their parents using face-to-face and telephone interviews. At Wave 4, when participants were aged 16/17, young peopled were interviewed individually using a sequential mixed modes method. Web, telephone and face-to-face surveys have been used from Wave 4 onwards.

The study has been an important source of information for the Department for Education and more broadly. A number of publications on a range of topics can be found on gov.uk and below.

The study has now concluded fieldwork for its ninth wave. As well as gathering important information on young people’s experiences of transitioning out of Higher Education or equivalent, it collected timely information on the impact of COVID-19 on young people’s lives and current activities.

Sample design

The young people in LSYPE2 were sampled through a two-stage process. Schools were sampled first, followed by the pupils within those schools. The sample includes young people in local authority (LA) maintained schools, academies and independent schools, but for practical reasons excludes small schools and overseas students. It includes special schools as well as mainstream provision. This sample was designed to ensure the widest feasible perspective on young people’s experiences.

Sample boosts

The sample design boosted some groups of particular interest as follows:

  • young people eligible for free school meals
  • young people with special education needs

Linked data

In the first three waves, consent was collected from young people and their parents in order to allow the Department for Education to link data recorded about them on the National Pupil Database (NPD) with their survey data, greatly enhancing the richness of the data.

At Wave 4, young people were asked for consent to link to a range of sources of administrative data such as the NPD, ILR, HMRC and DWP records, and more for the course of the study.Management and funding

The study is commissioned by the Department for Education. It is conducted by Kantar Public on behalf of the DfE.

Management and funding

The study is commissioned by the Department for Education. It is conducted by Kantar Public on behalf of the DfE.

Accessing the data

Data from waves 1-8 of LSYPE2 are available for direct share through the Office for National Statistics Secure Research Service (ONS SRS).

LSYPE2 covers a range of topics related to young people’s education, work, future plans, behaviours, mental health and wellbeing, demographics, and more. The first three waves of data also include responses from their parents. The data can be used for a wide variety of analyses and can be linked for a number of administrative data sources, such as the National Pupil Database.

If you would like to access the data or know more, please get in touch with the Longitudinal Studies Team at Team.Longitudinal@education.gov.uk.

Overview of data waves in LSYPE2

Resources

To date, LSYPE2 has published the following: